His mother would not return. Every Sunday night she left him and his brother here at this house, and each time he knew she would not return. His younger brother was the only one he really had for a companion, but the little one was too young to understand this. He was only just beginning to talk, and at times, despite his love, the older brother hated the younger one.
This house they would stay at for a week was not theirs, and it was already overpopulated by too many children. These other children belonged here. It was their home. He and the little boy with him were intruders here, and they competed with the others for food and water and, even more importantly…laughter.
The other children, the ones who belonged in this house, hated him and his brother. The others were good at teasing. They were good at lying and blaming him for doing things he did not do. But sometimes they were affectionate and almost kind to him. It was then that he almost forgot about his mother who would never return.
On Sundays he always cried the hardest right after he discovered she had left him again. Sometimes the people here would put him in the closet until he stopped whining. But some tears always feel because Sundays were always the hardest to endure because he had to begin all over again to win the hearts of the others and it was not an easy task to do. The other children were older than him, They all bossed him around all the time and if he did not move quickly enough, if he did not mind well enough, they would find new methods of torturing him until they were satisfied with his tears.
His mother was already gone and this evening he sensed more tension in the air than was usual even for a Sunday night. The other children were sneering, and he began to cry. The mother of the other children began to yell and then scream, and then she too was gone. It was then that they came at him. They were all laughing.
They were debating weather they should spank him or put him in the closet this time. They decided to ask him what they should do. He tried to go to the lesser of his fears…the darkness of the closet.
At fourteen, I was the oldest. One of my sisters handed me the belt. All of us took turns beating the two intruders until they said they were sorry, for what…we never knew. Before my mother returned, I let the sobbing brothers out of the closet…and gave them a hug.
“The wall, he decided, will always be there”
He awoke, or at least it seemed he did, for he could not tell if he had been dreaming or if he were dreaming now. He pushed the woolen, scratchy blanket away from his body. There were no sheets, and his skin stuck to the plastic mattress that smelled of others sweat and urine. After prying his flesh from the tenacious bedding, he managed to sit up. He was more tired than he had remembered. He was still dirty and thirsty and his eyes hurt as they squinted in the dim hazy light. He drew his legs up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them. For long moments, he sat that way fearing punishment for doing anything that might be wrong.
Eventually, however, his eyes grew accustomed to the shadowy light and he began to see things. Across from him he could see a wall. He wondered how long the wall had been there. The question struck him as absurd. The wall he decided would always be there. In this confusion, he meditated on the hardness before him until a thought of beauty entered his mind and the nakedness upset him. “There are no pictures…it has no pictures hanging from it.” Lacking the courage, or cowardice, to look away he continued staring blankly until his sight improved still further and he found something within the wall that excited him. “I forgot…about…color…I can see the color now!” He tried to give the color a name. “Dirty…” he thought. “Filth.” he said out loud. “It is a filthy color.” he whispered silently to himself.
Quickly, the excitement left him and he began to grow tired of looking at the wall, even the color began to bore him. The boredom gave him a sense of courage and he became bold. He decided to explore. Cautiously he moved his eyes to the right where he saw…a corner, Then the head began to turn to follow the lead of the eyes. They continued past the corner until they gazed upon something he recognized.
He hated what he saw, the familiar object that hid in the shadows…the thing that kept him here. He glared at it, but the closed and bolted door remained unmoved. It was then that he turned back to the wall he had grown to know and the boredom…he had grown to love.