Forvever

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
After 16 year old Abby's mother leaves , will Abby be able to take care of her younger brothers while staying away from family and child services. Will her struggles last forever?

Submitted: November 13, 2011

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Submitted: November 13, 2011

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I don’t know where she went and I don’t know how long she will be gone for. All I know is I have two brothers who need me. Who am I? My name is Abby. I am 16 years old. I am the oldest of three kids. We have a mother, only she isn’t really here. Well her body is here but her mind is somewhere far off. And sometimes she will just leave. Normally only for a night, but this time it’s different.

***

It was a Monday morning 6:50 a.m. I am normally the only one awake at this time, but this particular morning Mom was awake, sitting at the table. My mother when she is home is always sleeping. So I was shocked to see her that morning. My mother is tall, skinny, blonde hair and blue eyes.  She is not the friendliest person nor is she the worst person. One thing is for sure she was never meant to have children. She was 23 when she had me, 30 when she had Carter and 35 when she had Adam. Our father left the day Adam was born. My mother is stuck in her teenage years; she has never fully grown up. Because she had me at such a young age she never got to finish college. She can’t hold a job, so we are always tight on money.

I walked in to the kitchen to see my mother and the newspaper at the table. I grabbed a glass of milk and went to sit with her.

“What are you doing up?’’ I asked.

“I have things to do.” Mom answered sharply.  She was not in a good mood.

“Mom we’re low on food. Could I have some money to pick some up on the way home from school?”

“Abby, you are not in charge. I will buy food when I can. Now go get ready for school!”

“School doesn’t start until 9.” I replied.

“I am not stupid Abigail. High school starts at 7:50.” She said.

“I have a spare, so I can walk the boys to school.” I whispered. I walk them because Mom is usually sleeping and they cannot walk by themselves.

“Fine.” She yelled and stormed off to her room.

I sat there for a few minutes, trying to figure what had just happened. Then I got up and made the lunches for my brothers.

I then showered, got dressed and went to wake up Carter. I had to be really quiet so I didn’t wake up Adam. We live in an apartment, 2 bedrooms, Moms and ours. Ours meaning Adam, Carter and mine.

“Carter!” I whispered,” Time to wake up!”

“Hmm.” My barely awake brother answered.

“Common, Carter. Time to get ready for school.” I said as he climbed off the top bunk and grabbed my hand.

Carter is 7. He has brown hair, same colour as mine and blue eyes like mom.

Carter gets dressed and I get him a banana. I leave him at the table with the comics from the newspaper to go wake up Adam.

Adam is 5 years old, blonde hair like mom and green eyes like my father and I.

 

Once we are all ready for school, we set out on our walk. The elementary school is only about a block away but our apartment is in a sketchy part of town because it had the cheapest rent we could afford. I drop them off at school and go to school myself. After a very long day of math, science and that dreaded phys-ed, I go pick up the boys and we walk home.

We get to the apartment doors; walk up the four flights of stairs to our apartment, number 25.

We walk through the doors to a very clean apartment, and cupboards filled with food.

“Wow! Mom cleaned up!” Carter exclaimed

“Mom, we’re home! Where are you?”I yelled, expecting to hear a voice back. Mom is always home at this time. She watches the boys at night while I work. I walk down the hall to mom’s bedroom and I open the door and no one is in there. She isn’t home.  I walk back to the kitchen where the boys are now sitting at the kitchen table.

“Boys moms not home”, I say, “Carter you are going to have to watch your brother while I go to work, alright?”

“Mmm.” Carter shakes his head yes

 I work at the local grocery store weekday nights 4:30 to 9. I do this for extra money, to help mom with the cost of the apartment and food. It’s not the best job, but I get payed and that’s all that matters. Also when the produce is a day old or bruised I get to take it home because the owner knows were tight on money. Every employee at the store is extremely nice and I love to work with everyone even if it is hard.

Once I’m ready for work, I make dinner, famous Kraft Dinner. I kiss the boys, give Carter some instructions, the stores phone number and leave for work.

After work, I slowly make my way home, I hope mom is home. When I get home the boys are sitting in their beds and there is no sign of mom.

“Well boys, it’s just you and me. “ I say as I tuck them in and kiss them goodnight.

 

7 days pass and still no sign of mom. We got into a routine, the boys and I.  By the following Monday the boys were getting scared.

“Abby, where’s mom? “ Adam questioned while we were getting ready for bed.

