Spencer's Forever Home is not the happy ever after, he had hoped for.
|“It’s not like I failed on purpose,” said Spencer Marshall. His moist eyes shifted from Emmanuel Diaz’s scowl to a small coffee table. Upon it sat a near empty glass of Jack Daniels. Beside this, was a threadbare table tennis paddle. “I promise I’ll do better next time.”|
“I’m not interested in your empty promises.” Said Emmanuel. “You should have spent more time studying, instead of playing Xbox. What’s the point of us paying all that money for you to go to a Saint Marks, if you’re just too darn lazy to learn anything?”
“I tried my best,”
“Your test results suggest otherwise. Struggling to make ends meet, in one low-skilled job after the other, is not an ambition you should aspire to. How on Earth do you hope to be a scientist if you can’t pass exams?”
“I don’t wanna be a scientist, I wanna be a taxi driver.”
“It’s not just academics, Spencer,” said Charlotte. “There is an over-all decline in your conduct, attitude, and willingness to participate in class activities. These are serious failings, and you need to explain why they are happening.”
“I don’t know, Misses Diaz,” said Spencer, shrugging his shoulders.
“Well, you better start knowing, and do something about it. Just remember, your adoption is still tentative. You need a Forever Home, more that we need the hassle of trying to raise an incorrigible ten-year-old. Quit misbehaving and pushing boundaries!”
“I hardly ever misbehave.”
“I had to give you five timeouts last week.”
“For things that weren’t even my fault.”
“We have opened our home and hearts to you, and all we have got so in return is aggravation. Your parents must be turning in their graves with disappointment, at how much of a horrid little failure you have become.”
“You don’t really mean that,”
“Your education and discipline are our responsibility, for as long as you’re in our care,” said Edward. “We cannot, and will not, allow you to underachieve, and misbehave at school. You’re going to get a good spanking, for being so naughty. Lay your tummy down on the couch and hold still.”
“Please give me another chance. I’ll be a good boy from now on.”
“No more chances.”
“On the couch, Spencer. Now!”
Spencer climbed facedown onto the couch and braced for impact. A firm hand gripped his upper left arm to prevent him from fleeing. He kicked and shrilled, as he received six sharp swats on the seat of his chinos with the paddle. Edward hauled him back up onto his feet. Tears spilt down his reddened cheeks.
“That really hurt,” said Spencer, rubbing his smarting butt.
“Serves you right,” said Charlotte. “Now go to your room and think about what you did, and you can forget about any desert tonight.”
“You can also forget about going to Splash Palace on Saturday,” said Edward. “You’ll be staying home and doing chores instead.”
“I hate both of you!”
He ran crying from the living room to his own bedroom and slammed the door behind him. Bitterness motivated him to kick a discarded Marvel Wolverine Action Figure, from one side of the room to the other. Charlotte and Emmanuel had given it to him the previous month, for his tenth birthday. His affection for the toy felt spent. Cursing under his beath, he threw himself on his bed and cried long and hard.