Buns of Steel, Chapter 11: Skipping Turns

     “You’ve been skipping school again, Mr. Williams?”

     Charlie was hoping this conversation was on the verge of avoidance, but here she was; talking about it at the last possible second. ‘Of course she waits ‘til I’m doing dishes to bring this up. Typical.’ Charlie thought to himself. “I asked you a question sir,” she persisted. Charlie took a deep breath before he answered. “Yes Mama Dee. But—” She didn’t give him the chance to complete his sentence. Donna smacked Charlie so hard in the back of his head he thought he felt his ear drums rattle.

     “What did I tell you about school?! You want kicked out?! You’re gonna end up just like your daddy. You want that?! You want people looking at you how they did Clarence?! What is wrong with you boy?” She kept going on and on, and eventually Charlie just tuned her out. She was asking what was wrong with him while he wondered what was wrong with her. He’d never seen his foster mother flip like that before. Was there something going on? Charlie finished the dishes and chalked the reaction up to a bad day. After the day he’d had, he was in no mood to pursue the issue.

    Everywhere Charlie turned there was something or someone there to remind him of his past. Today it was Allen after gym; tonight it was Donna after dinner. And who was that man watching him at the park? Was there even a man there? Charlie thought he’d noticed a homeless guy watching him shoot around and practice his layups, but when he turned around to see who it might be, there was no one there. Maybe it was just a feeling. After all he had been having nightmares lately. He didn’t know what the reason for that might be either. His sixteenth birthday was coming in a week; leaving Charlie wondering who he’d turn out to be. He definitely didn’t want to be his father; a paranoid schizophrenic turned murderer. He only wished he could talk to his mom; his real mom.  

     Charlie wasn’t just skipping school, he was skipping life. No matter how far he tried running away, the trauma of his childhood caught up to him. Now it was beginning to eat at him from the inside out. He was rarely ever happy; always really angry or really sad. Charlie waited for Donna to pass out on the wine. Maybe it was the pills this time; he wasn’t really sure. Lately for some reason Donna was high strung and always taking medicine or drinking. He didn’t ask about it. Part of him wanted to know, but he was dealing with his own problems. Charlie packed up his book bag and called David. He wanted to be in a place where feelings didn’t have such a negative connotation. He wanted to feel, but he wanted to feel safe.


    What do you think is going on with Donna? 

   What do you think is going on with Charlie?

   Who do you think has better Emotional Intelligence, Charlie or Donna? Why?

Buns of Steel. You don’t want to miss what happens next!