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Please read “About this project and the Author” for more information on my project. In this excerpt, Daryl’s outlook on life changes with one sentence…

“I was so conscious of my every move and so afraid of doing something wrong, I sat in the living room of my new home and did as little as possible thinking that if I did nothing, then I would do nothing wrong.

The first night, at around seven o’clock, my parents frantically looked for me everywhere. They even got dressed and went outside by the river to look for me. They were completely freaked out and wondered where I had disappeared. They found me sound asleep in my bed. On my first Saturday morning with them, I got up before everybody else, quietly sat in the living room and waited for the others to get up. When they did, we all had breakfast together, then I helped with the dishes and went back to sit in the living room, everything done very, very quietly, until I was told it was quite alright to turn on the television and watch cartoons. They thought it was cute at first, after all who wouldn’t dream of a ten year old so well behaved. I made my own bed, I set the table, washed the dishes and spoke only when asked a question. That stuff was drilled into me at Ville Joie and I hadn’t even realized it. I didn’t know it wasn’t exactly normal for a kid to do all these things. Some of my new cousins weren’t too thrilled with it at first since they kept hearing “your cousin Daryl does it, so why can’t you?”

As it had happened before, I was allowed to remain in my old school, which was a blessing since it gave me some sort of continuity. This meant that for the first few months after I arrived, I wouldn’t have many friends from my new hometown and that was fine with me. I had the faithful friendship of Charlemagne, the kindness of my parents, the peace of the river and plenty of rocks to throw in it.

The moment that would change my entire outlook on life came one night during dinner. I don’t know how the subject turned to all of the families I had visited in the previous four years, but it did. That’s when my mother said the magic words as she looked me in the eyes…

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Contact: steve.marchand@rogers.com

This project is entirely written on an iPad

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