I'm home

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: The Team Players
is going home what i wanted? have i made a mistake?

Submitted: October 23, 2019

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Submitted: October 23, 2019

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I glance around the room, it fills me with a sense of familiarity. The couch creaks under me as I shift, trying to find comfort on the shoddy structure. The door beside the opposite end of the couch opens and my sister steps inside. She's angry with me. My gaze drifts to the floor as she lugs her suitcase through the room

 

“I’m not upset with you,” my sister says. She sets the suitcase down “I’m just disappointed in myself is all,” She hears our mother climbing the front steps and hoists her suitcase, hurrying out of the room. My mother opens the door and steps inside.

 

“Hello dear,” my mother smiles at me. I don’t respond. “What’s wrong?” She walks over to me and kneels, placing her hands on my knees. I hate change. Four years ago, my brother, my sister, and I were taken out of our home and put into a local foster care. I spent my time there angry and I let everyone know. Going off on other children, disobeying the guardians, refusing to accept guidance from any of the adults. My siblings, on the other hand, had blossomed. My brother joined a soccer team, my sister started taking advanced classes. Like a sapling refusing to grow, I continued stagnant. A year ago, we started visitation. Our mother would come, and we would spend time with her as our counselor watched. Our mother would be so happy during the visitations. She would remind us that she was going to get us home soon. Everything would be just like it was before. The counselor would get upset when she would say such things. When she would leave he’d tell us that our mother was unable to raise us properly. I remember my sister asking: 

 

“Will we have to go back with her one day?” “Your mother has a whole bunch of work to do before that is an option,” The counselor replied: 

 

“Even if it does come to that, it’s your choice.” Those words stuck with me during the following year. I’m sure they stuck with my siblings as well, considering their actions. My brother started to act out. Threatening suicide or even to harm other children. He was moved to a more “suitable home,” as the counselor put it. Three months ago, my sister told me:

 

“We have to tell them we don’t want to go back,” she said. My sister, despite being the oldest of us, was socially inept. “Tell the counselor, tell him how happy you are here.” I wasn’t happy there. Earlier today, we were waiting outside the courtroom. My nose was stuffed. My sister was sitting in the seat next to mine, “I’ll tell them,” she said. I could see her arms shaking. I didn’t say anything. The officer came out of the courthouse. He motioned for us to come inside. It was cold in the courtroom. We were led to the stand, next to the counselor.

 

“Hello,” the judge said. My sister sputtered out a jumbled mess of a greeting. I saw my mother, a few feet away. She was watching my sister closely. I wanted to go home, didn’t I? The judge said a few more things before addressing us again.

 

“What do you want?” I looked at my sister, she was looking back at me. I looked at the judge.

 

“I want to go home.” There were ten or so minutes of discussion before everyone seemed to agree. We were sent home. I was home in the next two hours. The same cracked walls I used to pin my terrible art on. The same dark red floor my brother and I would play on, I miss him. The same strange lack of scent. The same look on my mother’s face.

 

“What’s wrong?” I glance over to the window, a single flower. Outside a few feet away from the house. I felt a warm tear run down my cheek. “Son,” her hands were on my shoulders now. “Are you upset? What’s the matter?” My view began to blur, my eyes filling with tears. I hadn’t cried in the last four years, but suddenly, what was happening? I am happy, I am home. This is what I wanted. This is what I wanted. Everything is perfect, stop crying. I remember my brother and me playing. The bruise on his neck, the conveniently red floor. I see my sister. She’s standing a few feet away, she disappears around the corner. “Say something,” mother speaks again. “Are you not happy to be home?” I remember now. I smile. This is happiness.

 

“I’m just so happy to be home.”


© Copyright 2020 Matthew Hair. All rights reserved.

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