HumanityA Story by ANDY
First major story
My parents never abused me, but don’t think for a second that they ever showed me any love. My father would often look at me and say “If that condom hadn’t busted then we’d be better off.” That and similar phrases commonly sprang from my father. He’d always mention how much extra I burdened them. Whenever we ate he said “Me and your mother could eat more if you weren’t here.” When he watched television, “I could’ve seen that touchdown on an HD TV if we never had kids.” And whenever he smoked crystal he would often mention how much more he could get his hands on if I wasn’t draining his wallet. But that was only my father, it was my mother who truly made me feel unloved. Not hated, just unloved. I think she spoke to me a total of 14 times in the time I spent with her. She didn’t proclaim her dissatisfaction with me as a burden, she just kept it inside. I eventually got used to dad’s outbursts, but sheer silence shakes you forever.
Besides having no education, other than those math shows on the local news channel, and no supporting love, my childhood wasn’t bad at all for a so-called “crack baby.” It was adolescence that sucked. When I was about 14, the police caught my father selling meth and arrested him. Which led to them searching our house and arresting my drugged up mother as well. The state then saw it fit to throw me into a foster family and get me into school. But for some reason, I wasn't relieved by this. The idea of a pair of parents that actually cared for me and would smile when I came in the door wasn't my idea of a better life. The only life I’d known was a verbally abusive father and a cold-hearted, silent mother. But, a little 14 year old had no say, especially when I was too shy to speak my mind.
Anyway, I’m taken with my little backpack of belongings to my first pair of foster parents. Ms. Miles greets me with a hug and a pinch on the cheek. She smells like she has been cooking all day.
“Hi” I say, trying to hide my speech impediment, but by the look on Mr. Miles face, I could tell he heard it.
“Well how do you Ms. Miles, I have all this lovely fabric and I’m great at sewing. Have you watched real house wives?” He said, mocking my voice. “You have a queer voice son! Well shucks, I’ll love you anyway, but not like that!” His deep voice hit me, but it by no means hurt me. I was surprised yes, and maybe even startled, but my father had pretty much made me immune to insults. Mr. Miles kept staring at waiting for me to laugh or cry, but I just shrugged and went up the room they had prepared for me.
“D****t John, he hates us already!” I heard Ms. Miles say as I walked up stairs.
“It was a joke and it’s his fault for talking like a f*g!”
“You hurt his feelings!”
“He’ll get over it!”
“That is beside the point, you made us look bad on our first impression!”
“Do you think I care? I’m the one putting a roof over his head. He’ll learn to appreciate that!”
“I want him to love us, everyone else just put up with us, I want him to be different. I want to be a mother! I want to have a little kid look up at me, smile and say ‘I love you mommy.’ That’s all I ever wanted John! You've ruined my attempts every time!”
“Me? I've done nothing but work to support this family! I get up every day, put on a tie, and go to a life-draining office to support you! I sacrificed all my ambitions so we can live in a three hundred thousand dollar house! I gave up my passion so that you could wear those pearls on your neck. You want a child’s love? Well that’s the one thing my empty, strenuous, stressful job can’t make the money to buy for you!” This argument was intriguing me for an unknown reason, these people were my “parents,” and yet they argue over the fact of me loving them. I patiently listened with my door open so I could hear everything.
“John I don’t care what you do! My job has only ever been a foster mother! You don’t think it drains me to have every single of the six kids we've had through this house to hate me? They count down the days until they turn eighteen and they can leave this Hell hole of a home!”
“This home is by no means a Hell hole, these kids come from drug lords, hoarders, and gangsters! This kid can sleep on a real bed for once in his life!”
“A home isn't the house, it’s the people in it! The family is the home John. We don’t support the children like a mother and father should!”
“We don’t? Like I just said their parents were horrible, scum of the earth people! Their parents didn’t want them, but we volunteered to take them! Get over it Mary, if you want him to truly love you then go talk to him!” I heard a loud pop, and assumed that Ms. Miles slapped Mr. Miles.
“Being parents is a team effort! He can’t just love one of us!”
“First of all, don’t you ever hit me again! And second, that boy and every other kid we’ve had through what you call a Hell hole would love you if you actually cared about him! All you want is for him to love you, you never loved any of them; you just wanted to be loved. All you care about is yourself! Maybe they would come and jump in your arms if you cared for them. Loving is a team effort!” After Mr. Miles said that, I closed the door to block off the rest of the argument. I’d heard enough. I realized how right Mr. Miles was, even though he showed no compassion, he never expected any back. However, Mrs. Mary Miles wanted all the love in the world, and she couldn’t care less about anyone save for herself.
