“Jack. This is Mr and Mrs Beaumont.” Two young, beautiful adults smiled down at me. I sat up from my hospital bed with the help of nurse Jenkins, I offered my hand and Mr Beaumont shook it.
“Hello Jack,” he smiled,
“Good morning Sir,” I replied. It had been about ten hours since the policewoman found me, she had called an ambulance and that had arrived quickly, I’d been wheeled off and left my parents behind with the police. I had asked but none of the doctors here knew what had happened back home, but I had been informed that the social worker was coming to have a chat with me.
“Are you my social worker?” I asked, Mr Beaumont laughed and shook his head,
“No, you’re social worker is…”
“Here,” said a voice of a man as he walked over and bumped fists with me,
“everyone out,” he said, they all obey and moments later I was alone in the ward with him. “The names Paul,” he said sitting down, he only looked a few years older than me, “I’m more here to be a friend than a social worker, just if you tell me information I may be able to use it to your advantage.” He grinned,
“Where are my parents?” I asked, his grin vanished,
“They’ve both been put in prison,” he said quietly,
“Why?” I asked, this information didn’t surprise me, I knew they were destined to be arrested at one point in time. Not once had they been nice to me, cooked food for me or bought me clothes, I hadn’t had a haircut in years and showers were a weekly affair. My room consisted of a mattress and an old potato sack which I used as a duvet; I only went to school if my mom let me out the door and even when I went people stayed clear of me. No one bullied me, I guess that was because I was over six foot and had pretty big muscles from push-ups and sit-ups which I did in my bedroom to pass time. I wasn’t allowed near the TV or fridge unless dad was in-between being sober and totally hammered. I called it the happy stage, when he was jolly and smiley, then he’d had one more beer and turn against me, throwing me against walls and punching me.
“A reason or two, something to do with child abuse and drugs, they won’t be out for ten years or so said the policemen. It all depends on the trail which will take place next month,” he explained,
“Paul?” I asked after a moment’s silence, “Where am I going to go?”
“That’s mainly what I’m here to talk about. You have no close family and so you have two other options, a teenage orphanage or fostering,”
“Fostering?” I asked, my head was beginning to bang,
“Semi-adoption, you live with a family until you want to either move on or be adopted,”
“What would you choose?” I asked, he didn’t answer instead he smiled at me, he nudged my arm slightly,
“That is a good question Jack, very very good, but I can’t answer, I’m nonbiased,” he smiled, “Although I would say most of the people in orphanages have been there for most of their lives and so you’d start at the bottom of the pecking order,” I nodded,
“Fostering it is then,” I agreed. He nodded and wrote something down,
“Time to call your new foster parents back in," he raised his eyebrows, "Mr and Mrs Beaumont,” he called, got up and left the room.