Chapter 11 – Christy’s Dilemma

Miss Richardson sure has been acting strange these last couple of months.  Every time I see her she just watches me and has this look on her face like she is searching for something.  Sometimes I wonder what she is thinking; we don’t talk as much as we did before I ran away to her house.  I sometimes wonder if maybe that was the wrong thing to do.  I sure was happier when I had Miss Richardson to talk to that’s for sure.

We finished the run of The Little Princess about three months ago.  It is strange though; I had to run out to tell Mother Thomas something during premier night and accidentally ran into this lady at the back of the theater.  I couldn’t see most of her face because of the hat she was wearing but from what I could see I could tell that she was beautiful.  She was doing the same thing to Miss Richardson that Miss Richardson does to me, she was staring at her.  I sure hope that Miss Richardson isn’t in trouble.

I watched Miss Richardson last week during practice.  We were going over the new play for the first time in full dress and she was really distracted.  I think I threw her for a loop when I asked if I looked like that man in the picture I broke that time I ran away to her house.  She went through so many emotions during that last play.  I never talked to her unless I had too because I was still mad at her but she watched me like a hawk.  Sometimes I wonder what she saw.  I mean at times while watching her I thought that she was going to cry and then at the end after the last show when almost everyone else had left she started speaking to someone that I never saw before and she began dancing around and laughing.  I sure hope that there is nothing wrong with her.  She did that once before when we were practicing The Little Princess in full dress for the first time.  I sure would hate to find out that she was kooky or something.

I don’t know what is going to happen in my life.  Motheater and Featherbrain are still major league angry with me.  They found out my window secret.  They still don’t know how many times I sneaked in and out of that window, I really don’t know either.  It has to be more than thirty times though.  After this last time they just completely sealed the window with security bars.  They put them on all the windows so it wouldn’t look strange, but mine are sealed shut so they won’t open.  It is probably a fire hazard or something.  Oh, who cares anyway?

I have been on restriction for the last six months.  I can go to school, rehearsals, and back home and that is it.  I have been so restricted that my grades have picked up and now I have straight A’s in everything.  What a little time alone in a room will do to you, huh?

So I am sitting here in my room taking a break from my homework just thinking about things and wondering how Katy and her mom are doing.  I still get to see them every once in a while.  Katy was my foster sister for a little while back sometime last year.  Sometimes I get to baby-sit Katy while her mom in out on a date with her boyfriend.  I haven’t told anyone yet because Katy’s mom doesn’t want a lot of people to know but she is going to be getting married at the end of July.  I get to be in the wedding.  She said that since I was such a good friend she wanted me to be a bride’s maid.  I think that is going to be so much fun.  We are buying the dresses and everything in secret.  Then when the time is right Katy’s mom is going to announce to everyone that she is getting married.  She is doing it that way because a lot of people never thought that she could do much of anything and she is determined to prove them wrong.  I like helping her.

It is March now and another one of those Rattlesnake Roundups is going to be taking place soon.  I don’t want to go this year; I don’t think that I ever want to go to another one.  I went all the time with Mom, Dad and Jase but there are so many memories that I don’t want to remember.  I think I hate Rattlesnakes.  What good are they?  All they do is sit there and hiss at you or bite you.  But I think that Motheater and Featherbrain are going to make me go once again this year.  Featherbrain has been out hunting rattlesnakes now for weeks.  He keeps them in the basement and they are beginning to scare me.  He has so many of them.  Sometimes you can hear them rattling at night it is really spooky.

Motheater is calling me now, you should hear her.  “Christy, come here!  Now!”  She is screeching like a banshee.  That is a new word that I learned in Language Arts last week.  I think it fits.

“Coming Mother.  What did I do wrong this time?”  Well, she is going to blame me for something I might as well get it out of the way right off.  Wait a minute there is a police officer here.  I really must have messed up royally.

“Nothing, that I know of, Christy this is Officer Worthington.  He is here to take you to the Child Welfare Office.”

“Why, I haven’t left this house without permission since that last night I ran away?  You better tell me what I have done wrong!”  Christy said with determination.

“Christy, I am here at the request of a third party and I will tell you more when you arrive at the office.”  Officer Worthington said with a whole lot of patience.  I could tell that he did not want to be here doing this kind of menial task.

