Kidnapped For A Day
Kidnapped For A Day
I bet you thought this was click bait. Well, it's not.
They always say it is someone you know. Though this is not a terrifying, made the news, ransom note type of tale, it is a true one. It was early in the morning and the sun had barely risen when I heard "boom boom boom" on the apartment door. What I heard next was the sound of a familiar voice and my grandpa’s response… "What do you think you're doing"!?!
"I'm here to see my niece"!
Next, the bedroom door flew open and...
Friends, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me rewind and fill you in.
I was born in The Bronx and lived there, with the rest of my family, until the age of nine. My mother's side of the family is Puerto Rican, and we were all really close back them, but also freaking crazy. I could fill this entire blog with stories full of things you would not believe, but for people who live here in NY (well the hood) crazy is pretty common. As I was saying, I lived in NY until the age of nine because that is when my mom decided she and I needed to move to Virginia and get out of New York. My passionate, highly emotional family was not too thrilled about this. Without going into unnecessary details that don’t pertain directly to this story, my aunt and grandma were furious. My mom didn’t care. She made up her mind. We were leaving, and then no one was talking to each other. Our goodbye was Shakespearean, but off to Virginia we went.
Fast forward and my grandpa came to visit us in VA with his girlfriend and her kids. (my grandparents hadn’t been together for years). As their visit was nearing the end I asked my mom if I could go back to NY with my grandpa for a few weeks since it was summer, and I would ride a Greyhound back to VA. She agreed, and my grandpa didn’t mind. Plus, I loved hanging out with his girlfriend’s kids.
There was one condition. I was not to go see my grandma and aunt. Now, that may sound weird to you guys, but like I said my family is a tad crazy. When I said our goodbye was Shakespearean I did not mean that it was sad or theatrical. It was like a fight scene between the Montague's and Capulet's just with fists instead of swords. Since my family had been feuding, and refusing to talk to each other for months, I was not allowed to go see them without my mother’s supervision.
One day while in New York my grandfather, his girlfriend, the kids, and I were all walking down the street. When we turned the corner who did we see; my grandma (his ex-wife) and my aunt (his daughter). All seven of us stood there in shock for a moment. My aunt and grandma, because they had no idea I was in New York, and me because, well I just had no clue how we managed to run into them out of all the streets of New York. Secretly I was glad though because I had been wanting to visit them so badly. We said our hellos and then parted ways.
The next day I snuck over to go visit them with a neighbor. The poor neighbor had no idea I wasn’t allowed over there, so she just took me over to my aunt’s apartment. To the third floor we went, and when I knocked on my aunt’s door she was once again surprised to see me. My grandmother also happened to be there. I didn’t stay long, and upon leaving I felt like I had accomplished a great mission. I got to see my family, and no one would find out.
That night I went back to my grandpas and told no one. I was set to head back to VA in a few days so there was no point, and I harmed nobody. That evening all us kids listened to Mariah Carey’s Rainbow album and stayed up late talking nonsense, and planning out the rest of my time there until we fell asleep.
‘Boom Boom BOOM’
I heard my grandfather open his bedroom door, walk past our door where we all were sleeping, and to the front room.
The chain unlatches, and he opened the front door.
“HEY, what’s the matter with you huh? What are you doing here”? he yelled
I heard a familiar voice “GET OUT THE WAY! I’m taking my niece”!
I, and the other two kids were still laying down in the room when I saw the bedroom door fly open. In the doorway was my aunt, 5’2”, charging through the door, swinging around the bed to the other side of the room where I was.
“Come on Chanty, let’s go”!
Now, my grandfather, also a very short man, was trying to block the door yelling at his daughter saying that she could not take me. That I was not allowed to go with her. His girlfriend was yelling, telling my aunt she was crazy, and that she was going to call the police. My aunt was dragging me by my arm, shouting at everyone to get out of her way while pushing my grandpa off her, as I slid across the wood floor screaming…
“Wait titi, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaait”!!! It’s not that I didn’t want to go with her. My aunt is crazy, but not dangerous.
“I don’t have any shoes on.”
After I threw on my white Keds we both darted out the door like we had robbed a bank. There I was running towards, I don’t even know what, in a white pajama shirt and my pink sweatpants that had a grease stain on the knee from the pizza I had eaten the night before.
We climbed the steps and headed towards the park. This was a familiar route to me because this was the way my mom and I would walk to catch the bus from the apartment to my aunt’s house. I figured I was just going back to her house to hang out for the day. When we got to the other side of the hill we hopped on the bus and headed to my grandma's apartment. When my aunt and I got there it was clear my grandma had not been filled in on my aunt's plan, but she was more than willing to jump on board.
“Grandma”!! (Yes, Elsa, for those of you who know her from my insta stories).
“Hi sweetie. Oh my gosh, Bernie, what is she doing here and what is she wearing”?
“I had to get her quick mom. We didn’t have time to wait and change.”
“But her hair isn’t even combed. Oh no, I need to go get a brush and comb that hair before we go out anywhere.”
“Fine mom. We should probably go get her some clothes too.”
The three of us got on the bus and headed towards the shopping center. To me, I was just going to spend a day with my grandma and my aunt. I was excited to see them after all these months. Granted it wasn’t done in the most appropriate fashion, but I didn’t think too much of it. Even after the scene, I had witnessed that morning, I thought that I was just going to go back to my grandpas that night and all would be fine. They weren’t taking me across the border just to the mall. Not sure why, even at 10, I thought that being ripped out of bed and dragged to the bus stop was a normal thing for a family to do, but I guess I figured my family is just a little touched.
After a few hours and several phone calls later, my grandma tells my aunt they needed to take me back. After my aunt and I ran like Bonnie and Clyde, my grandfather immediately called my mom back in Virginia because, well duh. They had just stolen me right out from under his nose. My mom got on the phone and started tearing my aunt (her sister) to shreds.
Here are the details of their convo. Either my aunt and grandma were to return me to my grandfather immediately, or the police were going to be called, and charges would be filed against them (no worries my entire family is cool now and we even laugh about this story today #timehealsallwounds). My grandma tried to be the mediator between the two sisters but to no avail, and what made it worse was that my mom was on her way o_o.
A few hours later I was back at my grandpa’s apartment. My uncle came and got me from my grandma's and dropped me off to avoid anyone possibly being arrested. When I walked into the apartment I could see my grandpa was upset, but not with me. I thought I was going to be in so much trouble, but I forgot he didn’t know that I snuck off to see them the day before. What he did know was that we ran into them, on the street, a few days before that. I figured that was probably the connection he was making to the events of the day, and I was fine with that.
What I didn’t know was that my aunt had accidentally blown my cover to my mom. Now, where we lived in VA to NY was about a four-and-a-half-hour drive. I pretty sure my mom made it there in under three, and I was in trouble.
What happened after that does not have to be mentioned.
The rest of my vacation was cut short, and I was headed back to Virginia. Not on a Greyhound but in the back of my mom’s Corolla. Exactly how my family made up after all of this I’m not sure, but this is my favorite story to tell during family gathers. Especially during those awkward silent moments. “Hey, so remember that time you kidnapped me titi”? We all bust out laughing.
Stay safe out there kids. Your aunt might be in the bushes waiting for you.