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Friday September 26

Friday~ September 26th

Sunshine poured through my window and splashed its golden rays across my room. Rubbing my eyes I tried to remember what was going on, what had happened? After a moment reality hit me like a load of bricks.

“Daddy.” Tears filled my eyes and I bit my lip to stifle the sobs escaping me. I buried my face into a pillow until it was soaked from the salty droplets. I couldn’t breathe, so I lifted my head, blinking though the blur. It took me a while before I remembered my missing mother. Maybe she’s home. Hope sprung up in my heart as I slipped out of bed, and hurried out of my room, down the hall to my parent’s room. But mom wasn’t there, and my hope cracked. Perhaps she was in the kitchen drinking her mandatory cup of morning coffee. I flew down the stairs and into the kitchen. It’s empty, except that dang cat. My hope shattered completely and emotions take control of my body, stealing every ounce of strength I possess. I collided with the tile floor. How long I stayed there I don’t remember. The only thing I do know is that the phone rang; its tone deadly. I didn’t have the strength to stand and answer it, and so it plays the voicemail I made when I first moved in. It’s been the same for almost six years now.

The person on the other line doesn’t speak for what seems like an eternity, but when they, do I wish with all of my broken heart that they would have stayed silent.

It’s the police. I can’t hear all of what he says, just words here and there. It doesn’t matter; I hear what’s important. My broken heart shatters at his words…mother…crash…dead…I’m so sorry. As if Jack understands he rubs against me, before climbing into my lap with a soft purr that vibrates through his whole body. My eyes slip shut and it’s not long before I am asleep again.

When I wake for the second time today my mind feels clear. Not empty, because the hurt and emotions are still there. I can feel them pressing on me, but it’s like someone has locked them away for now. Taking advantage of my mental freedom I dragged myself back up to my room. Somehow this house doesn’t feel like home anymore. My room doesn’t feel like a safe place to hide. As I looked around nothing seemed to hold meaning. It’s as if the lives that were lost have put everything into perspective. There are a few objects that still carry memories, like pictures and my journal, and I know these will always matter to me. I sank down on my bed with one thought pounding inside me. This is no longer my home. Flashes of a similar situation play in my mind. I’m eleven years old, sitting in a social services office. I’m crying, because this will be the fifth foster home I will live in. I will never forget all those mean faces. I suppose they might be nice people out of that office, but when they have to place you in multiple foster homes, they get sick of you, or at least they were tired of me. I thought about how awful it would be to go back to that office, and then back to a house packed with unwanted kids. That wasn’t the life I wanted. I wanted to be loved, most kids do. But I also want to be free, and the foster system doesn’t allow freedom. With that last thought bitterness wells up inside me. Why did mom leave me? She left me all alone to deal with loosing my dad. And dad left me to deal with loosing my mother. How could they do that? How could they let me go through loosing my family again? They were gone and I was going to have to go back into the foster system. It wasn’t fair! I wanted a family. Anger bubbled under my skin as I grabbed my journal and began to write furiously.

Dear Friend,

It’s me again. That lost kid that wrote to you so many times when she needed someone to listen. I am once again an orphan. My parents have both left me and I am so mad at them! I don’t want to go back to those group homes. I don’t want to be treated like a charity case again. I just want my family back. How could they do this to me? They’re both gone again. How is that even possible? I don’t understand.

At this point my anger is burning low and I just stare at the words I have just written. I wasn’t truly mad at my parents, because this wasn’t their fault. But I was hurt that I was all alone. Why is it that the one thing I long to have seems to escape me constantly? Am I so unworthy of having a family? I don’t know the answer to my own questions, and after a few minutes my mind is focusing on another question. Do I have to go back into the foster system? I don’t want to. I hate it there, all those sympathetic faces and half hearted promises. I wanted my own family, but I also wanted to be free from the life of “maybe next time it will be you.” The more I thought about going back, the firmer my resolve became to leave that part of my life behind. I could disappear and go somewhere that they would never find me. I was almost seventeen anyway; I could handle myself. With that thought I sprung into action. I knew it wouldn’t be long before someone came looking for me. And that is all it took for me to gain the energy to grab a backpack and stuff it full. I didn’t take much really, just some jeans, tee shirts, and a sweatshirt. I left my phone on my desk, but I slipped my computer in a pocket of my bag. After that I paused and scanned my room. The only other things I needed were my journal and a picture of my family. After I placed them in my bag, I was about to zip it up when it hit me; I need money. I find a small pencil bag and put all the money I have in it. There isn’t much, but I can make it work. With that I zip my backpack closed and tramp down stairs. I can feel pressure building up in my head, so before leaving I grabbed a bottle of aspirin and the anti-acid pills.

I can’t help saying goodbye to Jack, who is sleeping on the counter. However the moment I touch him he’s up and purring.

“Buy buddy.” I scratched his nose and ears.

“You’re going to have to go back to your real home now.” Silly cat; he just kept purring. I sighed as I walked out of the kitchen and through the back door, leaving it open so Jack wouldn’t be trapped. And then I was off.

It was cold outside for a September night in Florida. I slipped the sweatshirt on. I wasn’t thinking about were I was going as I left my neighborhood behind. All I knew was I needed to get away. I walked and walked, turning a street here and there, working my way out of town. I found a small highway that lead out of the city and followed it all night. Just as the sun was rising I spotted a roadside diner. Using the last of my energy I open the door to the diner and plopped down in a seat.

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