Hot Potato / Cold Potato
A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances ,but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.
“I hate you!”I yelled,as I ran up the stairs to my room.Throwing open my dresser drawers, I pulled out a clean t-shirt and jeans,threw them in my backpack and ran back down the steps.Mom and Dad stood there,looking like they were in shock.
“Where are you going?”Mom asked.
“Anywhere but here,”I shouted as I ran out the door.They weren’t fast enough to grabme, and I slipped away into the night.It was cold,but my hot temper warmed me, and I didn’t feel it. Not at first,anyway.
I hit the streets with my thumb out. Hitchhiking wasn’t safe,but I didn’t care. It was the only way I knew, at fourteen years old, to get away from them. We’d moved three times in the last four years,so I was always the new kid in class,the one who didn’t know what chapter we were working on or what project was due next week. I was always playing catch-up and trying to fit in.
Worse than trying to fit in at school was trying to make new friends wherever we moved.There were cliques of popular students who had known each other since grade school.Then there were the geeks and jocks who just didn’t seem to interest me. I wasn’tathletic and didn’t excel at anything, really. Just an average high school kid looking for friends. Deep down inside,I knew my parents loved me, just like God loved me,but it wasn’t enough.
I slept curled up on a park bench the first night I took off. It was hard as a rock, and I was surprised to find that I wasn’t alone. With my arms wrapped tightly around me for warmth, I huddled on the beach closest to the streetlight. Peeking through half-closed eyes, I could see other homeless people just like me,only they looked like they’d been there a long time. Some of them looked kind of scary, with dirty beard and baggy clothes. Some pushed grocery carts filled with their entire life’s treasure. I didn’t sleep much that night, and when the sun rose, I washed up in the park’s restroom and hit the road.
By the end of the second day, I’d made my way to another city sixty-five miles away where I found a halfway house for runaways. I was tired, cold and hungry. By the time I got there, the kitchen was closed. All that was left on the table was a cold potato. I lifted it to my lips and bit into the wrinkled skin. It was crumbly and dry and stuck in my throat when I tried to swallow. That night I slept on a cot in a room with four other runaways. It wasn’t a whole lot better than the park. The cot was hard and the blanket was scratchy, and those other kids looked like they’d been there a long, long time. I tossed and turned all night.
The next day, I changed into the only clean clothes I had and was shown how to use the washer and dryer to do my own laundry.
“The soap is over there,”Carly told me. She was one of the other four runaways in my room. “Don’t use too much,just half a corp is all you need.”
I wanted to ask her how long she’d been there,but she interrupted my thoughts.
“I’ve been here almost four months now.”Carly said. “We have rules for what you can and can’t do, so you better get used to it. You can’t use the laundry before 8:00 in the morning and you can’t watch TV after 10:00 at night. You have to be down at the kitchen table right at 12:00 and 5:00, or you don’t eat, and you have to rotate chores every week. This is my week on kitchen duty. I help make lunches and dinners, and I clean up afterward. So,don’t go makin’a big mess in there.”
“When are you going home?” I asked her.
“I don’t know and I don’t care. My parents know I’m here but won’t come by to even to talk to me, and so what! You got something to say about that?”
Carly glared at me as she talked.
“No,” I responded, but I felt sad for Carly. Her parents know didn’t ever care! I was scared. Maybe my parents didn’t care,either.
Three days later,my dad showed up at the front door of the halfway house. I don’t know how he found out I was there, but part of me was glad he did,though I wouldn’t admit it out loud. After gathering my few things,we drove home in silence. I could almost see the questions running through his head. Why did she run away from home? What was so awful there that we couldn’t talk about it? I could see by the look on his face that he felt responsible for all my anger and sadness. I regretted shouting at my parents the night I ran away. It wasn’t their fault that I felt this way.
I had a long time to think as we drove those many miles home,and I wondered why I hadn’t seen all the things Dad had done for the family. He was trying to make a better life for us, moving us from one city to the next so he could get a better job.He was doing his best to put clothes on my back and shoes on my feet. It was up to me to make the best of new school and to open up to new classmates. Hanging my head in the halls and not talking to anyone who even said “hi” couldn’t help me make friends. Maybe I could make more of an effort to reach out to others.
