My name is Gus... Just Gus. Not Mr. Gus or "Gussy" Just Gus and I am the school janitor. And contrary to popular
belief I do not drink bleach or live in the school's basement. I have a nice house next to Emery Lane Elementary School (ELES) I drink water and Diet soda and I am perfectly sane.
But nobody knows that... And nobody cares. In fact, the only friend I have is a measly old wooden broom and a dustpan. The staff doesn't like me either.
"Why didn't old Gus sweep my room!" "Why isn't Gus cleaning my whiteboard!" The admin doesn't throw me any bones either. Every holiday they dress me up as some ridiculous character.
Santa Gus for Christmas, Pumpkin Gus for Halloween, and Rabbit Gus for easter. They make me sweep, scrub, polish, shine, and wipe... All for ten bucks an hour.
Today is Sunday, Sunday is my refuge, my sanctuary, my day off. A whole day to watch my sitcoms and relax.
Paradise I tell you, it is paradise! Then along comes Monday where I spend my day being mocked and nagged. After a whole day off I'm back at school with my broom and dustpan.
I make a quick stop at the Janitors closet. I don't even get an office. Just a closet that smells like bleach and dirty rags.
I grab my cleaning cart and walk out of the closet where I see a crying child sitting in the hallway. I don't know what to do. I don't talk to people. I just listen.
Still, I can't just do nothing. I walk over to the boy and sit myself down. "Are you alright?" "No!" He sobs. "I'm all alone now! My friends abandoned me!" "I know how you feel." I begin.
"I'm not exactly joe popular myself." The boy sniffs and wipes his eyes. "You don't know how I feel.
I don't even have a mom she lives in Florida and my dad just read magazines in the living room recliner. And now my best friends just dumped me." I look at the boy.
"You're not alone, you have me and I have you," I said. The boy relaxed and ceased crying. His face was red and wet.
The bell rang and the boy smiled at me then walked to class.
I watched with utter happiness as the boy walked into the crowds of children that cluttered the halls, He walked deeper and deeper into the grounds into he was gone. I have a new feeling.
I can feel it deeply. Something in my heart has changed. Like a broken gear has been fixed. For the first time in forever, I'm not alone.
It was a strange feeling at first but as it set in deeper into my mind I
Simply accepted its existence and carried on with more spring in my step and more fullness in my heart. The next day I walked to work and saw the boy coming towards me.
He asked if he may spend his lunch period with me and I was incapable of denying his splendid request. The feeling increased within me and made me happier throughout the day.
My lunch was well spent talking with the boy who identified himself as Mark Rustleton. Mark also came at the end of the day and I helped him out with his homework. Mark was a special boy.
He had a wonderful way with words and was extremely talented with his academics.
He received good marks in school (No pun intended) and has received many awards in the past for his work, however, his best trait is his kindness.
Where other kids treated me like dirt he treated me not like dirt but as a newly planted tree.
We kept our schedule until Friday evening where he went to go to his grandmother's house and I cleaned the bathrooms. On Sunday I was motivated enough to clean my house and call my mom and dad.
For weeks my life carried on this way, Mark and I have gotten to be very close friends. Back on Monday, I had the flu so I was wasn't allowed to go to school.
I called the school and asked them to inform Mark of my absence and the admin happily obliged. Thankfully I was allowed to go back to school on Wednesday.
Back on Wednesday Mark helped me take out the trash and clean the whiteboards.
(His dad didn't notice his absence) Mark was gone the next five days, and for five days nobody talked to me and nobody acknowledged my presence.
On the sixth day, I received a call, a sad call, a very sad call. It was from the orphanage. An old lady spoke to me. She said that Mark would like to speak to me.
I could tell he had been crying. He said that his parents were gone and that he was being put up for adoption.
He said he was being schooled at the adoption center and wouldn't be coming back to school. My heart was broken. Mark was gone. And I was alone.
And all I have is a measly old broom and a dustpan. I was all alone... I was so sad that I just left. I walked out of school with my heart in pieces.
But during this oppression, I came up with a plan. A plan that would save my heart. I got into my car and drove to the orphanage.
I walked in alone but walked out with Mark by my side I adopted Mark from the orphanage. And I knew deep in my heart that not only was I friend to Mark but also a father.
I am no longer just Gus I am the greatest Gus this world has ever seen and I have Mark to show for it.