By Kaylynn Clermont

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I

At the age of forty-two, my Aunt Kacy lives with her father—along with her boyfriend, his two children, and the youngest of her three children. Number six of seven girls in the family, Kacy seemed to be one of the wilder ones. The crazy that runs rampant through the family has a strong hold on all the sisters, each with a horrible temper and sometimes uncharacteristic childishness.

 
II

Playing in the yard of my grandfather’s house one day, my Aunt Kacy decided to give my mother and me a tour of their new neighborhood. I was playing catch with my cousin and threw the ball too hard in the wrong direction. It slammed into my aunt’s face, her glasses breaking like a mirror, shattering into a million pieces. Her nose bleeding, her eyes seeing red, screaming bloody murder, she runs. I run.
 
III

“She’s in jail again?” I asked my mom.

“Yes, so Dill and Elle need to stay with us for a while until she’s out and better.”

“Is it drugs again?”

This was the second time my aunt was in jail for drugs. She was the closest person to me that had such a severe drug problem. Well, most everyone could drink wine, and lots of it. Some used milder drugs and were never caught. Some stole pain medication from my parents after they had surgeries. Kacy was the only one caught, and not only once but several times. That trend was not about to end.
 
IV

“Ever since I got out I’ve been going to church! It’s the best Church ever! It’s helped me so much!” Aunt Kacy said.

Her face was light like the full moon. Her eyes glinted like the lakes, reflecting the moon back. Aunt Kacy wanted my mother and me to join her in the church. They were throwing a celebratory event, congratulating my aunt for how far she had come since jail and drugs. Everyone came up to her saying congratulations and delivering messages to keep it up.
 
V

I was invited one night to stay over at my gandpa’s with my Aunt Kacy and younger cousin Elle. We watched Marilyn Monroe movies all night and ate a whole bucket of ice cream. It seemed almost normal, other than the odd fits of laughter that overtook my aunt.
 
VI

At my Aunt Ann’s shop, my Aunt Kacy was employed as an accountant. I was also employed there for a summer, and I noticed my Aunt Kacy had not come to work for a while.

“Where is Kacy?” I asked Ann.

“She’s no longer employed here, nor will she be coming back,” she said. Her voice was cold, like eating freezer-burned Neopolitan ice cream after having a hot plate of lasagna.

“What happened?” I asked.

“Well,” she said. “I caught her downstairs having sex with her boyfriend.”
 
VII

Thanksgiving at my grandpa’s house was always a big event. Everyone brought something to the table. Some family members brought a plate of crackers and cheese, while others brought wine or corn casserole. My grandpa made the ham and mashed potatoes and his favorite, the lemon meringue pie.

Most of the family comes; of course family out-of-state cannot make it. The house is filled with children running everywhere, and adults chatting and catching up with each other. My Aunt Kacy avidly talks to me and asks me how I’m doing. I can tell she’s more hyper than normal, and her eyes are somewhat glazed and red. She jumps from topic to topic like a frog jumps across the highway to survive and not be crushed by oncoming cars.
 
VIII

My mom is a nurse, a very good one at that, who works in the psych unit of a hospital and can tell when people are on drugs. After first meeting my Aunt Kacy’s boyfriend Bob, my mom knew he was on drugs and that my aunt was, too. Using my dad’s uncanny ability to find information on anybody, we learned that Bob had a record of dealing various drugs, armed robbery, and domestic violence charges. In his previous marriage, his ex-wife also had a history of drug abuse. A couple of my family members theorized that Bob’s children had unfortunately been “drugged” in the womb; that was why one of the kids had Down syndrome and the other had ADHD.
 
IX

He was slimy, like the filth and scum at the bottom of a dirty lake. Bob was casing my mother’s house at the Christmas party while kids screamed and ripped open their presents like starving men would rip open a cheeseburger from McDonalds.

While setting up the kids’ presents so they could play with their new toys, I noticed Bob had disappeared for a while with Kacy. I couldn’t do much about it since everyone, including me, was busy.

Bob and Kacy came back twenty to thirty minutes later. My aunt had glazed eyes and a goofy smile on her face, and was once again leaping from topic to topic, much like the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.

When I watched her, I saw long, graying brown hair, and crow’s feet becoming more pronounced on her face. Sweat dripped down her brow like drops of water falling down a frosty bottle. Her breath reeked, a strange smoky stench. I tried looking at her arms to see if there were any marks to help guess what kinds of drugs she did, but I could not find any clues.

My mom checked everything when they left and said nothing was missing this time. Kacy and Bob had been rude, not keeping track of their kids. My mom and I were furious that nobody seemed to care.

My mom has not invited them back.
 
X

In July, everyone had already noticed what was going on with Aunt Kacy. It was getting worse and worse. My grandma talked to the family members and decided it would be good to have an intervention for Kacy. Everyone got on the phone July 18 to talk to a counselor to set up an intervention for Aunt Kacy.

We sat on the phone for three hours. Nothing for certain was decided.

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Kaylynn Clermont is in her fifth year at BSU studying nursing and very ready to graduate in the spring. She likes to spend all of her spare time reading books, watching movies, and cuddling with her boyfriend. She started writing her senior year of high school and hasn’t stopped since.