The Innocent Years

In the final week, my mother talked with me about her filing for divorce. I was bewildered. Confused. She wasn’t coming through. It’s difficult for me now to remember the conversation. She said something about “longtime troubles” and “certain problems,” unexplained. She talked about a “new life…Mr. Neff…his daughter, Gladys… good times ahead… a happier future together it turned into a painful jumble in my mind.All I knew was that I was facing a future I didn’t know or want, or cause.On that last day, when it was time to go, my dad picked me up to say good-bye. He kissed me and gave me a long, hard hug. I held on. He finally put me down. I held back the tears, turned, grasped my mother’s hand and we walked down the front path to Neffs waiting car, sitting in the dirt road with its engine running.

Chapter 3: Life on the West Side

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