Breakfast was completely different from what Mark was used to enjoying. He found it very remarkable to be able to sit at a table, find all the food he could ever imagine in a refrigerator. He had a short walk to wash his dishes in a sink. He still had plenty of time to walk a much shorter distance to school than he did to ride his bike from the woods. He didn't have to worry about showering before going to class. He felt like he was in a dream. He kept expecting to wake up and be staring at the ceiling of his tent. Yet by the end of the day it never happened.
Mark was unsure if he needed to wait for his new roommate before walking home. Home. What did that word mean anymore? Was it just a term to distinguish where he was going to laying his head? He thought about a time when he had heard the expression that home was where your heart was. His heart. Where was his heart anymore? It wasn't with his dad and that house. That life was so full of hate and violence the last thing he wanted was to go back to that. He did miss his siblings, but they were no longer there either.
Home. Was it where he lived before running into the woods? That couldn't be true. If it was true then why did he run from it? No that wasn't home. The tent in the woods had been the closest thing he had for most of his life to want to call home. Yet even there he had so many wishes of being somewhere else. Home. He finally laughed to himself over the idea. He really was a boy...a man... without a home. Maybe in time this was going to be the home he had heard so much about when he was younger.
In the meantime he still had to figure out if he needed to wait for Matt or just go on the walk alone. He liked walking alone. It gave him time to think. He also thought he could learn to enjoy the company of someone he could call his friend. He started laughing to himself again. This was going to be a very philosophical day. Now he found himself thinking about what it was like to have a friend. It was time to start thinking more practical he thought.
Suddenly, as he was walking slowly trying to make up his mind, a voice shouted out his name behind him. "Mark wait up!"
Mark looked around and saw Jeff walking quickly to catch up to him. "What's the rush?"
"No rush," Mark smiled. "I was walking as slow as I could. Kept getting lost in my own thoughts. Never had time for that before."
"What's on your mind?" Jeff wanted to know.
"Oh nothing really," Marked shook his head. "I was just trying to think what I had to do next. Everything's changed now. No need to ride my bike for a lifetime to get 'home' and then I'm not sure what's expected of me once I get to Matt's house."
"I can imagine," Jeff agreed. "I can't even begin to think of what's going on in your head."
"Me neither," Mark smiled. "I've been having a tough time hanging on to my thoughts. So much has changed in the last year let alone the last couple of days." "Want to come to my place for supper?" Jeff asked.
"I don't know," Mark admitted he was confused. "I don't know if I'm expected to eat at Matt's house. In fact I guess I don't know what's expected of me on anything."
"Well we can call Matt when we get to my place," Jeff offered. "Then we can practice a little on the guitar."
Mark thought about it. He hadn't been able to do any practice since that first night. It was something that he loved to do. "Well I have heard sometimes it's easier to ask forgiveness than it is permission."
"There you go," Jeff laughed. "Let's go to my place and then we can figure it out from there."
They turned the corner to head for Jeff's place. It was pleasant to walk on a sidewalk, feel the warm breeze as summer was on the way. Mark thought he was going to like his new life.
Jeff opened the door to see his mom sitting at the dining table. "Mom I invited Mark over to practice guitar playing. We got anything to eat?"
"I'm not sure, check the fridge and see what you can find," his mom answered not seeming to care at all about Mark being there.
"Hi ma'am," Mark looked at her wanting to show respect.
She smiled as she looked up, "Hi. Where's your family?"
Mark looked at Jeff trying to figure out how to answer.
"Mom I told you about him," Jeff looked at her kind of stern.
"Oh so you're the boy looking to start out all new," she said trying to be kind. "Where are you staying now?"
"I just moved in with Matt and his family," Mark answered. "They picked me up last night. It's all kind of new to me, but I think I'm going to be ok." "So the state emancipated you I hear," his mom said.
"Yeah, but I'm not sure why," Mark confessed his confusion.
"They didn't want to be responsible for you anymore," she laughed. "It'll be ok. Between your friend Matt and his family and us, we'll take care of you." Mark nodded his head. He didn't know how to react to the news. He had never had this kind of assurance before. It was good to feel so welcomed, but at the same time so empty inside to know he was in this situation to begin with. All he could think was that someday it would all be different.
A resident of Albuquerque, N.M., Michael Wright has a master's degree in secondary counseling and is the author of the novel "Death of a Green Soldier." All proceeds from the sales of "Death of a Green Soldier" will go toward a missionary ministry to the Philippines.
Author of Death of a Green Soldier
A short story by Michael Wright: Lost in Teen - Part 1
Dec 4, 2013
After putting his books back in his locker, Mark found his way to the exit doors where Jeff and Matt were waiting for him. They walked quietly from school to Jeff's house. It was good to feel the warmth of the sun on them this unusually warm fall day. The color of the leaves was growing bright. This made it more enjoyable to all of them as they walked through the historic small town.
Michael Wright is a resident of Albuquerque, N.M. After an honorable discharge from the United States Army, Michael Wright earned his master's degree in Secondary Counseling and worked with troubled teens for more than 20 years. He has recently published a 374 page book called Death of a Green Soldier which was released on June 20th. All proceeds from the sales of Death of a Green Soldier will go toward a missionary mission to the Philippines.
Control Freak: Take Responsibility for Your Own Life (Part 1 of 2)
By Michael Wright
Dec 29, 2013
Life Lessons from Sir Isaac Newton
There have been so many reports of people who lost health insurance while trying to apply as law-abiding citizens. Many were given Medicaid when they were not applying for it. Some had rates rise far greater than they could ever afford to pay. The most concerning is the idea that once given the information the program can be hacked by professional hackers and all your information is now in the hands of people who are less than honest. It is hard to know who is in control.
by Michael Wright
Dec 13, 2013
It has been proven over and over that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Think about car accidents: it seems drivers are always trying to prove this theory false. Sometimes the result of testing this theory is very traumatic and sometimes it's almost comical. Sadly, too many times it ends tragically.
Messiah or AntiChrist
by Michael Wright
Jan 5, 2014
In January 2013, the cover of Newsweek has an interesting title. It says The Second Coming: America expects; can he deliver. The pope of the Catholic Church has released a statement that says, "You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don't believe and who don't seek the faith. I start by saying -- and this is the fundamental thing -- that God's mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience." It is alarming to have these statements even raised to begin with.