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Garbage. That’s what my house was full of. Garbage was everywhere. My mom and dad were hoarders. They would dig through trash looking for things they would never use. My mom, and my dad, and I we all lived in my great aunts house. She died before I was born. My parents told me that she was really rich, but in her will she gave nothing to us. Even the house we lived in wasn’t supposed to be ours. She didn’t know she owned it so the court appointed it to us since we were the only family she had. The house was old and rundown. It was one floor and it had four rooms, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a closet. My parents shared the bedroom, if you could call it a bedroom. It was filled to the brim with stuff. Anything you wanted you could find an old, cheap, knockoff of it in that room. But, I didn’t live in that house. I lived in the shed on a pile of old nasty pillows covered with a sheet I had hand washed myself. I visited the house like some people visit their sheds. I didn’t live there for a reason and that reason is a secret.
I was 11 and about 5 feet tall. My skin as most people would say was the color of sand, the exact shade. My hair was a light brown , and my eyes were a gray that most people mistook for a blue. As in people, I meant my parents. I didn’t go to school but I knew my basic reading, writing, and math skills. I also didn’t have a name. My parents gave me one, but I didn't learn it until later. I also had a habit of looking in the sky and talking to the air and saying that a cloud looks like a bunny, or a clock, or a turtle riding a skateboard. I felt that if there were no clouds in the sky that day it would be bad luck. But , then there’s the secret again, the secret which is the fact that I was claustrophobic.
I became claustrophobic when I was seven. I was in the walk in closet where I slept.I slept in the back of it. One night while I was sleeping, my parents had brought in some furniture and stuffed it in the closet, never to be used again.When I woke up I couldn’t move. If I moved an arm tons of stuff would crash on top of me. So I stayed there for almost a day, maybe a day and a half. My stomach was giving me these horrible cramps and I was dying of thirst. I managed to let out a horrible sound, without moving. Finally, a miracle happened. My dad opened the door and heard me. After a few hours of moving and shifting things he got me out.
One morning I woke up and went into the kitchen to grab something to eat. I opened the refrigerator door and looked inside. There was nothing in it except an expired bottle of mustard. I knew my parents were irresponsible , but I just couldn't take it anymore. I slammed the refrigerator door shut, fuming. Then, I heard voices coming from the bedroom.
" It's not my fault Jude I didn't poison him!"I could hear my dad talking. I quietly tiptoed to their room, wincing every time a floorboard creaked.I peeked through the door and saw my parents arguing.
"Why do you even care that he's sick, he's my dad, not yours." my mom replied.I replayed those words in my head."He's my dad, not yours." Hearing those words made me realize that I had a grandpa.I contained myself and listened more.
"I don't care, Gridgeon can die at St. Aarons for all I care." My dad shot back. So, I had a grandpa named Gridgeon who was at St. Aarons hospital. That was all I needed to know. A few minutes later, I started packing my bags.
I took a backpack that sat in the corner.I decided to pack only the essentials.I looked around me and found out that it would be an easy decision.The backpack I chose was a brownish blackish color (although I suspect it was naturally white) and it had worn out straps.But, by looking at the quality I could tell it wouldn't break. I went into my old bedroom and found a cookie jar shaped as a goldfish. It brought me back to the time where I saved every penny. Both my mom and my dad were jobless. So, I would spend my days walking along the streets searching for small coins lying around. I usually found pennies, nickel, and dimes, and a few rare times a quarter or a bill. I looked at the jar and opened it. My eyes widened in surprise, and a smile crept it's way up to my mouth.
Inside the jar was $73.17 and the best part was that most of it was paper money. I took out the money and held it in my hands. It was the most money I ever held at once. My fast breathing echoed my heartbeat. I didn't think twice about what I was doing. I decided to leave some money and a note. I took some money for the bus fare and started to write the note. When I was done, it came out like this.
I've decided to leave. I'm going to St.Aarons to find my grandpa. I hope you'll come too, if you do it, it means you love me. If you don't it means you don't care. I've left you money for your bus fare, don't worry.
If I was lucky they would follow me by the time they came back from their daily dumpster diving. I opened the door and went outside. The hot sun looked directly at me generously giving me it's warmth. It made me feel loved. I ran to the bus stop and waited, and waited, and waited. Finally the bus came. I hadn't thought about this part. I gave the driver my money and told her where I was going. Luckily, the bus was empty. This bus was probably the first on this round. I thought about how later there would be tons of people on the bus, it would be squished, it would be cramped. I did the first thing that came to my mind. I went to the very back of the bus, sat down, closed my eyes and slept.
When I woke up again I saw that there were five people on the bus. I asked the driver where we were and she told me that we would be at my stop in a couple of minutes. When we got to the hospital I thanked her and got off. I looked at the hospital. It was tall and sparkling white. The sleek glass doors opened as soon as you went near them. I walked through the doors and stepped inside the hospital. As soon as I did that a smell crept it's way up to my nose. It smelled clean, too clean. It smelled as if every single inch of the hospital had been scrubbed with bleach, and sprayed with alcohol. I went up to a desk. Behind the desk was a fairly pudgy woman, with thick, dry hair piled onto her head in a messy bun.
"What's your name", she asked? As she spoke I noticed that she had a British accent.
"Um." I replied."I'm looking for my grandpa."
"And what's your grandpa's name?" she asked.
"Gridgeon", I replied.
"What's the last name?"
"I'm not sure."
"You're not sure?"She raised an eyebrow at me. Just then the door opened and my parents walked in. My mom wrapped her arms around me and said to the woman,
"We'll be visiting Gridgeon Underman, he's in room 20B and we're family." My mom showed the lady her ID and the lady gave each of us visitor passes. It took us a while to find room 20B, but when we finally found it my dad opened the door and we went inside. Inside there was an old man lying on a bed. He had short gray hair and his slightly opened mouth let you see his perfectly straight, but yellow teeth. His glassy eyes were wide open and I noticed that they were the same color as mine. There was a rhythmic beeping coming from a heart monitor near his bed.
"Who are you?"he asked.
"Your family" my mom replied. We sat down and my mom fearlessly described how we became poor, and how my parents became hoarders. After she was done talking my grandpa looked at us and said,
"Remember, material things have prices, love is priceless." and with those last few words, my grandfather's head slumped,and the beeping became one long, never ending sound
After my grandfather died things only got better. My parents agreed to try to quit bringing unneeded things in. We also had a huge yard sale, and after a month we were able to get rid of everything not important. We also made $3,000. We used the money to buy food and renovate the house. My parents also started to home school me, and after a while I noticed that I wasn't claustrophobic any more.Today, I realized I still didn't know my name. When I went to my mom and asked her what it was she smiled and said, "Hope."