Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Part III: My Boy Jake

Jake surely startled me, whispering the word death and all. How would he know such a word? He's a little guy; heck, he's my boy, my boy Jake, odd, but my boy whom I love dearly.

When Jake and I first met, it was definitely love at first sight. It felt right being with him and his family. It felt like we had known each other all our lives. If I believed in reincarnation, I would attribute the feeling to that. Tending to Jake's needs while completing my school work has been very easy. Jake's not only adorable, but so easy to be with. He's my version of the perfect little boy - doesn't whine, doesn't cry unnecessarily, pleasant, those blue eyes of his, helps the cause of loving him so much easier.

Yes, I described Jake as being odd, you caught that I see. Well he is, the more I get to know him, the more I realized how oddly amazing he is. I mean Jake can see things we can't see. Not ghosts or creepy things like that, it's as if he has been here before and he's just passing back through, perhaps on a mission. I think the old folks, like Ms. Haddy would describe him as having an "old soul".

I remember the story Susan and Mr. Pearson told me about why they moved to this town, and not somewhere more populated, it had everything to do with Jake. It was if they were protecting him from something, or maybe someone.

They chose the right little town that had the right house, with the right neighbors and schools. The town was strangely too perfect, unlike them, and certainly unlike Jake. One certainly can't go unnoticed in this town. In fact, when you stand in any doorway and look out around you, you see nothing but gray prairie on every side. Kinda like visiting Dorothy, but in color not black and white. "Not a tree nor a house broke the broad sweep of flat country that reached the edge of the sky in all directions" - yep that's the place my boy Jake, Susan, Mr. Pearson's and I call home.

The more I think about it, how strange is it that the Pearson's don't talk much about Jake's birth. They don't have many pictures of him. I thought all families loved pictures.

The Pearson's often tell the story of the tornado that came down their street one spring. Jake had been outside playing on his swing set when the wind picked up. Jake must've found the sound the wind makes intriguing and wandered off in search of the source from which the wind started. The Pearson's said that it was the most frightening experience, having to take shelter without him. When the tornado passed over, the Pearson's were startled to find him swinging on his swing set, untouched and not a hair out of place. "The nice lady protected me with her pink feathers, Mama and Papa".

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Part II: The Pearsons

The Pearson’s became my second set of parents when I was a freshman in college. I had found their ad hanging in the student union, that they needed a baby sitter for their son Jake. I jumped at the chance to earn some extra money. Jake and the Pearson's liked me from day one – and the feeling was mutual. Mrs. Pearson, or Susan as she preferred to be called, had always been rail thin, she attributed it to all the running she did. She like her husband was a doctor, working at the infirmary at my school. Mr. Pearson had his own private practice. He was a round man, with a brush over like Donald Trump. And then there was my boy Jake. With his bleach blond hair and bright blue eyes, his rosy cheeks looked like apples fresh from the tree. He was the most adorable baby, and had grown into a handsome little 1st grader. I never really understood why the Pearson’s never had more children. The house they lived in was massive, far too much space for the three of them.

The holidays were always spectacular. Susan always did her own decorating even though Mr. Pearson insisted that they hire someone. Susan insisted that hiring someone would take the fun out of Christmas, and would take away from her own personal touches. I think Susan ignoring Mr. Pearson’s wishes to hire a decorator disturbed him. He always had the need to control everything and everyone around them.

The Pearson’s always had the biggest tree and the brightest decorations ever – however two years ago a fire broke out in their attic, and all the decorations were destroyed, Susan never was the same after that. She said that there were treasures up there from her parents and grandparents; things that could never be replaced. Every year since then, Christmas was just a little bit different, not as many decorations and the lights not as bright. The outside lights that wrapped the house and the trees that lined the driveway were no longer lit.

I was always invited over; I brought Susan and Mr. Pearson gifts and far too many for my boy Jake. They were always good to me and treated me like their own. But every year since that fire, things just seemed different, and this Christmas was the icing on the cake.

The Pearson’s always had an extensive list of friends who came for Christmas dinner, but like everything else at their house, since the fire, that list got smaller each year. Haddy McPherson, was new on the invite list this year. I had never heard of her or seen her face. Trust me; Haddy has one of those faces, and a crackly voice, you could never forget.

“Muerto”, he whispered.

My thoughts of the Pearson’s had been interrupted by a small voice that whispered to me the word “death”.

I looked down to see whose voice it was, to my surprise it was my boy Jake.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Part I: Adonia

“Merry Christmas”, Jake said to Sandy as he handed her a candy cane from the poorly lit and scantly decorated Christmas tree.

Christmas at the Pearson household was always quite odd – not only the guests but the food. I sat across the room from a woman who had a green knit hat on that looked like it had been through the washer too many times with a paper towel, it was covered in lint. Her face was shriveled like a prune and her brightly pink polished toes curled up from her open toe sandals she wore with nylons, her toenails matched the lip stick she wore. Her bright pink suit looked like she stole it from an unfashionable bride who scared her maid’s of honor into wearing the gaudy piece.

“Merry Christmas Adonia!”, Jake screamed in my ear as he handed me a chocolate Santa Claus.

I had been patiently waiting for the Pearson’s to announce dinner was ready, but it seemed like that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. I sat there impatiently tapping my foot, and staring at the green knit hat wearing old lady. I started to peel away the paper that wrapped tightly around the chocolate Santa Claus. I had to eat something to take the edge off the hungry pains I had started feeling. I bite the chocolate, chewed and swallowed, when the taste hit me. The candy tasted partly of the paper in which it was wrapped, partly of hair oil, partly of the great unknown. My face must’ve shown the horrible taste I was experiencing, because as I looked up the old lady with the green hat was snickering.

“Like that candy huh Missy?”, she shouted from across the room. “Made it myself in the nursing home last night.”

I felt like vomiting, there was no telling what was in it and how many dirty old hands had touched it.

“Yes mam, very delicious”, I answered back.

“You’re a lousy liar Missy, ha ha ha”, she responded. “My name is Haddy C. McPherson, I live at Sunshine Valley Nursing Home on the East Side of town, what is your name Missy?”

Missy? If I could get the old bat to stop calling me Missy.

“Adonia, Adonia Prada is the name mam, nice to meet you”, I replied. “Sunshine Valley Nursing Home? I know the place, my dad used to live there. Nice place.”

“Nice place? Maybe for the blind and deaf, but not for this spring chickadee” replied Haddy.

I got up from my seat; I seriously needed to rinse my mouth out from the nasty chocolate Santa. As I walked past the kitchen I peeped in to see if it was any closer to dinner, but what caught my eye was seeing the Pearson’s in each other’s arms crying. I couldn’t tell whether their tears were of joy or sorrow, or whether they had ruined dinner. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to investigate, there was a rancid taste moving up my throat from my stomach.

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