“I wish I could be a bird.”, he thought while distancing himself from Mrs Lewis’ class again. He knew if he got caught yet again, not only would he be asked to stand up for the remainder of the class with the other children laughing at him, but Mrs Lewis would either get in his business or call his dad. He didn’t want either of those to happen but he just could not focus or pay any attention to her class. He was a ten year old and all the world’s problems were his. Staring at the bird outside his classroom window had taken his mind right back to the place he didn’t want to be. He tried hard not to go there but it was useless. It was part of his life and there was nothing he could do about it.
As he slowly ate the last food his mother had cooked for the family, he said to himself, “I am gonna miss her.” His mother’s death was not sudden but way overdue. His mom had been sick for as long as he could remember but it didn’t stop her from giving her family the best she could offer. He couldn’t help smiling through his tears. As he finished up the last of his mom’s meal, he said, “Oh well, at least she’s out of pain and better off where she is now.” As he walked past his parents’ room to take the plate to the kitchen, his dad was still sleeping on the floor with the bottle in his hand. “Maybe I might take it from him when I pass back” said James. “Nah I wont, let him sleep with it.”, were his final words as he walked back by his father.
He didn’t care much about his father so it didn’t bother him if he drank himself to sleep every night. As he tidied up the kitchen, he couldn’t help blaming his father for his mother’s death. He wished his dad had died instead of his mom. He knew it was wrong to wish those things on anyone, but he was angry at his father, and couldn’t help it. When he had finally finished everything it was way past his bed time, so with sleepiness in his eyes he slowly climbed into bed.
It was 1:30 in the morning when he was awakened by the presence of someone sitting beside him. He was still half asleep and for a second thought it was his mom. “James, wake up.” “Is that you mom?” answered James. “No you stupid boy, your mom is dead!”, replied his dad. “Oh sorry dad, I thought you were her.” “Well I’m not, so stop this foolishness of yours.” He didn’t answer back because he was more interested to know why he was waking him up so early, and why he was in his room. “Can I help you with something dad?” “Yes boy, you can.”, answered his dad.
“i know you just lost your mom and things not the same anymore, but you’re not the only one, I lost her too. That’s why we need to help each other get over it so we can move on with our life. Son you’re not a little boy anymore, you are a man, and as a man you have to do certain things.” James didn’t know what he was talking about, so he said nothing but just continued listening to his father. Without saying another word his father sat next to him and kissed him.
He tried getting away but his dad stopped him and said,”This is what men do.” As he lay in bed with his eyes closed he felt his father’s hands touching his body. “Why is he doing this to me? Please make him stop! I don’t want to be a man!” Nothing he said stopped his father from touching and kissing him that early morning. With his eyes tightly shut, his mind took him to a place where he could be safe from his dad. When he opened his eyes he was back in Mrs. Lewis’ history class.