Nobody is lucky all the time.
He wasn’t nervous, he just didn’t want to be here. Better said, he didn’t want his social worker here, in the fucking kitchen of his quote on quote home.
He plucked at the sleeve of his new vest, fighting the urge to smoke. He still hadn’t dropped that question and being a week deprived from smoking like a chimney started to get the best of him. The occasional late night bathroom cig wasn’t enough and the quick few drags he got when he took a detour from the local pharmacy didn’t ease him enough. And just the thought of that tiny little bag of weed lying hidden underneath his bedspring…
He was doing alright, at least that was what he tried to tell the social worker. Convince him that he adored his new family, loved to go to school and wouldn’t even consider being a bad boy.
Foster mom Karen had done a great job at remodeling him. Maybe it was her guilt talking to her but she’d been mother fucking Teresa on him after the playground incident. She’d taken him to the mall, as promised, bought him new clothes that actually fit without asking for the receipts. There had been a lot of small talks and she hadn’t pushed him into subjects he rather not talk or even think about at all. She even took him to a hairdresser, who as she said could work miracles and right after she apologizes blushing, I didn’t mean it that way.
He still felt a little self-conscious about his shorter, styled hair. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d gone to a qualified hairdresser and it might has been his first time. His hair wasn’t that stringy and untamable anymore, even gave him a feeling of class. But it also made him feel insecure, his change of hair-do might put him in a different perspective for other people. And he wasn’t sure what perspective that might be, now he no longer appeared as foster care filth. He blended in at school, blended in with the social groups and classes, but now it felt even more like he was just hiding a dirty little secret.
He found out a few girls liked him, found a little note meet me after school including a phone number, on his locker. The nice straight A guy had pulled him into his social network during lunch hours. Mostly he just sat there, between ‘neat’ kids. Boys and girls from his age, some with braces some with glasses. He could remember a few names and connect them with faces. The straight A guy was called Josh. Typical nice guy, not a jock but could have been. Head of –whatever- does a lot for the school, community or –whatever-. Josh was one of those guys who would make it, succeed high school, probably get some kind of scholarship and become a doctor, or a fucking brain surgeon or something. Josh, such nice guy and just for that he wouldn’t even spit at him if he would be set on fire.
You had Cassidy, a snobbish looking girl who hung around Josh a lot and had an awfully loud laugh. And used that laugh way too much. She was obnoxious, self-centered but was good at giving the direct opposite impression. She had a litter of ‘close friends’ who could tell her anything, as she bluntly mentioned during recess. A real gossip girl, but he kind of liked her for that. At least you knew with what kind of person you where dealing with. A shallow-minded girl who liked to chit-chat, he could dig that.
Then you had your average class clown who happened to be childhood friends with Josh the semi-jock. Guy was called Marco, his mother came from Jamaica and for reason that was one of the first few things he mentioned to Frank. There was a guy named Chad who wasn’t just around during lunch time but also his lab partner at chemistry. Convenient much?
And there was Tamika. Average girl, maybe wearing a little too much black for her own good, including the dark kohl around her eyes. She didn’t ‘hung around’ in particular in the canteen with the rest. But she’d been talking to him when they both skipped gym. She smoked too and her blue eyes had sparkled when he mentioned pot. She was alright, rambled a lot about all the parties she went to and how drunk she’d got during her weekend. She was alright because she talked and didn’t ask.
The time he spent with the family could be considered as reasonable. He kept sucking up with Karen, helping with the dishes, cleaning after himself and putting up a smile every once in a while. The dad figure named Phil, he still didn’t know what to think of the man. Besides spending a lot of time coaching Christopher’s baseball team he didn’t seemed to mind the other kids. When Frank saw him in the morning he hid behind the news paper and went to work with a short goodbye. During dinner nobody made too much noise or conversation until Phil decided the meal was over.
