A Family Morning

 

Asteri

When I was a child the covers that swallowed me in the many beds that I inhabited had held a thin protection from the world. I always kept the curtains open to view the stars, even when they were so few to none because of the pollution. I would stare up and wish upon every single one of them, but mostly upon the brightest and largest one, which I had assumed long ago was my mother.

Lying here on Burt's sofa hurts my back, but heals my heart as the notion that I am no longer in a foster home feeds my thoughts. Though I can't see through the closed window, I feel a strange calm. 

I can hear voices murmuring in unison upstairs as Burt talks to his wife and the summer night's creatures can be heard scurrying outside. I close my eyes, willing myself to fall asleep. I try to recall every word that had been shared between Burt and I, but soon exhaustion takes over.

***

"Please eat," Helena urges me. "Pick anything."

I look down at my empty plate and then to the small buffet on the table that consists of bacon, eggs, potatoes, and sausages. To my left is Burt's son, Jonathan, and he ignores my hesitation by chewing hungrily on a thick piece of bacon. His blond hair is similar to mine, but the freckles on his nose belong to his mother.

"Thank you," I say before quickly grabbing a slice of omelet. 

Helena smiles at me and prepares a plate for Burt who is still upstairs shaving. She had awoken first and her tour of the house had been quick, not because she hadn't been in the mood, but because I had felt too uncomfortable.

Macy drinks from a tall glass of orange juice, but I can see her little grey eyes inspecting me. Her dark blond hair is in two short braids and they move easily as she puts her glass down.

"Mommy makes the best bacon," she instructs. "You should try it."

I pick up a piece of bacon swiftly and bite into it at her command. 

"What do you think?" Jonathan asks. 

"It's really good," I mutter as I finish off the strip of bacon. Helena watches us with an amused smile as Burt enters the dining room. 

"Morning," he nearly shouts and his family nearly shouts back their own greeting. "How was everyone's sleep?" 

I notice that he is mainly staring at me when he asks this and within seconds I also realize that the whole family is staring at me, waiting for an answer.

"Good," I say.

He smiles and I see the lines of worry fade away from his forehead. He sits down at the opposite end of where Helena is sitting and drinks from his cup of coffee. He bites into a piece of sausage before turning to face me. "I'm taking you to several places this morning so you can have a look around, learn more about Robbin, and we need to get you a bed."

I blush.

"Don't be embarrassed. I don't want you sleeping on the couch, you'll ruin your back and you're too young for that." 

I nod simply, my face still burning. I watch him smile to himself before digging further into his breakfast.

The End

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