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Pen Your Pride

[8] Nathan

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Buy some food,

Someone drops a bill into your open hands,

And walks past without a second glance.

A kid on the street,

Was something that was looked past.

Like an old coffee cup,

Or a candy wrapper.

Satisfied,

You head back to the alley,

Where Mark waits for you.

You smile,

And show him the bill.

He runs towards you,

And wraps you in a hug.

Can we go buy food now?

You nod,

And hold his hand as you head towards a fast food building.

I miss Mom,

He whispers,

And squeezes your hand.

The truth is,

You did to.

She refused to run away with you,

And once the police came to arrest her,

For not allowing you to leave,

She told you and Mark to run.

It wasn’t her fault,

Instead,

It,

Is,

Yours.

But now that she’s gone,

You couldn’t worry about her,

Or where she is.

You just have to worry,

About food,

About shelter,

About Mark.

You need to provide,

Parent,

Take care of him.

Living on the street wasn’t working out,

At least not as planned.

So you knew you had to make a choice,

A choice that decided what was better for Mark.

You were being selfish.
Not allowing him to be adopted,

And have a better life,

Was a horrible thing for you to do.

Can I have a candy bar?

Normally,

You only ate healthy.

But Mark was never going to forgive you,

For the choice you were going to make,

So you tell him sure.

He knew what would happen,

If the social worker found you both.
He knew,

That someone would adopt him,

And he knew,

They wouldn’t adopt you.

You tell him you know a place you can go,

And he gets excited.

Really?

What’s it like?

You tell him you’ll be able to go to school,

Have food,

Have a roof over your heads.

So you lead him across town,

And stand in front of a building.

The pictures are on the window,

Noted as your missing.

You wrap Mark in a hug,

And tell him you’re sorry.

Sorry for what, Nathan?

You don’t answer.

Instead,

You lead him in the building.

Can I help you?

The secretary stands from her desk,

And her mouth falls open.

You’re the two missing kids!

Mark turns to you,

Eyes wide.

What’s going on?

You smile sadly at him,

As the secretary pages a social worker.

You tell him it’s for the better,

And Mark realizes what’s going on.

He bolts for the door,

But you catch him just in time.

He struggles to break free,

And begins to cry.

No!

What are you doing?

I don’t want to be taken away from you!

You hold him still as your social worker walks in.

His next words will ring in your mind,

For the rest of your life.

I hate you, Nathan!

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