I’ve learnt throughout life that nothing is to be expected. Nothing is supposed to be predicted as it can come to kick you back in the ass, ten times harder.
When you’re a growing child, just hitting your early teens, you’re at a high. A high you never want to come down from and that’s when it strikes, because no one can predict the future, past or present. If you try and predict any of these, your answers are filled with dreams and with words including; ‘I want’, ‘I think’, ‘maybe’ and ‘I’m going to’.
Maybe that’s the way society has made us. to predict the future, to give you hope. Society’s there waiting in the shadows waiting for the perfect moment to show you dreams from reality.
I got my kick from a good old lesson from ‘dreams’ and ‘reality’ when I was thirteen. My parents payed the price of me not seeing the reality, or maybe they both planned this from the start.
All I know is, the moment when you’re told your parents can never come home, by two strange people dressed in black and white, is where you see the dream that you have created in your mind and the reality is that you’re not going to become the next Bruce Wayne and get your own movie based on your life as Batman. As a thirteen-year-old, your dreams of becoming you, are crumbled away like rubbish, left to drift away in the wind. This becomes your reality.
When I was told my parents were not coming home, for the better, this made me the person I am today.
I was told my parents were coming home from their grocery shopping when they were hit by a drunk driver. They said that the driver was too slow to notice my parents crossing the street and went to swerve to avoid them, but with the black ice on the road it quickly made the driver lose control and flip straight into my parents. Killing them instantly.
I remember how the police officers stared at me expectantly that day, like they were expecting me to crash and burn into some sort of tantrum or to cry my heart out. But the thing was, the moment I answered the door and saw them there, was when I was hit with the cruel reality so hard I just became numb, because I knew I needed to become the adult everyone was expecting of me. Even if they hadn’t said it, now I was truly alone.
I remember how the police said that they would leave the room and give me a minute but I told them to stay. I don’t know why I wanted them to stay. Maybe because I wanted them there so that I wouldn’t return to the dream state where I would imagine my parents opening the front door and yelling a “surprise!” or “we got you!” at any moment.
I remember them telling me how they were going to bring in a lady from the local orphanage - Crystal Tree Orphanage - who was coming to talk to me about what was going to happen to me, since I had no other family other than my uncle Andrew, but he had been in prison for the past 5 years due to being a drug dealer, so he was a big fat no-no even if he wasn’t in prison.
So, they let the lady come - who I would later know as Miss Sykes. I remember her looking at me with kindness and understanding, totally not what I was expecting. I recalled watching the movie ‘Matilda’ and thought she would be like ‘Miss Honey’ but she was definitely like the Headmistress - Miss Trunchbull. It sickened me to the bone!
“Hi Blue,” Miss Sykes said, “I’m Rachel but you can call me Miss Sykes and I’m here to help you, is that okay?” she had asked. I remember just staring at her blankly, feeling the dislike for her building up already. She had straight blonde hair tied back into a professional bun with clear blue eyes and a slender body. She wore a white blouse and a blue pencil skirt which showed the emphasis of her long legs with hardly any help from her simple black heels.
Maybe I was still grasping onto that last piece of dream I had and didn’t want to let it go, because even as a thirteen-year-old, I knew that as I took a step outside my house I would never return.
But I had to let go at some point whether I liked it or not. Without saying a word I walked towards Miss. Sykes and took her hand. A silent sign of agreement from me that I was willing to go. I don’t remember much after that, it’s all a blur of flashing lights, black and white and the sounds of clicking heels.
I don’t remember how I got into Miss. Sykes car with my suitcase in the backseat but somehow I did but the one thing I do remember clearly was how angry I was. Not sadness, not pain or grief but anger. I had never felt it like this before and the most confusing part was that, I didn’t know where my anger had came from it just seemed to pop out of nowhere. I didn’t know if it was directed at Miss. Sykes the woman who was taking me away from my childhood home, the police officers who stole my dreams away and making me into an adult too early or to my parents who had stupidly decided to walk down to our local grocery store instead of taking their car. Though the one thing that no one really understood was that, I wasn’t angry towards the driver. Sure, he had killed my parents but it was an accident and even though I knew I would never forgive him I knew that even though my parents had passed and he hadn’t that that would be with him forever, the guilt weighing him down like a rucksack of bricks permanently glued to his back.
The thought of the fact that the man would have to live with that guilt for the rest of his life dwindled my anger towards everyone around me. All I felt now was a mixture between anger and sadness for that type of burden.
The drive to Crystal Tree Orphanage with Miss. Sykes was silent. No words were spoken but there was this unknown tension coming from her, I didn’t know if it was because of the thought of taking on another troublesome orphan or because of the situation of my parents being dragged away from me too soon. I didn’t know but it helped to keep my distance from her at first.
The further away from my home we got the more the situation seemed to sink in as if I had been running on autopilot the entire time the police officers and Miss. Sykes had came and left my home with me being dragged behind them tossed around like a rag doll.
The moment I saw the gates of Crystal Tree Orphanage with their logo of an old willow tree covered in silver with iron bars around it. I knew that this was my cage now, my reality. I was now their puppet and I had to dance like the other puppets to amuse the couples who would come and go then be placed back on the shelf for safe keeping for the next eager eyes.
This was my curse, my safe haven and hell all rolled into one.
I had to learn to survive it or be pulled and prodded more by their eyes, hands and minds.
This was my reality.
This time, I couldn’t go home.