Christopher still held a grudge against him and secretly he was enjoying every minute of it. He couldn’t do anything without setting the guy off. And playing naively along was the perfect way to push his buttons. Frank found out Chrissy-boy could be very jealous when he and Karen spend time together. Frank had counted the times Christopher had burst into his room to lecture him about knowing his place. Back off you’re just a foster fuck, one phone call away from juvi! Maybe Christopher didn’t use those correct words but it was pretty much his point.
All he had to do was put up a confused smile to mind-fuck Christopher a little more, it was a very entertaining activity. Sticks and stones, if he wanted he could break some bones and Chrissy-boy probably knew that. So smart boy, Chrissy barked like a dog but never dared to touch him.
“- So, how are you adapting to your new life Frank?” Mister social work finally took action.
“Alright I guess.” He answered without putting too much thought behind it.
“That’s good to hear.”
“Yeah…” Frank stared up at Gerard and vice versa. He’d decided from the moment they’d met he wasn’t going to like the guy. Why? Simple, just because. He’d had his fare share of social workers who mostly thought in numbers instead of persons. The types so overworked they couldn’t even remember his name or living condition. Types that didn’t care and types that rather didn’t see because of the piles of paper work that might bring along.
He fiddled on his seat and looked around the living room hoping of something to happen so this conversation would be over. Like Danny running through the room and bashing his face into the kitchen table, kid was clumsy as hell. Or Karen coming back from grocery shopping, he could suck up and help her out while dodging this conversation. If only.
“And school, how’s school working out for you?” Gerard asked.
“Good.” Besides being clueless most of the classes and skipping everyone in a while, if he felt lucky he’d take a bus to the train station to pick up his old way of living. He’d only felt lucky twice, didn’t want to risk getting caught and frankly he didn’t want to lose his sanity since he did the job sober nowadays. It also didn’t help to be living in a holey-fucking-moley family. They already planned a big fancy trip to their local church upcoming Sunday, which meant he would be forced to sit and shut up inside a dusty old building listening to a priest ranting about what horrible sinner he is. It felt like he was being torn into pieces of two entirely different worlds that didn’t go along at all. On one side little angel Frank was pulling, the seemingly perfect little foster fuck who got along with the kids, came home in time for dinner and would help with the dishes without being asked. Perfect foster fuck Frank, a good doggy now. Good enough to be held and kept in a nice family. Because little Frank went to school, seemed to have some friends and owh my what a haircut could do for one precious little boy.
Meanwhile the little shit-face from the past kept whining and pulling on his other arm to get a grip and deal with that been taught. Don’t trust anyone but yourself, keep your shoulders up and head low, take what you can and ever expect anything back. Don’t talk, don’t talk Frank, don’t talk.
Why should he tell the guy sitting in front of him that he couldn’t sleep at night, couldn’t even lay down on his bed if he didn’t have the windows open? Why should he spill to a local stranger how tight his stomach felt whenever someone asked him a person question? Why would he speak his mind, it hadn’t brought him anywhere but hell in the past.
“Frank, I’m trying to help you.” His social worker told him. He could practically smile about that and shake his head. Shit, like he hadn’t heard that one before. We do this for the best interest of the child, their local fucking cheer. CPS, social workers, therapists, foster care, all bragging with their fucking scouts honor to protect the young and innocent. For a while he’d thought he’d been simply too old and too fucked up to be treated equally, living up to their standards. His self-esteem had been far below zero anyway, still wasn’t ready to unfreeze by the way. But your age, your innocence and whatever kind of spirit you have, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes the good life just isn’t there for you, there had been a kid named Pete a total sweetheart. They used to share a room, bed bunkers, Frank had the top. The mother of that family used to beat the living shit out of Pete whenever her husband left to get drunk. At night the mother would come to their room, still loathing from the fight she’d had with her husband. She’d take little Pete out of his bed to blow off some steam. Frank never talked to Pete about it, after all hear no evil see no evil speak no evil, and felt so grateful to be the one sleeping in the top. Because she never got him, he’d been the lucky one during that foster family.
You don’t talk about those things, incidents, times. You don’t bring it up not even with the other foster fucks. Because all of them had been that lucky fool once, as they had been the boy sleeping in the bottom. Nobody is lucky all the time.