“I don’t know.” For the week I’ve been telling them mom would be home soon. But now I wasn’t sure and I wasn’t going to keep lying to them.

“What do you mean you don’t know? I thought you knew everything.” Carter assumed.

“Adam, Carter. Sit down we need to talk. I don’t know where mom went and I have no idea when and if she is coming home. I know this sounds scary but you have me. I promise I will never leave you and we will always have each other.”I answered hold back tears.

I finished putting the boys to bed and went to sit at the kitchen table. If mom was going to be gone forever, I would need to step up and start paying the bills. I sorted everything out, I make about $1260 month and rent is $750. The bills add up to about $275. So I’m left with $235 for food and clothes or other expenses. It’s a little bit tight but it’s still good. My main priorities are keeping my brothers safe and keeping us together.

So every single day, I went to school, picked up the boys from school, made dinner, went to work, come home ,put the boys to bed, did the dishes, made lunches for the next day, did my homework and then I would finally go to bed.

On weekends, I worked 6-11 in the morning because I preferred to be home weekend night just in case something happened. After that we would eat lunch, go to the laundry mat down the street, went grocery shopping then depending on the weather we would either go to the park a few blocks away or go home and play the board games we got from The Salvation Army. If we had the extra money every other Sunday we would go out for a cheap brunch at the local Diner.

The boys knew we had very little money and they couldn’t tell anyone about our home life. It was hard for them, when the other children at school would talk about their moms and dads and their big house. And all they have is me and our tiny apartment.

For the first month was difficult but the second month it was getting easier. Money was okay and no one figured it out that we had no adult. But when Halloween rolled around it started to get interesting. Mom always took the boys to get their costumes’ and she took them trick or treating

“I want a cowboy costume for Halloween!” Adam exclaimed, one Saturday morning. Halloween was that Wednesday and the boys were super excited. Me, I was scared. We really didn’t have money for costumes’ but I wasn’t going to let the boys down. So that afternoon after we did laundry, we walked to the nearest Wal-Mart to get the costumes.

“Abby! Look, look, look!!  A cowboy costume! Please, please, can I have it?” Adam yelled excitedly.

“Adam, inside voices please! And yes, you can have it.”

“Oh thank you, thank you! I love you so much. “He said as he hugged me.

“I love you too, silly goose.” I giggled, “Now Carter, what do you want to be? “

“I don’t know.” He said glumly.

“What’s wrong buddy? I thought you were excited about Halloween.”I asked as Adam ran over to see the toys.

“I am. It’s just it’s the first Halloween without Mom.”

“Oh Carter come here.” I said as I wrapped him in a hug.” We’re going to have a great Halloween. Adam, you and me! I promise.”

“Okay Abby, if you say so.” He answered happier. “And I want to be a pirate!”

On Wednesday, I took the night off and the boys were extremely excited that Halloween was that night. We made dinner, spaghetti, boys’ request. They said it looked like worms, perfect for that night. I washed the dishes while they boys played a card game. At about 6 we started getting ready; it was a chilly night so I made sure the boys and I were dressed warm. The costumes looked amazing on the boys.  At about 6:30 it was dark so we grabbed our pillow cases and we walked around three blocks, the boys running up to the houses while I stayed on the sidewalk. At 8, with my little pirate and cowboy holding on to my hands, we went home.

Once home, Adam and Carter dumped out there candy on the living room floor and we separated it in different categories, chips, chocolate bars and other candy. Once they ate some, they went for a shower to get there makeup off their faces.  Then we all got ready for bed.

 I went to tuck Adam into bed when he sat up and said” Abby, I think mom was kidnapped.” 

I was startled by this comment. Carter climbed down from his top bunk and sat beside me while Adam crawled on my lap. So we were now all on my bed.

“Adam, what makes you say that?” I questioned.

“Well some guys at school were talking about a TV show they all saw. The mom got kidnapped and never came home. It sounded like us!”

“Mom hasn’t been kidnapped. She just left and there is nothing we can do about it.” I said.” You’re fine aren’t you? You have food and a home.”

“Abby, why don’t we tell someone?” Carter asked.

“Carter, we will be separated and put in different homes. We will never see each other again! I won’t let them take you from me. I’m sixteen, two more years until I can legally take care of you. Boys, I promised I’d keep us together and that is what I am doing.”

Carter and Adam both started to cry. I picked Carter up and put him on my lap too. I rocked them back and forth.

