must have been a mistake. Janice joined Greg. I heard them talking just beyond the curtains. Billy got me out of bed and got me ready, then he went out there with them.
The Child Services lady was getting a little bit peeved about all the stalling. “Ronald King. I need to see Ronald King and I think he is in here.” I hear her say. I imagined she was pointing toward my bed.
“Ronni King is in there, but Ronni is a girl, not a boy and she is a friend of the family, practically my daughter!” I heard Janice say. “The little boy you are looking for is back at that burned up house somewhere!”
I was ready. I sat on the side of the bed with the gown around my waist. I cupped both hands around my bare boobs and watched for the woman to either jerk the curtains back or poke her head in. From the sound of the conversation, I’m betting she jerks the curtain. And that is just what she did!
I looked at her shocked!
She looked at me shocked!
She snatched the curtains back and apologized for her intrusion. “No worries,” I said softly.
“See?” Janice said. “She is not that little boy! That is a teenage girl!”
There was some silence. “You should go back to those other siblings and question them,” Greg said.
“You people are pulling something,” I heard the woman say. She was a white woman in her fifties, gray hair. “I’ll find this out.” I heard her walk away. “I’ll find this out,” she said as she left. I pulled the gown up over my shoulders. A few minutes passed and then Billy and his Mom and Greg came back in. Janice tied up my gown and they helped me get back in bed.
“I don’t know if that’s going to keep the Child Services from coming back,” Greg said.
“I know. Greg, Janice, you barely know me…”
“Hush that up,” Janice said. “We’ve got a junk room downstairs that we are willing to clean out. It’s small, real small, but we could get you in there right away with a mattress and some covers. It looks like I’m going to have to bring you the rest of the way up.”
“You’re breaking through, Ronni, and we’ll help you find your path,” Greg said.
I looked around the bay they had me in and let some tears roll down. “I don’t eat much,” I said and I looked at Janice and tears filled her eyes, too.
“No, you pass it all down the table!” Janice said and we laughed. She bent over me and hugged my neck. I looked up and Billy and he had his back turned.
He turned around and was crying.
“My wonderful man, my love, I love you. Why are you crying?”
“You’re down to nothing again, no clothes, thrown into some corner with nothing but a blanket!”
I reached out and took his hand. “Look at me. Look at me, Billy.” He turned, his lip quivering. “That little room I’m going to, does the wind whistle through the slats in the wall in the winter?” He frowned and shook he head. “Then I am way better off than I was in that shanty with Mother.”
He put my hand to his forehead and closed his eyes real tight. “What?” I asked.
“I remember lifting you out that window and I looked around your room as the fire fighter pulled you out. There was one thing that lifted my spirits, made me smile,” he said all serious like.
“What?” I asked. I was anxious to hear this.