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Davis dug through the trash can. He dug past the old cheese blocks, empty cans of beer, and the cigarettes and finally found what he was looking for. He was looking for dinner. Davis had seen some greedy kid throw away his food and he went head first into that trash can. He sat down in the dark ally and started at the fries. They tasted so good to him. The seasoning lingered on his taste buds after every bite. He ate slowly to savor all the flavors. As he ate, Davis started to think about the kid that threw his dinner away. He thought, “How could somebody be that ungrateful? That kid had a warm dinner, but he wasted all of it. Does he know that street kids like me would kill for a warm dinner, let alone parents that would provide it?”
Davis thought of how he got to the streets. His parents had been alcoholics. When they were drunk, they would beat Davis. Finally, Davis had enough and ran away. His parents had brought him into this world to be a way to let go of their anger. He had never known loving parents, just ones that had hated him. Davis knew they loving parents existed. He would give anything to have some. He became angry and sad as he swallowed the last of his grilled cheese. He walked over to the trash can to throw away the empty box and the paper it was wrapped in. It was getting dark so he needed to head home before the cops went on patrol. He leaned over the trash can and released his grip on the trash. He was about to walk away when sometimes caught his eye. There was an article from The Portland Tribune that caught his attention. He picked it up, folded it and tucked it into his pocket. He would read it at home, but for now the cops were out and he needed to get back.
After walking for three miles, he finally got back to his home. It wasn’t much of a home. It was a cardboard box shoved under the Burnside Bridge. He had managed to collect some blankets over the years, so they were piled on top of the mattress he had found. He was finally out of sight of the cops or anyone that would take him to social services. He sat there, caught his breath and stared up at the starry sky. He started counting the stars until he remembered the article. He reached in his pocket and pulled out the newspaper. The article had big bold letters at the top that screamed, Looking for Long Lost Son. Davis read the article. It said,
“Steve Clark is looking for his long lost son. The boy should be about 16 years old. His mother Jane died when he was three. He was last seen in Portland by his foster parents. He is tall, has black hair and brown eyes. He is fairly skinny and has freckles. If you have any information regarding this situation, please contact Steve Clark at (503) 884-2948.”
Davis re-read the article numerous times. He was in a state of disbelief. Could this be for real? Sure, he had no relation to Steve Clark, and he had never been in foster care, but he did fit all the other descriptions made in the article. Davis was 5’11, skinny, had scruffy black hair, sparatic freckles and sullen brown eyes. Davis had not parents that cared about him, and he had been living in Portland for years on his own. His eyes widened as he formulated a plan. “I could call this number, pretend to be this child. I could make up some story about being in foster care. I could pass at Steve Clarks lost son. Steve must love his son a lot if he put out ads all over the country for him! I could finally have the life I’ve always wanted!” His head spun round and round these ideas until finally he drifted off to sleep.
When Davis got up, he went straight to work. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the clouds were gone, and Davis was going to get a family. He grabbed the article and headed to the nearest pay phone. Luckily, he had been begging for money yesterday, so he had a few coins to spare. He dropped the coins into the payphone, dialed the number and listened to the rings. He had nervous butterflies that he couldn’t control. Finally, the phone stopped ringing and a voice came out of the phone.
“Hello, Clark residence, this is Angie speaking. May I ask whose calling?” The voice said. Davis lost his voice for a second. The article said Steve. It said nothing about a woman. Was Steve married? Could he get both a loving mother and a father?
“Hello?” The voice said sharply, snapping Davis back to reality.
“Yes hello. Mrs. Clark is it?” Davis responded. He was so nervous.
“Yes, what do you want?”
“I was just responding to your article about your long lost son.”
“Oh really! Hold on one second please.” You could tell she was excited. She called to her husband. There was a lot of scrambling on the other line.
“Hello. So you said you had information about the article?” It was a man’s voice now. Davis conquered it was Steve.
“Yes, I do have information.” Davis hesitated before he told the biggest but maybe the best lie in his entire life. “Mr. Clark, I am your son.” He clenched is eyes and his face as he waited for Steve’s response.
“Really?! Well when can we meet? I’d like to talk to you about some things.” Steve was all jumpy on the other line.
“I can meet you right now. Where would you like to meet? I’m in Portland near Powell’s books. Would you like to meet there?” Davis exclaimed.
“We will be there as soon as possible. I cannot wait to meet you. I mean… I can’t even believe this… it’s sp surreal.” Steve stuttered. His voice was shaky and excited.
“See you soon.” Davis said. He hung up the phone and stared at it in disbelief. Did they really just believe what he said? Were they really husband and wife? Could he really pull this off? He contemplated all of this as he went and sat down on a bench in front of Powell’s. He waited and waited for what seemed like days. He tapped his feet, bit his nails and twitched his hands because of his nervousness. Finally, a black suburban drove up and parked. A tall man with light brown hair and a cheery disposition got out of the car. He opened the other door up for his wife. She was a bit shorter with long red hair and eyelashes that were so long they seem to never stop. They held hands as they walked toward Davis.
