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Chapter 4: Scene 15: How do I get out of this place?


       McGill scratches his chin and waits some more. I'm getting real nervous now, and my voice squeaks. "How do I get out of this place?"

       "I'm glad you're already thinking about what it takes to leave Fire Oak. Shows a good attitude." He cracks a little smile. "That's what I'm here for, to help you make a plan to get through our program and on your way. There are several options ."

       I grab a big breath. This is more like it. "Yeah? When can I get out? What do I have to do?"

       "Slow down. One thing at a time. First, I have to do my homework. I need to know a lot more about you and what happened before we work out a plan."

       "A plan?"

       "Our goal is to move boys out of here as soon as we can. We'll decide which cottage you'll be assigned to here in Fire Oak and then where you'll go when you leave here. We have a number of places to send boys."

       I groan. "Places?"

       "One option is a forest camp . We have a farm home , two therapy-based homes , group homes , half-way houses , approved foster homes ."

ThinkLink: When have you asked an adult a simple question and received an answer that was complicated? Why was it complicated?

       "Wait. I don't get it. Doesn't anybody get to go straight back to their real home?"

       "Of course, if there's a good situation for them to go back to."

       "My mom will have a good place for me, soon as she can."

       "But in the meanwhile, there's this order from Judge Shields." McGill picks up some legal-looking paper from the folder.

       "That judge . He's a..." Better not say what I think of that bastard .

       "He's a judge from a rural county who doesn't want big-city problems. When we get kids from outlying districts , we have to work with their local standards . I'll call him."

       "So how long do you think it'll take, ‘til I can go home, I mean?"

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 Updated on 5/13/04

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