School was a place of sanctuary, and more of a home to Nien than the bare, dank orphanage with its abusive owners. She sat, curled up, on a blue bean bag which was faded and pulled from the long years of its use. It was found in the corner of the school's library, a warm brightly coloured room filled with books on adventure, mystery and education. This was Nien's favourite place; somewhere she could hide from all the cruelties she faced and delve in to the lives of others who faced lesser missions in their lives like climbing mountains and fighting evil wizards.
As she flicked through her latest book, 'The Help', admiring the courage of the women in its pages, a shadow fell over her. It was Tom, who had come to the library with his class to do reading. He smiled tentatively down at her through his blonde hair, and she offered him a small smile before turning once again to her book. She did not like being disturbed once in her spot. Tom however, did not get the hint, and sat next to her, the same smile on his face as though he were looking at his deity.
"What do you want?" Nien asked, carefully marking her page and turning to him.
"I didn't wet the bed last night." He grinned. Nien forced her eyes not to roll and cursed the library for sharing its contents with the lower school that was situated down the hill.
"If I don't wet my bed, I might get adopted."
Nien studied him, and nodded. Tom's blonde hair, brown eyes and cherub cheeks would mean he was a sure kid. That's what Joe and Madge called kids who would definitely get adopted. Nien had never been a sure kid.
Tom's face lit up at the nod, and she noticed his little teeth were perfect. Typical. This kid was an angel. Whoever had given him up must have been blind, or seriously stupid.
"Look, Tom, you'd better get back to your group. I think your teacher is looking for you." He glanced over to his teacher, who was indeed looking over at that very minute. She was beckoning with a smile.
"I wish Miss Kelly would adopt me. She's nice!" Tom whispered as he ran over to the woman, taking her hand and waddling over to the kids section. Nien felt a twinge in her heart as she watched them. If only Tom could be adopted, then she would have no problem leaving the orphanage. She had been planning to run away; the files on her laptop labelled 'X' were her detailed notes on escape plans, but her idea had been ruined by the arrival of little Tom. Something about the way he had thanked her, looked after her when she saved him, had meant he was special to her. And she couldn't think of leaving him alone there now. No, her plan could wait.
She watched Tom laughing with Miss Kelly for a moment longer, then returned to her book.
If only someone would adopt him.