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RETURNING TO SCHOOL WITHOUT CHUCK



       It was strange to board the school bus without Chuck.  I was glad I wouldn’t be home when his mother arrived to pick him up.  The principal, after talking to Chuck, advised Deryl and mom to return him to his mother.  He felt that in all probability, Chuck would continue to get into trouble.  Chuck was sorry he had been caught, but he was not sorry for what he had done.  There was no repentance. If he had continued to live with us we would probably have encountered more of the same.
           
           The halls of the high school were busy as students walked to morning class.
          “Hey Gloria, where’s Chuck?” asked one of the ninth grade boys.
          “He’s returning to Albuquerque to live with his mother.”
          “Live with his mother?  What’s the deal?  I thought he was your brother.”
          “No, he was a just a boy who got into trouble and we were trying to help him,” I didn’t care if everyone knew the truth.  In fact my whole attitude was different.  I didn’t care if I was accepted at this school or not!  I even quit tagging after the click of girls.
          (We never saw Chuck again.  His mother wrote Mom a letter the following year asking us to take Chuck back.  He was in trouble again and was facing a term in Springer Reform School.)

       Barb quit writing to me and the following summer, when I was visiting Albuquerque, I called her.  She hung up on me.  She believed the lies Chuck had told her. So much for friendship.
        We had given up Childers Drive. Now, I was stuck in Hotchkiss.