“He just wanted his daughter back,” I argued, crossing my arms over my chest. He might’ve thought he effectively ended the conversation but tough shit.
“We don’t always get what we want,” the senator said flatly. His words echoed in my brain as if I’d heard him say them before. “Besides, I don’t know what kind of power he seemed to think a senator has. The most I could’ve done for him would’ve been to write him a letter of recommendation to the family court. Maybe make a call to Judge Fletcher if he’s still on the bench over there.”
“Then why did you make the deal!? Take me back,” I demanded. “I don’t even know you. Take me back!” I yelled reaching for the door, not caring that the car was back in motion and barreling down the road. I pushed on the handle and opened the door enough to see the blurring gravel road. The senator reached over and closed the door abruptly, clicking the lock shut.
“Ramie, don’t be ridiculous. There is nothing for you to go back to. And besides, do you really want to leave your son?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Tanner said you told people I was in Paris so you wouldn’t be embarrassed by the fact that you had a runaway for a daughter. Don’t you think that instead of inventing lies, your time would have been better spent looking for me?” I asked with my hand still on the door. “If you were me, would you want to stay knowing that?”
The senator sighed. “We did look for you, Ramie. But we didn’t know about this memory business. We just thought when we hadn’t found you that you didn’t want to be found. And stop making this all about you. It isn’t just you who this debacle affected, so think about that before you go around hurling your accusations at people.”
“King didn’t abduct me. I want you to drop the charges. I don’t want him back in prison,” I stated, crossing my arms over my chest.
The senator narrowed his “I tell you what, visit with the specialist I’ve contacted. Make a real effort to assimilate back into your old life. Try to remember some things before you go and throw everything away to be the first lady of…Logan’s Beach.” He said Logan’s Beach like the entire place left a bad taste in his mouth. I opened my mouth to argue but he continued.
“Give it a month. A month of real effort toward your recovery. If after that time you still want to go back, I’ll drop the charges against him and have my driver drop you back off at his house with a letter of recommendation to the family court judge, which he can use for custody of his daughter. That’s the deal.” He straightened his tie. “And the only one I’m offering.”
“I don’t exactly trust your deals. Look what you did to King,” I spat.
“Ramie, he’s a felon! He’s got no voting rights for Christ’s sake. He’s a non-citizen as far as I’m concerned, and I don’t make deals with criminals. You’re my daughter.” He finally looked up from his phone. “I would never make you a promise I didn’t intend to keep.”
I didn’t trust him. Not one bit. He was a fucking politician after all. But what other choice did I have? He was right; there really was nothing to go back to. Then there was the nagging curiosity, which had never died down, reminding me that I really did want to find out who I really was. What my life was like before. “Okay,” I agreed. “But I have more questions. About me, about my—” The senator’s phone rang and once again he barked his greeting into the receiver, effectively putting an end to our conversation.
I’m not sure exactly what kind of relationship I’d had with my father, but I was beginning to feel that he wasn’t the cheering on the T-ball team, helping with my math homework type.
Within a few minutes after we’d dropped off Tanner and Sammy, the senator announced, “Here we are.” He placed his phone inside his jacket. Royal palm trees, which were at least twenty feet tall, lined both sides of the driveway. We came to a stop in the center of the U-shaped drive, right in front or a big southern style open porch with white railings.
I craned my neck up at the house. “You live here?”
“No, we live here,” the senator corrected. “You, your mother, myself, Sammy, and the housekeeper, Nadine. And when we I’m not here, I’m up in Tallahassee or D.C.”
The senator leaned over me and opened the door. He motioned for me to get out of the car. I had to shield my eyes from the rays of the sun burning through the separated palm fronds.
The house wasn’t as big or palatial as I would imagine a politician’s home would be. It was on the small side, with immaculate white siding, accented with blue shutters. The rocking chair on the porch screamed old southern charm. An American Flag waved beside the front door. Wind chimes hung from the trees, tinging and tanging hypnotically with every hint of breeze. “Home sweet home,” the senator said dryly.