“I’m scared too. But we will make it through. We have each other. And I love you both, more than anything in the world.” I whispered.

Once they settled down and fell asleep, still on my bed, I got up and left the room with tears streaking down my face. I walked down the hallway to my mother’s bedroom. Her door has been closed since they day she left. I opened the door to an unmade bed and some of the stuff she had left scattered around the room. I sat down, pulling her sheets around me, taking in the scent of her perfume. I put my head down on her pillow to feel a piece of paper tucked in to the side of the pillowcase. I took it out and unfolded it. It read,

Abby, Carter & Adam.

I’m sorry

X O, Mom

I put the paper close to my chest and started sobbing silently. I cried for mom, I cried for the boys and I cried for myself. This was so hard, doing this all by me. I feel asleep with the note clutched in my hand. I don’t know how much longer I could continue doing this, I was growing tired. But whatever it took, I wasn’t going to lose the boys.

The next day I went to school after I dropped the boys off. I didn’t tell them about the note I found. I decided it was better if they didn’t know. I walked in to school the next morning feeling sad. This next hour is the hour that ruined everything.

I was sitting in math class, staring out the window when my math teacher called on me,

“Abby, pay attention. Where is your homework from last night?”

“Uhm, I forgot we had homework.” I replied. I totally forgot. How could I be so dumb? I fell asleep without it finished, and I couldn’t do it this morning because it was very rushed.

“Abby, I would like to speak with you after class.”Mr. Cameron said with a sharp tone.

“Yes sir.”  I answered. This was not going to be good.

I sat through the rest of class, and when the bell rung I waited until everyone else left. Then I walked up to his desk.

“Abby, this is so unlike you. You’ve been falling asleep in class and you never have your homework completed. What’s up with that?  Abby, I am going to be calling your parents for a meeting.”

“I’m so sorry, and it won’t happen ever again! There is no need to call. “I said.

“I am calling your parents Abby.” He persisted

“She isn’t home,” I said quickly.

“Where is she Abby? Work? I will call her work. What about your father?” he asked.

“He left 5 years ago. My mom is gone for two weeks. “I tried.

“Who is watching you?”

I couldn’t lie. I just stayed quiet.

“Abby. Is anyone watching you? “

“No, but I’m fine!”

“Abby, I have to call family and child services. You are only 16 you cannot be left alone. I know you have siblings. Abby, be expecting people coming by.” Mr. Cameron says as he gets up and leaves the classroom. I sat there with my mouth open, and a sharp pain in my heart. I got up after a few minutes and I ran out of the school. I skipped the rest of the afternoon and went back to the apartment and cleaned everything. Made sure everything was spotless. At 3:00 I headed to the elementary school to pick up the boys. Once the bell ran, I grabbed them and ran home. Inside the apartment, I sat them down and told them what was going on.

“Guys, I messed up. People are coming to see us and if they don’t think this is a safe environment they will take us away and split us up. I already cleaned up. When they ask you questions you do not tell them where mom is. All you say is she is on business. You do not tell them anything. You hear me?”I said through my tears.

“Abby, I’m really scared. “ Adam cried. Carter just sat there with a stunned expression on his face.

“I won’t let them take you, not without a fight. Now go to the table and start your homework. I’ll cut you up an apple alright?” I said

They both do as I say. I go to the washroom and put some makeup on to clear up my red eyes. I then go and start cutting up an apple. As soon as I put the apple slices in a bowl, there is a knock on the door.

“Boys, continue your homework.”

I go answer the door. There is a lady in a suit standing on the other side of the door.

“Abigail Greene? “ She asks. I shake my head yes. “I’m from child and family services. Could I come in and speak with you and your brothers? “

I open the door and let the women in. We sit down in the living room. Carter Adam and I on the couch and the women, whose name we learned is Miss. Cash, sits in the loveseat across from the couch.

“How old are you all?” She asks.

“Adam is 5. Carter is 7 and I am 16. “I said.

“And where are your parents?”

“My father left us 5 years ago, and my mom is on a business trip.”

“Adam, who is watching you?” Miss. Cash questions.

“Adam gets shy. He won’t answer you.”I replied.

“I’m just going to take a look around the apartment. Carter, would you show me around?”

“Yes.” .Carter answered quietly.” This is the kitchen; down here is the bedrooms and bathroom.” He shows her around and they meet back at the living room.

