Chapter 16: Life On Our Own

Life was rough, but we made the best of it. We were never late on our bills. We always had just enough to keep the lights on, feed ourselves, and take care of things around the house. But at the same time, Donnie and I barely had time to speak to each other. We weren’t even doing our homework anymore. It felt like we were playing a continuous game of catch up. Every day was the same. Wake up (tired), get to school late, get home from school, get yelled at by the principal, I started on the garden, and Donovan went to work. I took breaks to eat, shower, and pee, but that garden was our main source of income and we had to stay on top of it. Donovan got off work at 10, and if he wasn’t too tired, he would help me in the garden, and then we both would crash for the night. We didn’t have time for anything else!

Somehow, we managed to make a friend. One of Donnie’s classmates used to call for him all the time. It seems like he was at our house every day. It was funny to me because although he was a lazy kid, he was always so helpful at our house. I don’t know whether he was just that nice, or if he just felt sorry for us. He would take out our trash and wash dishes without us asking him to! I tell you…he was one guest that could keep coming! I was so grateful for him one night. Of course, my mother died before she had a chance to teach me to cook. I didn’t have natural talent like Donnie does. So I was just boiling some pasta for mac ‘n cheese, and the stove blew up! I was on fire!

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Everything happened so fast, I wasn’t sure what to do. I tried to extinguish myself, but everything was on fire! I was so afraid. But Donnie’s friend was there and he extinguished me and we both extinguished the fire together.

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I thought I was a goner, but Donnie’s friend saved me. I cannot remember his name for the life of me, but I do remember that his last name is Darling. He was truly a darling!

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After a while, Mr. Darling started calling to hang with me instead of Donnie. I don’t think Donnie cared much. He was never home anyway. I didn’t know what to think of him, but I enjoyed his company.

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It was times like those when I really missed mom. I had soo many questions and feelings and things to learn about life, and it appeared I was going to have to learn them for myself. I found myself asking strangers about woo hoo. None of them really gave me a straight answer though.

Like my mom told you all, I had been going to the gym. I decided to ask Darling to come with me. I thought it was a friendly gesture, but Donnie kept teasing me about going on a date. It wasn’t a date! Especially when all Darling wanted to do was take selfies.

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How did a lazy kid get so muscular anyway?

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