**Remembering Gracie** I was probably around 7 or 8 years old when the new girl moved next door. I remember playing outside with some of the neighborhood kids when her family was unloading their belongings from a biggol U-haul truck. A small, fragile girl peaked her head over the 3 foot wall to see us play. We were swinging on my new rope swing my uncle Leonard had made me. The swing hung off a gigantic branch from our huge Chinese Elm tree. I loved that swing! It was a huge hit with all the neighborhood kids too. Anyhow, I notice the "new girl" watching us so I went and ask her if she wanted to come play with us. She flashed a timid smile and said she had to ask her mom first. I waited and watched as she made her way to the back of the U-haul truck. The answer was quite clear as she draped her head and slowly walked back to me. Her mother had said no! The rest of us continued to play as the "new girl" sat alone on the hood of her parents car. (So sad) =( She wasn't able to come play with us for quite some time. I would often see her looking out of the kitchen window or from her very plain yard. Trying to include her in our play we would sit and make mud pies through a chain link fence. Finally into the 3rd week or so, she was allowed to come over. At first she was very shy and quiet, but that didn't last long. She quickly became one of "the gang". One thing that stood out about Gracie, was her crazy little giggle. I loved it! It would make you giggle too whether the situation was funny or not. (very cute). One day, it was just Gracie and I when her uncle/godfather drove up into their yard. Gracie's face and demeanor changed. She all of sudden slumped to the ground and stayed that way. I asked what was wrong and she said that nothing, but it was only obvious. Her uncle went inside and Gracie still remained on the ground as if she were hiding. Only after her uncle drove away did Gracie begin to transform back into her nornmal self. I was curious and eventually asked her if she was hiding from her uncle. She said she was. I asked why...she didn't reply. Being the persistent (nosey) child that I was (LOL) , I asked her if she didn't like her uncle and she said "not really". That's when thing took a turn. Gracie said she would tell me something, but that I'd have to promise to keep it a secret. I told her I would. She then told me that sometimes her uncle would watch her when her mom and dad went to work and he would touch her. She said that one time he even hurt her really bad! I told her to tell her mom and dad so that they wouldn't leave her with him anymore and she said she was afraid to tell them. I told her she had to. It got late and we were called inside. As I layed in bed, all I could think about was Gracie and her sick, disgusting uncle, but I said nothing to no one like I had promised her. The next day Gracie told me that she told her mom that she didn't want to stay with her uncle anymore and that her mom didn't even question as to why. That same night Gracie was left alone with her uncle!!! =''( It was a saturday morning and I was watching morning cartoons with my grandma when I saw Gracie's uncle's truck drive away. I sat there quietly and my grandma must have seen that I was deep in thought. She asked what was wrong with me and at first I was hesitant, but I knew it wasn't a good secret to keep. I told her everything. I could see the disgust and concern on my grandma's face. She said not to worry, that things would be fine. But I was worried! I was worried that Gracie would be mad at me. I was worried that Gracie would get in trouble for telling me!? My grandma got dressed and told me to stay inside. She went over to Gracie's house!! What did I do??? I was so scared! Shortly after, my grandma came home and she began to use the phone. Gracie's parents didn't believe my grandma so she had no other choice but to call social services and let them know what was going on. Days had gone by and I had not seen Gracie or her family. I was so worried for her and I missed my friend! Come to find out a few more days later, that Gracie and her family had moved away in the middle of the night. And that's it...that's where it ends! I don't know what happend to her after that. I've never seen or heard from her agian! I don't know if she got taken away or what? I don't know if her perents finally believed her or not and is now safe away from her uncle. All I know is that I hate him for what did to her! To this day, I still think of little Gracie and of my guilt for not saying anything the first night I found out about what her uncle was doing to her. I should have told right away. What if I allowed her uncle to hurt her that night too?!? That's something I'll always live with. **One thing is for sure...I will always remember Gracie and her crazy little giggle!! <3**
31-35, F
2 Responses Sep 2, 2014

:( god this makes me so sad:((( wish i could help!!

Don't beat yourself up too much about it. You were only a young girl yourself then. It's easy to look back as an adult thinking I should have done something sooner, but a seven year old girl wouldn't have a lot of control on what was happening.
Good on you for standing for her the way you did.

Thank you for taking the time to say that. It helps!! =)

Children should be taught to tell & keep telling until someone believes them. These days, they are even tech savvy & can even set up the web cam to catch the perp in the act if the parental units do not believe