“Abby, I would like to talk to you alone. Boys could your go to your room.” Miss. Cash states.

The boys get up and leave.

“Abby, where is your mother for real?”

“I told you she is on a business trip.” I defend.

“Abby, her room looks like it hasn’t been touched in months. Stop lying to me. Where is your mother? Abby, if you don’t tell me the truth I will take you down to the office and more people will question you.”

I didn’t know what to do. I know the boys were counting on me but I couldn’t, not anymore.

“Gone “I whisper.

“Abby, how long has she been gone?”

“Forever.”

I had lost the fight. I couldn’t continue to act like everything was okay, I am only 16, and I shouldn’t have to be doing this. But I did whatever I had to do for my brother out of love. And right now I knew this was no longer safe for them, for me to keep them.

“Go pack a bag, for you and your brothers. You guys are coming to the shelter.” Miss. Cash says.

I walk into our room, and I am attacked by the boys.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry you two, I tried my best, but my best wasn’t good enough. I love you both more than anything. Never forget that.” I cry as I pick them both up and hug them tight to me. I give them both a kiss and start packing our bags.

Down at the shelter they make us sit in the waiting room.

Miss. Cameron says” Abby, we still need to talk to you. The boys will be put in homes until we decide.”

“You’re not separating us!” I exclaimed as I grab both of them.

“Abby, let go. They will be safe.”

Two women grab each boy as I scream “Don’t take them. ADAM, CARTER!”  The boys are taken away through these doors with tears in their own eyes.

“Why would you do that? My brothers! Why couldn’t you keep us together!” I asked.

“Abby, come talk.” Miss. Cash says as she grabs my hand and pulls me in an office with another social worker. I feel like I’m two with someone holding my hand. I’m so lost and heartbroken. This couldn’t be happening, I think to myself.

“Abby, do you have any relatives that would take you three in?” Miss. Cash asks.

“I don’t think so. Mom had no siblings and we never met any of dads.” I answer.

“Abby, where do you think your mom is?” A man in a blue dress shirt asks.

“I don’t know. She didn’t tell me she was leaving. One night she just left and never came back.” I say with tears pouring out of my eyes. “If you find her, will we ever see her again?”

“Abby, your mother left you. When we find her she will be charged with child abandonment.” Miss. Cash says.

“Oh. “ I whisper.

“Abby, we will search to find some relatives for you and your brothers. For now you will be put in a shelter and your brothers will each be put in a house. But right now you need to go answer some more questions.” The man says as he takes me with him to another office.

I was questioned for what felt like 10 hours, but it was only a few. I never ever want to go through that question period again. It was torture, all I wanted to do was run back to the apartment and hide in my bed.

That night I slept in the shelter, I cried the whole night. How could I let them take my brothers? I hope they are safe, I thought to myself, I hope they know this is what best for them and I only did this so they will be safe.

The next day I woke with an awful headache. I sat by a window back in the office, for about 3 hours just thinking about what had happened. Finally someone came to get me and brought me into an office where Miss. Cash and the other man were.

“Hello Abby. How are you feeling this morning?” Miss. Cash asked.

“I lost my brothers, not so well. But thank you.” Even if they did take my brothers I still had to be polite.”

“Abby, do you know where your father would be?” The man, now in a purple dress shirt, asked.

“He changed his name and moved out of the state. Last we heard from him was four years ago.” I answered.” And besides I don’t want to live with my father. Please find anyone else.”

“Abby, we are doing the best we can. “ Miss. Cash said in a sharp tone.

“I’m sorry, but I really want a place to live with my brothers.”

“Abby, we understand. Give us a few more days, why don’t you go back to the shelter and talk to the other kids?” the man said.

“Alright. Thanks.” I replied as I stood up and walked across the street to the shelter.

When I got there I grabbed some of the leftover lunch and went back to my bed. I didn’t feel like talking to anyone. I just ate my lunch and took a nap. I don’t know how long I slept but suddenly I was woken up by someone shaking me. I opened my eyes to see Miss. Cash.

“Abby, come with me. “ She exclaimed.

“What time is it?” I asked.

“4 in the afternoon. Now come on, put your shoes on and come with me back to the office.” She said.

I did as I was told, and I found myself sitting in the office with the same two people only this time there was a girl who was in jeans, brown hair tied up in a ponytail.

“Abby, did your mother ever tell you about your sister?” The man asked.

