Previously on Whores & Wives:
Barnard’s reaction to the news of Catina being his daughter lulled me into a false sense of courage. Before I knew it, I’d accepted Dr. Sanchez’s offer to speak with the detective she’d brought in. Soon after, I was sitting in her office telling this…stranger…everything I knew, and a few things I suspected.
Tanya, the detective [who insisted I call her by her first name], encouraged I contact my lawyer to prepare myself for CPS involvement. She explained the girls would likely be removed from the home and they wouldn’t be able to live with my parents, siblings, or even Derrick’s parents until they’d been cleared of involvement.
She laid it out straight, “clearing a family member could take months; and until you do, your girls, grandchild included, will be remanded into the custody of the state.”
“What exactly does that mean? Where would they go?”
“Considering Timaya’s condition, a good lawyer could arrange to place her in the home of a distant family friend or relative. Maybe, someone you’ve not spoken with in years? …Someone…unconnected.” She winked as if I was supposed to know what that meant. I nodded, acting as if I did. “….and if they’d agree to take on Catina as well, that’d work out perfectly for everyone.”
“Sounds wonderful.” I agreed, unexcited. “Except, I don’t have any distant relatives. My entire family, including my in-laws, live right here in this small town. We are extremely close knit.” I lied again, folding my arms across my chest. We had family I could call, just not anyone I wanted or trusted to be in my business.
“What about your sister?” Dr. Sanchez chimed in….
“Lisa? GOD NO! Haven’t you been listening to anything I’ve—”
Dr. Sanchez held up her hand like a guru to a rambunctious student. “No. Your twin sister.”
“Oh.” I paused. I hadn’t even thought of Ameya.
“But she’s here….”
“Yes, but she’s only recently come into your life. She has no relationship with any of the parties you claim are assisting in the cover up.”
“The people who ARE involved in the cover-up. I don’t “claim” anything.” I retorted defensively at Dr. Sanchez. I didn’t like her throwing around the word “claim”; she made it sound as if I were making the whole thing up.
“I didn’t mean anything by that, Amya; I’m just giving those involved the benefit of the doubt.”
“The only thing you need to give their asses is jail-time. They don’t need your pity or sympathy, that what I pay you for.”
Dr. Sanchez took a deep breath and threw her hands up in surrender.
“Well, whomever she is. She may be worth looking into …” Tanya offered up. “…the last thing you want is your daughter going into the system, especially while one of them is pregnant. They’ve both already been through enough trauma and the separation will only add to that. You’ll want to ensure the environment she’s in is as close to what she’s used to as you can get.”
Ameya did have a nice place… in a great neighborhood… nearby some excellent schools. She only had a two bedroom, but I figured the girls and I could share a room for a while – at least until I got on my feet. It wasn’t ideal…but nothing about this situation was. Still, there was one problem….
“What um…. what are the requirements?”
“Huh?” Tanya sat back, confused.
“I mean, does Ameya have to qualify or anything? You know, like put in an application or something?”
Tanya and Dr. Sanchez laughed, “Well, she’s not applying for a home-loan, she’s taking in her nieces. Of course, there’d be a complete background check and a home visit to confirm the living arrangement is suitable…and they’d likely look into her finances to be sure she’s able to maintain her lifestyle and take on the additional expenses that children bring – independent of any stipends she’d receive from the state.”
“…and when she says stipend, she means “child support” that you and Derrick Michael will be responsible for –whenever you’re working again.” Dr. Sanchez added.
I cringed inside. It was the perfect solution to a horrendous problem; except, my sister basically ran an escort service in disguise.
“No….” I shook my head, “…it wouldn’t work. She’s not a good fit for my kids. What are my other options?”
“Amya, I think you should really reconsider, it’s the most logical—”
I cut my eyes at Dr. Sanchez, “I said, NO. Even if I wanted, she wouldn’t agree to it anyway. She has her own life and it doesn’t fit with…this.” I whirled my hand around in the air, referencing my mess of a life. “What are my other options. I didn’t do anything, why can’t they stay with me?”
Tanya expression became concerned. She looked at Dr. Sanchez and sighed as if she didn’t want to tell me something.
“What?” I demanded impatiently, my eyes darting back and forth between them.
“They’re going to have to clear you of any wrongdoing and confirm that you are a fit parent before the girls can return to you – this did happen on your watch and it doesn’t bode well that your daughter was already into her second trimester by the time you found out.” Tanya was straight to the point.
“And when we throw in the fact that you took her to a doctor who is a friend to avoid police involvement, then waited several more weeks come forward –after Dr. Sanchez gave you no other choice – I’m sorry Amya, you’ll definitely need to prove yourself fit to retain custody of your daughters until all of this is done.”