After a late Easter Vigil Mass; Alonzo and I crept and crawled under the beds of sleeping friends in the “Big Boys” dormitory at the Orphanage. Sister St. Jean was in her rocking chair sound asleep. Hearing her snore, was our cue to slip out of our beds, stuff the pillows under the blankets to make it look, from a distance, we were still asleep.
Shushing each other with a finger over our lips we doubled checked Sister St. Jean, to see if she was still there, in the creaking rocking chair. She was assigned every other Friday night to guard the dormitory room. We knew, as usual on that night, that she would be out like a light before the first shine of the moon. We had her in our first class that morning, when the first bell rang.
Waiting for her infamous rhythmic bass sound, and the silence of the chair on opposite sides of the well-lit hallway, divided by the Holy snore, in its silence, we met. Pointing at the doubled doors, which were opened for the warm spring air and the moon that was brightly illuminating the escaping concrete stairs.
We tiptoed down, hanging on to each other’s hands and the other on the rails. Then we ran independently through wet grass with our heels sticking slightly into the mud of the warm spring garden before we climbed the fence between the two brick walls. I chipped my tooth as I fell on the other side. Alonzo picked me up, shook my hand and never saying good-bye, continued to run past me as he was waving one arm.
Looking around, finding myself outside, I walked the long block around the orphanage at least twenty or thirty times. Circling many times, I was getting to know my way better each time. Eventually I understood and had to resign, that I had no place to go, now. And the sun was beginning to rise after my adventure that began after sundown. I knocked on the front door where I once entered several years ago, to go back, again inside. As I went in, walking back to the dormitory, I could hear the corridors murmur, “he has found away to leave here”.