continued from part 1 ….
I didn’t get to where I was going right away. There were many twists and turns, and ups and downs, and winding roads along the way. The darkness that hung over those years clouds my memory, and keeps me from painting a clear, chronological picture for you here.
I would be nine years old before I finally found a place, I could call home.
I arrived in the middle of the night, I recall because the drive was long. Far further from the city than I had ever travelled before. We had to keep stopping so I could be sick. Nine years old and unable to keep down food of any kind.
I can remember almost everything from that day forward. There was a large dog. The first of his size I had ever seen. In the beginning I was petrified, but it did not take long for either of us to warm up to one another. There were horses too, and more land than I could see with my own two eyes. We had a tiny 1960’s, single-wide trailer and all the roads glowed white at night and made fantastic sand castles during the day.
There was the issue of school, and of me eating food. My new guardian insisted I do both right away.
School came easiest, I mean I had been to one before. Liked it even. But I would need to start a new one. Again. There had been several schools already to come and go.
The food part, came a bit harder, but he quickly figured out a way to solve that. A hamburger and french fry a day seem to fix the problem and the more I ate and the healthier I got, there was a promise of my very own bicycle!
I don’t think there are words to express the gravity of what this bike would mean to me. I had never owned anything like this before. My prized possession up till this point had been a tiny, posable Care Bear figurine my mother had brought with her to visit me in foster care once upon a time.
Nothing was going to keep me from having my own bike. I worked hard at school, and even harder at eating. Hardee’s and I became best buds! Can you spell q-u-a-r-t-e-r pounder with cheese, please? When the first semester of school ended, I had done so well with both tasks … I was given not one bike, but two!
One purple. One orange.
I think it took me longer to learn how to ride those two bikes … then it did to pack on some pounds or get moved to the advanced classes in school. In my defense, learning to ride a low to the ground bike looks much easier to me than those tall towering, metal contraptions I kept tumbling off of!
And just so you know, I rode both of those bikes in to the ground till the day I left.
These were happy times. Happy times indeed. I had a large place to roam and “cousins” to call family, and a guardian who looked after and cared for me. Not to mention, two bikes and a dog!
For a very, very long time, these were the best days of my life. I remember every single one of them, or at least it feels as if I do.
Every single one of those days in that almost, perfect five years …