Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: REMEMBER (10/19/17)
- TITLE: Can I Be Frank
By Donna Powers
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But when I came out of the corner store this afternoon, my life was changed, in an instant.
It’s not like my life is bad. I live in a nice apartment. School is mostly OK. I’ve had enough to eat and have my own TV and plenty of games. My parents seemed pretty cool, too. OK; my Mom was a little too protective but she let me listen to whatever music and watch whichever TV shows I wanted.
What more could a kid ask for? I can honestly say my life seemed pretty cool.
But, I’d always had this nagging feeling Mom and Dad weren’t my real Mom and Dad. It’s just: when you’re fair-skinned, blonde and blue-eyed, and both your parents have brown hair and brown eyes, you’ve gotta wonder. I’d asked them about it, and they’d shown me a picture of some blonde guy named Uncle Fred. But… I’d never actually met my Uncle Fred.
And, I also kept having these dreams of a fair-skinned lady blonde hair and blue eyes, and a freckle on the tip of her nose. Whenever I woke up from that dream, I’d always figured I’d seen it in a movie or something. I didn’t think it could mean anything.
But it did.
Because today, when I came out of the store with a snack and walked around that corner, I saw a fair-skinned blonde woman with blue eyes and that freckle on her nose.
I knew –without a doubt – she was (is!) my Mom.
My real Mom.
My soda splashed on the sidewalk and the chips spilled onto the grass. My mouth went dry and I’m sure I turned pale as chalk. All of a sudden, I saw myself in a completely strange house, with that lady. I knew right away that room and this lady were part of my history just as surely as I’d just gotten a B on my Math test last week.
I wanted to shout, “Mom!” but my voice wasn’t working.
Then she saw me and her face turned as pale as I must have been - and she stared back at me. She gasped and whispered, “Frank? Is that you? Oh, my God! Frank!”
Whoa. So. Frank is my real name. My name is … Frank.
I inched closer. I figured I had to be dreaming, but longed to be wrapped up inside that dream. I blurted, “Yeah. I think so. I think … you’re my Mom.”
She cried and hugged me so tight I thought I’d split in two. Me and Mom (Mom!) walked over to a bench and just hugged each other for like forever, and the full truth flooded over me. I was scooped up inside it and it was so real I could barely breathe.
The next thing I knew, we were at a fast food place and ordering food. While we waited, she told me a story of when I was about two, and of leaving my stroller next to some dress rack while she looked at scarves for a minute.
When she’d turned back to the stroller, I’d been gone.
Tearfully, she told about her last thirteen years: searching for me. Thirteen years of crying and praying for my safety. She told me about my Dad. My REAL Dad. He sounds totally cool, but…
But how in the world had I ended up living with Mom (Not Mom!) and Dad (Not Dad!)?
She didn’t know.
She’d called the cops while we were getting the food. When they got there, Mom(!) told the cop about me, and then we both answered lots of questions.
I felt fear, joy, confusion, wonder, and – for some reason – guilt. Because after the cops asked us their questions, she told us some other cops were going to go to my house (not my house!) to talk to my parents (NOT my parents!!).
So now we’re waiting, at the police station.
Mom is still crying and I’m trying to stop crying. She keeps telling me to eat but I just can’t. I just keep staring at that little freckle on her nose, and what keeps running through my head is:
My name is Frank. My name is Frank?
I don’t know what my future holds, but… my name is Frank.
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