Chapter- And the Story unfolds
"I'm sorry he's your what!" Zigzag yelled. Of course it had been hours since we had that conversation. I was still waiting on Danny to come around. I thought back on that conversation.
"He is my brother. He is two years younger than me." I paused to go on with my story but Zigzag interrupted me. Another thing you should know about me. I really, really hate to be interrupted.
"How old are you anyway?"
"Seventeen. Anyway. I ran away when he was really young and sporadically checked up on him. A few times I even stopped to check on my mom. She was getting her life back together, even through her husband out. When I first started going around there she told me to stay away. That she was trying to get her life back on track. Then that changed when she started going to school. Keep in mind that I was a boy even then. I would go there and feed Danny and myself then leave. But some neighbors started getting suspicious and finally called cops. I stopped coming around then although she asked me not to. I just couldn't stay there though. She was turning her life around and didn't need me to ruin it. At least that's the way I saw it.
"When I turned fifteen she was on the TV looking for me. She said her daughter had ran away from home years ago and that she had made mistakes but she had changed and wanted a second chance. By that time I already had a group of kids and had established myself on the streets. For me to go back to her would have ruined her life." I remembered how she cried on that last night as she begged me to stay. Begged me to give her another chance. I had told her the truth. What I do would make her hate me. With her new career she deserved to have a kid who wasn't a criminal. And then I left. But what did I know? I was twelve. I walked out the door and tried not to look back.
We sat there side by side doing nothing really but just staring at the stars. When I felt I his arm go around my shoulder and I leaned into him and laid my head on his arm. And there we sat for an unknown amount of time. After a while, Zig got up and went to the tent. I continued to sit out here waiting for my little brother.
I remembered when he turned one. Though I was three, that memory is the one sticks. We were all sitting around the table. Danny in our dad's lap, me in our mom's. The cake was there in front of us. It was just the four of us. The cake was blue on one half and green on the other half. The inside a delicious chocolate with strawberries. We had barely taken a bite when Danny throw his piece at our mother. My father laughed and my mother felt retaliation was required. So she threw some at him but he used me as a shield. After that all hell broke lose. It was an all out cake fight. Nobody was spared from cake.
"Hey." A soft spoken voice called to me. I was careful to hide my surprise at him being there.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Was the first thing out of my mouth.
"It wasn't my idea. It was mom's. She knew you were here and set it up so I could come here too," he paused as if waiting for me to object. "Well she said in case you don't read your letter that she was trying to get you out of here. I think that was before she knew what the hell we do here. That shit was hell."
"One watch your mouth. Two how did she find out I was here?"
"Apparently, the judge was making fun of your name. Hey, you know you are not in the system? Mom convinced him to spill where you were and is now trying to get you out. I gotta go but we'll talk tomorrow. See ya."
He walked away and I walked into the tent. I laid down on my cot and was immediately asleep. I forgot about the letter. When I woke up it fell from my clothing as I changed. There wasn't enough light to read it, so I left it under my pillow. We all headed out, and before long I was sitting there by Zigzag's whole. It was starting to become a habit.
"You know I really need to get you a nickname. Zigzag is your nickname for the boys but I want for us." I contemplated out loud. Not really noticing that he had stopped digging.
"How about Ricky? I mean its my real name and no one here but Mom and Mr. Sir call me that."
"Sure." But I had already lost the thought. The sound of the shovels hitting the dirt was causing a beat to come into my head. "You got to go dig those holes With broken hands and withered soles. Emancipated from all you know You got to go dig those holes "
The truck came and there we were getting our stuff when I saw Bushy hair hit Mom with a shovel. We were all cheering him on. Me the loudest. We were commanded to get back to work but it was awhile before anyone was done. We were all sitting down to eat when Mom came in. He headed straight to us but he looked less than happy.
"Wanda-" He was cut off by Armpit.
"Yo Moms his name is Fox."
"I don't care. Care to explain these?" He held up a bra that was red. I knew it wasn't mine and apparently so did my tent. I wanted to play with him for a minute.
"Well. Lets see. 34C. Definitely not my size. And red is not a color I would wear. Sorry didn't come from my tent. Probably from tent A. Check with them. I mean I just put the clothes in the washer. They are already separated by the time they come to me." The people in the hall laughed until The Warden came in. She walked over to us to see what the problem was. I saw her look at the bra and blush. Ah so it was hers.
"You were supposed to do the laundry. Now because of this we have to a check to make sure ain't none of you girls."
"Are you sure that was our laundry? Cause no offense, no girl is gonna wanna take a shower where a bunch of guys can see her. Specially if she had a set like that on her." I saw The Warden blush even more deeply. Everyone was staring at me like I lost my damn mind. Personally I thought it was funny. She walked up to his slapped Mom upside his head and stomped off with the article of clothing in her hand. When Mom left we all busted up laughing.
That night I had guys slapping me against my back as if I had done something to be proud of. I guess to them I did.