I can’t remember her name. When this dawned on me tonight, I immediately sat up in bed.
It’s not because she was a forgetable person. Far from it. She was one of the purest loves of my life.
At 12 years old I found myself back in the system. My latest adoption had failed and according to my family I was the demon child that ruined things for everyone.
I’ll call her Rose now because i cant think of anything better to call her than her actual name. A name that she deserved for me to remember. A name that I’ve somehow blocked out to get past another difficult life moment and through yet another placement.
We were in San Antonio’s emergency child shelter when we met. She was a beautiful person that knew exactly what we were both going through. A rare flower in a desolate world.
I remember talking to her about life beyond the walls. I remember holding her hand to tell her it would be alright… Even when the call came that she was to be moved to her next foster home.
I also remember being in shock when she returned to the shelter days later and admitted to sabotaging her foster placement just so she could get back to me. At 12 she had given up on adults and decided that I would be her future. I was stunned. Why did you do that??
I had been told by my caseworker that my brothers and I were to be adopted again. Our friends asked me how i planned to sabotage my next placement too so that my sweetheart and I could be together forever. I didn’t know how to answer. Juliet and her star crossed faux Romeo…. at 12 years old, i could only manage a sorry and a goodbye. I still had brothers to worry about. I left her behind and alone and I felt horrible knowing that I was obligated to do it.
Tonight, I cant even remember her name…
That’s the end of this story. Real life is no movie and this is one of a thousand haunting memories that keep me up at night…
Too often I have to remind friends not to compliment my past or how I delt with (survived) it. There is nothing heroic about it. Not even close.
-the Secondhand Child