Of Course it had to be raining. It was so cold. The icy rain wasn’t helping. It pelted on my jacket and ran down my selves. Smoke was coming out of the street in different places. I don’t know why. What is under there that makes smoke come from the street. I feel like the street is going to blow up at any second. It hasn’t yet so I guess it’s okay. This big burly guy with a stained now yellow wife beater on, a yellow button down shirt and a down coat ushered me into the centers van. At least it wasn’t raining in here. I looked behind me and saw one other guy sitting down with his head against the window. I didn’t see his face because he had a black hoodie on.
Mr. Burley slammed the door behind me and went to the drivers seat and started the van.
The city passed outside the van in a blur. With the Van splashing through the streets and the rain coming down, it was hard to focus on anything. I noticed when the neighborhood changed. Neither the rain or the speed of the van could take the streets away. First came the abandoned buildings, the poor buildings with lights on and people mulling around. Then came the neighborhood where half the buildings were nice and half weren’t. Now came the expensive neighborhoods. The streets were clean, no one was outside, even in the dark I could see they had flowers on the bottom of their windows. It must be real expensive to get flowers on your windows.
Looking out the window got me sleepy. So I closed my eyes. Who knows how long it’s going to take for me to get to my new home. I don’t know who they’re kidding. This place will be my home as much as me living in one of those expensive buildings with a flowers on the window would be my home. Ah well, what does it matter anywhere, after a few more months, I’ll be 18 and I won’t have to do this dance anymore. I’ll be on my own and able to do what I want.
I woke up when Mr. Burley opened the door. My sleep was just getting good.
“Damion, you’re up.” He barked.
I looked behind me but didn’t see the other kid that was there when I’d just come. I must have been really tired not to have heard him leave.
The sleep had my bones stiff, but I jumped out of the truck and looked around. It was a street with nothing but houses. two story houses, quiet and semi clean. I could deal with this for a few months as long as no one bothers me, I’ll be fine.
I looked to Mr. Burley to see if he had any instructions for me but he was already back in the van and pulling out of his parking space. I turned to the house in front of me, a two story cream house with a light on in the front.
I walked up and rang the bell. It wasn’t raining here so I don’t know how far Burley took me. After a few seconds a woman opened the door. She looked too young to be the house leader, maybe this was a co-ed home and that would be the one good thing that has happened to me in a long time.
“You must be Damion Wilson.” She looked like she was expecting an answer. Who else is going to come and ring the bell on a night like this. I know they called her and told her I was coming.
“Yea, that’s me.” I said.
“You must mean Yes, I’m Damion.”
Whatever. “uh huh.”
“Come on in, I’m Cynthia Gaines. Put your bag down and follow me. I have to process you in.”
I followed her in. I wonder who she is and when the house leader was going to get here. The house leader probably dosen’t live here and this girl is hired to watch us overnight. I should be able to leave at night easier with her around. This Cynthia looks soft.
“Ok sit in the seat. Please sit up straight, no slouching. It’s bad for your back. Did you know that? Plus you look like you’re bored and you don’t want to be here.” Said Cynthia with a big smile on her face.
So she is smarter than she looks. After a few seconds of me not saying anything she moves on. I’m not here of my own free will, I don’t know why she’s trying to make this a social visit.
She skimmed through my file for a few minutes without looking at me or saying anything. I could just imagine what is in there. The B&E two years ago, a little of this a little of that. The picture is I’m a no good for nothing–
“So.” Said Cynthia.
So. She stared at me and had this really serious face on her. I don’t even know what I’m doing here. I got here. All she has to do is show me my room and I could see what idiot roommate I have to deal with.
“I see you’ve been to a few other group homes before this one. You file labels you a trouble maker. Is that what you are? And I expect an answer. This mute act your’e doing is so tv. And as you can see, we’re not on tv. I’m looking for honesty. If you don’t answer, I’m just going to believe you’re dumb. Dumb as in can’t speak.”
“I’m not dumb or a troublemaker.”
“Good we’re getting somewhere.”
“Are you a criminal?”
“I’m not a criminal?”
“Are you worthless?”
Worthless. What is this? This is stupid. I just looked at her.
“Are you worthless?”
“Of course I’m not worthless.”
“So why did you take so long to answer?”
“Because this is stupid.”
“Are you stupid.”
“No, I’m not stupid.”
“So why does your file say you are?”
It said that. Really.
“I mean it dosen’t say that Damion is stupid, but it should. You are wasting your life, your very short time on this earth. Why would you do that?”
“Aren’t you here to help me. Why are you calling me stupid. You don’t even know anything about me. I don’t need another one of your types calling me stupid.”
“I call it like I see it. when you stop doing stupid things, I won’t think you are stupid anymore.”
“What do you know.”
“Enough. Look I see you are getting upset. I’m not trying to do that. Let me ask you, Who are you?
“Who are you? Who is Damion Wilson?” She looked at my file “Born December 21st 1993 to a Madeline Samcist and Roger Wilson.”
“Why are you asking me something you already know. You just read it back to me.” I’m tired. I just want to go to sleep. I wish she would hurry this up and stop asking me stupid questions.
“What do you believe in?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“What is right and what is wrong to you? What is ok to do and not okay to do? what do you stand for? What do you want?”
I got out of the chair. I felt bad sitting there. I started pacing to clear my mind. Cynthia didn’t say anything. She watched me pace around the office.
“Who are you Damion Wilson?
I stopped and looked at her. My chest starting to tighten and said. “I don’t know.”
“Maybe you should find out.”
I stared at Cynthia and looked to see if she was joking maybe this was some kind of new kid prank. But it wasn’t she was completely serious. How would I do that? Where would I even start. But I didn’t say that. I just nodded and followed her out the room to get my bag.