I examined my room and saw that there truly have been six kids before through here. The closet contained various clothing items, from petite dresses to extra extra extra large heavy metal t-shirts. I explored and saw the various personalities that slept where I’ll be sleeping. From what I could gather: a cheerleader, one emo, a major computer nerd, some singer of sorts, one intense lacrosse player, and some guy that didn’t fit into a high school stereotype. Looking at all this high school memorabilia reminded me that I would be attending the school here when the school year started in a few days. A wave of anxiety hit me, and I realized that I had no social skills, no friends, a “queer voice” and barely any past knowledge of any academic skill. I knew that my new “parents” would be no help and that I would just be thrown to the wolves. I kept worrying about all the possible scenarios, like any rising freshman would, but only a thousand times worse. However, after about half an hour of worrying I gave up on worrying. My mindset changed, and I just accepted that the future would come, there is no stopping it, so why worry? I have never been more wrong, but this philosophy helped me live on.
Those few days flew day and everything I interpreted from the Miles’ argument proved true. Ms. Miles or “Mom” as she made me call her, wanted nothing but my undying love, yet she never showed me any. She would make me kiss her on the cheek and tell her everything about my uneventful day, then she would end up lecturing about some life lesson that moms are supposed to give. But she wasn’t giving me these lectures cause she cared about me, she thought I would think that she cares about me by going on and on about my safety and how to be successful. She didn’t even believe in her talks, I saw her looking up mom talks or something on the internet. However, I got along with Mr. Miles great. He would make fun of me from time to time, but we wanted nothing from each other and that worked. It’s not like we had great father-son like bonding, but we didn’t hate each other and we both understood that neither of us wanted to be bothered. Mr. and Mrs. Miles would often argue and I would listen and learn more about them. I learned that Mr. Miles worked at a prestigious software company, but he hated it. His real passion was wood work, he wanted to be a carpenter, but gave it up to provide the lifestyle that his wife wanted. Ms. Miles came from a rich family and had basically never worked a day in her life. I don’t know how they fell in love, but they sure have fallen out of it now. My parents could by no means properly raise me, but at least when they looked at each other there was a spark in their eyes and their love was healthy and strong.
Anyway, I ended up in the registration line for school. There were other kids there, but I didn’t talk to any of them. I take a test and some lady who reminds me of Ms. Miles asks me some standard questions. But when she asked them her tone of voice was different, it was like almost as if she was talking to me like I’m a toddler. Soon I realized why. My absence of social skills combined a blatant failure on a placement test meant that I was going to a special education class for kids with disabilities.
I taken by the hand to my special class room. Kids laughed at me in the halls and insults were yelled out.
“Make sure your mommy gets you to class!”
“Don’t forget to give mommy a kiss!”
“Ha-ha, more retards.” Now as I said before insults usually never hurt me, but these were different. Their words cut me deep. Two guys followed me and continued berating me.
“Have fun with your puzzles today!” said the taller one with blonde hair.
“Don’t think too hard or you’ll hurt yourself!” said the other one. I didn’t respond because I knew it would only get worse. The two looked to be about my age and reminded me of the a*****e character on that one TV show. But what shocked me most was that the teacher did nothing. She heard every word but didn’t make a move to defend me.
I got to class eventually and sat down. I was surrounded by kids with various disabilities. The teachers rotated every hour or so and there were some student volunteers in from time to time. But my classmates were surprisingly happy. Adrian, a kid with Down syndrome, was the happiest kid in the world and all he was doing was basic math with crayons. Lucy, a girl with Autism, couldn’t stop smiling from doing a few simple logic problems. I had enough prior knowledge to complete our assignments with ease, but this troubled me. The other kids thought I was a genius and really liked me. However, my teachers said good job and treated me like a toddler. In fact, that’s what they did with all the students. The teacher were never genuinely proud or impressed, they just put up with the kids in order to get a raise or brag about their good deed later. None of them were interested in helping me and my peers or build a relationship to help drive the kid. Because of me seeing this I chose to avoid the teachers and talk mainly to my classmates and the volunteers.
My first day went fairly smoothly and I was able to befriend some of peers and also some “normal” kids. One in particular, Veronica. She was a freshman who was doing volunteer work in there for a community service club. She was very nice and actually seemed to care more about me than any of the teachers. And the more I thought she was the first person to really show me any compassion.
The bell rang and I was once again led by hand through the halls. The two guys from before somehow found us at lunch. The insulted rolled off their tongues.
“Need someone to spoon feed you retard?” said Timothy, the taller, blonde one.
“Y’all are so gay your mind broke!” said Seth, the shorter, chubbier one. Bryan, a boy with cerebral palsy, burst into tears. This made Timothy and Seth smile. They continued until all but me started crying. I just stared at them, they had so much blind towards us. We had done nothing wrong and I wasn’t even special! I didn’t show it, but these words really hit me deep down, I felt hurt and damaged from all of it.
The rest of the day was uneventful and frankly boring. I talked with Veronica and she made me smile and feel better inside.
