Never Belonged | Teen Ink

Never Belonged

February 15, 2011
By Shrien PLATINUM, Brooklyn, New York
Shrien PLATINUM, Brooklyn, New York
23 articles 7 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When one door closes, another one opens"

I always wondered where I got my looks from. My mom or my dad, my grandpa maybe…or grandma.
My parents never said you have your mother’s eyes, or my eyes, or even you have my personality. I always wanted to know why. But asking them would make me sound like I wanted more then I already had which was my own room, a dog, a cell phone, and my own laptop and MP3 player. I think that was enough. My name is Brandon McKay, and my friends would never notice my dad or mom out of all the parents that could have been mine, they didn’t even think we were related. Of COURSE were related, Right?

Today I asked my parents why I didn’t look like them, and they looked real hurt, like someone gave them bad casserole, or if they had to do a complicated task, like peeling a shrimp with a a fork and knife or maybe even an orange. Back to the point, they told me we had a lot of things in common, like how my dad and I both hate broccoli, and how my mom and I both burn toast. But those were not gene related. I wanted to know and I wanted to know NOW, why were my parents giving me cheap answers? I looked in my draws for baby pictures of me and my parents, maybe I would grow up to look like them, I hope not my dad, because he gets gray hair quickly. But I didn’t find any baby pictures, or any files of my birth certificates. Nothing. Come to think of it, we never went on a family vacation either; we had no memories, pictures, NOTHING to show we are a family. I wanted to do a little investigating so I looked my dad hard in the eye and asked him, “How come we never went on any vacations, like to Italy, or Paris?” I said banging my hand on the table (which really hurt). “I told you Brand, we don’t have the money right now, with the economy so bad-” I stopped him. “Yeah, yeah, the economy, EVERYONES blaming that these days, it’s either that or global warming.” I said my eye twitching. My dad looked at me without blinking, “How much sugar have you had today?” he said holding my hand. I pulled away. “None, I want to know why we don’t look alike, and why we have no pictures or why you have NO identification for me.” I looked at him again. “Are we even related?” I said. I marched upstairs as my mom just came into the room with a cup of tea in her hand. “Brand” I heard my mom call. I ignored her, and took all my stuff out of my drawers, there had to be SOME picture of my family here, something to show I belong somewhere. Do I? Where did I come from, where were my real parents, that know me, and have some belonging of me. I was no one. Lost in this world.

My mom woke me up when she found me on the floor with my clothes all over. “What did you do Brandon?” she said pushing everything aside. “Your dad is crying downstairs, and it looks like a tornado hit” she said pushing a strand of her hair aside from her forehead. I stretched, and started throwing things back in my closet. I heard a cling. I looked around, there was a penny attached to a necklace chain. My mom looked at it and took it. “Pennies could be worth something one day.” I looked at her, for some reason I felt like I needed that necklace. I pulled it back. “Yeah, I know, let me put it in my piggy bank.” She turned back, and walked downstairs. I looked at the necklace, it gave me a feeling in my chest, so I put it on, for some reason, and I felt like I belonged somewhere. I have something, now all I need is for someone to have me.

