My New Friend
Author's note: I wrote this piece that first started off as just another school assignment but turned out to be... Show full author's note »
My Old Friends“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”-
Winston Churchill May 10th, 1940
I don’t think my mother ever approved of my friends. Ever since I was in grade school my mother seemed to act in disgust towards them. Many of them picked up on this vibe and stopped coming over and stopped talking to me in school as if it were my fault. I would spend endless days on the playground alone on the swings watching the other kids play. I hated being alone, and I would have given anything to be with my friends. The only friends, it seemed, were the ones I had when I came home from school. I never told anyone about them especially my mother. I feared that they too would be scared off. When my mother ever asked, “Who are you talking to up in your room?” I would simply reply,
“No one mother. I am playing by myself.”
My mother didn’t question it. She would simply go back to cooking for my father. My friends up in my room were the same age as me. When I entered my room, they would be running across the lawn and climbing up the ladder that I left there for them so they could get through the window. I didn’t understand why they never went to school with me. There were Phil and Ted, both of them seemed to just come up to my room one day when I was crying by myself after a long lonely day at school. I was in the third grade at the time and they came creeping into my room and asking if I wanted to play. Of course I did, and we stayed in my room playing together. Phil had black hair and freckles all over his face, as did Ted, except Ted had red hair, glasses and had a large tummy that would stretch over his belt.
Every day after school I would drop my back pack and run past my mother cooking and my drunken father and head upstairs. But soon I couldn’t keep my friends anymore. One day I was upstairs playing upstairs with my friends and we were louder than usual. My father was drunk and I heard him screaming and cursing at my mother. Then I heard his thunderous feet coming up the stairs. I told Phil and Ted to hide under my bed. My father came into the room roaring with his deafening voice. With his long hair soaked and his beer belly moving through the air, he began to lash out at me. Bellowing out words that were in such rage that they were barely audible, he began beating me. I could feel his oversized fists land every punch and with each one came more pain than the punch before it. I don’t know how long it was but by the end of it, I could barely keep my eyes open. The last thing I heard from my father was, “I don’t want to ever hear you talking to yourself again.”
I was no match to fight back. I was a gaunt skinny kid with glasses. What could I do against him? When I could finally keep my eyes fully opened, I searched for Phil and Ted, but they were nowhere to be found. I looked everywhere for them. I never saw them again, and I lost my best friends. I spent the rest of school including high school all alone. I never had any new friends. I sat at the lunch table alone and even the bullies didn’t come near me. Life at home was terrible. We were poor and my father was constantly drunk and my mother was so busy catering to him that she never bothered to pay any attention towards me. I properly should have run away, but I stayed, hoping my friends Ted and Phil would come back, but they didn’t. I graduated high school in 1968 with no friends and no future.