“Okay, I guess I don’t have a choice.”  So I held my wrists up like I was waiting for him to put handcuffs on me.

“Christy, what are you doing?  Why are you trying to embarrass me this way?”  Mother Thomas said with tears in her voice.

I looked at her like she was crazy.  He was an officer wasn’t he?  Don’t officers take you to jail?  “I thought I was under arrest.  Aren’t you taking me to your office?”

“No Christy, in fact we are going someplace that is totally different from a police station.  Now, what I need for you to do is go with Mrs. Thomas here and pack your stuff.  The Child Welfare Officer wanted me to make sure that you brought all of your stuff with you.”

“I am leaving Mother and Father Thomas’s?” Christy cried out.  “So I am going to jail.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t divulge anything more.  You will learn the rest of the information when you arrive at the office like I stated earlier.”

“Well Mother, come on what are we waiting for?  Let’s go get my stuff!”  Finally I was going to be the one that got to leave.

“Well, Christy, you don’t have to be so happy about leaving here.  Father Thomas and I have taken very good care of you.”

“Yes, Mother.”  Ya right.  Who does she think she is kidding?

“I mean, you have run away so many times that I can’t count.  And we still keep taking you back.  What do you have to say about that?  Do you think that we took you back for nothing?”

“No Mother, you probably only took me back for the money.”

“Why you little ingrate!”  Boy I thought she was going to hit me there.  “In fact I had to talk Father Thomas into taking you back about five times in the last two years.  I only talked him into taking you back because I loved you.”

“What!  That’s the first time I’ve heard that one!”  I wondered what she was up to.  Motheater hardly ever said those words to anyone and never had she said them to me.

“You heard me Christy.  I loved you the minute you came through our front door.  I knew you were hurting.  How could you not?  You had just lost every member of your family.  You were a holy terror.  But I loved you anyway.”

“Well, why did you and Father treat me the way you did?  Why did you never tell me that you loved me?  In this whole time I have been here you have never once told me you loved me.  How did you expect me to know if you never told me?  Do you expect me to believe you now?”  I wondered if she thought that by telling me these words I would give a good report to the Child Welfare Officer.

“I truly hope you do.  Christy I would never hurt you on purpose.  I guess we just became so use to children coming and going that we forgot why we became foster parents in the first place.  It is true we really did not treat you like we loved you.  I guess we have had so many children leave us we forgot what it was we wanted.  I forgot what I wanted.  I forgot how to say I love you.  For that I am deeply sorry.  I hope that you can forgive us sometime.”

“Well, for right now Mother I guess I have to think about what you said.  Officer Worthington is here to take me away and I don’t know what I did.  After all these years of running away and complaining behind your back, now you tell me you love me.  I am getting so confused.  I am also scared.  You didn’t ask for me to be removed did you?  Do you know what I did?  Do you know why he is here?”  I gestured with my thumb towards Officer Worthington.

“No, no, and no, just that he is here to take you to the Child Welfare Offices and that you won’t be returning here.  I hope that no matter what happens in your future, you will keep in touch with me.  I would love to receive a card sent to Motheater once in a while.”

“Oh, My God! You know about that?”  Boy was I embarrassed.  I didn’t know that she knew that I called her that.

“Yes, I even know about Featherbrain.  I guess it was kind of silly to want to be called Mother and Father especially when you did not know us.  I kind of agree with the Featherbrain stuff once in a while; especially at this time of year when he has all those snakes down in the basement.”  She said with a wry grin.

Why is it that now I am leaving she turns into a human being?  I think that I could have liked her a little bit more if she had tried harder.  Well, Officer Worthington keeps looking down the hallway like he is in a hurry.  I think he thinks I am going to run away again.  Good thing he doesn’t know about the window being sealed.  I don’t think Mother and Father would fair to well.

“Okay Officer Worthington, I have all my stuff.  Mother is even letting me bring my pillow.  Is that okay with you?”

“Yes, I don’t think they will mind if you have a pillow.  Do you have all your photo albums and stuffed animals and anything else that you want to keep?  You won’t be returning here again.”

I looked over at Mother Thomas and she was crying.  I guess in her own way she really did love me.  So I did the one thing that I have never done the whole time I lived here.  I ran over to her and gave her a hug and kiss good-bye.  Boy did that feel good!  I finally got to tell someone good-bye.

“Okay, I’m ready.”

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