His social worker started to ask more detailed questions, mainly about his school and the foster family. He decided to give him some detailed bullshit in return so the guy would be content and shut the hell up.
He mentioned some names from kids at school, babbled about some classes he didn’t care about. He tried to come up with some details that would put him in a good light, make him look like the pretty boy he could play pretty well. For a good few minutes he was convincing enough to make his social worker smile and scribble down some good words down on paper. At least what was what he figured.
Anxious he drummed his finger tips down on the kitchen table, waiting for the redeeming words of ‘see you next time’, only they didn’t come, yet. Gerard took his time to drabble small notes down, or maybe the whole fucking story of Frank’s life. After rubbing his ruffled hair behind his ear and pushing the notebook back in a worn-out briefcase Gerard sat up and smiled. Frank half expected a ‘thank you very much for your time’ or something like that. What he didn’t expect at all was Gerard touching his hands with his. For a moment Gerard’s fingers patted on Frank’s anxiously tapping ones and lightening seem to strike him with high voltage. Shots of electricity seemed to fire through his fingertips and knuckles and it felt like his complete hand was set on fire, inch by inch.
But instead of winching the fuck away like every other person would do Frank pushed his hand firmly on the wood and breathed. God damn, simply tried to breathe without screaming on top of his lungs like a fucking little lunatic.
“Don’t touch me.” He managed to breathe out.
Gerard’s face was a puzzle of confusion, brows furrowed and eyes big and googly. “Frank, what did you just say?”
And that tone, that just did it. That calm and quiet way of speaking, that way of turning it all around. Making it seem like he was the one acting weird, being too sensitive or simply retarded or crazy. Just like you’re mother is, you little inbreed.
And Gerard was still touching his fucking hand and the pain just wouldn’t stop or get less, it was like mental barbwire got wrapped around his flesh, squeezing tighter and tighter. His complete brain seemed to shout at him to pull back, get back, back up idiot backup! And he couldn’t believe he was stubborn enough to keep sitting and not moving an inch.
“I said, don’t touch me.” He said again, louder this time but still pretty much under his breath because he didn’t trust his voice well enough.
Gerard’s eyes widened even more, surprise making way for shock. Frank just glared at him, feeling how much trouble his chest had to breathe in and out. His voice sounded so unnaturally calm and cold while it felt like his insides where on fire in a nerve-wrecking trip to empty his entire stomach. Squeezing his eyes shut he spat out. “I’m doing fine at school, I can stand the people I live with, I’m not high, now can you get the fuck off my back?!”
There was a freaky long pause and Frank wished that his hair was long again, hiding his face. Frank whished he wasn’t wearing those ridiculous clothes that made him look like a stupid little pussy. He wished he didn’t look so fragile.
He wanted the guy to make a move, because he couldn’t run out of this one. He couldn’t leave even if he wanted to. Because this place was his god forsake home for the next two years unless he fucked up. Then it would be back to the street, or jail and neither one seemed like an option he would survive.
Eventually his social worker made a move, a smart one. “Guess I’ll be seeing you next week then.” Air seemed to get back in his lungs, the atmosphere in the kitchen grew less tens when he felt not any close body heat from the person sitting in front of him.
He didn’t feel sixteen at that moment, he didn’t feel like the rebellious little shit-face he played so well most of the time. He felt like a little child waiting for the fucking smack in the face, bracing himself for a blow that never came.
“Bye Frank.” His social worker said before leaving. Frank couldn’t reply and sat shell-shocked on his seat. After a while his body unfroze from its position but his mind kept racing. He wasn’t simply sitting at a kitchen table no more, he was sitting in at least a dozen homes and houses, flashing through his entire childhood.
Eventually his head was spinning and so was the room, he got up, figured a little fresh air would do the trick and puked in the backyard. Hurling and kneeling between petunias a very sad thought crossed his mind sharp as barbwire, if he died would anyone miss him?
I watched ‘Teenage dirt bag’ today, got all psyched and inspirit to do another chapter for this fic. I’d love to get some feedback, I’d love that a lot!!!!