The Fence

February 14, 2011
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As I walked down the fresh paved cobble stone street, I was wondering if anyone was surrounding me. It was dark, and the stores were closed for the night. The apartment buildings had their lights off. A thin blanket of snow covered the sidewalks with footprints from stray dogs and cats. The street lights flicked on me revealing my old grey jeans, thick orange coat and grey scarf that my grandma made for me. I wasn’t sure of my surrounding but escape seems like the best choice. Wanting to go to a place where I could relax, but I knew that there would never ever be a place that could compare to the view. The stars that lit up the night sky, but the wonderful view would soon be filled with cars and people.
As I continued my cold and lonely walk down the street; I approached a fence. The fence was tall and white; it had parts here and there where the paint was chipped. But instead of caring, I began to wonder why it was there. The top had barbwire lining and there was a light being cast from behind the fence. The light formed a shadow onto the street next to me. Quietly, I wondered what was behind the fence. Than a voice sounded. The voice was sweet but very soft, and it sounded as if it was coming from an elderly lady that was singing (But why outside?). Her voice was pure like an angel, and it had a lovely ring. As she sung the song, it started to become more and more familiar to me. It reminded me of a song that my mother used to sing to me when I was a young boy. But my mom was taken away from me, I was sent away to live with my grandma at a very young age. No one ever saw my mom after, or at least I never saw my mom again. The lady was still singing from behind the fence. Barely remembering any of the words, I quietly mumbled along. After a couple of minutes of singing, I noticed that the shadow began to grow bigger and the song was becoming louder. I thought that maybe the elderly lady heard me singing and wanted to see who was out this late at night. But I panicked and quickly stopped singing, but instead I begin to dash down the street. While running I wondered who was that elderly lady? Disappearing from the light and into the darkness, I thought that maybe I should stop and turn around, but I knew that it was too late.

The next morning as I woke up from behind the gray garbage tin, I couldn’t stop thinking about the lady and her voice. Wishing that I had stopped and stayed to see who she was; I stood up to notice four unusually large trees standing in front of me. I didn't remember them there from the night before, but now they were there with stump so large that if I tried to wrap my arms around, it would only take up a fourth of the tree. The trees were so tall that they only let a little gleam of light shine through. The sunlight added warmth to where I was sleeping. The tree also cast a shadow that made that gleam of light become like a spotlight. Suddenly that “spotlight” made me feels alone. It didn't bother me that I was alone in that moment, but that feeling abandonment that was getting to me.
Before I was ready to go into the world with no direction, I reached into my little sack that I had with me. Out of my sack I pulled a little snack to eat, I hadn’t eaten for a day or two. Around my snack was a string keeping the brown paper neatly wrapped. Inside the brown paper was a napkin that covered two pieces of toast. I was hoping to pass a well so that I could wash up and refill my water bottle. I counted my coins that I had saved up and now was ready to go. I gather my belonging and decided that I had to go back to the lady’s house later.
I walked until I reached the fork in the road, I knew which way would be the fastest way but by now mama is probably has everyone looking for me. I wouldn’t expect that people care where I am plus who would recognize me from the back of a milk carton. But I took the longer route anyway. While walking through the soft snow; the temperature felt as if it went up a degree or two since I woke up but it still was cold. A hole in my shoe had begun to develop from all of this walking the breeze was making my foot cold. The road was empty and five minutes had passed. I could only think of odds that the lady could be my mother. I recollected my thoughts and continued to the gate.
I started to become eager as the gate was in sight. By now, it was midday and I wasn’t sure if anyone was home. I stepped onto the porch and knocked on the door but no one answer. There was a seat on the porch; it sat in the corner of the room. I headed over to the sit in it. It was cold and uncomfortable.
I thought that maybe I could wait until the lady got home and explain to her why I was there. But what would I say? What if she wasn’t my mother? I didn’t want to get in trouble but I didn’t want to turn around and be a coward.
As the blood rushed through my body and my heartbeat sped up, I could see a car pulling up outside of the house. In the car were an old lady and a man; the figure of the lady was very familiar to the shadow but the man was unrecognizable. The lady was being aided out of the car and to the door. As they got closer it became hard for me to speak. I rushed back to behind the chair. Footstep after footstep the sound of people grew. The porch door begins to open and the people slowly begin to walk in.
I closed my eyes tight hoping that maybe they wouldn’t see me. In my head i began to believe that if I couldn't see them they couldn't see me. The room became quiet and a chill went down my spine. I suddenly heard a deep monotone voice.
“Who’s there?” said the men that was towering over the chair and looking down at me.
I continued to hold my breath, close my eyes tighter and stay quiet.
“I’ll call the sheriff if you don’t identify yourself right now,” the man said as the anger rose in his voice.
“I’m Vincent Cater IV," I mumbled with my head in my lap.
“Vincent? Vincent Cater?” the lady repeated. She thought to herself … Maybe, just maybe he’s the one.
"Yes-" I said as I’m interrupted by the man.
"Why are you intruding on my property?" he said.
"Well, I believe that you're my mother because a couple of night I heard you singing but it wasn't just any song. The song sounded like a song the my mother used to sing to me. My mother was taken away from me when I was a young boy. People believe that she died, but in my heart I believe that she is still walking the earth." I said to them.
I notice that the emotion on both of there faces change. I wasn't sure what there were thinking and I wasn't wither or not they’re believed me. I'm just happy that I got the chance to tell her my story. And maybe if she my mom hopefully we'll get the chance to know each other.

Dear Dairy,

Years have passed since I last was alone wondering the streets. I'm now living with my wonderful new family behind that fence. Even though the lady wasn't my mom, she knew my mom, and she told me story about her. Her name is Sarah. Her and my mom used to be close until my mom disappeared. But Sarah knew that by taking me my mom would appreciate it. Also I reconnected with my grandmother and she was relieved that I was safe, but was angry that I ran away. But now everything is starting to recover, and that place of abandonment in my heart is now filled with hope. Anyway I have to go, so bye for now.


*Troy Bernal*

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