Part I can be found here: Eric John
Part II can be found here: Eric John II
Part III can be found here: Eric John III
Eric John spent the day with the folks from children’s services. They kept asking him the same questions over and over a million different ways. He wanted to scream at them that he wasn’t a little kid but every time the scream would come he’d pat it down deep, take a deep breath and answer their question again.
He didn’t know. He wasn’t aware of his father’s whereabouts or even his name. His mother never mentioned her parents nor his fathers parents and he had never actually been curious to meet them – he figured if they were worth meeting his mother surely would have introduced them. Logic and sense were what guided him – what did these things have to do with where his mother was anyway?
Mrs. Wirsing had not been allowed to go with him to the children’s services offices – she had her class to look after. She had promised to check in with him regularly and he trusted her. It was still very difficult to see her walk away – he felt so very alone with these strangers and their questions.
Afternoon was upon them and one of the workers told him they were going to his house. Eric John was relieved, they must have found his mother. The worker seeing the light in his eyes had to let him know they were just going to grab some clothes for him for a few days until they located his mother. That brief moment of hope smashed to bits, his head hung even lower.
It was a quick car ride to his house and just seeing it made him swell with joy but also had a sense of dread that his mother was still not there – the lights were not on and they would be at this time of day.
He walked with the worker up to the house – the worker asked him for the key, which Eric John pulled out of his bag and handed to the nice man. He unlocked and opened the door and Eric strode in and stretched his arm across to the light switch.
Before him was chaos – the living room and kitchen, viewable from the foray, were in total disarray. The couch and tables overturned, drawers and letters pulled out of bureaus and desks. Eric John was stunned into silence – this wasn’t how he left it this morning. The worker quickly pulled him out of the house and back to the car – dialing 911 and reporting the situation.
Even among all that he had just seen Eric John wanted more than anything to be in his room, tucked in the comfort of his own bed and his mothers reassuring smile telling him it would be alright.
The police came and assessed the house – noting that everything had been looked into. Someone was definitely looking for something.
Two police officers questioned him about what would have been worth stealing, what would someone look for and of course about his mother. What was her name, where was his father and so on.. Eric John answered the questions as best he could though the answers he had given children’s services were much the same he gave the officers. He had no knowledge of something worth stealing or wanting in his home besides the comfort he had always found there – and now with it ransacked he may never find that there again.
They kept him in a police car for quite a long while, one kind officer was nice enough to bring him a hotdog and a soda – he hadn’t even realized that he’d not eaten since this morning. He polished them off and really wished he had another.
The worker came back to the police car with his cell phone and gave it to him. Eric John looked questioningly but answered – Mrs. Wirsing’s voice came through clear as day and some of the fear instantly vanished. She had been told about the house of course and was wanting to check on his state of mind, she tried to reassure him but she was beginning to doubt her own words. Never had this type of thing happened to one of her students before and she was unsure what role she should play. Eric John was her favorite student and she so wanted him to be ok even with all that had happened so far. After a quick chat and her informing him the rest of the class was keeping him in their thoughts and prayers they ended the call.
The workers then told him they’d been cleared to go up to his room and grab a few belongings. When they entered his room he could see that even that hadn’t been left alone – his books and toys were everywhere, his clothes tossed about with no care. He wasn’t sure where to begin cleaning things up but he felt he must – but he was stopped. They only had time to collect a few sets of clothes and maybe a book or two before heading on. He handed Eric John a small piece of luggage and told him he’d grab his items from the bathroom. His neatly folded shirts and slacks were crumpled and wrinkled now, his socks unpaired. He put together an ensemble or two for a few days and grabbed pajamas too.
As they were driving away he asked where they might be going – he was curious about that, even with his house as it was he felt he should be there in case his mother came home. The worker explained they had found a temporary foster home for him to stay – that was still within his school district – just a few blocks from it too.
That was good news for Eric John, some sense of normalcy would perhaps return and then maybe everything else… but there in the car on the way to the strange house, tears streamed freely down his face – the sense of loss for his mother finally starting to sink in.
The Next Chapter is here: Part V