At seven years old, my mother and I went through a period of bouncing from place to place, due to the divorce of my parents. We were very poor, often sleeping at friends houses, an uncle’s travel trailer in his backyard, and wherever else someone would house us.
On one particular run, we stopped by an old friend of my mother’shome. The lady, Sylvia if memory serves, was around my mother’s age.What I remembered specifically about her was that she seemed to be a really sad lady who never smiled. When we arrived, her and my mother were spending time catching up. My mother sharing our current situation. Wanting to have the chance to catch up and reflect, Sylvia tells me that I can go play in her sons room.
When I entered Michael’s room, I was immediately overcome with great joy. Michael had all of the best toys, things I had always wanted, but could not afford. In particular, Michael had the game "Mouse Trap." I remember vividly annoying Michael because all I wanted to do was build the obstacle course to catch the mice. Michael kept reminding me that the game had to be played a certain way before I could build the contraptions. I built them anyway. It was honestly one of the happiest memories of my childhood.
Several years later, we were doing much better financially and had a stable home now. When it came time for Christmas, I asked my mother for the "Mouse Trap" game. She looked at me funny, because by this time I was way too old to be playing that type of game. She bought it for me anyway.
Christmas came, and I was excited because I knew my mother had bought me the game and couldn’t wait to open the gift. Once I unwrapped the game, my mother asked me why I wanted a childish game so badly. I explained to her that it made me so happy as a child playing with Michael during such a hectic time in my life. My mother’s face suddenly became pale. She took a moment and asked if I was sure, of course I was. My mother then went on to explain that I had only met Michael once, when we were babies. He had died several months before my mother and I stopped by Sylvia’s home.
As I type this now, I can’t help but get a chill down my arms. There was nothing particularly frightening about this experience, it’s justthe fact that I can’t offer a reasonable explanation for what had happened. There was no monster, no demon trying to take me, just a little boy who wanted to play with another little boy one last time.