“I don’t have a sister. I am the oldest.” I reply.

“Abby, when your mother was 15 she had a child with your father. They put that baby up for an adoption. That baby is this lady.”Miss. Cash says as you points to the girl in jeans.” They had an open adoption. Which means your parents could see your sister, but the people who adopted her, are her legal parents.”

“Hi Abby. You probably don’t remember but we’ve met before. You were about 4. I’m Cora. Your big sister.” The girl in the jeans said.

I was speechless. I didn’t have a sister. I am the oldest. I think I was about to faint when Miss. Cash said,

“We will give you and Cora a few moments.” They got up and left. Cora and I sat there staring at each other for a few seconds. She looked like me, same brown hair.

“Abby, I know this is a lot to take in, but I want you, Adam and Carter to come live with me and my husband.” She exclaimed.” I invited you to the wedding. Mom didn’t want us to see each other. I kept writing to you, trying to tell you about me.”

“Mom never told. “ I finally said. “Cora, I sort of remember meeting you. But I was older. Like 8.” I did remember her but I don’t think Mom ever introduced her as my sister.

“Yes, we did see each other for while. I was about your age when mom told me she didn’t want to see me again.” Why didn’t mom want to see Cora again? I wish I could ask mom.

“Oh. Are you sure, you want us?” I asked.

“Abby, you are my brothers and sisters. Of course I want you. They will do a background check on me and my husband and if it’s good we will have you move in.” Cora said with excitement.

“But won’t we be too much money? And do you have room?” I was curious. What did my sister do for a living?

“Abby, I am a lawyer. And my husband is owns a restaurant. You will not be too much money and we have three extra rooms.”

Wow, I thought to myself, she has done well for herself.

The door opens and Miss. Cash comes in.

“Sorry to interrupt. Abby, do you want to live with your sister?” Miss. Cash asks. Cora is staring right at me.

I take a moment then I say “Yes.” Cora’s face has the biggest smile.

“Okay, we will do all the checks and sign the paper work. Abby you may go back to the shelter for the night and we will talk to you in the morning.” Miss. Cash says with excitement.

“Alright, and Cora, thank you.” I say as I hug Cora and leave the room.

I walk back to the shelter, lie down on my bed and cry. Only this time it’s happy tears.

The next morning I pack my bag and walk across the street with the man whose name I finally learned as Mr. West. When I get there, I see Cora. I run up to her.

“Did they do the checks?” I ask

“Abby, you and your brothers are legally mine and Eli’s.” She says with tears pouring out of her eyes.

I hug Cora and meet Eli. He is tall, lean, and extremely nice.

“Hey new little sis.” He says with a huge grin.

I smile back then hug him. He was a little taken back by my hug but I didn’t care. I finally had a male role model.

We had to wait for Carter and Adam to get here. So we sat in the waiting room, talking about anything and everything. I heard the doors open and I turn around to see Adam and Carter holding hands. I stand up and run straight to my brothers and wrap them both in a big hug.

“ADAM, CARTER! I’VE MISSED YOU TWO SO MUCH! Are you guys okay? “I scream. It was only a few days without them but they were tough days.

“Abby! Yeah, we are both fine.”Carter says.

“Where are we going to live? Did they find mom?” Adam asks with a scared look on his face.

 I pick him up in my arms and say, “Adam, we are going to be living with our big sister, Cora. Now you’ve never met her, I didn’t even know we had a sister. But you will love her. I promise.”

We walk over to Cora and Eli.

“Adam, Carter. I’m Cora. And even though you don’t know me, but I will take care of you.  This is my husband Eli and he will also take care of you.”

“Hi guys. We are going to be a family. We promise to never leave you. “Eli says. I instantly feel so much better.

Adam and Carter look at me with a confused look on their faces.

“It’s true. I promise.” I say.

They shake their head then smile. Adam runs up to Eli and hugs him. Carter looks at Cora.

“Cora, can I hug you?” he asks.

“Of course you can!” She exclaims.

Once we all hug each other, Eli grabs our bags and my new family and I walk out of the building all holding hands.

 

***

We don’t know if they found mom yet. We all miss her but our new family is amazing. I don’t think I could be any happier. Cora and Eli treat us great and we finally have a house and family. I hope mom comes and visits us one day, maybe dad too. But right now I am perfectly happy with my family. Carter, Adam, Eli, Cora and I. I feel like we will always be together. Forever.


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