Lost Lexi

by Cari Lynn Vaughn

I did not kill her.  I did not kill my daughter.  I told you what happened already. 

I left on Friday and dropped her off at the babysitters.  The woman’s name was Constance Martinez.  She said she could watch Lexi for a while.  I needed a break, so I went out with some friends.  We went to a couple of bars.  We drank and danced.  I was trashed, so I crashed at friend’s place.  There was a bunch of stuff going on and it took me a while to be able to get back to the babysitter. 

How long?  I don’t know exactly—a couple of days I guess.  I went back to the apartment and she was gone.  There was no sign of her.  I tried to track her down, but I didn’t have any luck.

I didn’t call the cops right away because I wasn’t worried at first.  Constance Martinez kept talking about visiting her son.  I assumed she took Lexi with her to see her family.  I tried to reach her family, but they said that she hadn’t called them in a long time.  That is when I started to worry.  I didn’t want to worry Mom and Dad until I knew something for sure.  When I was sure that Lexi was actually missing, I called Mom. 

No, I didn’t think it was necessary to call the cops.  I was worried Constance Martinez would get deported.  I think she is an illegal alien or something.  She was constantly afraid of being found out.  I didn’t want to turn her in.  I didn’t think she’d go far or do anything to draw attention to herself. 

I don’t see what the big deal is!  You act as if I was abandoning my daughter. I didn’t abandon her.  How dare you accuse me of such a thing!  That’s bullshit.  Total bullshit.  I love Lexi.  I just want her back. You don’t think I would take back my mistakes if I could.

I didn’t know what to do.  You know I am only twenty-one.  I wasn’t sure the cops would do anything.  I didn’t want to overreact.  I thought Mom might be able to help me find her. I thought Mom would know what to do.  Then Mom turned on me.  The whole family turned on me.  Now everyone thinks I killed my daughter.

I am going to rot here in jail, while the real killer is getting away murder—literally murder.  My life is over and no one cares.  I should have never trusted Mom.  She has never taken my side.  She has never believed me, not once. 

The argument?  What argument?  Oh, my Dad and I got into the night I left.  He was pulling the same old shit about not being grown up and responsible.  That was funny coming from him.  He can be such a child sometimes.  Mom just babies him, lets him get away with stuff all the time.  He can’t do anything wrong.  Me, on the other hand, I always got in trouble for little thing I did.  It’s always Luanne’s fault. I am the one locked up in this tiny cell.  Mom should be here for selling me out, for betraying me.  She should be here, not me.

Did we argue about Lexi?  Yeah.  Dad was angry as hell when he found out I was pregnant.  He didn’t want me to have her.  I had her anyway. I thought it might make him leave me alone for a while.  And for a while, Dad did leave me alone.   For a while, we were one big happy family.  We didn’t talk about the father of the baby and we didn’t talk about anything unpleasant. Well, guess what?  There are a lot of unpleasant things about our family.    

Dad and Mom really loved Lexi.  We all did.  For a while that was enough to keep things together.  Then I threatened to tell Mom the truth about who her father was and that is when Dad lost it.  He denied everything and called me a bitch.  I had to do something. I had to find a way to prove him wrong.  I just wanted everyone to know the truth.

Why lie?  Oh, mean the lie about where I worked and what I did?  That was a mistake.  I wanted to look credible.  I wanted people to think I was more than just a fuck-up.  That is what my father was always calling me—a fuck-up.  I thought if I looked secure and stable, then maybe everyone would leave me alone. 

I didn’t count on the whole world being camped out at our doorstep.  When Lexi went missing, I didn’t think anyone but Mom and Dad would care.  I wasn’t thinking about the news.  I just want to go home and grieve for my daughter in peace.  I wanted to put this whole damn thing to rest.  I just wanted to go back to being a fun party girl.  Being a single mom is tough. 

No, it isn’t all about me. It was never about me.  It has always been about him.  Who? Dad.  Just ask him and he will tell you that the whole world revolves around him and his needs.  It always has and always will.  Lexi and I really don’t mean a thing to him. 

What?  I didn’t confess to anything.  I keep telling you I didn’t kill Lexi.  Fine.  You want to know the truth?  You want to know who killed her?  Dad did.  You hear me?  It was his fault.  It was his baby!  It was his baby that I took away from him. 

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Cari Lynn Vaughn has published three books: Radiant Darkness, Journey Without A Map and Persephone’s Echo. She has MA in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. and is the mother of two brilliant children. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado where she is hard at work plotting her world domination via facebook. 
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