Modsi, had noticed in their surveillance, a young girl, in the city of New York, who was apparently at home taking care of younger siblings with no visible adult supervision. They hovered over her apartment listening carefully to what was being said.
“Pick up that paper and put it in the garbage can,” Kiara said, angrily to her twin brothers. “I’m tired of picking up after you, two. Go to your room and stay out of my way!”
The two six year-old boys, glared at her and kept right on shredding paper into tiny bits and then blowing them into the air. “We like to play “snowing” when we can’t go outside. You’re just a meanie.”
“I’m not a meanie; I don’t want to clean-up after you. Now, stop! If there is a mess in here when Mom gets home, you’re gonna get it.”
“No, we won’t. She’ll fuss at you. You’re the one in charge.”
“Well, since I’m in charge, pick up that paper before I bash in your brains and blow them into the air.”
“We’re telling Mom you hit us!”
“I haven’t hit you yet, but I’m going to any second now.” Kiara was so frustrated that she picked up a broom and began chasing her brothers around the room until they ran into their room, and then slammed the door and locked them in.
“Ooh! I wish I had the power to turn back time and these two would never have been born!” she muttered to herself. She looked at the clock on the stove and realized her mother would soon be walking in the door, tired as usual, expecting a hot meal and a clean house. The broom she was using was old and worn and made tried to sweep up the mess that much harder, but she was glad that she had put a plate in the microwave for her mother. Now, all she had left to do was the dishes. While she washed dishes, she daydreamed about living somewhere else where she didn’t have to watch her brothers while her mother worked. She thought about having a father at home who loved them and worked to take care of them. The sound of a key turning in the door broke into her day dream.
“Hi, Mom. Food is in the microwave.”
“Thank you, Kiara,” her mother said, dragging herself into a chair. “I really appreciate your help. Where are the boys?”
“I locked them in their room. They had made a mess of the place and wouldn’t clean it up.”
“Kiara! Don’t lock them in. Talk to them and teach them how to clean up!”
“Mom, they don’t listen to me. I have to do everything around here. I cook, clean up the house and then watch them. Why do I have to do everything? Why did you have to have them anyway?”
The minute she asked the question, she regretted it, but it was too late to take it back. Her mother looked at her for a long moment and then tears began to flow down her cheeks. She said nothing, just held her head in her hands, looking as though she wished she was somewhere else. Kiara hated seeing her mother cry. She cried often but would never say why and every time she did, Kiara felt bad.
Kiara walked over to her mother and hugged her. “I’m sorry, Mom. Truly, I am. I don’t know what got into me. I’ll unlock the door now!” When she unlocked the door, the boys came tumbling out, each one wanting to tell on Kiara first. Their mother, stopped crying and pulled each boy onto one knee and hugged them tightly. Squirming to get away, they finally escaped and went back into their room. They didn’t like it when their mother hugged them too hard.
Kiara sighed and finished the dishes and then completed her homework at the kitchen table. When she finally finished and put her books and notebooks into her backpack, it was past her bedtime and she was so tired, she could barely keep her eyes open. Her mother had long since gone to bed, so she pulled out the sofa bed and dropped onto the unmade covers beneath the cushions and soon fell asleep.