Dec 2, 2019
When my great-grandmother died, because she was basically the controlling family member over the whole family. The matriarch, yeah. When she died I was like, well what’s going to happen to me? Everybody was more concerned about, let the children this and that. I said, “Since you’re not respecting what I’m asking.” And I know during that time they say children are seen and not heard. I went and did my laundry, because when I was young I did a lot of stuff. When she was here she would teach us how to do all that stuff. Pressed everything, put it into a little suitcase, and back then you could go anywhere as long as you had an adult with you. I would attach myself to people at the bus station. I made it to Florida.
I was living there and it was so funny. I made friends with a family, and they was like, well you can stay with us. They were really kind. I stayed with them for I think almost six years. I was around 10 when I left.
The only reason I got caught was I didn’t know I have family in Florida. We went to a church service, and this family kept looking at me and I kept saying, “Why they looking at me? I don’t know these people.” Someone evidently said, “Would you like to visit with us?” And I said, “I have to ask my family.”” They said, “Who’s your family?” And I said, “The people I’m sitting with.” They looked at them and looked at me and said, “I’ll speak to them. “
Back then, like I told you, you took verbatim what people you know. “Okay, I guess they did speak to them, so it’s okay. They’d probably said it’s okay.” I guess they spoke, and I went to their home, and I kept saying, “Well, it’s getting late. Don’t you think my family should come and pick me up? I don’t know these people.” It was so funny, because I was looking at pictures in one of the other rooms, and I saw a picture of my mother and my father, and I went, “Who are these people?” And I say, “Oh my gosh, I got to get out of here.” Before I can get out of here, they told me, “Your family telling me to tell you, you have to spend the night, because your mom had to go to work. It was urgent, and your father had to do some other stuff where he’s not able to come over here, but we promise you by tomorrow, or maybe the day after, they’re going to pick you up.” They said “You can stay here.
You’re not really that smart, so I’m like, “Oh, okay. It’s kind of fun. Yeah, they have a lot of fun stuff.” But I wanted to ask the mom and dad for picture of somebody that looks like I know these people. Not thinking they must have contacted them. When they got up, my father didn’t come thank God, because he would have, you know how they are in China. Punishment so severe. Thank God they didn’t tell him. My mother and my uncle came up. When they came, my mother was very happy and she said, “Why would you do this?” I said, “I was asking you back then what’s going to happen with me, because she was the one that did everything? You were there, but you have to work, and by the time you came home we spent some time but not a lot, because I had to go to bed. Who was going to be there for me?”
She says, “Oh my God, don’t ever do this again.” My uncle, he was like, “Let’s get roping, string him from a tree. Make him run home behind the car.” I said, “”Oh gosh, I don’t like him.” My uncle, he passed away earlier this year, but he was one of those people that would scare you. He says, “You know, I’m going to tell you for all that.” And I said, “Please don’t.” He says, “So that means you’re going to do everything I want.” I didn’t really care for him. He was not the best, but they brought me back to Brooklyn, and then they asked me how did I get there. I said, “When you’re ten years old, and because I was a very short, I didn’t start growing until I got to college. I was grab and walk next to a bigger, taller people. So they thought children don’t pay to get on the bus back then. You have to have an adult. I got on with them.
They say “What bus did you get on?” I said, “A bus.” I didn’t know where it was going, but it took to me to Florida. Took me and the person I was sitting next to, that was my bus ride. Then when I got there they said, “How did you know what to eat?” I had stuff in my suitcase. They said, “You weren’t afraid?” I said, “Of what?”
They said, “But how did you find a family member?” I said “I didn’t. I found some kids, and they invited me to stay with their family, and it was fun. I had so much fun.” He said, “More fun than what we do?” I said, “Are you kidding? More fun than ever.” He says, “They didn’t have rules.” All these rules, children have to go in the room now the adults are here, children can’t go outside, it’s too late. Children have to go to bed early. These kids do what they wanted, and it was fun. She says, “How did you get with the family?” Say, “We went to church.” That’s the only rule they had. You have to go to church. So I said, “Okay, all your other rules don’t fall in place. I guess I can follow this one.” There was people who were there that kept staring at me, and I felt very uncomfortable about them.
The other family didn’t try to find me again. No, I think what they thought was that I lived in the neighborhood, and as we started talking, I just told them I was an orphan. So they said, “You can stay with us then.” They said, “So you don’t have any family.?” I said, “No, I don’t.”
I don’t know if my family back in Brooklyn did a serious search. If they did, they did. I wasn’t concerned anymore about them, because they didn’t care.
They didn’t even like-They were more during the time when my great-grandmother died, they told me go in the room, and wait, and then we’ll come and get you. Nighttime came, we went to bed. No one came and got me. I took it that they didn’t care. Why bother staying with someone that doesn’t care? So I left. I got on the bus and found people who did care, and I stayed with them, and they were really concerned. Once I told them I was an orphan it fit. I didn’t have to say anything else.
When I came back to Brooklyn, Oh gosh. Then they always listened to what I said. They said, “You’re not going to run away again.” I said, “I don’t know…” They said, “Are you serious? You don’t know?” I said, “It depends on y’all.” I’m the type of person, if you don’t want me around you, I’ll disappear. You will never find me. That’s how I’m with everybody. I just feel I’d rather not be a problem. If I’m a problem or I’m the burden guess what? Thank you so much for everything you’ve done. Well, “Where’d you go?” It’s not none of your business, I’m going, I was there for the season and got to go.