Latch Key Kid(c)TuesdayMayThomas
For two years, at the ages of 8 through 9, I was a latchkey kid- meaning my parents dropped me off to school in the morning with my bike and I made my way the 4 miles home by bicycle, not seeing them again until they returned home by 10.30pm at night.
I had a house key that my mom safety pinned to what ever shirt I was wearing on any given day. I would let myself in after school, watch tv, do my homework and make my own dinner. At that time mom was married to Ned, who had two children from his previous marriage. Sometimes they stayed over on the weekend, but Monday through Friday I was on my own. Mom and Ned worked in Studio City- many miles away from our home in San Gabriel.
One afternoon, around 3pm- hours before my parents would return from work- I answered the phone to a familiar voice. I thought it was my step-sister’s husband, ‘Miller’. The voice said a long drawn out “Hi.” As if he knew who I was, and because I thought I knew who he was, I said “Hi” back. “What cha doin’?” asked the male voice. “Oh nothing- you know I’m supposed to be doing homework, but the movie Superman is on right now- so I’m gonna watch that first.” “Bad girl.” Responded the voice. I thought that was weird because Miller never said ‘bad girl’ to me before, nor had I ever heard him say that phrase. I shrugged it off and continued answering a string of yes or no questions the voice asked me about my day at school.
Next, the Miller voice asked me what I was wearing, to which I described my overalls and grey slip on tennis shoes. That question was followed by the male voice asking me: “What color panties are you wearing?” I paused, feeling an odd buzzing in my stomach and hung up the phone. I knew something was wrong with what Miller, or the voice started to ask me. I counted to ten and then called my mom at work and told her what happened. The very next day I had a baby-sitter with a sister who had a pool where I later got a concussion.(c)TuesdayMayThomas