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 September 15, 96

Dear Mrs. Dunphrey,

I almost wrote “Don’t you dare read this Mrs. Dunphrey” by

your name, but just out of habit. But it would be pretty stupid to

send you a letter and not let you read it right?

Before you get too excited about me writing, I should let you

know that this is a assignment. Not for school but from my family

therapist that Matt, Mom and I have been seeing every

week.(That’s right Mom, I explain.)The therapist, Mr. Sarcusi says

that showing your feelings is healthy. He says after everything that

has happened, I have a reason to feel betrayed. He also said that

all teenagers feel betrayed anyway. He told to write about myself

and pretend I was talking to someone that didn’t know my whole

life story. I thought that it was a dumb thing to write about but I

guess I have to do it. I did it all last year in your class, so I guess

it’s going to be pretty easy. I know you keep writing me and saying

to write back, so I finally decided to.

Thanks for letting me and Matt sleep on your couch and floor

for those three day when the caseworker couldn’t find us a foster

family. I can’t tell you how scared I was when I thought that they

would separate my Matt and I. I was so happy when you said, “

Can I take them home with me?” and when you stood your

grounds and wouldn’t take home for an answer. Even your

husband was pretty cool about taking us in, even though I think he

thought that he was going to be stuck with us for ever.

Did you know that our caseworker decided to send us Dad’s

parents, you know the ones that we never, ever met. They live in

Florida. First I didn’t think that was a great idea. Look how Dad

turned out. How could they be good parents? And if they didn’t

wants to see us for the last fifteen years, why are they going to

want us living with them now? I don’t think that I would have gone

if they didn’t talk me into it. It turns out that, Nana and Poppy, my

grandparents aren’t that bad either. They both are really short.

They are different from what I imagined.

Nana and Poppy was already old when Dad was born. You

know what Dad did when he was in grade school, he killed the

neighbors dog. Poppy and Nana thought that it was just a stage.

Dad started t get worse and worse, beating up other kid all the

time, getting angry about everything. They said that every time

that he did something bad he always tell them that he was sorry,

stupid like they were they believed him. They thought that he

would grow out of it but he never did.

Nana said she thought that Dad would settle down after he

married Mom, but he didn’t. And when I was born they tried

coming around, bring me presents and offering them to take a

brake, loaning him money y which the thought was for me. They

stopped giving him money and that’s when he said he didn’t wants

them to come around any more. Nana feels really bad for giving

up so easy and she always telling me a Matt that she is sorry, and

that she know that she can’t make up for the fifteen years they

missed but they are here now.

Well I guess they are right, Matt has really started sticking to

them now. He says it’s almost like having grandma back. It’s not!!

I know it’s good that Matt is happy and he’s getting to act like a

normal little boy but all Nana and Poppy does is brag over every

little thing that he does. When I told Mr. Sarcusi that, he said that I

was just jealous that my grandparents were paying more attention

to Matt than they were to me.

Nana and Poppy treats Mom liked a little kid too. Ever since

the caseworker tracked he down in California, where Dad

apparently left her again for a nineteen year old she’s been

miserable. That postcard she send us was nothing but lies go

figure. I think the only reason why she came back is because we

are reminders of what she used to have. Mr. Sarcuis say that it’s

not her fault that she is like the way she is. It took a lot away from

her, all the abuse. He says that Mom never will fully recover from

Dad leaving.

I gave this letter to Mr. Sarcuis to read before I send it to you

and he started yelling at me. He sais “ I want you to write this letter

over? Did you do this on purpose? You never wrote a thing about

how you felt, the whole letter was about other people!!”

I kind of see about what he was talking about. Mom and Dad

fighting all those time must have mess my mind up a bit. Now that

I think about it. Whenever I sees a guy that I like to date, I look

back at Mom’s and Dad’s relationship and say to myself, “No all

men are jerks” I don’t think that I would have been all that if I lived

with Nana and Poppy all my life. I miss being in charge. Having to

worry about ever little thing. It felt like I was a grown up, and it felt

good. Here Nana and Poppy treat me like I’m a little kid. They

make me be home at a certain hour, I have to do chores, and

worse of all that kisses me in public. I know they are doing it

because they love me but....

I can see you reading this right now. Maybe thinking to your

self that I might run away or do something stupid like that. You

don’t have to worry I don’t want to ever have to do what I did last

spring over again.

I have to go now. I think this letter is long enough. I like to

thank you for ever thing that you have done for me. I also like you

to know that I’m going to hold on to that old journal book of mine. I

think I might just start another one. Thanks a lot.

Trish

P.S. You should come down a visit sometime.

January 6th, 99

Don’t You Dare Read This

Mrs. Dunphrey

Haddix

Word Count: 1102

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