“Are you the one who called?” The woman said with hope in her eyes.
“Yes. Are you Angie and Steve Clark?” Davis asked. He was sweating bullets out of nervousness.
“Yes we are. I can’t believe this. Well, what is your name?” Angie said. She seemed very confused by all of this, but nonetheless excited.
“I’m Davis. I’m 16 years old and I ran away from my foster parents. I’ve been living here on the streets now for awhile. It was a miracle I found that article. I have wanted to meet my birth parents my whole life.” Of course these were all lies, but Davis would do anything for a family, even if that meant lying through his teeth.
“Well actually. I am not your birth mother.” Angie said with her eyes downcast.
“Well, then. Can you tell me what happened? Am I gonna move in with you. Tell me what’s going on.” Davis asked. So they walked into Powell’s books and sat down and got some coffee. Davis had never had coffee, so he just got water. He wanted to order all of the pastries off the menu, but he had to make a good impression on the Clarks.
“Ok. Let me start from the beginning Davis. I will explain everything, and in the end, you can choose what you want to do. When I was in high school, I was dating this girl named Jane. We were in love and we decided to have sex. Soon after we did, my dad got a new job and had to move here in Oregon. I don’t know why but I stopped writing and calling her. Apparently, after I left, she found out she was pregnant. She didn’t know what to do because I wasn’t there. So she raised you. She dropped out of school and started waiting tables for money. She had a ‘risky’ lifestyle, but nonetheless did what she could to raise and support you. That all came crashing down when you were about three. Your birth mother died of a drug overdose, and you were put into foster care. By this time, I had already married Angie. I didn’t find out about Jane’s death until about 6 months ago. I learned that you were born and you were my child. When I contacted your foster parents, they said you had run away. I was so overwhelmed with this news, that I contacted every newspaper in America to try to find you. I wanted to find you because you were my son, and Angie and I haven’t been able to have kids. With all that being said, I want to offer you a stable household with two loving parents. I know your older now, and don’t have a lot of time before you’re an adult anyway, but still. Would you like to come live with us?” Steve finished the story, and sat there and waited for an answer.
Davis contemplated everything Steve had just told him. But the only thing he really remembered from that whole thing was the part of the two loving parents and a stable home. Two loving parents that wanted him and had spent money and time looking for him. Well not him Davis, him the son. But for
now, Davis was the son, and they didn’t know any better. “I would love to come and live with you.” Davis exclaimed.
And with that, Angie got up and wrapped Davis in her arms. “We are so happy to have you finally come home with us.” Davis felt her tears fall down onto his neck. As she hugged him, he realized that he had never been held like this. He had never been hugged. He felt wanted and appreciated and loved. For now, he didn’t even feel a twinge of guilt. He got up and walked out with his parents to the suburban and drove away.
On the car ride home, they talked about a variety of things. The Clarks asked Davis what he had been doing in Portland, why he ran away from his foster parents and what he likes to do for fun. Davis asked the Clarks what they have been doing there whole lives, what there occupations where and what they do for fun. It was a get-to-know you car ride.
“At last were home!” Angie exclaimed as they pulled into the driveway of a two story house. It was a white house, with red shutters and a door. The walkway was paved with flowers and there mailbox was painted a sky-blue. “We didn’t really prepare any rooms, but we have the guest bedroom. And tomorrow we can go shopping for new clothes.” Angie was so excited as she explained all that would happen in the next 24 hours. Davis closed to car door and walked into his new home. There were picture frames everywhere filled with memories. There was not much he disliked about it. The kitchen was huge and had piles of food and drinks. There was a piano and a backyard and more than one bathroom. He knew he was going to like it. The corners of his mouth began to raise into a smile until he remembered that he was lying. He wasn’t Davis Clark. He was Davis I actually knew my parents and I ran away from them. He began to worry about how they trusted him so completely. They were just letting him into their lives no questions asked?
“So, that’s it? I just get to move in here? You don’t have a lawyer or anything?” Davis blurted out unexpectedly. Steve and Angie looked a little taken aback by Davis’ sudden outburst.
“Of course we have a lawyer. But we can’t meet with him for another couple of months. I think the actual day we meet with him is August 2. But for now, of course we trust you. You look exactly as I’ve imagined, and you seem like your telling the truth. And all the lawyer will do is ask you questions about your past and make sure it matches up with the records the foster firm has. I wouldn’t worry about it.” Steve said with a reassuring smile. Davis took a breath in and blew it out with relief. It seemed all of this would be ok.
For the next month, Davis lived the life he always wanted. He spent almost every day with his new parents. You could tell that Steve and Angie had wanted a kid for a long time and Davis had answered their prayers. They hung out together and they began to love each other. Since it was the summer, they went to music festivals, went to the beach and had picnics. Davis had never had people care about him, feed him, buy things for him. He had never been loved. Because of the Clarks, Davis began to love back. He became so thankful and faithful to the Clarks. He loved them as if they were his actual parents. The months went by and Davis forgot all about how he wasn’t their actual son. Until one day when the phone rang. It was a couple days before he met with the lawyer. Davis didn’t think anything about the phone ringing, but he listened to Steve’s voice.
