Never Forgotten


Written by:  Ryan O’Harris

I was eleven years old and a permanent resident of the Saint Frances Home For Children.  My mom got divorced, and she couldn’t afford to keep me, so she sent me to the home.  I didn’t even know what a nun was.  I remember arriving at the home in a bus and seeing several of these woman all cloaked in black running out to meet the bus.  I was certain my mother had sent me to a covenant of witches.  Well, they weren’t witches, but I’m not sure that a witch would have been any worse.  I hated the place.  All we did was work: clean bathrooms, dishes, pick weeds, wash clothes. That’s all we did.  My roommate was Chris.  He was seven years old and more trouble than you could imagine. He used to drink the holy water on the wall near the rectory almost every day.  I remember the first day he arrived. They took him to mass.  He came running down the hall screaming, yelling, “they’re cannibals!  They’re cannibals!” When I questioned him, he said they tried to make him eat the flesh of Jesus and drink his blood.  We were real close.  I used to protect him as much as I could.  See, he was a bed wetter and … well, the nuns just wouldn’t tolerate that.  They would get him up in the middle of the night and make him walk nude down the hall carrying his wet bed sheets to the laundry. He would cry all day and would stay up as late as possible trying not to sleep.  We were playing one morning in the bathroom, and Sister Mary Joan came in and caught us with the bottle of bleach.  He yelled at us both and told us that we would die if we got that on us.  That night I woke up when I heard Chris crying.  He had wet the bed.  He said he was going to the bathroom.  I fell asleep, and in the morning I found him lying on the bathroom floor. He was cold and white and lying next to a partially empty bottle of bleach.  At least they can’t  embarrass him any more.  He will never wet his bed again, and I never forgot him.



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