Words by Anonymous
Editor's Note: This article first appeared in Issue 2 of Holl & Lane. To read the whole issue, pick up our digital pack in our shop.
When I was fifteen, my life changed completely. My whole world was turned upside down. I remember this day like it happened yesterday. It’s funny, because most times I can’t even remember what I wore the day before. This day, however, is so fresh in my mind. I think about it quite often. May 25, 2001, my mother was taken from me. Let’s start at the beginning.
May 25, 2001 was the last day of my sophomore year of high school. I lived in a small town where everyone knew everyone else. On this day, we got out of school early and my mom picked me up instead of having me take the bus home. A friend of mine also rode home with us. After dropping my friend off at home, we stopped by the grocery store (which was located in town, whereas our house was about twenty minutes outside of town). After grabbing her groceries, my mom went to the checkout line. While in line, I noticed my mom’s ex-boyfriend walked in the store. This was odd for a couple of reasons:
He didn’t live in the same town as us and also my mom had been having troubles with him not leaving her alone.
I mentioned to her that he was in the store. She finished paying and grabbed the grocery bags.
When we got outside, I noticed that his car was parked directly across from ours. I knew he did this purposely. While my mom was loading the groceries into our car, he came out of the store and began talking to her. My car was originally a gift from him and was still registered in his name. He asked her if she wanted to go to the auto shop to check on my car with him. She agreed, but told him that she had to take me and the groceries home first. He left and headed out of town toward our house. We were on our way to our house ten minutes later.
We arrived at our house, but her ex-boyfriend wasn’t there. I remember thinking that was weird, because he left in plenty of time to get there before we did. We unloaded the groceries and I went to my room. A while later, my mom came in to my room and told me that they were leaving. I told her I loved her. That was the last time I ever saw her.
An hour later, a friend of mine came to our house for a sleepover. Shortly before she arrived, my mom’s ex-boyfriend called asking if my mom was there. I told him no, that I thought she was with him. He explained that he had dropped her off at the end of our driveway about an hour earlier. He then said he had just made it into town and noticed that my mom had forgotten her purse in his car. These things threw up red flags to me immediately. I knew something was wrong. It did not take an hour to get from our house to town and my mom would never forget her purse anywhere!
At this point, I notified my boyfriend’s mother that my mom was missing. I said it as a joke, but I knew deep down that something had happened to her. My boyfriend’s mom told me to call her first thing in the morning if my mom hadn’t come home by then.
Early the next morning, I woke up hoping that my mom had come home late the night before. But, she hadn’t. She wasn’t in the house. I called my boyfriend’s mom and let her know and she immediately called the police. I remember when the police arrived, it was just my friend and me at home. I was fifteen and terrified. They started asking me questions and I honestly couldn’t answer most of them. I was too scared. I couldn’t remember what she was wearing. I didn’t know where they went after the auto shop. I didn’t have any answers for them.
The next week seemed so surreal to me. We put “Missing” posters up around town. I never in my life thought I would be putting up missing posters for someone I knew, especially not my own mom. That part was probably that most heartbreaking part. Knowing that this was all that I had left… a poster saying she was missing.
It’s been fourteen years since I last saw my mom. Fourteen years since she disappeared. We don’t have answers. We don’t know what happened to her. But, we are fairly confident that her ex-boyfriend had something to do with her disappearance. After she disappeared, my family and I found out that he had been abusing her and that he had previously raped her. We also found out that he had told people (after their breakup) that if he couldn’t have her, no one could.
I believe, with my whole heart, that he killed her. I don’t think he wanted to live without her, so he took her from everyone. The one thing, the only thing, that I want is to know what happened to her. I want closure. I want peace. The hardest part is not knowing what happened to my mom. Also, knowing that he is out there in this world walking around a free man scares me every single day. I really hope we get answers someday.
This situation has made me an advocate against domestic violence. Had I known my mother was being abused and raped prior to her disappearance, I would have urged her to seek help. I really want to help other people in these situations so no other families have to go through what my family is going through.