Thirty minutes later Emil turned in to the entrance of a townhouse complex in New Berlin, a city 20 miles southeast of Milwaukee. Our new house was on the right, second from the last, in a long row of brown two-story townhouses.
After Emil parked the car, we got out and walked up the sidewalk to the front door. While I waited for Emil to unlock the door, I looked up at the gray, overcast sky and shivered in the damp chill. Since we had arrived in Wisconsin, the sun rarely shone. The lack of sunlight and the bitterly cold weather added to my depression. I really missed California.
After the door was unlocked, we went into the house. As I stepped into the small entryway, I looked around excitedly.
Straight ahead of me was a narrow hallway leading to the back of the house. To the left was a small kitchen with brown cabinets, yellow Formica counter tops and a linoleum floor. Directly across from the kitchen was a dining room containing our table and chairs.
Past the dining room to the right were two sets of open stairs covered in green carpeting, one set leading to the bedrooms on the second floor and one leading to the basement. Opposite the stairs was a half bathroom.
At the end of the hallway was a small, dark living room with green carpeting. Up against the wall to the right was our black leather couch flanked by the white leather chairs. On the wall in front of the couch sat our console TV.
Upstairs were three bedrooms and a full bath. My room was to the left of the stairs, and Brother's and Mom and Emil's rooms and the bathroom were down the hallway to the right.
- - -
Directly across the street from the townhouse was our new school, Hoover Elementary.
The next day Mom enrolled Brother and me in school. As I stood in the office while Mom talked to the school secretary, I felt my knees go weak with fear. The thought of going to another school and having all of the kids stare at me filled me with terror.
Mom continued to cut my hair as short as Brother's, and I still looked like a boy. I was very embarrassed and ashamed of my appearance, and I was sure my new classmates would see how ugly I was and make fun of me.
Back into the fourth grade I went for the third time that year and Brother the fifth.
- - -
After Mom left, the school secretary escorted us to our classrooms.
My new teacher's name was Mrs. Morrisey. While she introduced me to the class, I shyly looked around. My heart beat in fear, and my palms started to sweat when I saw all of the faces looking back at me. I hated to be stared at. But the one thing I hated more than that was not having a friend.
As I looked around the room, I desperately searched for someone with a kind face that I could be friends with. I knew having a friend would help soothe the aching loneliness that I felt on a daily basis. I would do anything to make that uncomfortable feeling go away.
- - -
That winter Mom became very depressed, and she cried often. She missed Emil terribly when he gone during the week, and she hated the bitterly cold winter and the lack of sunlight even though she had grown up in Wisconsin. And to make matters worse, Mom couldn't ride her horses as often as she would have liked because of the cold weather, and that made her very crabby and short tempered with Brother and me. I tried my best not to fight with Brother when we were around Mom because I didn't want to get hit or yelled at. Mom really scared me when she got angry.
When I saw my beautiful mom crying, I cried with her. I didn't like Wisconsin either, and I was also very depressed.
- - -
It was not long after we moved to New Berlin that Mom and Emil brought me into their bed and started sexually abusing me.
As I lay between them, I felt my body go numb with fear. I stared silently at the window over their bed as I attempted to separate myself from the horrors inflicted on my body.
As in California, I was once again admonished by Mom not to talk about what went on at our house. So I kept silent. That's just the way it was.
I didn't know what else to do.
(To be continued….)