He was that guy that all the girls loved. Incredible blue eyes that looked into your soul, a great tan, and curly light brown hair. He always made it seem like you were the only person in the world when you talked to him, and he always had a bunch of girls lining up for him even though he didn’t play any of them and never dated a lot anyway. When my mother first met him, she snuck off into the kitchen and immediately called my grandmother to report on how handsome and polite he was.
Aside from the good looks, he was also smart and beyond talented with art skills. The world worked against him though and began wounding his soul at a young age. He began his senior year of high school at the age of 16, younger than all of his classmates but with grades and a portfolio good enough to land him a scholarship to the Pittsburgh Institute of Art. The “art nerd,” he didn’t spend much time making or maintaining friends, and if he skipped a class, it was to go to the drawing room. One day, his mother showed up at his school in a van that contained all of his belongings. She had packed him up and without warning, kicked him out of the house. His world immediately changed, and he began a journey that would take him to live with over 70 different people during the next 8 years.
Before he graduated, he dropped out of school and got his GED instead. Forgoing the scholarship, a prom, and a chance at being “normal,” all because it became more important to find food and a way to get a shower than it was to attend classes. It wasn’t until after he was kicked out of his house that he ever tried an illegal drug, but it was the kids that smoked weed who were willing to accept him and take him in, thus introducing him to a variety of things that would lessen his pain as he got older.
Knowing that he wanted to get a college degree and make something out of himself, he tucked that dream into the future and looked forward to when he would turn 24 and be legally emancipated so he could receive financial aid and attend school. Until then, he worked odd jobs, smoked, and waited.