When I arrived home, my “mom” was crying at the table. I asked her “What’s wrong?” But apparently I was out of line.
“Don’t you take that tone of voice with young man. Today is not the day to test me. My life is over.”
“I’m sorry.” I said simply and tried to go escape to my room. But I couldn’t.
“I know you just got here, but you’re getting the Hell out tonight.” she said.
“Excuse me?” I replied, confused.
“Foster parents can’t keep a child if one of them is convicted. John was arrested this morning. That damn fool, he betrayed me, I hope his a*s rots in prison.” she vented.
“So-uh what happened?”
“Your father has been embezzling money from his company to support my lifestyle. If only he’d worked like every other American.” Her words struck a nerve with me, she had never worked a day in her life and is now complaining about something wrong her husband did just because he loves her.
“You don’t deserve to say that.” I replied quietly.
“What the Hell did you just say to me? I am your mother! Learn your place!” She got up as if to hit me.
I stepped back and said “You’re not my mom and you have no right to say that about your husband. He did wrong cause he loved you, you’re just a self-entitled b***h who hasn’t ever done anything.” Those words shocked her, and she didn’t know how to respond. I left before she could. I went up to my room and began packing the few belongings I had. As I packed, I noticed a switch blade that must have been the emo’s. Something told me to take it, so I threw it in my bag.
I was taken to a new foster home about 5 minutes away, which meant I would unfortunately go to the same school. When I arrived, two large people greeted me. They reminded me of Mr. Miles, they simply didn’t care about me, but would often make some remark towards me. These people were the Dixons. I didn’t interact with them much.
The next day at school was virtually the same as the first. Basically absent teachers. A cute “normal” girl that I liked. Friends that thought me a genius. And the worst of it, ignorant kids making me feel like I’m worthless.
That’s about how my first year went. I had a small circle of friends, mostly special. The only “normal” kids I talked to were Blake, an awkward soccer player; James, a shy nerd; Terry, the quietest cheerleader; and Veronica, the sweetest volunteer ever. I guess you could say I had a crush on Veronica, she was only the person that cared about me and that made me feel good inside. I smiled whenever I saw her. But Timothy and Seth couldn’t leave me alone. Every day they attacked our class with more and more retard jokes. I’m pretty sure that’s all that they did at home, look up jokes.
My summer was fairly uneventful. It was good to have a break of Tim and Seth, but I missed the few friends I had. The Dixons attempted to connect with me, but they didn’t push, which I liked. Before I knew it, I was returning to school for sophomore year.
I was walking to my special class when I saw them. Timothy and Seth picked me out of the crowd and walked up to me. Seth threw me against the wall.
“How was your summer f****t?” He said mocking my voice.
“It-it was fine.” I stammered out. Their faces lit up, I could tell they had something planned. They took me out to the track, I tried unaffectedly to leave. There were a few people there. As we got closer I recognized them. The people waiting for me were Ashley, a senior and likely homecoming queen; Kade, typical jock; Ayden, one of their friends; and Veronica. Her being here made me nervous.
“Okay retard, we’ve gathered this group here today to show you what being on the bottom is like so you can get used to it.” said Seth. With those words the Veronica and Ashley pulled out there phones and started recording. All four guys present started attacking me. They punched and kicked me. They slapped and even tried to briefly choke me. While all of this hurt me, nothing cut deeper than Veronica, a girl I was basically in love with, cheering while four guys beat the s**t out of me.
When they were finally done, I lay just laid there. The doctors told me that I’d broken two ribs and fractured my left arm. But the injuries hardly mattered. I still couldn’t believe that Veronica didn’t really care about me, that she was just like everyone else.
Veronica stopped volunteered but would often smirk at me in the halls. Timothy and Seth continued to insult me and would occasionally grab me and “Remind me of my future.” So, to put it simply sophomore and junior year were Hell.
But senior year changed me. I was tired of taking everything. Around September, I stopped caring about everything else. Why should I care? No one cared about me. This morning, I put the switchblade from the Miles’ house in my pocket.
I waited until lunch. Seth and Timothy approached me to do their usual hate talk. They were right behind me.
“Aye b***h, how’s your miserable life.” said Seth. My hand grabbed the knife. I flipped it out and stabbed Timothy in the leg. Seth screamed and ran, but Timothy was just shocked. He fell on the ground. Within seconds I was yanked up by the school police officer and taken away. They questioned me and I pled the fifth for every question. Until they asked me why I did it.
“I did it because they made my life a living Hell. They taught me that no one loves me. They broke everything I thought I had. They made me suffer. I’ve lost anything I wanted. I gave up on caring because of them. The minor pain that Timothy experienced is nothing compared to the pain and suffering they put me through. They showed me the true depth of human cruelty, while you simply sat back and watched.”
© 2014 ANDY