Some Things Never Change

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I once lived in a small comfortable house across the street from a grocery store on a busy street, next to me were my neighbors, and they were not regular neighbors. I know that households fight, but this was different, it was weird, odd, and I became cold every time I looked at the house. There always seemed to be a problem there and even though my house had plenty of problems I was always so interested in their problems, I think I was just young and nosey. My house across the street from the grocery store that I once lived in had a great backyard, a very good size maroon wood deck where I played basketball with a child size basketball hoop. Mine and the neighbor’s houses looked the same exact that my roof was brown. When I observed the house the sun never seemed to shine upon it. It was gloomy in a sense.

Mark and Cindi were the names of the parents, they had four boys and one girl. Mark was Jamie’s step dad, I believe her dad tragically died in a car accident. All of the children’s names started with “J’. Everything was just different about them, not in a good way, basically a hillbilly way to be honest. Cindi always locked the four boys into a small Closter phobic bedroom with a mattress, one small window, and maybe a dresser. In the summer was the worst time to be locked into the small room with the small window, it was hot and humid and it just reeked of a musty smell. When my mom and dad got divorced my mom became a single parent that had to work and everyday I had to go to the neighbor’s so they could “baby sit me”. This is when I came to realize how selfish the parents really were. They had air conditioning but only in one bedroom, which was Mark’s and Cindi’s and the children were not even aloud in there. I soon became one of the children that got to be locked in a humid room all day. I was so confused, I did not understand why they had to treat us this way. We would be locked in the room all day long, and I longed for my mother to come get me so I could be free again. There was one advantage of being locked in that room and it was becoming such good friends with the four boys. We became so bored that we started creating this world of our own, we had outstanding imaginations that made me feel like the time went so much faster. When my time would come to leave the room of imagination I would be joyous, but I felt sad after every single time, looking at the boys eyes of nothingness not knowing why I could be free and they couldn’t. I always wanted to leave so bad, and then when I was home I wanted to go back. I think my mother knew about this, but she never really said anything, which I became more and more angry about over the years. Day after day we would be in the small room cooking up plans to escape out the window just for a little bit, the parents would not even notice, when we became a decent age we pretty much knew all Mark and Cindi cared about was smoking, drinking, smoking pot. The worst thing about this room was that we would have to yell from the tiny crack at the bottom of the door for water, food, to go to the bathroom, or anything pretty much, and we rarely got out. Knowing they never really got to eat I cooked up a little plan in my head, every time I would get to leave that room and go home I would walk to the side of my house with a plate of food for them since their window was right between the walkway of our two houses. I stood up on the vent and gave them things to eat and drink all the time. I did this everyday for as long as I can go back to my childhood at that house.

Around second grade my mom remarried and we were moving, not far but I knew I would probably never really see my four best friends anymore. We moved away and started a whole new life pretty much, and four the boys, I pretty much forgot about them and lost complete touch with them. Every now and then a thought of them would be in my mind. My mom would hear things about the family from time to time, how Jamie the oldest moved out to her uncles, see she was the lucky one, she had a whole other side of family that was willing to take care of her and pay for a lot of school and that. When I was in eighth grade I brought them up to my mom and she said the last she heard of them was that Cindi, the mother left Mark for someone and no one has seen her since. I wanted to know about the four boys, Joey, Jeremy, Jeff, and Josh, what happened to them?. Are they okay?. Time went on and I stopped asking questions to myself. The summer going into my senior year I was at a park hanging out with my friends and a couple people that I didn’t know (or I thought) came up to the boys I was hanging out with and started talking to them, they all knew each other, but I wasn’t really paying attention. As I am sitting and just talking a kid comes up to me and asks to bum a ciggerette, I say yes and I look up and what do you know, it was one of the four boys at my old neighbor’s house, it was Jeremy. We recognized each other right away and soon came to find out that he hangs out with a lot of people I know, I see him around here and there still and I’ve always wanted to ask him how everything is, but I never could really get the courage too.

After I saw Jeremy I started to see all of them around pretty much everywhere. One day I was pulling up to McDonalds drive through and Joe hands me my food, I didn’t really get to talk to him much, but I don’t really know if he’s doing to good, he didn’t look like it anyway. Then as I’m walking into the library one night I see Jeff sitting at a table, it was almost like he was in shock to see me, like he thought I was dead or something. I soon later came to find out that my cousin plays hockey with Josh, the youngest one and they are good friends. Then, I saw Mark, in bad shape, buying a case of beer for himself at seven eleven, he didn’t recognize me, and I didn’t expect him to anyways. I guess some things never change.





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