***Spoiler Alert!!!*** This interview contains information about my story Children. If you haven’t read this story, click here before reading on.
I meet Harold outside of the foster home he’s spent the last three years in.
He nods to the dilapidated structure and the children spilling out onto the front lawn. “This is my heaven on earth.” A toddler runs toward us and Harold scoops her up. “What do you say, Amy?”
She hides her face.
“That’s the way we greet people around here. Too many times strangers in skirt suits mean someone is leaving.” He bounces the girl. “It’s okay, Amy. No one is going anywhere.” He puts her down and shoos her away. “Not today, at least.” He sighs. “I have to be out in a month. My eighteenth birthday.”
“Where will you go next?”
A smile curls one side of his mouth. “Depends on if I find a backbone lying around here or not. If I do, then I have a chance of going to live with my mom. If not…?”
“Do you believe she’d welcome you in?”
Harold takes a deep breath and traces a circle in the dirt with the toe of his shoe. “I can’t blame her if she doesn’t.” He laughs and mimics meeting her. “Hello, Mom. I’m the kid you gave up eighteen years ago. I know you weren’t looking for me, but I’m hoping I can crash here. I’ve secretly been helping you and my siblings for a few months, so they already know me.” Rolling his eyes he leans against the rusty Plymouth in the driveway.
“How can you be so certain she hasn’t been looking for you?”
He shrugs. “I’ve been in this town my whole life, with the same name. Tracking her down was like looking for a piece of bacon in a grocery store. Pretty easy with a little effort.”
“What made you decide to look for her?”
He glances back at the house. “People come in and out of here all the time. There is no such thing as roots to our lives. I’ve been here the longest because I could put myself to work.” He pinches the bridge of his nose. “The foster-parents are good people, they treat us well, they’re just overwhelmed. Bottom line is, this isn’t a home, but it’s the closest thing I’ve ever known. I want a home, and family.”
“How did you find your mom?”
“My foster mom was given a picture of her from my file. I scanned it into a computer at my friend’s house. I searched for the image and found a match on Facebook. From there I basically Google stocked her—Please don’t tell her that.”
“Had you ever seen her before you started helping your siblings?”
He nods. “I saw her on a bus stop once.” He smiles. “I just remember because she was laughing and I thought she had the most amazing laugh.”
“What is it about talking to her that you’ve find so intimidating?”
He shrugs. “If she doesn’t want to know me, then I’m out a mom, a home, a brother, a sister, and a grandma.”
“In a perfect world, what do you see your life with them being like?”
“Well,” he looks at the clouds, lacing his fingers behind his head, “I’d keep working, and she wouldn’t have to work so hard. I’d know I’ll always have a place to sleep at night. I’d teach my little brother how to ride a bike. Maybe even save up and buy him the bike I never had. Just being with them. I guess.”
“What do you see your life being like without them?”
“Harder, but doable I guess. It would be ugly for a while, but I’d get back on my feet eventually.”
“Final question, are you going to ask your mom why she gave you up?”
He adamantly shakes his head no. “What’s the point of that? Either she’ll be happy to see me, and the past won’t matter, or she won’t and I’ll have my answer.”
Thank you all so much for reading. I truly hope you’ve enjoyed this story. If you did enjoy it, I would so appreciate your sharing it with your friends. Thank you for spending a little time in my imagination. Check back next week for another story!