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Chapter 21: Scene 75: Being a regular kid


ThinkLink: If you were in a foster home, what kind of people would you pick to be your foster parents?

       We walk along the path toward a picnic area. Tony sits down on another bench and I slouch down next to him. I look over at a house across the street from the park. A woman shakes out a floppy rug over the side of her porch rail. Two little kids on trikes race down the sidewalk, squealing and laughing. An old man with a came goes slow and careful up his front walk and into the house. I know for sure, that's where I got to be. In a house, with a family, going to school. Being a regular kid.

       "Hey, Cowboy, where'd you go off to?"

       "Huh? Oh, yeah." I tell him about Pat, my job, the house on Emory Street, the raid. "I don't know where to go next." I look up at the sky. "Looks like rain and I don't know where to crash tonight."

       "Can't take you to my place. Can't bring anybody in. What about the shelter? Get there early and get a spot."

       "Somebody there'd know me."

       I thought I was doing so much better than the other guys in the Square. I had a job. A place to stay. Only the job was a rip-off and I was living in a drug house. Now I'm out on the street same as them.

       "Your Mom'd take you back. Worth a try."

       "I screwed myself on that one. Told her new husband off. Now he'll never let me go there."

       "Relations? Old pals?"

       I try to think of some kid I knew in Carroll County or some of my dad's relatives in California I've never even seen.

       "Come on, man. There's got to be some sucker that'd take in a bad boy like you."

        "There's one place I haven't tried."

       "Yeah. Where?"

       "The librarian who used to be at Fire Oak said she and her husband take in foster kids ."

       "That's it then," Tony says. "That's your answer."

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 Updated on 5/13/04

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