Abandoned

by Leo Vitarelli, age 12
Abandoned Leo is 12 years old (about to be 13) and lives in Brooklyn, NY. He goes to Ms.839 and plays many sports, his favorite is baseball and basketball. He writes a lot of short stories, letters, and articles in school.

“I lay in bed thinking about what life would be like if my dad were here. Would I still be having trouble in school? Would Mom be happier? Back when my dad was still at home, I remembered him and mom making me breakfast every morning and waiting to see my face. He used to tell me stories before I went to bed. One of them I remembered was about a little girl who became a princess. Oh how much I missed my dad, I wish he would be there with me.”

As I woke up one Monday morning, I walked down stairs to smell the fresh bacon and pancakes stacked with butter and smothered with syrup on my plate. Mom was always excited to see my face as I noticed what new breakfast she made me that day, and I always smiled. That day I was especially excited because pancakes are my favorite food. 

“What do you think, Claire?” Mom asked as soon as I got down there. 

“Wow this looks amazing, I can’t wait to eat!” 

“Why are you not dressed yet?” Mom yelled.

“Because I wanted to take a peek at this morning’s breakfast,” I said.

“Well go get dressed now before you eat,” Mom scolded. 

So I went upstairs, got dressed, and packed my bag for school. As I was walking to my room, I could see the closed door of my mom’s bedroom and wondered where my dad had gone. Six years ago, he left us for God knows what reason. He could be dead for all I knew. I was only seven years old at the time and he just vanished out of nowhere. But I let it go and moved on with my day. I walked down stairs yet again and smelled the delicious food waiting for me. After I had eaten, I went to school with a very full and happy stomach.

Everyday last week mom had gotten a phone call from my teacher saying how missbehaved I was in class. Mom punished me very often so I’m used to it by now. I wanted to make today, and from now on a non-foolishness day so my mom doesn’t get upset with me, but of course that didn’t happen. I got yelled at for talking in class many times. When I got home, my mom was waiting for me at the kitchen table.

“Claire, you need to stop this, I can’t take it any longer,” Mom said.

“Can’t take what?” I asked.

“Your teacher called me today saying that you were talking a lot in class,” she said, disappointed.

“I’m sorry, I tried to stop interrupting but I kept talking to my friend, it won’t happen again,” I said.

“Go to your room,” my mom said quietly.

I lay in bed thinking about what life would be like if my dad were here. Would I still be having trouble in school?  Would Mom be happier? Back when my dad was still at home, I remembered him and mom making me breakfast every morning and waiting to see my face. He used to tell me stories before I went to bed. One of them I remembered was about a little girl who became a princess. Oh how much I missed my dad, I wish he would be there with me. Mom always cried about dad and how he left, she told me stories about him, but she never smiled when talking about him. I finally stopped dreaming and went to bed.

The next morning I woke up and looked forward to walking down stairs to smell the beautiful breakfast waiting for me. I hurried up and got dressed and ready for school. It was really quiet in the house but I didn’t pay it any attention. I was finally ready so I walked downstairs and didn’t see mom or any breakfast on the table.

I put my bag down and called, “Mom, Mom, Mooom.” 

No response. 

I checked every room on the bottom floor but mom wasn’t there. I went upstairs to her room and saw the closet door open. All of her clothes, gone. All of her shoes, gone. All of her bags and jackets, gone. I went in the bathroom and noticed the same thing. Her makeup bag with all of her makeup, gone. Her toothbrush and toothpaste, gone. Her hairbrush, gone. I was getting confused so I pulled the blanket off her bed and saw a note. As I opened the note I saw a $100 bill in it. The note read—

Dear Claire,

I’m sorry to do it this way, but I can’t take care of you anymore.

The stress of your bad grades, excessive calls from your 

teachers, and your dad gone is getting too much for me. I don’t know 

what to do or what you’re going to do, but I left $100 for food. Maybe 

you could ask one of your friends if you could stay with them for a while. I love you and I’m sorry.

From your mother, 

Grace.

I cried and screamed as loud as I could. What am I going to do? $100 to live off of? Where did she go? I couldn’t believe it, I don’t know why she would leave or who to live with. I went to school that day without eating any breakfast. When I got to school, everyone asked me what was wrong but I couldn’t tell them. However there was one person who I could tell. Rose was my best friend, I was thinking about asking to stay with her in her huge house and small family. So when I saw her in school, I told her exactly what happened.

“Why would she just leave like that,” Rose asked.

“I have the same question, and more,” I said.

“So do you think I could stay with you for a little before things get worked out,” I ask.

“I will tell my mom and ask her, I am sure we will have space for you,” she replied.

“Thank you so much Rose,” I said while giving her a hug.

It’s been two weeks now and I very much miss my mom. I want the amazing huge breakfasts and for some reason I missed the scoldings that she gave me after school. I feel a little bit better since I am with Rose and her family, but I dont know what’s going to happen. Rose’s mom has been trying to work things out. However, I wish my mom would come back. Nobody at school knows about my mom leaving except for some teachers, and they tried to comfort me but I don’t want it.

It’s Saturday morning and Rose and I are going to a waterpark. Since I had all of my clothes in a big pile on her floor, it was hard to find my bathing suit but I finally got it. It was kind of a long drive but I was relieved when I got there. I could smell the water and all I wanted to do was just run free on the rides. Rose and I were having so much fun and we even met this really cute five-year-old girl.

“Hi, what’s your name?” we asked her.

“Claire,” she said.

“What’s yours?” Claire asked us.

“I’m Claire and that’s Rose,” I said, surprised that we had the same name.

“Are you okay?” Claire asked thinking I’m sick because I’m weirded out.

“I will take you to my daddy and he will make you feel better,” she said. 

She takes my hand and walks me to a man sitting on one of the chairs. Claire tells her dad who we are meanwhile I’m wiping my eyes. When I look up, I look at the man and I am speechless.

“Claire, is that you?” he asked me.

I was in shock so I slowly say, “Dad?”

“Yeah I can’t believe it’s really you,” he said.

Since he left me and mom I am mad. “Where have you been?!!” I yelled.

“Is this your daughter? And why is her name Claire?!” I asked.

“I know you have a lot of questions and I will answer them, sit down,” he said.                                                                                  

Rose took Claire to go play in the water while I talked to my dad. He told me his story for about     20 minutes. So when I was six, my Dad met another woman named Charlotte while he and Mom were still married. He started to love my mom less and less everyday and wanted to marry Charlotte. By the time I was seven, he didn’t love my mom any more. The only reason he waited so long was because he still loved me very much. He didn’t know what to do so he ran away with Charlotte. He got married to her and they had a baby, he missed me so much that he named the baby Claire. He said him and Charlotte are divorced now and that he missed my mom. He wants to move back with me, Claire, my mom, and him. He said we could call Claire “Clara.” I tell him how my mom abandoned me and he tells me how we could reunite. Even though I am mad at him and still confused, I missed him so much that I agree to it. So I tell Rose and her mom what’s happening and thank them. We go home and when we get to our house, I call my mom but she doesn’t answer until the 5th try. I don’t even ask or say anything except, “You have to come home NOW!!” and hang up. We are hoping she comes so we can surprise her. About 2 hours later, we hear a knock on the door and my dad slowly opens it. As surprisingly as she left, she came back. She dropped all of her things and they hugged for like 10 minutes straight. She comes over to me and hugs me until I couldn’t breath. We explain to her what we want to do and she shockingly just agrees. Surprisingly I am not mad at them anymore because our family is united after all (in addition to little Clara).

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