Holding Eric part 9
We left off with Eric sitting at the halfway house, uncomfortable sitting paying no attention Mrs. Darvan the school teacher talking about the civil war, pointing her long pointer at the chalkboard drawn map behind her desk, even that must have been from another school seeing they placed it on the wall with large screws and washers, just below it a soap tray mounted holding the eraser. Everything setup to resemble a classroom with world maps and time line history posters on the white walls, Eric looking over to Jon only pointing to the front sitting at his desk without books hands resting on the top, with a nod turning back glancing to Mrs. Darvan still raddling on seeing her name plate someone made in Old English type printing, frowning looking at the name Mrs. Devan with her name on the chalkboard Mrs. Darvan.
Lifting up in his seat checking out the only window visible with green leaves and tree branches mostly blocking the view, the only other window was in the door looking outward to the hallway, raising upward seeing if he could see anything around the hallway other than open doorways they already passed. Then it started Eric reaching down quickly holding his stomach while looking around the room as sounds of hunger echoed in the room disrupting the class, everything stopped no one said anything as the gurgling sounded again before stopping, Mrs. Darvan started talking ignoring the sounds when it started again trying to rub his belly not looking upward as she stopped, again the sounds overwhelmed the room.
Scooting low in the seat trying to avoid the stares from the others before Mrs. Darvan said outward “Eyes front” and right back reading, attempted to catch rhythm to whatever lesson she was blurting out, when another big one started it was a long echoing sound that again turn everyone’s heads backwards. Eric sighed and dropped his head to his desk as if trying to hide from Mrs. Darvan and the others sight.
“Hi” the young boy seating in front of him said quietly with a smile looking back.
“Hey” replied Eric, trying to dismiss the acknowledgement and return to his own seclusion.
“I’m Scott” the boy looked back to the front of the class at Mrs. Darvan. “She’s always been a wordy one, huh’ never seems to shut up till now” he snickered softly and then looked back to Eric. “Your name’s Eric?”
“It’s Eric ok”
“Pleased to meet you Eric! Am Scott’ so why you here?”
“Shh!” Eric hissed raising his head, “You’re going to get us in trouble” his eyes whipping back across the room toward Mrs. Darvan, then to all them oblivious around except Jon. Feeling it coming on again reaching down holding his stomach, feeling it coming on with a much bigger gurgling sounds of hunger just echoed in the room disrupting Mrs. Darvon’s class again setting her pointer down holding the book open looking back. Eric rolled his eyes as he tapped his fingers nervously against his desk.
“Jon would you mind taking young Eric to the kitchen to help him with his problem” Mrs. Darvan said setting her book down on the desk, watching them with the others holding back the giggles.
“Yes Mrs. Darvan right away’ Eric come with me”
Eric scooting out of the seat almost knocking it over hitting the edge more embarrassed just as his stomach gurgling while walking to the door to Jon, followed by some whispered giggles, Mrs. Darvan Lifted her head with a small smile before turning back to the others. Jon already walking towards the stairs, following behind him headed down to the kitchen area, glancing around the clean kitchen with chairs tucked under the table and a small cream and sugar set near the back side, Jon pointed to the chair, Eric pulled it out stopping as the gurgling started’ Jon stood by the refrigerator looking back at him.
“Sit down when’s the last time you fed that thing?”
“Last night sometime I think?” Eric sat down rubbing his stomach.
“You Think’ you had something to eat or you don’t remember what you had?”
“Maybe a sandwich …. Yesterday?” Not sure looking away
Jon not even surprised holding the refrigerator door open, shaking his head looking back inside.
“They didn’t give me anything at the Airport or even that other place with that officer”
“Ok that might explain why you were drinking the shower water”
“You seen me drinking the water? I needed something to drink” trying again to stop his gurgling
“Next time just ask’ don’t drink from the shower that’s gross”
“The Airport had vending Machines’ we had no time to stop rushing to thru terminals”
“What did you do anyway?” Pulling out a loaf of bread and a small package placing them on the table
“Went to my Aunt’s in Denver!”
“Nice going Denver’ so you in trouble, is that why you’re here?” getting a knife and plate
“No’ My Aunt brought me back’ said I had to come back and somehow ended up here”
“Baloney ok’ Mayo or mustard?” holding the door open waiting looking back
“Mustard you won’t get in trouble will you?”
