The Fifth Home

It's about a foster girl named Torri Crast

Chapter One: The Arrival

 

I glanced out the window, frowning. This was my fifth home in two years. But I guess that's the pattern for foster kids.

Nothing's constant.

The driver turned a corner, bringing us to another row of fancy houses. To my surprise, he stopped when we were halfway to the other end of the street.

I looked out again. A young woman with long blond hair walked down a sidewalk leading to the curb of the road. Now that she was closer, I could see she had kind brown eyes and a round face. She was slender, with a nice body.

"Bye Torri. I hope I don't see you again too soon," my driver, who happens to be the one who drives me all the time, said.

"Same here. Bye Charlie."

Charlie was tall, with black skin. His brown hair was shaved short, and every time I saw him, he wore a black suit. He grew up in foster care, too

I grabbed my duffel bag full of every belonging I owned, which was only three jeans, six T-shirts, underwear, and a picture of my parents from before they died. Currently, I was wearing my only pair of shorts, my only hoodie, and my Death Cab for Cutie T-shirt. My shoes, which were just a pair of Vans Off the Wall flats I've had for three years, had multiple holes in them, were too small, and weren't white anymore.

I waved as Charlie drove away. I wish I could have given him a hug; he was almost like a brother to me.

"Hi Torri. I hope you'll be happy here. My name is Eleanor, but you can call me Ellie. Come inside, and I'll show you your room."

I wanted to scream, "I'm never happy! I don't care who you are! And having a room doesn't make a difference because I don't want to be here!"

Instead, I bit my tongue and said, "Thank you."

Ellie led me through the house to a room upstairs. It was relatively big for a bedroom. It was certainly the biggest room I'd ever had. The walls were painted a bright kiwi color.

"Did somebody tell you?" I asked, a little ruder than I'd planned.

"Tell me what?" she asked, scared she'd offended me already.

"That my favorite colors are green, pink, and orange?"

She sighed in relief and laughed. "Oh, heavens no. This used to be my daughter's room, and she loved the colors too."

"Oh. She moved out, then?" I asked, wondering why I was asking.

"Um... No. She was killed in a car accident three years ago."

"Oh. I'm so sorry. I could sleep on the couch, if you wanted. It's fine." I said quickly, not sure if I really wanted to stay in a dead girl's room.

"Oh, no, no. Unless you'd rather. It's up to you. You might be here a while, though, and the couch is terribly uncomfortable for more than a few hours. I couldn't imagine sleeping on it for more than a week. But I don't care, dear. So long as your happy."

"Okay. Thank you. This is the first time I've had a bed in a while..."

"You're welcome. I'll leave you to unpack. Dinner will be ready by six, when Dave gets home. And Logan will be back from school in a few minutes," she said, turning to leave and shutting the door.

I didn't bother unpacking. There wasn't really any use for it. I'd probably be leaving in a month or two anyway. Four to eight weeks wasn't really something I would waste time unpacking for.

I sat down on the bed. It took a second, but finally, I started crying.

I stayed in my new room for the three hours it took for time to slowly pass to six. I heard the front door open downstairs and guessed Dave was home.

"Torri?" Ellie asked, knocking softly on the door but not coming in. "Dinner is ready."

"Okay. I'll be out in a minute," I said, drying my eyes and wiping my nose on my sleeve.

When I heard footsteps retreating down the hall, I slipped out of my room to the bathroom. When I finished washing my face and hands, I went downstairs.

A tall man with dark hair was standing at the sink washing his hands.

"Hi Torri," someone said from behind me, making me jump.

"Oh, sorry. Didn't mean to scare you. I'm Logan."

"You didn't scare me. I just wasn't expecting you to sneak up on me," I said, sighing.

"Okay, whatever you say."

"Logan, be nice. Torri, you can come grab a plate. We're having lasagna," Ellie announced cheerfully.

"Hey! I am being nice," Logan said, grabbing a plate.

"Um, what's lasagna?" I asked shyly, walking up to the blue counters uneasily.

Everyone stopped what they were doing to look at me. Logan's mouth was hanging open, like he was completely shocked by my lack of knowledge. He probably was.

My skin started crawling, and I wanted nothing more than to bolt from the large room. But I forced myself to stay put and wait for my answer.

"Lasagna is a type of pasta," Dave explained finally. "If you like spaghetti, then you'll love this."

"Oh. I've only had spaghetti twice, but I liked it," I said, getting a small piece of lasagna. I waited for everyone else to sit down, so I didn't take someone's spot and get in trouble.

I sat between Logan and Ellie once they were seated at the dark round oak table.

"So how do you like your room?" Dave asked, breaking the silence.

"I love it," I said. I took a bite of the lasagna and was surprised by how good it was. "This is really good."

"Thank you, Torri. It's home-made, the best kind."

We ate in silence for a moment, but I stopped when I noticed Logan staring at my face.

"You have a huge bruise on the side of your face. You must have run into a pretty hard wall to do that," he remarked.

"Logan!"

"Um, no, it's alright. I was wondering when somebody would ask about that." Everyone was silent, waiting on me.

"I did not run into a really hard wall, though I wish that was the case. Um... no, my last foster family was abusive, and only really cared about the money they got from the system."

Ellie and Dave were too astonished to speak.

"I know what that's like," Logan said solemnly. Now it was my turn to be shocked.

"You do?" I asked, looking at Ellie and Dave with fear.

"Oh, no. Not them. You see, I was in foster care, too. Ellie and Dave, here, adopted me two and a half years ago. Ellie and Dave are the greatest; they wouldn't hurt a fly," Logan explained.

I sighed in relief and said, "Oh." It was the best I could come up with.

I ate my last piece of lasagna.

"Torri, will you let me see your shoes?" Ellie asked after a minute.

"Um, I guess. Why?" I stood up and let her see my feet.

"How long have you had them?"

Starting to feel a little self-conscious now, I answered, "Three years."

Ellie laughed. "They've had a good run or two, haven't they."

"Yeah, I guess so."

"Tomorrow, I'm gonna take you shopping to get some new ones."

"Oh, that's not necessary," I said.

"Nonsense. If it rains, your feet will be soaking wet, and I don't want you getting a cold."

"Okay. Um... thank you."

When everyone was done, we talked for a little bit longer, and finally went to bed.

I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

 

The End

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