Guardian Domination

By: Breanna Hayse


Once again, I stood before the judge, wondering what type of foster care he was going to cart me off to this time as I listened half-heartedly and mentally counted off the days until my 18th birthday…

“Miss Bronston, I’m in a quandary. By all intents and purposes, I should be viewing this as an adult case and just send you to jail.”

Those words grabbed my attention.

“You’re going to be eighteen in less than a month. I’m giving you a choice,” the old man said patiently, looking at me. “We found placement for you, someone who is willing to take you on and believes they can help redirect your life.

“It appears that when they were incarcerated, your parents requested that your godfather, Jace Jordon, be notified of their situation and assume responsibility for you. It has taken a long time for the courts to locate this man and discuss the circumstance. The gentleman was pleasantly surprised by the court's interests and immediately requested the permission to assume responsibility. We, of course, performed a very thorough background investigation into his credentials and psychological competence to act as temporary guardian. Both Ms. White and I believe that we should allow you this final opportunity to make some positive changes in your life. We strongly feel that this situation will give you what you’ve been desperately seeking: a permanent home, a family environment, and some positive, hands-on guidance. So, here’s the deal: accept his offer or we will be forced to initiate the process of incarceration.”

It really wasn’t much of a choice. I was well behind in school by more than a year with no job opportunities, no money, and no home… so shacking up with some old guy was better than jail.

“This will be a challenge for you, Dear. Due to your history of non-compliance, Mr. Jordon has requested that the court views you as a probationary case placed under a contract stating that you will be his dependent until you turn twenty-one. Should you leave his care prior to that time, you will be sent directly to jail. And it won’t be juvie.”

“And not even collect two-hundred dollars?” I asked smartly.

“Make a joke of it if you want to. I’ve done all I can to help you, but the ball is in your court now, Celeste. Well?”

“You’re asking me to select one prison sentence over another. I’m an indentured servant or a convict. What if he’s a pervert or something? Background investigations can miss a lot,” I glared at him suspiciously.

The judge nodded with a sad droop. “Very true, and God forbid, if you feel that you are in danger, I want you to find a way to the nearest cop and get the hell out of there. We will be monitoring you very closely. We don’t want you hurt… We want you happy.” The old man stood up and placed his hand on my shoulder, “You’ll be transferred in a couple of weeks. Mr. Jordon wanted a chance to get things ready for your arrival. Celeste? I feel reasonably certain that you will not only thrive in this environment, but will find some peace there. Good luck, Child.”

The social worker shook the judge’s hand before leading me out. She looked pleased. I wasn’t as confident.

Chapter One

The Homecoming

Great, I thought as I shoved my meager belongings into an old backpack. Why couldn’t they just let me go and live under a bridge somewhere? I’m an adult now, for Pete’s sake. Prison was prison. Frankly, I didn’t care if they located an estranged ‘godfather’ who I had not seen since I was about five or six. I vaguely remembered a man I called Jordy with shocking blue eyes, and warm smile and a terrifying stare in the direction of my parents when they yelled at me. I also remembered being allowed to hide behind his chair and screeching when blocked by his ‘tickle-hand’ to keep me from escaping. Why would he ever agree to take me? I started to fume as my mood soured… they all sucked, as far as I was concerned. And to strip my legal rights and freedom as an adult? Could they really do that?

It’s the government. They could do whatever they want. My mind wandered as we silently drove over the roads of Monterey towards Carmel. Trees thickened as the road continued upwards into the mountains. There were no “real” stores, only little markets and a couple of mom-and-pop gas stations and restaurants. Where the hell was this place, anyway?

“I’m truly hoping,” Ms. White was saying, “that you will think twice before running away this time. Remember, it’s this or jail until you’re twenty-one. We’ve run out of options and I’m thinking this will work best for all of us.” When she received no response, she added, “Your godfather has agreed to take you in; you should be grateful.”

“I barely remember the man. He obviously played no role in my life, so I have no reason to be grateful,” I spouted.

Ms. White sighed, “Celeste, this is really your last option. Please think before you do anything. You will end up spending a lot of time in jail if you don’t straighten up.”

I merely stared out the window without responding, barely blinking as I took in the beautiful landscape. We slowed to a big, iron gate locked in front of a long, wooded driveway where Ms. White punched in some numbers on the pad and the heavy gate opened slowly.

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