Clifton was diagnosed with a WILMS Tumor as a little boy. After his chemo and radiation treatments, his parents would take him and his sister Tracey to the movies. The images on the screen took him away from the nausea and pain. Clifton thought to himself, “Being with family makes me feel better.” One day, Clifton, Tracey, and Mom went to the park without dad and he was told it was because of the divorce. Mom moved away to a different time zone, and married a guy named Paul. Every Saturday, Clifton waited for mom to call. Tracey never talked to mom.
“I want to come and live with you now, mom! I just turned eleven. You need somebody to walk Gus when you are cooking dinner.” Clifton was forgetting what his mother’s face looked like. “Sweetheart, I would like that too but, I don’t think your father would.” “I ‘m tired of everyone yelling around here.” Clifton said. The cancer was caught early, his kidneys were thriving, and he felt strong. “Clifton…sweetheart, I need to speak with your father before, we can make that kind of decision.” Mom said. “Clifton, time to get off the phone, you have school work to finish, and stop telling her that you are coming to live in New York!” Tracey’s voice was loud and angry!
One morning, Clifton took his back-pack filled with two long sleeve shirts, three pair of jeans, some underwear, his toothbrush, his Curio game, the sketchbook, drawing pencils, and $300.00and snuck out of the house while his grandmother slept. When the truck stopped by him, on the side of the road, Clifton thought the man looked familiar. “Do you teach at my sister’s school?” Clifton asked the driver. “Get in Kid. You need a ride somewhere don’t you?” The driver said. “Umm…I want to go to the Greyhound Station. I am meeting my mom there. She is waiting for me in New York.”
“Did you send him a ticket?” Linda hadn’t heard Cliff’s voice in over a year. “What are you talking about?” Linda asked. “Clifton has been missing since this morning. I know he is with you!” “You’re scaring me…where’s my baby?” Linda was in shock. Just then, there was a knock at Linda’s front door. It was Clifton. “Hi, mom…have I got a story to tell you…” “Cliff… thank god, he‘s here. I’ll call you back.”