Letters to Anyone (Michael's Honesty)

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Letters to Anyone (Michael's Honesty)

Post  Michael Courtenay on Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:29 pm



(How ironic? I should take this journal's advice!)


Dear You,

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re one of my roommates because I’ve hidden this pretty carefully in my sock drawer- sorry if you find the fact that my clothes are all folded and color-coded creepy or weird. The truth is, I haven’t had a lot of people to talk to- except Talon, of course. I’ve always been the one listening, so this is a change for me. Thanks for opening this- I know it’s kind of weird to say to someone who’s reading my journal, but by reading further, it shows that you care. You must be a good person.

You probably don’t know me very well either, other than knowing that I look like I should be in primary school and often freak out about things that don’t actually matter. Most of the time, I’m too anxious and afraid to speak like I write, so I don’t blame you in the slightest. If you want to know everything, I’ll tell you, because I trust you.

A week before Talon and I got taken out of the house, Noreen caught up with me after Bible study and started crying. What was strange was that she wasn’t crying when she ran up to me, but she just bawled out of nowhere. This made me more nervous than sympathetic, and that made me feel like a bad person- but when I asked her what was wrong, she told me that her father was making her learn sewing (‘Women’s work’ in the Church’s eyes) while she wanted to cheerlead instead. When she noticed that there was a long pause after she was done howling, she stopped crying on the dime and said, “Don’t you care at all?”

I told her I did, but I didn’t know what to say because I was always the one listening to her, and I felt bad because I wanted to do something more than that. She said that I must never have had to give up anything that meant a lot to me. I started to tell her that Father made me give up baseball when I was fostered and she told me to shut up.

I worried about her a lot that night- if she kept her attitude up, her father (An Elder alongside my father) would surely hit her, and I didn’t want her to get hurt. Coincidentally, I got caught cleaning the microwave after supper- Aggie was washing the dishes as I was doing this and she warned and nagged that Father would hit me if I were caught and that I shouldn’t go against his wishes. I didn’t want to disobey Father, but in the moment, I didn’t care. I had to scrub the tomato-sauce crust that caked the glass plate. I had to. The second I saw it, my hands took over and my mind switched to autopilot- that’s how it usually went. I was jittery just because I knew I’d get caught, and I did when I was nearly finished. Father hammered me with a cane and recited Proverbs 22:15- he recited it so often that it’s the only one I’ve memorized: “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

I cried for awhile and tried to command myself to stop like Noreen seemed to be able to do easily, but I couldn’t do it. I repeated what Father said about how I shouldn’t cry because I’m a boy, but that just made me cry harder. I’m such a loser.

Talon was out that night, so he wasn’t around to coax me out of studying. I think he worried that I’d run out of steam eventually, but I’m dumb, so I had to study to get the grades Father wanted. For the next five hours, I was at the desk that Talon and I shared, writing close to ten pages of notes that outlined the chapter for history. I’m really terrible at history, because it’s a lot to memorize- the dates and what happened and everything. Anyway, the memory of doing this gets hazier and hazier toward the tail end, because I was tired and probably hypoglycemic because Father sent me to bed without dinner because of what happened with the microwave. I probably faceplanted the textbook and passed out, but I had a dream that Talon carried me to bed and changed my clothes.

The next morning, I freaked out because I hadn’t memorized the last half of the material.


(TO BE CONTINUED…)
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Michael Courtenay

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