Thinking you aren't normal is no suprise to modern-day teenagers. It happens to us all, one way or another. But ... at least you're human. Something Ruby Clark won't ever be able to understand.
It's common for people to take what they have for granted. A warm bed? A roof over your head? A family, to love and care for you, whatever the cost? Nobody likes to admit it, but it's what we do. What makes us human.
All of that vanished as soon as I discovered how far from human I was. How far from human that I am.
Who would give a bed to someone who could rip it to shreds in a matter of seconds, or invite a monster into their home? Who could ever love something that is un-loveable?
I grew up with question upon question, in my head. Unfortunately, under my circumstances, most of them were impossible to answer. That one day, the 23rd of December 2006 ... my Thirteenth birthday ... changed it all. I try not to remember it; from what little I could recall. But it haunted me. The day my parents died.
It was my fault - I had told myself that for the next three years, being moved from house to house. Like anyone ever kept me for more than a few months. I can't say that I blame them. My attitude wasn't the best: turning up late to school, sometimes never even going; roaming the streets, not coming back until I knew for certain that I had to. Bad language, grubbiness, complete lack of respect, you name it.
My social worker, Steph, described me as "Troubled, distraught, unable to shift myself from the after-effects of my loss." Of course, she was right. It took a great deal of energy for me to bother going along with her persistant goal to settle me down with a foster-family. God knows why she hasn't simply given up yet. I have realised though, that I would rather have her than some random old lady anyday.
Not that she can't be a pain in the ass - a similarity we both share. Every time I'm sent back, she wears the same sad, dissappointed expression. She even might add in a heart-felt lecture, for example, like two weeks ago.
Strangely, as she stared at me that evening, repeating the expected phrases - 'This could have worked out if you had tried!' and 'I know you are going through a tough time but you have to listen,' something she said made me stop.
'What would your parents think?'
My heart clenched; I knew exactly what they would think. I was wasting away my life, taking out all of my frustration on others for what I am. For wanting to scream to the world, "Why can't you help me! Why did it have to be me! Why? WHY!". It was only then that what Steph had been attempting to drill into my brain started to seem justified.
I can't do this anymore. Yes, I'm upset. Yes, I still believe it's unfair. However, we must play the cards we have been dealt. Which is why, this time? Things are going to be different.
My name is Ruby Clark. And I'm a werewolf.