“No of course not” Setting the stuff on the table making Eric’s sandwich, handing it to him on the small plate, sitting down watching him tear into it as it was his last meal pushing the lower part in puffin out his cheeks as chipmunks do eating walnuts. Eric heard a sigh creeping from his throat stopping swallowing
“You must be hungry do you want another one?” eyes wide watching him chew sitting more upward
Eric nodded gasping air as he push the last half in, Jon slid the plate over to him placing four slices of meat on the bread this time with a quick dash of Mustard in the center handing it to him “Slow down I’ll get you a soda try eating slower” Already biting into it seeing the mustard on the side of his lips, Jon picking up everything returning it, pulling out two sodas sitting back down watching Eric finishing it off.
“How long you been here?” Eric Asking opening the soda can
“Two years and three months” Taking the empty plate setting it aside
“So what you do anyway to end up here for so long?”
“Fighting at school all the time and not getting along at home”
“I’ll be out of here tomorrow! Going to my mother’s funeral”
“Funeral sorry’ Wait that’s why you got referred here?” Jon said’ Puzzled
“No’ because my father killed her’ maybe I was next on his list if I stayed around” burping after taking a long drink wiping his mouth off on the sleeve
“Good thing you got out when you did, who’s going to take you in the morning?” Checking the hallway hearing someone walking towards them not seeing anyone
“My Aunt will come get me” Another long Burp smiling
“Eric not so fast drink it slow’ so the police brought you here and didn’t say how long you be here?”
“My Aunt will come and get me’ she won’t leave me here” Finishing off the soda holding the can
“You got to follow rules here till she picks you up’ you did look at them right?”
“Sure” looking around him “so who this standing behind you watching us?”
Jon turning around hearing a rustling from behind “Get in here’ you know better than sneak up on anybody” the young girl walked in standing by the counter mostly looking at Eric “Eric his name and this is Tiffany”
“Hi Tiffany didn’t see you in the class?” Eric asking looking to her holding her cheek
“She on a break from school, they had to take her to the dentist today”
Squinting back watching her amused smirk holding her jaw walking away “Bye Tiffany”
“Come on lets go’ put your empty can in the box” Pointing next to the refrigerator pushing in his chair, the two headed down the hallway back to the bedroom. Jon stopping at the desk thumbing from side to side in the desk draws. “Yes here it is” Handing it to Eric sitting down next to him on the bed. “We have to follow rules … I’ve got a copy here”
Eric looking over the paper surprised at what was reading “You got to be kidding me”
“You’ve already started breaking them with talking back it’s being disobedience’s see right here” Pointing to the number on the paper sitting more on the edge of the bed
“Dressed and ready for breakfast at seven, till eight and school starts at eight that’s lam” Taking his finger going down the list “What’s this Chores’ me do chores what wash the floor and windows’ not me that’s for sure they can wash their own windows for all I care” Frowning handing him back the paper laying down on the bed adjusting the pillow to his head.
“What type of discipline do they have here?”
“You don’t want to know’ just try and follow the rules”
“Sure I’ll follow along for now anything else I should know about this place?”
Jon got up walking over to a large dresser opening a few draws moving a few things to another draw “You’ll put your stuff in here for now, nothing gets left out, all dirty clothes go in the basket in the corner and make sure your bed is made before you leave the room in the morning understand?”
“Sure I’ll play along for one night” getting up scooping his plastic bag stuffing it in the draw closing it looking at back at Jon now sitting on the bed.
“Frank shares this room! He’s not all there so if you say anything around him he’ll take it the wrong way and you’ll be in trouble”
“Sounds like Frank likes getting everyone in trouble around here, had a few in school like him”
“Just ignore him for the time being, Dinner will be ready at six sharp so make sure your hands are clean and hair combed before you go in the dining room’ whatever you do don’t sit down before Mr. Blanton signals us to sit down’ you’ve got to remember it was one of the rules!”
“Dam Rules” Eric’s eyebrow curled “So what do you do around here” seating down on the chair “So, how old are you?” inquired
“I’m fourteen’ stay here I’ll be back in a few” Jon said heading out the door
Eric looked around the room, thought for a moment confusion become restless getting back to the bed laying down staring at the top bunk, as his mind began to wander in an attempt to piece together what was happening to him. Picking up the paper reading what was required to stay within the rules.
While your here you will be required to follow the rules of the house with no exceptions, if you do not follow the below rules that are here you will have a punishment to the offence.
Mr. Blanton in charge of the Halfway house and will be address at all times as Mr. Blanton.