“Hello… Oh Really… Who is this again?” Steve’s voice sounded confused and worried. “I can meet you now. Hmmm, say 15 minutes… Ok. Bye.” The phone clicked as Steve hung up. He walked into the family room and looked directly into Davis’ eyes and said, some imposter just called and claimed he was my son. I have to go meet him. I thought I told all of the newspapers to take the ad out. Anyway Davis, I’ll be home for dinner.” Steve left and Davis sat there. A sickening feeling rose up in Davis' stomach. He didn’t know what to do. What if this was the actual son? Davis ran outside. He screamed at the top of his lungs this horrible, earth shattering scream. What if everything was taken away from him? What if he is put back on the streets again? Davis sat in the backyard until nightfall. He worried and worried until he heard Steve’s footsteps in the kitchen. Davis went inside and found himself face to face with what looked like his twin.
“Davis. This is Thomas.” Steve said. “He claims to be my son, and he had the same story you had. I don’t know who to believe. Luckily we’re meeting with the lawyer tomorrow.” Steve said with a stone cold face.
“Steve! What’s going on?” Angie gasped when she saw the two look alike boys standing in her kitchen.
“This is Thomas. He claims to be my son. But we will get it…” Steve’s voice trailed off. Angie had started crying at this. In her mind, Davis was now her son and she loved him more than anything. She had given up money and time and love to this person, and now, it might not even be her son. Steve comforted his wife. Davis ran upstairs.
“How could I do this to them?” Davis started talking to himself. “I might lose the only people I love. I lied to them, took advantage of them, and now I’m making it more complicated now that this new Thomas is here. I cannot let the lawyer take me away from them. There the only true family I have ever had.” Davis had started crying now. He felt lost, and he couldn’t wait for tomorrow to get all of this resolved.
When Davis woke up the next morning, he had a giant knot in his stomach. He went downstairs to see Thomas and Steve sitting there talking about the weather. It was nothing to important. Steve was just trying to be hospitable. Angie was getting ready for the day. There was nothing to do but wait around until it was time to meet with the lawyer. Nobody felt like talking. It was a very awkward tension in the house between husband, wife, son and imposter. Finally, after some time, Steve announced it was time to go. Everybody loaded up in the Suburban. They drove. The whole morning was a blur to Davis. He just wanted to meet the lawyer and try to prove that he was the real son.
Nobody talked on the drive over. When they finally got there, everybody unloaded out of the car and filed into Mr. Adams office.
“Good morning everybody. Well, I understand we are in a strange predicament here. We have two boys that claim to be a Clark, is that right? “Mr. Adams said in a raspy voice. Mr. Adams was a short man. Plump with a red face and he smelt of tobacco and peppermint.
“Yes that’s right.” Steve said. “I don’t want to deal with a lot of paper work. Can we just find out who my son is?” Steve was almost begging Mr. Adams.
“Well, we can find out. Nowadays there are these things called DNA tests…”
Davis stopped paying attention to Mr. Adams right after he said DNA. Davis knew this was the end. He couldn’t fake his DNA. He had no relation to Steve Clark biologically. Know Davis found himself in another situation. Davis would go to jail, be thrown out on the streets or be put in foster care when they found out he was not really a Clark. After living with the Clarks and loving them for a few months, he realized that he would rather die than go do any of those options.
“Davis? We just need a few locks of hair.” Mr. Adams said sternly. This brought Davis back to the conversation. Davis gave them a few locks of his hair. Then, all 4 people left Mr. Adams office and drove back to the Clark house.
Davis felt like crap that he did this to the Clark family. He had lied to them, used them, and betrayed their trust without them knowing it. He didn’t want to go to jail, go back on the streets and he didn’t want another family. He figured the only to do was to die. He went down to the garage. He grabbed one of Mr. Clark’s guns. He wrote his suicide note. He pointed the gun at his head, and he pulled the trigger. And just like that, Davis was gone.
The next few days events were interesting. Angie found Davis dead. She nearly passed out. She called to Steve. They both cried and cried. They found the suicide note which read…
“I am so sorry. By the time you get this, I will be dead and you will have the DNA tests back. I am sorry I lied to you, and used you. But you must know that I loved you more than anything. No one has ever loved me or treated me like that in my entire life. I am so lucky to have lived with you for as long as I did. You will always be my mom and dad.”
Angie and Steve couldn’t believe any of this. They were in disbelief. Right before Angie had found Davis dead; she had received the DNA test results. Davis was Steve’s son. Jane was Davis mother, who had gotten pregnant. She had died of an overdose when Davis was three. He was put into foster care with a pair of abusive parents. He had run away and lived in Portland. Davis would never know any of this.
Angie and Steve mourned over there dead son. They loved him and now he was gone. They held a small funeral, and buried him. His headstone read,
“Here lies our beloved son who was taken from us too soon.
Port Pirie, ZZ