It had been 3 years since daddy brought Bertie home. I got 2 new brothers, my Nanny and Daddy Jack moved out, my sister left, my house burned down. Seemed like so much rotten stuff, a really bad taste in my mouth, but, I did have something to look forward to. My 13th birthday was in 2 weeks. I was gonna be a teenager! I imagined having a slumber party with some of my girlfriends from school. Getting some really awesome presents because it was gonna be such a big event. I hoped for a major production! Humm, yeah. : )
I want it to be known that I loved my little brothers just almost more than anything. The "half" and "step" never came into the equation. I just loved them like they were my own, and I knew in my heart that they loved me too. School was a big deal for Richard. Everyday at lunch I went out to the playground so that we could spend time together and he always told me about his morning.
It was spring, beautiful weather...*playing outside* weather. It came lunch time so out I went to find my 5 year old bubba. I looked, and looked. He wasn't out there. I was afraid he had gotten sick or something and had to stay in so I went to his classroom. No one there, the lunchroom, he wasn't in there either, so I went to the principal's office and his teacher just happened to be in there so I asked her, "Where's Richie". She smiled and said, "They've already left for California!" "California?" I was thinking. I looked at her with a stupid look on my face and her expression just started to slowly sink. "What do you mean California?" I asked. His teacher just sort of hem hawed around there while the principal called my daddy. Daddy didn't know.
It was the longest afternoon of my life waiting for school to be out so I could take that long bus ride home, alone to find out where my brother was and why his teacher thought he left the state. As the bus pulled up to the house I immediately noticed the car was gone. I started getting sick. I ran for the door, it was locked. As I unlocked it my mind was racing. I wanted to go fast but I couldn't. My body wouldn't let me. I slowly opened the door and the silence slapped me so hard in the face. I knew they were gone. I threw my stuff down and ran down the hall to the boy's bedroom. Opened the door, nothing. All that was left was the bunkbeds. All their clothes and toys were gone. I started going threw the house, the next room was daddy's room. Her stuff was gone. Everything out of the bathroom, her clothes, shoes. All I could do was cry and call their names. I screamed their names. I went to the phone and called my dad. He was in shock and didn't know how to comfort me. As I was talking on the phone with him I noticed them, hanging there by thumbtacks. Our letters from her.
Dear Terrie....I'm so sorry for................. She was sorry? Sorry? How more lame could that have been at the time. She was sorry for everything...sorry for leaving, for taking the tv and dishes, for making me cry. For everything except the most important thing. She didn't one time say she was sorry for taking my brothers away from me. For punishing me for no reason. For leaving me alone again.
Nanny and Daddy Jack came over that evening. Nanny had fixed us some supper and brought it over (we had no dishes, remember). Daddy Jack and daddy sat in the living room and talked, trying to figure out what had happened and why. It was like we had a death in the family. Me, I just stayed in the boy's room.....Dear Mr. Jesus.