I had to go downstairs after I cleaned up my tornado so I could apologize to my dad. His eyes were red like someone threw salt in them. “Hi” I said looking at my feet. He didn’t even look up from his newspaper. “I’m sorry for what I said, I just didn’t feel like I belonged here.” My dad finally looked up. “Brand, how could you say that, your room represents you, this is your house to live in, and we know what you like, dislike, and what your allergic to.” He said quivering. “THAT’S NOT THE POINT, I DO NOT BELONG HERE DAD, WHERE IS MY ID?” I think that was a bad idea to shout at someone who’s made half a waterfall with his tears already. “I-” he stopped. He looked at my necklace. “Where did you get that?” he said sternly. I kept quiet. “I’m not going to ask you a second time Brandon.” “My draw, it’s just a necklace.” I said calm as a river. My mom walked in. My dad got red in the face, if I didn’t know better, he would have picked up the living room couch, throw it out the window, and rip the penny off and rip it in half. I looked at him with scared eyes. “Roberta, I told you to dispose of that, that, thing.” My mom looked at him miserably. “No, I will not” she said quietly. I looked at them oddly. I went upstairs and turned on my Dell. /McKay that’s what it typed in that URL. A webpage popped up, and there was a picture of my dad, mom, cousin, and grandparents. Under children, it read- No children were born yet in the last 30 years. My mouth gapped open. I was not their child? So, I thought of a better idea, I googled myself, I typed in, Who is Brandon McKay? Links flashed before my eyes. But only one caught my eye, under the URL, read, Now known as Brandon McKay, 9 years old, red hair, last seen at a carnival with parents Eric and Sandra Malotonio,real name, Brandon Malotonio, if you see this child, please call 911 or contact the parents at- 1347 568 9876. The picture under it was me. I printed it out. The only picture I have of me, and I found it at

I packed my things in an orange suitcase, and put the phone number and picture in the front pocket. I would have to sneak out today, and my parents couldn’t hear. When I passed their room tippy toeing, I heard murmuring, so I put my ear against the door. “Why didn’t you tell him Mike, I told you to tell him when he turned 11, he’s 13 now, and he’ll never get over that fact” “I know, I know, but its not exactly cutting pie to tell your son that.” “If he still wants to call me dad.” I decided to stop listening. I had enough. All this guilt would turn me into the bad guy, and I was not. Did my real parents give me away? Or was I kidnapped? It was too painful to think my fake parents could have taken me from a carnival. Just the thought of that made me want to kill myself for even looking at that website. I took out my phone. I was about to look at the contacts list for mom, and then I remembered, my real mom wasn’t on my contacts list. I dialed in 1347 568 9876. A dial tone rang. Then a message, “Hi this is Sandra Malotonio, I am currently unavailable right now, if your from the missing child report, please leave a message where I can call you back, thanks!” His mom really did care about him, she included him in her messages. Brandon hung up before he had to leave a message. What would he say? Hi, this is your son who doesn’t know whether he’s been kidnapped or given away, call me back!! That would be too weird, and I couldn’t have live with myself with those words coming from my mouth. If my mom loved me a lot, then why didn’t she keep the phone on or the line clear? I would need an address first, so I went back on the website that changed my life, and looked for the address- Currently living at Red Birk 788 Drivers Road. That’s all I needed to find my biological parents, address, cell phone, a picture of me, and a suitcase full of clothes and peanut butter. Tomorrow I would set out because right now, the night was out, and it was too dark to step foot outside the house. I put my ear back on my parents’ door. “Well all that really matters Mike, is that we love him like our own blood, and nothing can ever change that.” “Your right, but for now, I’m dragging my words, and I think along with me, they want to go to sleep too.” I heard the pulling of the lamp string and the click afterwards. “Good Night, I love you.” I whispered to the door as I ran back upstairs. I stuffed the suitcase under my bed; I didn’t want my parents thinking their only child was running away from them, even if it was 100% true.

The next morning, I woke up before my parents, and I snuck out even if I had school today. I took my suitcase, and took my $100.000 my parents told me to save, (yeah, right!). Now, all I needed was to know which bus to take. When I saw somebody walking in the street, I stopped them, and said, “Do you know where Red Birk 788 Drivers Road is located?” the person started screaming some foreign words, and threw its hands up in the air. “Sorry, I was just asking” I walked some more blocks up. I wonder if my parents would be looking for me now. If they would look in my bed and not find me there, and right there and then would their life’s come tumbling down. Finally, I found someone else who looked pretty normal to me. “Where’s Red Birk 788 Drivers Road?” I asked scared to see what they might say. “Well, you take that bus, and get off the-” he counted his fingers. “The 12th stop.” He said looking at me. “Thank you.” I said walking to the stop. I looked around, their were my parents all the way in the back of the hill. Uh-oh. I saw the bus coming, and I immediately jumped on it, and put in my change, and the wheels started moving, my mom fell to her knees and started crying I could see my dad putting his arm around her saying “It will be ok.” But my mom and I knew both perfectly well, it wouldn’t, it would never really be OK.

