This is just a story when I ran away for the first time when I was thirteen. One night I got in trouble for forgetting to remind my foster-father that we were running low so he could bring home a couple of cases after work. Now, I didn’t receive a beating on this occasion, verbally assaulted instead. As always, it was during dinner as everyone sat there listening to him call me just about every name in the book. If I anger him enough that didn’t call for a beating, he had no problem calling me a Spic ( I am half Puerto Rican), Bow legged Freak (cause I’m bow-legged), Retard, Numb Skull and any other derogatory names you can come up with.
But he did have one favorite name that I believe he actually enjoyed calling me in front of the family and that was being called “Michelle”. He started calling me that when I was about thirteen. I have no idea why, but I kind of figure he was calling me a sissy in his own way and came up with Michelle for Michael. I hated that, and to be honest, I couldn’t give a shit being called those other names…but Michelle….that really got to me and I would show it by the expression on my face when he call me that at the table. I would look up at him squinting as I tighten my lips a little. He knew right then and there I was getting mad, but he didn’t care one way or another.
He knew I feared him, and I showed that when he would stare back at me, and as always, would take my eye’s off of him like a beaten dog being challenged by the alpha male. He went on with his rant till my mother would tell him to just shut up and as always, he get in the last word and just like that it was over. But going through this stress and anxiety what seemed like every night, was taking its toll on me and I needed to do something to slow it down if not end it. So what do I do? One snowy Wednesday afternoon, I went to an ice skating rink where my friends from school all went, without permission from my foster-mother.
I just told her that I was hanging out with my friends in the neighborhood but instead, hopped on the city bus to Clove Lakes Ice Skating Rink to meet up with my friends from school including a girl I liked from my class name Arlene. As they all skated around having a great time, I just hung about on the side drinking hot chocolate watching. When the session was over by five,I told them I was going home, but I never did. I just walked around along the park and trying to figure out what I was going to do next. It was all ready dark and getting colder out, so I needed to think of a place to go to get warmed up.
At first I walked over to a gas station that was down the road from the skating rink to go to the bathroom, then continued walking along a park called Clove Lakes. A couple of hours had passed and I knew by then, my foster parents were looking for me. I imagine them calling up my friends from the neighborhood asking my whereabouts, and knew that if I went home now, I was definitely going to get my ass whipped big time by my foster-father. Here I am, walking around in the cold with just a couple of dollars in my pocket, and I had no idea where I was going to go or what I was going to do. I didn’t think this one through that’s for sure. But I knew one thing…going home wasn’t an option anymore.