When we finally reached our house, Mom opened the front door as we walked up the stairs, I smelled a roast cooking and knew there’d be hot baked potatoes to go with it. As I stepped inside, she opened her arms wide and I fell into them. Dad was right behind me and put his arms around both of us. Ordinarily, I’d pull away, but this time I didn’t.
They both released me a few moments later, and that’s when I saw the tears in Mom’s eyes. I lowered my head and blinked twice really fast, trying to hide my own tears. I made a promise to myself not to hurt them like that again. They were doing the best they could. It was up to me to meet them halfway.
I knew the changes I had to make wouldn’t take place overnight, but as I looked at my parents and felt the warmth in my house, I realized there’s no place like home.
1. potato 英 [pəˈteɪtəʊ] 美 [pəˈteɪtoʊ]
2. yell 英 [jel] 美 [jɛl]
3. dresser drawer 衣橱抽屉
4. backpack 英 [ˈbækpæk] 美 [ˈbækˌpæk]
( vi.背着背包徒步旅行 )
Throwing open my dresser drawers, I pulled out a clean t-shirt and jeans,threw them in my backpack and ran back down the steps.
5 .grab 英 [græb] 美 [ɡræb]
6. hitchhiking英 ['hɪtʃhaɪkɪŋ] 美 ['hɪtʃhaɪkɪŋ]
v.搭乘;<美><口>作搭便车式的旅行( hitchhike的现在分词 )
7. clique 英 [kli:k] 美 [klik, klɪk]
8. grade school 英 [ɡreid sku:l] 美 [ɡred skul]
There were cliques of popular students who had known each other since grade school.
9. geek英 [gi:k] 美 [ɡik]
10. jock 英 [dʒɒk] 美 [dʒɑ:k]
11. athletic 英 [æθˈletɪk] 美 [æθˈlɛtɪk]
12.excel at英 [ikˈsel æt] 美 [ɪkˈsɛl æt]
13. deep down inside 内心深处
14. curl up 蜷曲
15. huddle 英 [ˈhʌdl] 美 [ˈhʌdl]
16. half-closed eyes 半眯着眼
17.peek 英 [pi:k] 美 [pik]
Peeking through half-closed eyes, I could see other homeless people just like me,only they looked like they’d been there a long time.
18. beard英 [bɪəd] 美 [bɪrd]
20. hit the road 英 [hit ðə roʊd] 美 [hɪt ði rəʊd]
21. halfway house 路边歇脚的小店
22. bit into 咬了一口
He bit into his sandwich. 他咬了一口他的三明治。
23. crumbly 英 [ˈkrʌmbli] 美 [ˈkrʌmbli]
24. throat 英 [θrəʊt] 美 [θroʊt]
25. cot 英 [kɒt] 美 [kɑ:t]
26. a whole lot 英 [ə həul lɔt] 美 [e hol lɑt]
It wasn't a whole lot better than the park.
It will free us of a whole lot of debt.
27. scratchy英 [ˈskrætʃi] 美 [ˈskrætʃi]
adj.( 衣服或织物) 扎人的；粗糙刺激皮肤的
The cot was hard and the blanket was scratchy.
28. toss and turn 翻来覆去;转辗反侧;
29. change into换上衣服;（使）变为
30. scoop 英 [sku:p] 美 [skup]
31. rotate chores 轮流做家务
1. I shouted as I ran out the door. 我冲她大叫，跑出了家门。
2.I slipped away into the night. 我迅速隐没在了黑暗中。
3.It was cold,but my hot temper warmed me. 天气很冷，但满腔的怒气却让我满血沸腾。
4. I hit the streets with my thumb out. 我漫无目地从一条街游荡到另一条大街。
5. Part of me was glad he came here,though I wouldn't admit it out loud.
6.What was so awful there that we couldn't talk about it?
awful 英 [ˈɔ:fl] 美 [ˈɔfəl] adj.可怕的;糟糕的;非常的;极坏的
7.He was doing his best to put clothes on my back and shoes on my sheet.