The 5th stop, 7 more stops until I get to my destination. I jumped off the bus, said “Thank you” and headed to a red house with a white rim. I ranged the bell, a long tone came after that. “Hello.” A lady with red hair, and freckles around her cheeks smiled at me, did she know who I was? “I’m so sorry,” I thought she was going to hug me, but instead, she said, “I do not want to buy any cookies or candy bars or whatever you guys are selling for a charity” she said about to close the door. But then she saw my penny necklace. “I’m sorry, where did you get that, um... that necklace” she said eyes watering. “Oh, I found this in my draw, when I found it, I thought, it’s mine, or at least that’s what I think.” I said looking up at the sky. “No, that’s what you know” she said smiling. “Brand, is that you?” she said pushing my bangs to the side, as I let her. “Yes, it is me, are you Sandra, or my mom?” I said anxiously.
The woman sighed, “Yes, Brandon, I am your mom.” She said hugging me. A man with brown hair and green eyes looked at me, “Honey, I told you we don’t got money these days for cookies” he glanced at me again, “Im sorry, she’s a sucker for butter crunch.” My real mom cupped her hand over her mouth. “Eric, this, this is our son.” Eric cracked into a smile. “My boy, I knew you weren’t dead, after all these years, you grew so much!” “Come in!” When I stepped inside, I saw a picture of an infant, another toddler, and the rest was Eric and Sandra, and the family members. “That’s you” she said pointing to all the baby pictures. “We got present picture online by transforming your younger days to how you would look when you 12 or 13, like you are now, 13” she smiled. She remembered my birthday, this was my real family. Somebody came in through the door, it was an old lady. She looked at me curiously and before she could say anything about selling cookies, I said, “How do you do, my name is Brandon,”
Should I say McKay? No. “My name is Brandon Malotonio.” The old lady gapped opens her mouth. “Oh my lord!” she said jumping so high I’d think she’s 20 if I didn’t know better. She came and gave me a tight hug, she smelled like ginger cookies, and flour. “Hi to you too.” I said giggling. I belong here, that’s what I knew and felt. But I would first have to get the story straight. My phone rang. It read- Mom calling. “Should I answer?” I was thinking, what would they say?” “Of course not, those thiefs stole you from us, and they will certainly NOT take you back away, your ours, and you will always be, now lets get you settled in, I need to call the missing children report, and tell them don’t be surprised if pigs rains, cause our baby boy found his way home!” she smiled a big toothy smile. I smiled back, but I felt bad, not picking up when they called me. I felt like a betrayer. I checked my voicemail, when I had my only moment of privacy, in the bathroom. My parents, and my grandma were all breathing down my neck so hard, they could have blown my shirt off, it was kind of annoying, but I finally felt loved, and I finally felt like I have a place in this world.

Chapter 2; The Whole Story
I finally finished getting me a room set up, and my mom finished calling the missing child report to tell them I was not abused in any way whatsoever. They also needed some proof that I was currently living with my family, and they also needed to see my “old” parents. I really didn’t want to see them ever again. But isn’t that stupid? I do not even know the whole story, and I’m already picking haters. I want to know REAL bad what the whole story is, but at the same time, I didn’t. I knew in any story, I would be the one getting hurt. I feel like I’m being selfish, but I deserve to, these 10 years not seeing my parents, after they kept my pictures on the wall, and kept my first strand of hair in my baby book. Did my old parents have a baby book? No. Why not, just because they stole me from my parents to hurt me and the bond that I shared with my mom and dad, why not, why don’t they deserve a baby book?? Were they jealous? Were they drunk? Was it because they needed someone to hurt after they have been fired, or something? Out of all those little kid with mustard all over their faces at the carnival, why pick me? I’m not special; at least I don’t think I have any magical super powers. I never knew how hurt and betrayed you could feel, how could my real parents be so irresponsible? Didn’t they ever care about me?? Or did no one care about me. No. I had two parents that loved me, and never stopped loving me. Ever. I have a feeling the parents in my old neighborhood, in BrickWood, must have been crying. They must have been thinking, what did we ever do? Or maybe, why didn’t we see this coming? But I guess both parents thought this, my real family asked this when I went missing, and my old ones wondered this when I simply ran away.

