Camden

Sam has half his teeth

“Can I get on your back,” Sam asked.

Sam is six years old, and he has half his teeth. The other half is still growing in.

Sam is in my group for Bible buddies, and we took them to the 7-eleven to get slurpees.

“Yes,” I answer. “You can get on back.”

We walk for while, and then I begin running pushing Sam up and down.

Sam screams in laughter.

“Do you like the turbulence?” I asked.

“What’s turbulence?” he asks innocently.

“Turbulence is when there is a lot of shaking, and bumpiness.”

I try to give Sammy words like turbulence to describe Camden. I realize later on that his story is much more turbulent than I had once imagined. As we are walking down the street on the way to 7-eleven he runs up to four scary looking guys. They were the type of people that my dad would not let me talk to when I was six years old.

“Pound it,” Sam says to one of the boys.

To my surprise the man does it with a smile. Then Sam gives the other three high fives. He comes back to me.

“That’s my brother,” he says.

“Oh really,” I say. “What does you dad do?”

“My dad is dead,” Sam says straight-faced.

“Oh really?” I say. I am not quite sure what to say.

“Yeah. He fell off the steps.”

I don’t know Sam, but I know Camden. His father did not fall off the steps, and I want to take the turbulence in Sam’s life, and take him home with me.

“What does you mom do,” I say. I was trying to change the subject.

He motioned to me to come down to his level so that he could whisper.

“My mom sells drugs,” he says softly.

Sam is six years old, and he has half his teeth. The other half is still growing in.

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