I had a lot of you wondering what could have changed to make thingg better this week.. well that missed bus was life changing.
I was really excited to be going to the mall, even by myself, I just wanted to feel comfortable for a while, even for just a short time, it was better then all the tension I was living under at home. I knew I could just walk around in the mall and get lost in looking at all the stores.
I waited on the main road for a while, but no bus. Oh my gosh I can't tell you how sad and disappointed I was. I NEEDED that bus to pick me up more then anyone looking at me could ever imagine. I didn't WANT and thing. Most kids my age would be excited for a chance to go to the mall to get a cool pair of jeans, or some popular shoe style. Things like that never crossed my mind. Jeans, shoes, clothes, makeup, none of those things ever crossed my mind. I just needed some time.
Beside, and I apologize for digressing, but I never liked shopping for clothes. I was a heavy-set child and difficult to get clothes for. Back then Sears had their "Chubby" department. The name alone was degrading, and of course that's where my clothes had to come from. They were never stylish, and they were more expensive, so I had already spent every "back to school season" hearing about how I needed clothes from the Chubby Department and how fat I was. Then my little sister came along and she too was heavy, so then we both heard "how did I get so lucky to have too fat kids that need the Chubby Department." So, now you might guess and assume I did a lot of protecting my listtle sister.
Before I continue with my life changing day, you need to know how involved I was in my sister, Michelle's life. She had a different father, and we looked nothing alike, but we were very close. I was raising her because our Mom could not be bothered. Besides I was getting $20 a week for raising a child, keeping a house and so forth. I taught Michelle how to count, basic reading, how to tell time, tie her shoes, and so forth. I was also where she went when she was scared during the night, didn't feel good, or just needed something she couldn't handle herself. I took good care of her and was there for her as much as I could be. I even convinced my Dad on a few occasions to bring her along on my weekends with him so she could get away and have a little fun. She wasn't my sister, she was my child, I looked out for her when we swam at the pool where we lived, I made sure she got her bath and brushed her teeth. Meanwhile, besides Butch and my Mom being gone during the day for work, they found the money to get season Hockey tickets, join a bowling league, and eat out regularly. So, they weren't home on any of those nights either. So, I was busy, with a lot of responsibilities. Back to why I wasn't thinking about that "cool pair of jeans" like a normal teen might have.
When the bus didn't show I started the long walk back home. It was in reality only 1-2 blocks, but each step felt like a mile. My Mom had been glad I was leaving for the afternoon "so she could enjoy her day" as I had been told. Now I had to go back, I knew she would be mad. My heart was full of fear and for good reason. As I walked along the road, to my surprise, I looked up to see her driving up the road. She stopped and picked me up. Of course she wanted to know what I was doing. I told her I had missed the bus. She was hot, she was planning to enjoy her day and now I had ruined everything, just like I always did. And then she said something I didn't expect. It was late August, school would be starting in about a week or two. She said, "that's it I'm calling your Dad, you're not living with us until school starts. I've had it with you, you've ruined everything, you can go live with him and find out it's not all boats, cars, and a fun time like it is on the weekend". I couldn't have heard better words, but I couldn't let her know I was happy, in fact she had to think I thought this was really bad, so I just stayed quiet, but on the inside I was really excited. I didn't care what went on at my Dad's during the week, I knew it had to be better then how I was living.
We got back to the condo and I was told to go pack some clothes she was calling my Dad and I would be out of there before the sun set. Oh you bet upstairs I went and started packing. I heard her on the phone "You need to come get her and come right now, I've had it and she's not welcome here another minute, so I don't care what you have to do, get your ass out her to pick her up. You can deal with her because she's ruined everything around here. You can bring her back when school starts".
My Dad had been married to her so he knew what she was really like in a way that only those who had been, or are really close to her would understand. He knew he needed to get me out of there. I was living 30 minutes from him at this point. He also knew if he showed up she would never stop, and it wouldn't be good, so he decided to send Betty. He didn't tell her, he just said he would pick me up just as quick as he could. She got off the phone and yelled upstairs, "I just got off the phone with your Dad and he's coming to get you. You're staying there until school starts, that's it for you around here, you've ruined enough. You can see what it's really like to live with him, it's not all fun. He can't get here soon enough". I just said, "ok". I couldn't wait to leave... but there was one problem and it was a big one. She was a 6 year old child looking up at me with confusion in her eyes as I packed up, all the yelling was going on, she figured out I was leaving and said, "when are you coming back?" She was breaking my heart, but I could do nothing and I knew I would be back when school started, which wasn't that far away, so I showed her on a calendar the day I would return. She was ok with that and so was I.
Betty picked me up a little while later. It was uneventful. We talked a bit on the way home, not much, but a little. I was really glad to see my Dad that night when he came home from work. I walked outside as he was taking his work boots off and he looked up and said, "so she kicked you out too huh kiddo".... and he smiled. He truly was the only person on this earth who understood in a way only someone in our shoes could understand. I said, "yep, I guess so".
Happy ending...not even close, I had a long road ahead of me still, but I now had some relief. A new kind of hell started that weekend, labor day, I'll never forget what I went through those three long days, it was a mental anquish not even an adult should have to deal with. You see by then my Dad had told me I could stay and never go back....never go back....never go back,.... oh my gosh that sounded like Heaven, but what would I do about Michelle. Who would take care of her. She would not understand why I didn't come back on the day I told her. Do I go back to Hell, and take care of her, or do I save myself and stay for good? I didn't sleep for that whole weekend. No one could make this decision for me.
Finally I decided what I had to do......