Daily Prompt: With or Without You
by Krista on February 17, 2014

Tell us about the time you threw down the gauntlet and drew the proverbial line in the sand by giving someone an ultimatum. If you’ve never handed out an ultimatum but secretly wanted to, describe the scene and what you would say to put an end (one way or another) to an untenable situation.

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I have often written about my job as a McKinney-Vento Homeless Children and Youth Program Home-School Liaison for a local school system. During my first couple of years, I tended to care too much and wanted to bring all the children home with me. I just couldn’t stand to see the children living in conditions unfit for human habitation or youth living by moving around from one friend’s home to another until their welcome was worn out.
There was one youth, that I did end up bringing home with me, with the intentions of helping him. His step-father hated him, beat him, and threw him out, often. When I first talked to him, he assured me that he wanted to finish school, get a job, and be self-sufficient.
At first, things went well, I helped him with clothing, housing, and schooling. One day I found out that he hadn’t been showing up at school, so I went home on my lunch break and there he was, chatting on the computer. I was livid. He told me that he just hadn’t been feeling well and would try to do better. My husband and I gave him a second chance.
When summer came, my husband helped him find some part-time jobs and took him back and forth, but he ended up getting fired from every job because of laziness. By the end of summer, my husband was ready to put him back on the streets, but I talked him into waiting and seeing how the school year went; it was the boys senior year. I helped him apply for a pell grant at a nearby community college that offered several technical degrees.
He had told me that he just didn’t want to be flipping burgers all his life. When asked what he wanted to do, he just shrugged his shoulders. He played guitar and drums well, and soon met up with a couple of friends and they formed a band.
He started skipping school, again, to practice with the band. They would often meet at our home, while we were at work, and eat up everything in the house leaving a trail of dirty dishes and garbage behind them. That was the last straw. We told him he had to move out. One of the guys in the band lived on his own, so the boy moved in with him.
The last I heard, he had gotten married, had a baby, and was working at a ‘Dollar General Store’. I think he gave up on the band. I know he gave up on school.

One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands:

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