Too True for Lies: A Child's Story by Stephen D. Matthews by Stephen D. Matthews - Read Online

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Too True for Lies - Stephen D. Matthews

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Chapter 1

While writing this story, I wondered how my parents ever dated; it seemed as though they came from two different planets, maybe Mars and the other Pluto. Now that I am older, I understand that my mother had three different personalities. I got to know all three personalities very well, but it is going to be hard to explain them. Not to mention the short attempts at trying to get to know my father, who was hardly around.

I was born in Philadelphia; I was raised in the Philly projects. At first, I lived with my grandmother, mother, aunt, three uncles, my sister, and my cousin. Sonya is my half-sister; we don’t share the same father. This house was in the ghetto. It was a two-story, three-bedroom row home. In front of the house was this triangle-shaped grassy patch of land that had big trees at each corner. When I was allowed to go out, I would have so much fun playing on the grass. The grass would be so green in the summertime. This is where I got to know the first of my mother’s personalities. I was just a kid in a house full of love, or so it seemed.

We stayed with my grandmother. Her living room walls was eggshell with brown trimming, and the ceiling was in the shape of the metal beams that made up the home. The small kitchen was a mint green; it could only fit a washer and a small kitchen table so the kids usually ate in the kitchen. She had converted the dining room into a bedroom when I was young so my sister and I could sleep in it. We had to sleep on a fold-a-way bed. I was usually scared when I slept in there for some reason.

One of my worst dreams sleeping in that bed was about the devil. He was trying to make the world dark and the sky red. I couldn’t breathe and I felt as though I was being smothered. As I tried to run, it felt like I was in slow motion. Then I was falling. I woke up in a panic and couldn’t go back to sleep. When I was this scared I would try to sleep with my grandmother. I would sneak up to her room and lay at the foot of the bed. Even when I think about that moment now it brings back a little of that childhood fear.

My name is David. I was a skinny little kid with a head too large for my body. I was short, with brown skin, and I wore glasses. I got a cut on my head when I was three years old. I was walking up my grandmother’s steps which were made of metal. I had to go to the bathroom, and just as I made it to the step next to the top, my foot slipped and I fell backwards all the way to the bottom of the stairs. My mom and aunt rushed me to the hospital. When I got there, I found out I had to get stitches. I was as scared as a kid can get and I got out from one of the strap-down restraints. I was able to get around the hospital before someone spotted me running around. I didn’t want to get the stitches. The doctor caught up with me and strapped me down again. My mom calmed me down and then they stuck needles in my head. The doctor said it was going to numb the skin. This was the first time I felt an emotion from my mom. I believed it was love and a sense of caring.

Not long after I got the stitches, a couple of kids made some homemade swings using clothes line poles and rope. So of course, I got on the swing and started to swing. I tried to jump off the swing and fell on my head in the same place where I had my stitches. I rushed into the house; my family said I would live with little concern.

I lived with my grandmother until I was seven. I don’t remember much from that time, but there are a few things that do stand out. One day in the kitchen, my mom, grandmother, aunt, and a few of their friends were talking. My family and their friends were playing who’s your mom with me. I don’t remember the person that I chose. I do remember the sunlight was coming in the back door so beautifully.

But one of the most unusual things was when I started to look under the adult female’s dresses. I understand now that this was just typical for a young boy growing up. My grandmother had some friends over and I was lying on the floor. For some reason, I started to slide on my back to look under her dress. My aunt told me to stop. I believed she thought it was cute.

I guess I started very young with a lot of things. I remember the day I just finished getting a bath, and I went to get some underwear to put on. My grandmother and her friend called me, and they made me stand in front of them with my sister, also naked, as they explained the difference between a girl and a boy. They said I had a wee wee. I didn’t understand it, but I just said the words.

I started kindergarten while living with my grandmother. I attended Acorn Public School. This was a pretty big school. School was usually cool for me. I had half days, and lots of friends in school. I can remember getting caught in the rain and my uncle running home with me in his arms.

At this age, you only know the names of the people who are in your life. You know nothing intimate about them.

My grandmother was a special and lovely lady. I guess that most people would feel this way about their grandmother at this age. She was about five feet tall. She had a problem that caused the pigmentation of the skin to turn white. I still thought she was a very pretty lady. She had the prettiest hair in the family.

The woman I enjoyed calling mom was named Helen Mathis. This woman was as true and honest as a mother and friend could be. I wonder what happened to this woman now. I only knew this woman for five years out of my entire life.

My mom was about five-foot-three or four inches tall, with caramel-colored skin. She had me when she was sixteen. She went to school for nursing. She went through several hairstyles. First she had an afro, next curls, and last Jerry curls. She was a petite woman.

My mother got involved with a cop while she was staying with my grandmother. Mr. Thomas worked for the Philly Police Department. He was about six feet tall and on the muscular side. He had about the same complexion as my mom, but he usually kept his hair in a short afro. He had a round face with a mustache. He drove a large car. The only thing I didn’t like about him at first was that he smoked.

My mom moved from my grandmother’s house when I entered the first grade. We moved into a different Philly project in a smaller urban area. In front of the house, there was a rectangular field that was big and grassy. I made friends and we played. It was a three-story building. We occupied the top two floors. It had two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen.

As you entered, you would walk up a flight of stairs, then after a sharp right, you could see the kitchen and the living room. As you entered the living room, there was another flight of stairs that led to the second floor.

The living room was tan with brown furniture and plain mirrors on one of the walls. The kitchen was white and yellow with a hanging lamp over the kitchen table. The house was already furnished. It appeared that my mother had been living here for a while without us.

As you walked up to the second floor, at the top of the stairs was the bathroom. It was painted white. My mother used pink accessories to decorate it. If you made a short right, there was the bedroom I shared with my sister. It was painted a light green with wallpaper that had wavy lines on it. There were two twin beds, a dresser, and a closet we shared. To the left of the room was my mother’s bedroom. It was okay.

When we moved into our new project apartment, it was like the start of a family to me, and a place I could call home. The first year there was like heaven. Before we went to school there was breakfast on the table. We had the latest lunchbox in the store. Dinner was cooked between five and six o’clock every day.

I started the first grade at Thomas Mufflin Public School. This school was huge. I made lots of friends. The bus came and picked my sister and me up at the top of the hill where we lived. School was great here also, and I didn’t know how blessed I was until now, but the next few years would be the beginning of me asking myself the question, Why?

My mom seemed to be happy on her own. She got a job as a nurse’s aide, but