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Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:29 pm

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What a scared little seven year old boy I was when the orphanage finally let me out of that dark closet, after two days.

I took my bath, brushed my teeth with soap and dressed myself for school in the clothes that the matron had laid on my bed. Clothes that were always too big, or too small for me.

When I reached Spring Park Elementary I just kept walking past the school building because I was so afraid the other kids in my classroom would make fun of me because of all the black and blue marks on my legs where I had been whipped with the polo paddle.

I walked and walked for what seemed to be hours. Finally I came to this great big wide street which was at the end of Spring Park Road. I had never seen a street that big before and I had never seen so many cars in all my life. Across the street was a big brick store and the sign on top said Preston's Drugs.

There was also a sign in the window that read "Everything you'll ever want is here."

It took me almost and hour to get across Atlantic Boulevard, because I was so scared. But finally I ran across the road as fast as I could and none of the cars hit me. Then I walked into the large Preston Drug Store and noticed people sitting at a counter drinking drinks with ice cream in them. I had never seen anything like that before. I don't think I ever had ice cream before, but that is not what I was looking for anyway.

The sign said they had everything that you would ever need, in the whole wide world. I had heard about something very special and I wanted to buy one if they had it. I looked, and I looked, and I looked but I just could not find the thing that I had heard about on the television movie. Finally this old man grabbed me by the arm, and it scared me real bad too.

"What are you doing in here, boy?" he yelled at me.

"I'm looking for something special," I told him, as I backed against the wall.

"Are you stealing stuff?" he said as he pointed directly at my nose.

"No Sir, Mister," I said. "I'm not a stealer."

I was taken into the back office and a policeman came and asked me why I was not in school. I didn't tell him anything because I was afraid that he would take me to jail for running away from the orphanage. So I just started crying really loud. After the policeman left the room this old lady, about twenty-five years old, came in and sat by me.

"Were you stealing?", she asked me.

"No ma'am. I was just looking for something special," I told her.

"And what might that be?" she asked.

"Do you have a 'hug' in this here store?" I asked.

"We always have hugs for kids in this store," she said as she stood up, wrapped her arms around me and squeezed real tight. She smiled, walked out of the small office and when no one came back for a long time I looked out the office door and saw that the back door of the store was open. I quickly walked out of the back door and I ran all the way back to school.

When I got back I found out that I was only 20 minutes late. I was the only kid in my class that day that did not have the five cent milk money for lunch. But that was OK, because I had laid my nickel on the man's desk at the Preston Drug Store to pay for the "hug" that the lady gave me.

It really was the store "that had everything in the world that you would ever need," and nobody can ever say that I stole it either.



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