Catching up with the Caffeli's

As Charlie shredded open his present, and the wrapping paper scattered around the floor, I couldn’t help but realize how much “Baby Charlie,” had grown. It seemed as though he was just a small infant not too long ago. It was right after the holidays and my families first time seeing his family (Genevieve, Kennan, and Charlie) in the new year. I was sure that my family was just as excited to see them as I was. Our families are close and since we hadn’t seen them in a couple of months, so we were all extremely anxious and joyus to see one another.

When we all finished opening our presents, my brother, Charlie and I headed for the basement. While we sprung down the carpeted steps to the basement, I recalled that day a few years ago, around the same time of year, when my Mom gave my Brother and I a shout to come upstairs. Still now, I can envision our talk as if it were yesterday. She had told us in a calm voice that Claude, Genevieve’s husband, (Charlie and Keenan’s Dad) who I had known for years and even had been babysat by, had got into trouble. She told us that a little boy, about five at the time that I knew, (that was “out there”) had accused Claude of molesting him. At the time, I didn’t know it was such a big deal, but as I later figured out, he was sent to jail for a crime he did not commit. Five years of an innocent man’s life wasted just because of a five year olds lie.

When the night wound down to its end, and the moon lit the sky, Genevieve suddenly received a phone call. She took the call and mouthed, “Claude,” to us. When I saw that name, I lit up with excitement. She talked for a while with him as we huddled close to her, listening in on the conversation. She then handed the phone to my Mom, who also talked for what seemed as though it was an eternity. But suddenly, I was given the phone. I was quickly overcome with mixed emotion. Feeling sad, nervous and joyful all at the same time. With a deep Peruvian accent, Claude started the conversation with a simple,

“Hello, Garrett,”

“Hi, Claude!” I replied with anxiousness.

“How have you been, how is school treating you?” He asked with a meaning, trying to see how things were going.

“Oh its fine, how are you?” I responded, even though I knew I probably wouldn’t get his whole, truthful thought.

“Well I’m okay,” He answered, but I knew in his tone I knew how he felt. Where you feel trapped and unfairly judged, in a place where you don’t belong.

While our talk continued on about memories of camping and staying up north at their cottage, watching the World Cup at their house, as well as playing soccer in our backyards in the summer together, I swept over with sadness. I thought of how long it had been since I had actually seen Claude last. It had to have been four and a half years!

“Well Garrett, I have to go now.” Claude said.

“Okay, hopefully I will see you soon.” And with that the phone cut out.

As the call ended, so did our guests stay.

The family soon went home after that, but my memories with them stayed at my home with me, never to be forgotten. That cold, January night has been an important memory for me ever since. It has shown me that your time on earth goes by quick. Even if your time has been unfairly taken from you, try and make I the best out of it. I now know that when they say, you only live once, that they don’t make the same mistakes they, or others have made.





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