My parents sat me down when I finished unpacking. “Hi Brandon, for having not to see you in 10 years, I have a feeling we have a lot of catching up to do.” I nodded. “Yeah, so, tell us about you” said my mom; I knew she didn’t know how to break the ice. What should I say? Well, I’m Brandon, I’m 13, and I already was kidnapped for 10 years, nice to meet you too!!! “Well, I like reading, making jokes, and……writing has no shame in game either” I said grinning. They looked at each other, “Oh, so, there’s no sports, friends, girlfriends, nothing?” I looked at them; they obviously thought I wasn’t a boy, maybe some alien who any minute now would say, “Hello earthling!” “I kind of like soccer, I have like, 2 friends I like hanging with, and girlfriends, well….” I obviously blushed, because my dad slapped me in the back, and said, “Oh kiddo, you made him scared now, it ok, I’m your pop, you can talk about this later, when were all more…..comfortable” he said winking. He made it sound like I’m a kid who didn’t know how to act. Maybe I don’t really like friends, or playing sports, and im DEFINETLY not going onto girlfriends anytime soon. So everything they expected was over the rainbow. Just then, the doorbell rang, maybe this time, it’ll be one of their daughters they lost. “Honey, lets not judge THIS guest as a girl scout” he said winking at me. What was up with all his winking? If I didn’t know better, I’d think he got something in his eye, or he’s twitching. “Hello” said a dude with a suit on. He looked real scary. “We are from child services, we need to gather the two parents, and see the surroundings” he said. Creepy. “Yes sir, do come in” said my mom, she led the officer upstairs into my room. I heard him laughing from upstairs. “Oh yes, I remember when my Brand used to call this very doll Master Poo-Poo. That was sure nice of her. Then, the door rang, and I screamed, “I’ll get it!” I heard murmuring from outside. I looked, it was my old parents, the ones I used to share a last name with. What would I say? How would I look at them? I opened the door, and stood behind it, so nobody could see me. “Hello Brand” said my old mom. I looked at her, and saw the depression in her eyes. My dad passed by, and gave me an angry look. I felt so bad. Afterwards, both my parents were sitting down with the officers at the table. I was on the stairs, so they couldn’t see me. “Mr and Mrs. McKay, you are the past parents of the child, am I correct?” said the officer. “Yes” said my “old” mom. Now, here is the entire legal document. He took out the papers. My new dad glanced at me, he saw me. Uh-oh. he winked at me, I felt like grabbing his eyelashes and swinging them around until they finally flutter down like a dead butterfly. Then everybody started scribbling their names, and initials, and before I knew it, they were gone. I don’t know why, but I kind of wish they weren’t gone, I kind of wish they stayed. To be honest, I kind of wish I wasn’t here.

