Leaving Hudson

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The day for moving on and 'Leaving Hudson' behind, had arrived. A warm and nostalgic fictionalized memory. Enjoy!

Submitted: July 28, 2008

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Submitted: July 28, 2008

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A A A


Leaving Hudson
By Gerard Lebel
 
 
 
As I recall, my faded, army green duffel bag was so jam-packed, I had a hard time squeezing in my toothbrush and comb. I had been in this little town of Hudson for far too long and it was high time I was moving on to someplace new. I needed a new place to live and some new friends with new rules, where I could come and go as I pleased with nothing to hold me back and no one to tell me what to do. That day for moving on and leaving Hudson behind, had arrived.
 
The duffel-bag proved much too heavy for me to carry over my shoulder for any great distance and since I didn’t know how far I would be walking as I didn’t know yet exactly where I was going, I decided to ramshackle the garage to find my old, Radio Flyer, red wagon; the same magical one that had given me so many rides up and down Arlington Street as a young boy. And as I got a little bit older, I had often filled my red wagon with old comic books, traveling the neighborhood, selling and swapping them like my dad, the door-to-door salesman. And now that I was just about all grown up and would be turning ten the following Saturday, it was time for me to leave Hudson for good! No parents to tell me what to do and not do and no big brother bullying me or getting me into trouble anymore.
 
In the far right corner of the garage, emerging beneath a big bamboo rake, some various, old garden tools and a broken white, rose trellis was a patch of distressed red. Yes, it was my Radio Flyer wagon and it was still in one piece! Excitedly, I pulled it out into the driveway and checked out the wheels to find they were not rusted at all and in general, the wagon was impeccably intact. I lifted the duffel bag into the wagon where it fit perfectly. I remember grabbing the long, black handle and walking nervously to the edge of the driveway. Whew… this was the biggest moment of my life so far. My heart was thumping and pounding against my chest as I began my journey from Hudson to God knows where, pulling my Radio Flyer onto the sidewalk and down the street.
 
“Hey, now where do you think you’re going, young man?” announced the ear-splitting voice from the front porch.
 
OH NO!… No.. No… you couldn’t miss mother’s voice anywhere. I was as quiet as a church mouse getting up and dressed. I practically held my breath the whole time I was in the garage so as not to make any noise. How did she find me sneaking off? How did mother always know everything before anybody else? Was there some sort of law that my mother must know everything?
 
“Hey, young man. I’m speaking to you!. Answer me, Evan,” mother yelled in her frightening tone as I turned around to face her and the music.
 
“I know, I heard you, mom” I sputtered, hanging my head in defeat tearfully, realizing she had caught me, so it didn‘t matter what I said now. “I’m running away and leaving Hudson. I hate it here. I hate school and I hate my life!”
 
“Well, I’m sorry to hear that,” mom replied in a much softer, loving voice, “but I think I understand how you feel. I felt that way once when I was your age, Evan.”
 
“You did?” I said, using my shirtsleeves to wipe away the tears from my cheeks.
 
Walking over to me and squeezing her arm affectionately around my back and shoulder, she replied;
 
“Yes, I felt that way once. It’s a natural thing to feel out of place and scared once in a while and especially when picked on by an older brother or sister. Your Auntie Janette would pick on me something terribly, Evan. Why, I remember thinking I hated her, but when I thought it all over and realized how much my family loved me and how much I learned at Sunday School that God loved me and I thought about everything I had to be thankful for and how lucky I was to have a nice, warm home with plenty of food and good friends to play with, those feelings to run away and leave home weren’t so important anymore.”
 
After a few moments of silence with mom now wiping away the tears still streaking down my cheeks with a rolled up tissue she had tucked under the buttoned down cuff of her blouse, mom continued.
 
“Hey, I have an idea, Evan. It’s almost lunchtime and I made a great big, glass pitcher of fresh strawberry Kool-Aid a little bit ago and I was going to make us a few hot dogs on toasted rolls with some potato chips. And maybe for dessert, a double hot fudge sundae with chocolate ice cream, a few slices of banana and topped with some fresh whipped cream and nuts. Mmm… doesn’t that sound good?”
 
“Oh yeah, I had forgotten all about lunch, mom. I hadn’t even packed anything to eat,” I replied with an impish grin.
 
“Well, why don’t you take your wagon and go for a walk around the block and think about what I’ve said. Your daddy and me and your brother, Todd, love you very much and we would be terribly sad if you didn’t live with us anymore, so before you make a hasty decision about running away, take that little walk around the block to do some thinking and come back for a nice lunch... just you, me and daddy. How does that sound?”
 
“Well, I guess that sounds okay,” I said smiling and licking my lips as I grabbed the wagon and started down the sidewalk while mom walked up the front porch steps to the house to start preparing lunch. I turned and hollered back to her, “Hey mom… can I stop at Bobby’s and invite him over for lunch too?”
 
“Sure,” she bellowed happily with a huge, beaming smile, “if you’re sure that’s what you want to do, Evan. We’ll have plenty to eat so invite Bobby over if you’d like to.”
 
“Okay, great! Oh boy… thanks mom!”
 
What a morning, I remember thinking to myself as I walked off down the street pulling my Radio Flyer along behind me. How incredibly lucky I was to have a friend like Bobby and a wonderful family; a loving father, a caring brother who was more often than not a jerk but protective of me nonetheless.
 
And of course last but not least… a beautiful and smart mother, who heard and knew everything… and I mean everything there was to know on this planet earth and beyond…  and who also happened to make the best darn hot dogs and double hot fudge sundaes in the whole entire world!
 
© Copyright 2008 Gerard Lebel
All rights reserved
 
 
 


© Copyright 2017 gerabel. All rights reserved.

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