Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lies My Mother Told Me


Do I dare go up the stairs?

I must. It has been a very long time since Mother came down to feed me. I have been very hungry, and I have slept twice between the hungry times. The light in the window crack has come for the third time now.  Mother has not brought my food. We have not done any adding and subtracting, no drawing. We have not read from any book. Nothing. Where is my Mother? She has never left me for so long. Why did she leave me?

What if the Evil Ones have come to get her? What if they took her away? Did she save me from them by sacrificing herself? I must go up the stairs. I must. I know I’m not allowed to go up the stairs, but it has been so long. Mother, where are you?

The steps creek announcing each step like a trumpeter announces a prince as he climbs the steps to his throne, but this is no story in a book. I can see the doorknob as I reach the top landing. What if it’s locked? Should I open it, or just call out for Mother?

“MOTHER!” I grab the doorknob and hold it closed. What if the Evil Ones are out there? Oh I’m so stupid, so very stupid. Why did I call out like that?

Nothing.  Nothing but silence. No answer from Mother. No attack by the Evil Ones. Nothing at all.

I turn the knob and the door is open. I am blinded by the light. It is so bright up here where Mother lives. So bright it hurts my eyes. Then I see her.

She is facedown on the floor. There is blood. She is not moving. “Mother! Mother please. Please, Mother, please talk to me, please!” Mother does not answer.

She is still, and cold. She smells bad. “Mother please wake-up. I’ll be a good boy. I’ll go back downstairs. I promise.”

I hear a noise. THE EVIL ONES ARE HERE! I scream and run for the stairs leading back to my secret home, but one of them grabs me just as I reach the basement door. I fight and scream and kick, but he pushes me to the floor and ties my hands behind me.

“It’s okay son. Everything is going to be okay.” The room is filled with Evil Ones in their blue uniforms, with their sticks and guns. Then another Mother person comes to me, and puts her hand on my head. “Tommy? Tommy my name is Jennifer. I’m going to make sure nobody ever hurts you. We are going to take care of you, Tommy.”

That was six years ago. I spent one year in an institution for juvenal care. One year in a halfway house, and the last four years in foster care with the Jakubowskis. Nice people the Jakubowskis.  I’m eighteen now.  The system no longer supports me. I’ve been turned down for military service. Now I’m out on my own.

I think I’m dangerous.

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