So Long

Before I begin, this will be the last story I will be sharing with you all from my childhood. Trust me, I could have added many more stories, but  if I have done that, what would be left to share when I work on a couple of projects to consider this coming fall. Many want me to write a book and one even suggested I write a screen play off my blog which I really find intriguing as well as challenging. But for now, I just want to end this chapter of my experiences living in the foster home and continue to share many stories surviving out in the real world at the very young age of sixteen.

Some thought I would be just fine while others believed I wouldn’t live to see my twenty-first birthday… including myself. So, I will tell my story of my last day in the foster home and close it with my thoughts and feeling never shared to anyone except to my Queen of thirty-two years .Moving back to the foster home started off just fine at first. I was getting along with everyone including my relationship with my foster father.

Tension at the dinner table s had diminished and conversations were civil as well as entertaining at times. Linda had been with her boyfriend Henry for a couple of years and really cool to be around. He always joked around with me when he was over at the house, and I think he took a liking to me in a way because how I was treated and was around to hear some verbal onslaughts before I left for the group home, but never was actually there for the beatings.

So, it was nice to see him again and felt good when he was around. But he did have to deal with my foster father’s nagging for auto parts time to time. You see, Henry worked at a family owned auto salvage yard and was there since his early teens till about his late twenties or early thirties, when he moved on to a much higher paying job for a major company. There might have been other  reasons why he left, but to be honest, I really don’t care what they were…it was so long ago.

But I do remember we had to listen to my foster father’s ranting and raving how Henry never got him parts that he wanted and when he wanted it. It started to become a hostile relationship, but seemed more behind each others back then in person. But Linda had to deal with that more than anything, and I remember her getting pissed off about it plenty of times. We seemed to get along better and she did confide to me about how her boy friend was getting tired of her father knocking him for stupid things, and not for nothing I was on her side.

I heard first hand some of the things her father would say, and always came off  sounding immature and childish. Always acting like a kid who was promised a toy by his parents but didn’t get it fast enough. I felt bad her Linda because she seem always upset about it…and I didn’t blame her.I noticed that my foster father slowly started acting weird sometimes. I mean, not dramatically but something wasn’t right anymore.

He would start off with comments about my hair or the light beard I was sporting at the time. I guess the smoking in the house didn’t help either. But hell, I grew up with his Pall Malls stinking up the house for so many years, and after what I went through the group home for those nine months, I could have picked up a lot worst habits than lighting up Marlboro’s that’s for sure. But, I stop smoking in the house out of respect for my mother more than anything, but I knew it bothered him I was doing it anyway no matter where I was.

But the comments became more frequent and then he started complaining that every-time the phone would ring, it was always for me. Now, I was blowing it off at first, but then as it gotten worst, I started responding back to him, and it was all down hill from than on.We began to argue just about everything that you can imagine. If it wasn’t my choice of fashion, it was my hair growing long. It seemed that he was actually looking for shit to to start in about.

Back then I liked Barry Manilow, I can thank the girls I went to elementary school for that, but sure enough, if one of his songs came on the radio, he would call him a skinny bottle of milk because Barry, yes we are on first name basis, sometimes wore a white tuxedo when he would perform or he call him some other lame ass name just to get under my skin…and it did!  He started pulling this shit at the kitchen table.

I already had enough of that in my life with him, there was no way in hell I was going to go through that bull shit again at fifteen. He really didn’t see that not only I was talking back to him, but I showed no fear in him either, and I know that bothered him more than anything because he kept it up till my mother would intervene and tell us both to shutIt is now Christmas time and I had no money for gifts, so I decided to cut out of class for a couple of days to work with my best friend’s brother who worked for Coke delivering soda throughout N.Y.C.

You guess it, I got into a big fight with my foster father during dinner. But as soon the name callings started I would just get up and leave the house with him yelling for me to come back. I became so defiant by now I would respond with a fuck you, but I am sure he never heard me or who knows what would have happened. But I remember that night I over my friend’s house I would share with his parents what was happening and told them my plans after the holidays were over.

They didn’t say much, but I knew what they were thinking. When I told them I was moving back with my foster family, they did warn me that things were eventually going to go back to the old ways…and it sure did, just minus the beatings. I knew staying longer in that house was going to get worst, and after Christmas my prediction came true.I don’t remember what caused this final battle between my foster father and I, but I believe it was over my sister Sandy and I arguing over something inside the living room over a show on T.V.

I think I  shove her or something like that, and when she went into the kitchen, her father had asked what was going on with us. I know she didn’t intentionally say anything to get me in trouble, but it did anyway. From what I remember, my foster father and I had the biggest argument and we both ended up by the back room next to the kitchen, between the bathroom and the coat closet. Then it happened.

He  grabbed me by my neck and I raised my hand back at him with a closed fist and was about to hit him just as my mother jumped in between us, and yelled at me to put my hands down. I just stared at him for what seemed like minutes with pure rage in my heart, and made it very clear and told them I will be calling my social worker and I wanted out of the house for good. Within a week , plans were made between my social worker Judy O’Brien and my oldest sister Gloria for me to move in with her because I made it very clear that I was no way going to go back to any group home or an orphanage for that matter.

Once the plans were final a date was set for my last day at the foster home. I will admit, it was very uncomfortable for those remaining days. No one talked to me, and I didn’t  bother attempting to talk to any of them as well. All I  kept telling myself that this was all going to be over soon and just to hang in there. When that day came, I can tell you  no one was more relieved than me. I couldn’t even sleep that night knowing within hours I was going to be out of that house  for good.

That snowy afternoon, I spoken to my social worker and she informed me that she will be meeting me at the house and we would leave together. When she arrived, I kissed my mother good-bye and we both gave each other a hug and I told her I loved her and that I was sorry. I than stuck my head into the kitchen from the hallway from where I was, and told my foster father I was leaving. He just sat there by the stove, looking out through the window in his work clothes smoking his Pall Malls and only said this….So Long.

 As I walked down the street with my social worker, I stopped to look for the last time at the house that not only held so many bad memories and dark secrets, but couldn’t help but to think that  the family that was supposed to save me from a life living in St. Michael’s Orphanage Home,  instead it was that very family that destroyed my childhood instead. I looked closer at the house only to find my mother standing and looking through the open glass on the front door looking back at me.

For a brief moment we just looked at each other, than I turned away and continued to walk down the street when  I heard the sound of the  glass windows on the big brown door closed for the last time. I knew right then and there, I would never set foot inside that house  ever again.

 

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