The Franklin Files

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     So, the next morning before I went to school and after my dad left for work, I wrote a note on a paper towel and left it on my dad's work bench in the garage; a runaway note. 

     I don't remember exactly what I wrote after all these years, but it was something like this:

     "Dad and Mom,

By the time you read this I will be gone. I've had enough and I am running away. Sorry to say I'm not coming back, and you will never see me again. Love Darron"

     And then I left for school, with a change of pajamas in my backpack and my wallet with all the money I had in the world; thirty five dollars.

     I met Scott in front of his house.

     "Hey," he said.

     "Hey," I said.

     "I talked to my dad and he said its OK for you to stay here with us."

     Now, at the time I believed this, later when I was an adult, I seriously doubted this story, and then still later, I thought there might be something to it.

     One thing is for sure. Scott was serious about me staying with him (at least for the night) and wasn't worried about his dad at all.

     The other thing that didn't make a whole smack of sense, is why Scott thought that my situation would improve by coming and living with him and his dad, who he already told me beat him-- to put it bluntly, or why I thought the situation would be better.

     I think from my perspective I just wanted to get away from my mom, and as long as the beatings came only when I did something bad I think I could live with that. Scott seemed like he had a lot of freedom and I definitely admired that.

     Besides that, I didn't really know that Scott's dad beat him. I was beginning to think Scott was a compulsive lier, and he may have been lying about that.
     What I believe now is that I was being set up for something, something that almost happened but didn't-- due to one of those circumstances that Carl Jung would call Syncronisity, what others would call coincidence, and what I would call just being damn lucky.

. . .

     After school, we went to Scott's house, and Scott assured me that I could stay with him and his dad that he already talked to his dad and as the hours approached that his dad would come home Scott didn't seem to get any more anxious.

     I did however, and intellectually, I had no idea why. It didn't seem rational, but I remember telling Scott something that I regret having said to him.

     I said, "Scott, tonight when we go to bed, I don't want to sleep in the house, I'll sleep on the lawn chair out in your backyard."

    "Why?" Scott asked.

    "I just don't want to sleep in your house when your dad is home, that's all." I said.

     "Why?" Scott asked.


     "Because why?" Scott asked.

     "Because I don't know why. I'm afraid of your dad and I want to sleep outside, OK." I said,

     "Sure, " Scott said. "No problem. If you want to sleep out, you can do that."

     "Good," I said.

     I didn't realize it then, but now I believe that was a big mistake to tell Scott I was afraid of his dad and didn't want to sleep in the house.

     But, I went further than this and said some more things I probably shouldn't have, or that is to say I regret.

     "Scott," I asked.


     "That day we went to the rec-center remember?"

     "Yea," he said.

     "Did we go swimming?" I asked.

     Scott looked at me kind of funny, "You don't remember?"

     "A little bit. I remember that dude pulling my pants and underwear down."

     "What dude?" Scott asked.

     "The dude that we met at the rec-center, you know, the one that wrestled with us and stuff, and was feeling us up?"

     "I don't know what you're talking about," Scott said. "I don't remember any man."

     "So, " I continued, "you also don't remember being in a hotel lobby with a what-do-you-call-it, a tank full of giant gold fish?"

     "No," he said. "I think maybe you dreamed this."

     "I don't think so," I said.

     "And the night of the sleepover?" I started.

     "Yea, what about it?" Scott asked sounding a bit irritated.

     "Why is it I can't remember anything that happened that night?"

     There was a long pause and Scott didn't say anything for a few moments, and finally he said, "You don't remember anything on the night of the sleepover?"

     "Not really," I said.

     "Thats weird." Scott said.

     "Yea, so what happened?"

     "Nothing," he said.

     "What do you mean nothing? Something happened," I said.

     "I mean nothing happened, that's all. You probably don't remember because nothing happened."

     "Did we go streaking?" I asked Scott

     "Streaking?" Scott asked incredulous.

     "Yea streaking, across the street at the school."

     "I don't know what you're talking about." Scott said.

     "So what did we do?" I asked Scott.

     "Nothing, just like I told you." He said.

     I could see we were just going around in circles in this conversation. I did know one thing though for certain. Scott was lying to me. We did go streaking! That much I remembered. It's everything that happened after that that I couldn't remember.

     And we did meet a man at the rec-center. There was no doubt about that. Scott was lying to me, I just didn't know why.

     Scott then changed the subject and asked me if I was hungry.

     "Yea, a little bit," I said.

     It was about 5:15 PM about the time that I ate dinner every night.

     "You've got money right?" Scott asked me.

      I nodded.

      "Let's go to The Pizza Parlor," Scott said.

      "Alright," I said.

      The Pizza Parlor was across the street at The Ladera Center, and as we were crossing the street, my dad just happened to be riding his motorcycle, and pulled into the gas station that Scott and I were walking through towards the Ladera Center and spotted us.

     I froze, and I knew I was busted. I was supposed to be home like over an hour ago. I took my wallet out of my back pocket and secretly handed it to Scott and told him before my dad was close enough to hear "Hold on to this, give it back to me tomorrow."

     The reason I did that is I suddenly didn't want my parents to know I was trying to run away, if they thought that, they may never let me play with Scott again.

     My dad rolled up and said, "Your busted, get on the back of the bike."

     My dad filled the tank with gas and then we rode back to my house.

     Immediately after I got off the bike and while my dad was parking the motorcycle in the back yard, I ran over to the work bench and grabbed the runaway note and stuck it in my back pocket.

     My dad told me to come over to where he was and he had the paddle in his hand and he told me to bend over and grab my ankles, and for the second time since I met Scott, I got a hard paddling from my dad, this one even more humiliating because he gave me the paddling outside where the neighbors could hear me being hit and hear me crying.

     But, I am actually glad that my dad caught me, because I have become convinced that if my dad hadn't of happened to spot me, he never would have seen me again. I don't think anyone would ever have seen me again.

     That's because, although I didn't know it at the time, what I believe now is very likely is that the things I told Scott about some of the things I remembered and some of the things I couldn't remember, would be relayed to Scott's dad and uncle, and would make them very nervous; very very nervous. I think because I wasn't supposed to remember anything.



-- Edited by The Phantom on Wednesday 10th of March 2010 05:05:52 PM


"Sometimes when you open your mind to the impossible,
  you discover the truth." Walter from Fringe.

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