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LIVE LONG ,LIVE GREAT, AND WITH YOUR HEAD HELD HIGH
I don’t need no body to tell me what to do, when to do and how to do it. I’ve been alone all this time so what if I get thrown out of one more house . I don’t need anybody. I’m Harry Gonzales ! I was alone from the start ,and I’m going to be alone till the end. So no use worrying about it. Then why am I so nervous, I don’t care. I wont care. Harry Gonzales thought, as he ran up the hill to the tiny farmhouse. Harry finally slowed down, when he came to the porch steps.
“ I don’t need anybody. I wont need anybody. I don’t need anybody. I won’t need anybody,” Harry whispered to himself repeatedly as he climbed up the porch steps.
“ Oh, really, son ,I beg to differ,” someone said from the front door. “ It seams’ to me that you need someone to bandage those cuts of yours.”
“Really, well I don’t think so. So, get out of my way old man,” Harry grumbled as he put his hand in his jeans pocket. Then grimaced, as the cold air of the night made his arm wounds more painful to bear. He’d ruined his new and only jacket in the fight. I don’t care about that jacket, Harry thought. It was just a cheep ,present anyway, it’s not like he paid a big deal for it. Was probably two dollars or so. Just a little charity contribution for the homeless.
“ Listen kid, I’m your guardian not your personal bean bag for you to take your frustration out on. Know listen kid I’ll, I’ve been patient enough. It’d about time you took some responsibility for your lousy actions,” said Gabriel Detroy. Or the big man as Harry calls him in private. “ I know your not here on your on choice. And I’m not doing this for you but for my sister. My sister as in your public consultant. So rather then make it hell for both of us to live here why don’t you make the best of your and mine situation and actually take chare of your life and make some improvement’s.”
“ Hugh, I don’t need your some excuse of a chance.,” Harry mumbled.
Gabriel counted to ten in his head and then let out a few breath’s slowly. Stay calm, stay calm. The kid’s just going through a difficult time and a teen rebellion at the same time. Yea, that’s it, the kid just need’s some space and privacy. No, I don’t think that’s it I’ve been trying that for a whole month and it doesn’t seem like it’s working.
“and besides, why do you care so much. I’m just a charity accomplishment for you. Something that will look good on you résumé,” Harry said. As he walked past Gabriel to get to the front door.
“ ok, I had enough of your attitude. Now it’s time to clean up your act or…..” before Gabriel could finish his sentence Harry turned around with a look of satisfaction on his face but his eye’s looked like something Gabriel had recognized in himself years ago. “ Or what, hugh, or you’ll throw me out of the house. Well, guess what , I don’t care if you throw me out of the house. In the first place I didn’t even ask to come to this hell whole. I know I’m just one of your projects were you could play with people’s life well I won’t let you this is my like and I’m gonna live it like I want to.”
What could’ve made this kid get that look in his eye’s, Gabriel thought. If it had been anyone else they would have guessed it for pure lethalness but Gabriel new that look. He’d recognized it as the same look that he had got after the death of his parents. That look that had his sister backing away from. That had everyone backing away from him. The look, the same look that he’d get every time he was fired from a job. That one look, and Gabriel new that being patience wasn’t going to be a way to handle Harry.” look kid I don’t know where…”
“ Oh, don’t try to hide it I bet you were planning on how you could make a easy get away from the beginning. Don’t worry I won’t tell anyone . It’s not like you’re the first one to make a easy get away.” Harry said. As Gabriel moved to stop Harry the access to the house. He knew that if Harry got inside he would never get a chance at this again. It was a situation that would deiced what kind of life would Harry lead. If he wanted to help this kid then he would have to stop handling him with soft gloves. He needed to get everything out in front of Harry before it got too late to redeem the look in his eye’s.
“Listen kid, I don’t know where you got that idea, but having been through that you might have been through I wouldn’t except anything else. But kid at some point in your life your going to except help one person or the other .but it depends on you if you take it sooner or later. Besides, what you’ve gone through is maybe rare but going through a stage of rebellion is normal for kid’s of your age is normal. Though, your history doesn’t very helpful in this situation. You can take that as a point of view how’s been through the same thing.”
Gabriel said as he motioned toward the chairs behind them. “ If you wouldn’t mind we could talk this over by sitting down.”
Harry snorted. “ Yea, how can you saw that with such confidence that you’ve been through what I have.”
“ Well, I guess we won’t be sitting down for a while. Well for one thing I was orphaned at the age of ten and I was kicked out more orphanages then you could count on your hand and toes. I had a criminal record as long as your high.”
“ So what am I suppose to congratulate you on that or what.” Harry said rolling his eyes upwards. He moved towards the railing as if needed the support for rather then to control the rage or the pain of the wounds, Gabriel didn’t know.
“No, your suppose to learn something from that,” Gabriel said, as he narrowed his eyebrows.
“And that was what,” Harry mumbled.
“ That there is always a way to reach the top but how you get there is what really matters if you even get there.”
“ And that goes with your oh, so sad tragedy how?”