Today is the day I will ask my dad and mom about the story, and what in the world happened. Who was the bad guy, and who was the good guy. So, I sat down with my mom, because she doesn’t wink a lot. “Mom,” as soon as I said that she looked at me with eyes that read, “Who, me?” “Yeah Brandon” she said. “Can I ask you something?” she looked up, “Yup.” “Ok, so I was sort of wondering, what happened, I mean like, was I kidnapped? Given away?” she looked at me with sorrowful eyes, “Well, are you absolutely sure every word I tell you, you want to hear?” I nodded. So, she sat down, and gave me a speech that seemed to last a lifetime. “Ok, it was 10 years ago, 1999, and you were in my lap, and your dad was on the rollercoaster, silly your dad, she said trying to stall, anyways, I was eating cotton candy, and I turned around for three minutes-” she paused, and looked at me again, but for 5 minutes this time. “When I turned around to take an order of a got dog and French fries, I look again, and you were gone.” “Nothing, I couldn’t find you, I spent nights, days, months, and now, years, trying to find you, but I guess it was up until my own grown-up son had to find his own way home,” she started to CRY. “Now, I only have a couple of years with you, and your gone, married, with children forgetting to talk to your momma you had for a couple of years, it’ll seem like those McKay’s are your real parents, and that were fakers.” I looked at her, “I’ll never forget you momma.” I said quietly. “Do you want to know why?” I asked her, she nodded. “Mom, you made me, you gave birth to me, and other icky stuff I’d rather not talk about.” Before I knew it, I winked, guess it doesn’t take too long to pick up a habit.

Chapter 3- Toast and broccoli
This morning, I had toast, eggs, and a milkshake. Then, I went to my new soccer team I was forced to sign up for. I was kicking and shot goals, and I found out, I’m not that bad at soccer. I might want to play this over the summer to. Or maybe a new sport I’ll end up liking. Maybe this was like my life, I didn’t think I would like living here, but it wasn’t so bad. After a long day of shouting and screaming, I was worn out. All I really wanted was food, rest, and my bed. When I got home, my mom was cooking food; my dad opened the door for me. “There are my two favorite men!” she said pushing her hair back from her forehead. “Hi mom, soccer was fun, but now my legs are aching” I said rubbing them. “That’s cause you got your mommas legs, she cant climb up s ladder for all her sake. That made me happy. That was all I really wanted from the beginning, someone to say who I was like. I got it now, and I’ll have it forever. “Well, he inherits his green eyes from you” she said, “he got you hair” he said back, my mom smiled at me, “You got a beautiful mom, and a “handsome” dad, cant wait to see what you’ll look like when you grow up” she said taking her spatula, and grilling something. “Honey, set the table” my dad looked at me, and I looked at him, I patted him on the back, “Yeah honey, set the table.” I went upstairs to change my clothes, while I was walking out of the room, I saw the penny necklace, I brang it with me.
Dinner was on the table. When I sat down, I started crying. “What’s wrong Brand?” my dad said. “Broccoli, I hate broccoli” I said wiping my tears and smiling. They looked at me like I was crazy. Yup, that’s how were alike, me and my old dad, we both hate broccoli. “Oh honey, I’m sorry, we’ll eat the broccoli then” I took out the necklace. “What is so special about this?” I said holding it up. They both laughed. “That’s your lucky penny, because when me and your momma were younger, we knew when we were older, we would marry and have kids, so we did heads and tails for a boy or girl” I said heads for boy, she said tails for girl, We had a head, and look here, you a boy aren’t you!” he said smiling. My mom started laughing, “I know, we probably crazy for you, but it wasn’t that unusual.” Then they started laughing again. Afterwards, my mom was cleaning the dishes, and I asked her, “Momma, can I get my toast burnt tomorrow?” “sure” she said oddly. My phone rang.
“Hello?” I said. “Hey Brand, its your step momma” said my old mom. That’s what I had to call her? Fine with me. “Yeah, I found it out, you kidnapped me” I said into the phone. “Who said that?” she asked me. “My mom, why?” a long silence was on the phone. “I guess they didn’t want to prove themselves so low, but lying to their baby is even lower.” “Then what really happened?” I asked in a quiet voice. “Oh, nothing” I heard the call drop. So my parents were lying to me, either one of them or both of them. Why would they do that to me????
I needed the truth.

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