Children living here will be only address by their first name only, you will get along together without any arguing back and forth at any time, any arguments will be handled by the person in charge.
School hours will be strict so be on time for class, start time will be Monday thru Friday eight am till four pm, you will however have an hour for lunch that will be in the dining room.
Dinner will be at six PM sharp, you will be required not to sit down till everyone is asked to sit down stand behind your designated seat till your asked to sit down, During the meal you will eat everything that has been prepared, if you do not like a one type of food that will be on the menu for that week you must fill out a form as why you cannot have it.
The Bedroom that you will use will also be occupied by two or more persons, you will be responsible for its wellbeing keeping it clean at all times, School work will be done at the desk not on beds, you will keep the bed neat at all times when not in use, after you get up in the morning you will make the bed with all four corners tucked under the ends and pillow placed at the top, any extra blankets will be folded and placed at the bottom. Wear the proper pajamas to bed wake up time is six AM.
The Bathroom is for cleaning yourself and other personal needs, shower when you get up in the morning, washed your hair and keep it combed or brushed at all times.
Television will be in the study room and will only be on during the hours of six and eight pm, except weekends then only till eleven PM.
“How lame is this” tossing the paper aside adjusting the pillow relaxing knowing something that always assured him that he was meant for so much more, that there was a place where he belonged, wondering about his friend in the big green truck.
Things turned around thinking about the last time he sat on the porch away from the screams from behind him, he could hear his mother screaming at his father while he was tossing things around the room when she didn’t get him a beer, cringed as the sounds of metal hitting the floor or glass smashing against the walls, frustration and worried of fear he felt as his eye watered and tear rolled down his chin how much more could he put up with now even his Aunt seemed to abandon him, Eric struggled with his eyelids but they refused to open, his heart pounding trying not to remember what happen.
“Hey’ are you okay?”
Eric looked up as the figure of a small, boy came into focus, “Yeah’ what?” he groaned.
“Okay’ don’t move’ you’re going to be all right.” His voice became faint running back out the door
Rubbing his face with closed knuckles, Eric sat up in bed and looked around the room. Looking down at the floor scattered array of blood, his arm sore somehow while resting he must have hit the railing causing the bruising to rip open it was caked over the shirt sleeve dried, he felt weak lying back down.
Mr. Blanton came in the room with Jon and Scott following, Mr. Blanton reach down checking Eric forehead lifting Eric arm placing it on his stomach “ Eric’ Eric wake up son” Calling his name watching for a reaction, Eric slowly open his eyes tugging away thinking it was his father coming to get him again.
His hands turned to fists and he threw them upward protecting his face, Terror plagued his mind with his chest felt as if his heart were still racing within fear mostly from terror. Mr. Blanton reach up pulling at his hands free seeing the tears around his closed eyes waiting to get hit. “Eric you safe here open your eyes” Eric slowly open his eyes looking at him, feeling uncontrollable trembled in emotions that he lost everything.
“Eric you had a bad dream ok’ look you banged your arm let’s take care of that for you can you sit up?”
“It hurts so much!” he tried to say sitting upward his face coarse and red as Mr. Blanton help him sit upward, lifting his shirt looking at the dried blood.
“Jon will you and Scott take care of this I’ll take him to the office come in as soon as you can an don’t say anything to the others” Mr. Blanton said helping Eric up. Jon stood with Scott watching them leave the room, looking back down at the floor walking over pulling the blankets off tossing them on the floor.
“That was scary how did it happen?” Scott asked
“Hard to say I just left him for a few minutes’ help me before the others come in”
Bending down moving the blanket around seeing it was dried mostly, “I’ll get the wash bucket ok”
“Sure hurry back” returning wiping what he could.
Mr. Blanton walked Eric in the office seating him in the chair taking off his shirt slowly not to start the bleeding again seeing the marks up and down then spotted his backside “Who did this to you”
Eric sat trying to control his reactions from being touched “My Father” Eric feeling his hand washing down his arm its coolness caressing his skin, “I can’t even remember when it didn’t happened”
Mr.Blanton absorbing what had been said` cleaning and dressing the area watching his cringing trying not to shake so much “You don’t have to fear anything here” sitting in front of him looking at his watered face, keeping his voice low and unthreatening “I just want to understand what happen to you?”
The initial shock set the Eric off, tears sliding down his cheeks to realize he couldn’t fight this battle he had for so long, the words wouldn’t come out being placed here away from everything he had known, his breathing slowing back to normal looking up Mr. Boland hold a handkerchief for him.