Anthony, my foster parent, handed me the book he was reading.
"What does this say?" he asked, pointing to a word.
"It says Mississippi," I said. Anthony was dyslexic, so words like Mississippi were hard for him to read 'cause all the letters got muddled up. "Have you ever thought about learning to read braille?" I grinned. This was a joke I shared with him often.
Anthony laughed. "Too much time, too much effort, and a waste of my personal dictionary," he answered. "My person thirteen year old dictionary," he added, and reached behind his chair. He produced two squares wrapped in lilac paper. "Go on."
I carefully unwrapped the smallest one. It was a pink iPod Nano. I smiled a smile which grew wider when I opened the other pastel coloured present to reveal five albums: two Kelly Clarkson, two Anna Nalick and one Ellie Goulding.
"Oh my gosh, thank you so much!" I exclaimed and hugged Anthony tightly. He hugged me back warmly.
"I should think so. Took me ages to decipher that Anna Nalick one." He chuckled.
I giggled as I sat back on the floor in front of him. "Why didn't you just ask?"
The look he gave me was one I recognised instantly. It told me that I didn't even need the answer to that one. Anthony didn't like to show people his dyslexia, so he normally got me to do stuff that involved reading swirly writing and such. I rolled my eyes and he leaned forward and flicked my forehead.
"Right, I'm going to have a shower and get dressed. We'll go out later, yeah?"
"Yeah, whatever," I said. "I'll get some breakfast. Wanna cuppa?"
"Coffee, if you don't mind," he said, before running up the stairs. I don't know why, but running upstairs was something we both did. I stood on my toes to get a cup, couldn't reach, so I climbed up onto the counter instead. I was a really, really short person so reaching things was one of my weak points. I jumped down, taking care not to drop the cups, and put them in front of the kettle. Halfway through watching it boil, I noticed that there was no sugar so I sighed and climbed back up to the counter and knelt up to get the packet. In the cupboard was a few plates, one solitary bowl, a dish, about five teacups, four mugs, and one packet. I'd never seen a packet like it. It was somewhat shiny, purple, and had a weirdly un-shiny light blue stripe from top to bottom down one side. But, since flour never inhabited the cupboard because neither me nor Anthony could be bothered to make stuff that involved using it, I guessed that this was sugar. Shrugging, I pulled it out and got down from the counter.
While I was trying to figure out how to open the packet, it unexpectedly crumpled in my hands, turning into a bunch of silver glitter that fell through my fingers onto the black tile floor.
"I wasn't expecting that," I said to myself quietly.
"No-one does," said a voice behind me. I slowly turned around, 'cause normally when I talked to myself like that, I was answered with silence, not a voice.
A guy stood in the doorway, which was strange 'cause I hadn't heard him come in. The creaky doors made it impossible to enter or exit the house without being noticed.
"How did you get in Anthony's house?" I asked suspiciously. It had always been 'Anthony's house' to me. He didn't seem to mind.
"Does it matter? I'm in now, and we've got to go."
"Um, wait, wait, wait," I shook my head. "You can't just take me without telling me where. And what about Anthony? He's taking me out later."
"He already knows," the boy told me, sounding irritated as if he'd already said it to about fifty other people.
"How can he? He just went upstairs and-"
"He knows, all right?" the guy sighed. And then didn't give me chance to interrupt him before saying, "What's your name?"
"What's yours?" I countered, folding my arms.
"You can call me Finley. Name?"
"Why do you need to know?"
Finley groaned. "Because I'm taking you to school."
"But it's Saturday," I said.
"School starts on Sunday!" He exclaimed. "Tell me your name!"
"All right, all right. Calm down." I looked at him. He clenched his teeth. "I'm Matilda Lightly."
"Great. Let's go," he reached over and grabbed my wrist before I stop him and then we were gone.