“ Well for one thing after my parents died I was soo devastated that I would let out my own raw feeling’s on my little sister. I would get into fight’s with older kid’s and it was like that till my senior year . I was the most feared guy in school and in the neighborhood and then one day, I was having a bad day. I had been kicked out of four of my classes and been sent to the principle two time’s. And out of no where this helpless looking guy, who seemed to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I don’t know what I was thinking but I started punching him. I wasn’t expecting what happened next” Gabriel stopped talking and took out and led a cigarette.
“ well what did happen,” Harry asked. At this point Harry was so hooked up that he didn’t even feel the pain of his wounds. Gabriel smiled he knew that he’s caught Harry’s attention.
“ He punched me back,” Gabriel said as he inhaled his smoke.
“what the freak, you know I’m starting to think your making this up,” Harry said. “ No way anyone would do that unless you were bragging about your reputation or that guy was stupid.”
“ Yea, that’s what I thought at that time too. Which made me even more angry, and in the end we both got suspended for two month’s. and later I found out that his name was Santiago and was a transfer student, he’d been kicked out of his last school because of his violent behavior. After hearing about that I went to see him. I thought when I got to his apartment I would have to go through parent’s and siblings who would open the door. But actually it was a little girl, about my own sister’s age. Around thirteen years or so. She looked me up and down . Then asked “ Are you Gabriel Detroy?”. I told her I was. I was accepting a mean look that would say that “ your not invited ,so, get out of here,” but instead she held out her hand and said , “ Thank you for beating some sense into my brother” . I stood there trying to comprehend what she had said. It took me a few minutes to realize that she was still holding out her hand . She noticed at what I was looking at said, “ your suppose to shake it, you know.” she then rolled her eye’s upwards. I shook her hand and asked her if I could see her brother. And she let me in. when I got in I saw it was a one room apartment just like the one me and my sister shared. It share many similarities’ to my apartment. Such as no furniture except for a table and two sleeping bag’s. The kitchen looked like it was barely used. Santiago was sleeping on the floor.
“ someone here to see you, sleepy head.” his sister shouted. “ so get up and look respectable, I’m going know it’s time for my shift at Macys. See you at dinner, and I hope your staying too?” she asked me. By that time I had decided that both sibling’s were nut’s.
“ Ugh, no thanks’, I have to get back to my little sister,” I replied to her. She shrugged, and ran out of the apartment. By then, Santiago was awake and mumbling about arrogant sisters.
“ So, I guess you’re here to settle your score. Well, let me tell you something. I don’t plan on fighting you again or………”
“ what you chickening out?” I said to him before he could finish his sentence. Which was useless anyway since he kept on talking as if I hadn’t interrupted him.
“ or anyone else, in this case.”
For a minute I was so shocked that all I could say, was “ hugh.”
Seeing my confusion he said , “ what happened , at school was an accident. An accident , that I don’t want to repeat again. Listen to me, this is my only chance left. Ok, I made a promise since are parent’s have died . And that is I will provide and care for my sister, till she need’s me. And , with child care threatening to take Niña away,” that’s when I realized I didn’t know the name of his sister. “ I can’t just think for my self I need to do this. So, please leave if you don’t have anything else to say you can’t leave.” that’s when I saw the same look I have seen in my self …and you. The look , that preserved you pride. And I realized the same thing could happen to me and Maria. I moved to lean against the bathroom’s wall.
“ I didn’t come here for a fight,” I told him.
“ Really, I thought that went against your nature,” he replied back.
“ yea, well don’t get your hopes up either. I’m not here to see hoe your faring. I wanted to ask you some thing ,” I told him
“ Yea, what is it?” he asked me. He looked puzzled.
“ Well, why did you hit me back? Is it because you didn’t know my reputation or what?” I asked him.
He looked at me as if I was stupid. Then something clicked in his eye. “ you really don’t know why?” He said softly. I just nodded my head. “ well, why did you start hitting me?” He asked, me a few minutes later.
That really took me by surprise. “ Well, I was ticked of,” I said.
“ See, so was I. here I was trying to do the right thing and this guy comes out of nowhere looking big and scary. Then, what does he do, he star’s pounding me. So, what do you think I do , I start hitting him bank.” That made me grin.
“ You know, you’re the first person to punch me back.” I told him. Then, I started pounding why I did tell him.
“ Well, it looked like you did need a beating ,” he said.
“ You, have the eyes of someone possessed.” he said. A matter-of-factly. That’s, when I realized what I had done. I had driven out my sister and everyone from me. It was the same thing that Santiago was doing but he got a wake up call in the form of his sister as Santiago was mine’s. since, then I turned around my attitude got a scholarship to Stanford. Got a major in math and made lot of money and then retired to the country. In , all my years I haven’t seen anyone with the same eye’s as me till I saw you at Maria’s office.”
It took Harry a few minutes to digest that. When he had enough of it he asked, “ I still don’t get what the lesson is suppose to be.”
“ LIVE LONG, LIVE GREAT , AND WITH YOUR HEAD HEALD HIGH. BUT NOT SO HIGH THAT YOU DON’T SEE THE DITCH IN THE ROAD.”
Hackettstown, New Jersey
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