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June 28, 1999
Harmony was in her bedroom when she heard the knocking on the door. She exhaled loudly then stood and walked toward the front of the house where the sound had originated. Harmony passed Mary’s closed bedroom door and knew the lady wouldn’t be coming out of her room. She had tired of the friends and fellow church members that had been making daily appearances since Gene’s murder the previous week. Harmony had spent most of the week locked inside her bedroom avoiding Mary instead of comforting her the way she should have been doing. The way she would have if she had only known how.
Harmony reached the front door expecting to see more people with food. Why was it people showed up with food after someone died? No one wanted to eat and most of it was being thrown away. Harmony was stunned for a moment after she opened the door and saw that it was
Madelyn Wilson, the clipboard lady from social services. She was standing there with a smile on her face that was anything but friendly.
Harmony wasn’t happy to see this woman again. She had promised they would become good friends, but then she only showed up in Harmony’s life after something bad happened.
“I don’t think Mary is up to company right now. She’s in her room and she’s probably sleeping.” Harmony said hoping the clipboard lady would turn around and leave.
“It’s good to see you again Harmony. If I can come in I would like to talk to you for a little while.” Madelyn said as she tried make her smile look friendlier.
Harmony exhaled in the loud exaggerated way only an aggravated teenager can as she stepped back to make room for the clipboard lady to enter.
Madelyn looked around the small but tidy room before taking a seat in a large recliner. “How have you been?”
“No very well. Haven’t you heard, Gene was shot and killed for no reason.” Harmony replied flippantly as she threw herself onto the couch.
“I’m really sorry that happened. Gene was a nice man. I know you must miss him.”
Harmony looked at Madelyn as if she were going to say something important but then changed her mind. “Yes, he was nice.” she replied.
“Other than that happening, how are you doing?” Madelyn sat up and leaned toward Harmony as she asked the question.
“I’m fine. I’m getting by like I always do.”
“I spoke with Gene before everything happened and he said that he was worried about you. Did you have a fight with one of your friends or something.”
Harmony squared her shoulders and answered with an edge to her voice. “No I did not.”
“Mary called me yesterday. She’s upset about Gene and worried about you.” Madelyn spoke softly hoping to calm the girl down.
“I said that I’m fine. So, if that’s why you’re here you just wasted your time.” Harmony stood in an attempt to let Madelyn know she was finished with the conversation.
“Harmony, Mary told me that she thinks it would be a good idea if I found another placement for you.” Harmony froze where she was standing. “She says that you’ve been difficult to handle lately and that you won’t talk to her. With everything that happened to Gene, she’s barely taking care of herself. She doesn’t think she can give you what you need right now.”
Harmony dropped back onto the couch and tried to cover up the sadness she felt. “Fine. I’ll just go back to my Grandma Pat. I know she’s missed me.”
“Honey, that’s not an option.” Madelyn answered softly.
“Yes, it is. Just ask her. I know she wants me. She’ll be happy to see me again. The Harrisons have kept me from her for long enough.” Harmony’s voice was getting louder and angrier.
“Do you remember the talk we had right after you came here to live.” Madelyn paused for Harmony to answer but continued talking when she didn’t. “We talked about how she had done something bad a long time ago and needed to explain why.” Madelyn paused again. “Harmony, your Grandma Pat is in prison in Georgia.”
“You’re a liar.” Harmony said with a quiet coldness that cause Madelyn to shiver.
“She did something really, really bad. It was a long time ago, but she hid from the police and changed her life and her name. Once they found her she had to answer for her past.”
“I remember hearing Mary and Gene talking. They said she killed a family, but Pat would never do anything like that. You don’t know her. I do and she would never do that.” Harmony said as tears begin to puddle in her eyes.
“I believe that the lady you knew would never do anything bad. Madelyn stressed the word ‘knew’ as she spoke. “I have no idea what the woman she was before you knew her would have done.”
“Why? Why would she kill someone?”
“I don’t know the details, Harmony. I know there was a family that she was connected to somehow. There was a man with a wife and two daughters and their house burned down. The police said that Pat was responsible and she confessed when they spoke to her at the hospital.”
“That doesn’t make sense? It doesn’t!” Harmony cried.
“Honey, she wanted to make sure you were safe. She confessed so that no one would question you.” Madelyn reached out to touch Harmony’s hand, but Harmony moved out of the way.
“I’ll never believe that Grandma Pat could do something bad. Never.” Harmony wiped the tears from her face and squared her shoulders again. “Why are you here?”
“I told you. Mrs. Harrison is worried about you.”
“You said she didn’t want me anymore.”
“No, honey, it’s not that she doesn’t want you. I know she loves you. She’s just sad now.”
“You’re going to take me some place else to live?” Harmony asked.
Madelyn gave Harmony a sad smile. “I am. At least for a little while.”
Harmony stood up quickly. “Well, lets go then.”
“We don’t have to leave right away. You can pack some of your things and tell Mary bye” Madelyn tried calming Harmony down.
“Mary doesn’t want me here and there’s nothing in this house that I want.” Harmony said before walking out of the Harrison’s house for the last time.