That's what they say when we're together
And watch how you play
They don't understand
And so we're
Running just as fast as we can
Holdin' on to one another's hand
Tryin' to get away into the night
And then you put your arms around me
And we tumble to the ground
And then you say
I think we're alone now
There doesn't seem to be anyone around"
(Tiffany's remake of Tommy James And The Shondells hit "I Think We're Alone Now" was #12 on the Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits in 1987.)Don't Stop Dreaming1986Church Girls Like Bad BoysThe Mushy Part
Come to find out, Mike lived right around the corner from my house with his mother. He was 17. His birthday was only a couple days before mine, and as it turned out, he wasn't such a bad boy after all. He was intelligent, fluent in German, and he didn't mind going to church with our family, which made my mother very happy, of course. At first, we thought about lying to my parents about how old he was. But we agreed, it would be a hard lie to live with. And what if one of us slipped up and spilled the beans? So we told the truth and expected the worst, (which would have been for my parental units to completely flip out) but because of his willingness to go to church, my mother agreed to let us continue seeing each other. She could see Mike was a good kid and she put her trust in me to do what was right.
We were inseparable that summer. Oh, my mother was a smart one! She sent Amy with us everywhere we went, so we would never have a moment alone. Sometimes, we would bribe my sister to go somewhere else, or make up a story if asked where we were, and we'd run off to Kearsly Park where we would lay side by side in the field and look up at the sky. We'd talk about everything under the sun. It didn't matter, we were together, free to express our minds and share our hopes and dreams. I wanted to be an artist and visit to Paris. He wanted to go to Germany. We didn't care where we ended up as long as we were together. We couldn't wait until we were old enough to do what we wanted with our lives. It would come sooner for him than it would for me, but he was willing to wait.
We knew right away we wanted to spend our lives together. Now, I know that sounds crazy. In retrospect, maybe 13 year-old girls should not feel that emotion so strongly (and I say that most earnestly as my oldest will soon be 12). But I thought I was so grown up, and there was never a doubt in my mind that I was in love. He was tall, barrel-chested and so handsome. His eyes were compelling and the way he looked at me with such tenderness and love made me feel things inside I'd never felt before. I wanted to give him everything I could give him. I idolized him in a way that was probably not very sane at all, looking back on it now. People would say it was just a schoolgirl crush, but even to this day, I can honestly say that it was more than that to me. He was an extension of myself. When I was with him, I felt complete. That is the only way I can explain it.
There was a beautiful church a few blocks away on Minnesota and Nebraska Avenues that had these wonderful platform steps leading up to the doorways. That church served as a getaway spot for the two of us as my mother would be the last one earth to stop me from going to a church to "hang out" even without my sister tagging along. We'd sit there for hours, tossing rocks into the street, dissecting leaves, stealing kisses, talking about the misfortunes of our childhood and the mistakes of our parents. We were young and the future was wide open, but we were enveloped with the poverty that surrounded us, and not really knowing if there would ever be a way out of it.
The East Side was like a cell and the walls were closing in around us as the local GM plants began to close their doors forever. Those that were able to find work right away left the city. But the loss of money floating around in Flint's economy hurt local businesses as well. Many went under which left even more people unemployed and unable to find work. My stepfather lost his job, and my mother started working part time as the church secretary, basically for the equivalent of peanuts. I began volunteering at the food bank (our church's ministry outreach for the poor) that summer and was able to bring 2 grocery bags of food home a week.
Yes, money was tight for our family. But money was not going to be the worst of our troubles for long...www.shedreamsindigital.netCalamnetCafe PressMy Stock AccountMy Prints AccountApophysis Resources, Tutorials, and Screensavers
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