I really did wonder why on earth the Harfields would want to foster someone like me. A teenager, at the least. With attitude issues and bad history? Either they were bribed by the Social Services or these factors didn't matter to them. Which, I suppose, turns in my favour. Right?
The timing was odd, in a way; literally one day after my 'This is my last chance,' epiphany, Steph notified me that somebody was interested. Immediately skipping the option to meet them before anything was arranged, I agreed and then walked off. Don't worry, ya don't need to tell me twice - I probably should have gotten to know them first. I guess I was so wrapped up in my own emotions that any opportunity was perfect.
I'm not going to screw this up. I'm not going to screw this up. Maybe if I say it enough, it might come true. Like with Dorothy's magical red shoes; there's no place like home. Hah ... home. Where's that? Ugh, this is the exact feeling I didn't want to still have to deal with. I mean ... I'm not ... I'm still me. I deserve a chance to be normal.
A warm sensation inside my body, flaring upwards to the surface, reminded me that I wasn't born to be like everybody else. The heat, representing the creature inside, also believed I should be proud. Sometimes, I listened to what it felt and gloried in the fact that, despite all that's happened, I'll never be alone. Non-physically. The other half of me hated the reason that I had to be here in the first place.
"Would you like a drink, Miss Walters? Ruby?" I blinked a few times before realising that we had entered an elaborate kitchen-unit. My thoughts had distracted me from actually paying attention to the house that I would be living in. I denied Mr Harfield's offer.
"Please, call me Steph. And, no thankyou, I must be heading off. Duty calls. I'll be round to check up on how the arrangement is going now and then, but aside from that," Her gaze turned to me, a faint sign of wetness bordering her eyes. "Goodbye, Ruby. I hope things go well. And you'll always have me to talk to." Well, I'll be damned, she's actually gonna miss me. Her arms embraced me in a short sweet, hug before heading for the door, brushing invisible dust from her pinstripe trousers. She dressed like a Social Worker, but behaved like a mother figure.
A small tug on my sleeve alerted me to the daughter, Gillian, looking up at me. She giggled again, followed by another weak tug. Having no real experience with children, I knelt down to her level awkwardly and used my best conversational skills.
"Hi," Two dimples appeared as her infectious smile widened. "Your name is really pretty." The compliment triggered a blush on my face.
"Mummy says that you're my new sister. Does this mean I can trade my brother in to that lady?" Jay spun around, narrowed eyed and playfully stuck his tongue out at Gillian. Hah!
I like this kid.