i stood in the living room alone. The sounds of the kids' TV, their laughter down the hall, only served to compound the silence that surrounded me. my family had left no more than five minutes ago, in that time the living room had transformed from a room filled with conversation smiles and hugs to a cathedral of loneliness.
at my feet was my small duffel bag which contained all my clothes and some belongings. on my back was my high school career inside of a green jansport backpack. i was alone. i was scared. i was 17.
for the next six months i slept on a couch in the family room adjacent to the kitchen. my routine was simple: get up at 6 go to school until 3 then go work at the sheet metal shop, where my dad had gotten me a job, until 11:30, come back to my aunts house have dinner and try to get some homework done so i could be in bed by 1am.
first period class was English lit with Mrs Walsh. ill never forget her deep blue eyes that seemed so sad. One day after class she asked me why i was suddenly not finishing my homework after being on top of it for the whole year. I told her about the night job and the rest of the school year she let me sleep in class as long as i turned in my homework and kept up with my reading assignments. she even started bringing me a bagel and orange juice everyday.
At night before bed i would get my clothes out of my small bag and get them ready for the next day, crawl into the couch and try to fall asleep. I was a scared kid that missed his family and missed his old life.
twelve years and many couches, airbeds, car seats and futons later i still feel like that scared kid wishing for his old life to come back