Something something xD
“Anna, get up” I moan into my pillow and moved to look at the clock, it had to be way too early to get up for school. And I was right, it was 3 AM. I turned a set of bleary-eyes to Charles. He was always the one who did the morning rounds, waking everyone up. He covered his mouth with a finger and I looked over at the still sleeping form of little Petra, she was the newest to join the house. Only seven years old. She didn't talk much, but then it didn't surprise me judging by the bruises. To a certain extent I was glad I'd just been left on a doorstep.
I pulled myself out of bed and rubbed the sleep from my eyes as I approached the doorway, Charles stepped back so I could follow him into the hallway. He shut the door with a soft shush sound. Then silently led me down the stairs towards the offices. I really wanted to ask him questions but I was well aware of how many light sleepers we had. Also there was Oliver, if he overheard voices in the middle of the night he'd surely wet the bed. He had a bad case of paranoia courtesy of a sadistic father. We were a ragtag group, most of us were either too messed up or too old to for a new, squeaky-clean set of parents to ever want us. Though I had a feeling Petra was going to get whipped up pretty fast. She was still young enough that the mental damage could maybe be undone. Charles was one of six carers who all lived here with us. They were all nice enough and I imagine not many carers can handle the crap we can throw at them. I avoided the second to last step, knowing it would creak loudly and continued to follow Charles tall body into the warm glow of the main office. Lily and Kim were there, must be something big if there were three of them here to talk. I glanced my memory back but no, I hadn't done anything bad recently. Though I'd be lying if I said I hadn't stayed up a little late last night with some of the not-so-good kids from school. I didn't really like them or anything, but they gave me easy access to all the things that helps me forget the world for a small amount of time. Okay, maybe I had been bad recently. But when your sixteen and live in this care house “bad” only really rates when it involves the police. The majority of us were angry adolescents. Annoyed at the system I guess.
“Here” Kim handed me a set of cloths, they were ones I'd thrown in the basket for the weekly wash. I looked from them to Kim's copper skin surrounded by chestnut curls.
“What's going on?” I asked, suddenly far too aware of how quiet they were being. It took me a while to recognise the shine in their eyes and the barely suppressed grin. The expressions they wore whenever one of the younger kids that had been with us for a few weeks got adopted.
“Your being adopted Anna!” Lily spoke with a barely suppressed yell and pulled me into a tight hug. I froze before gently patting her back. I'd been fostered before but then thrown back into the system. All I could wonder was weather this would be a repeat of that.
“And its not just anyone” Charles said as he handed me my rucksack. I saw some spare sets of clothing and toiletries in there. This wasn't right. I understand that they got impatient with such rare, good news for one of us older kids. But I didn't need any stuff. There were protocols with adoption. I'd be given time to slowly adjust to them and their house, going back and forth between their home and the care home. For me to shipped this fast meant this wasn't a normal adoption case. I wasn't a normal adoption case. I could feel the unease growing.
“Turns out your birth dad has been trying to track you down for a long time, and now he's found you” Charles finished. He had a wide smile like the others. No wonder they were so happy. It's extremely rare for a child here to be reunited with their birth parents. I felt my eyes drop to the floor and steadied my breathing. My birth dad? No, that's insane. My parents abandoned me on a doorstep without even a given name to accompany me. Anna Smith was the name the social services gave me. It was simple and predictable. And then I was moved to this care home and that was that. It wasn't perfect, but I didn't want to go. Especially not because of someone who'd neglected to keep me when I was a helpless baby. But Charles had said he'd been tracking me down. Which implies this wasn't a random impulse like with some reunions that go badly. And if it had taken years...that couldn't have been cheap. My mind spun with the possibilities, explanations for all of this. Could it be as simple as whoever my mother was had never told my dad about my existence?
I tried not to get my hopes up too high as I waited in on the faded sofa in the living room, watching the glow of sunrise form from the window. I could feel my knees shaking and frowned. I wasn't the type who got nervous. But then...was I excited? No, that was a bad idea. I was just setting myself up for disappointment. I stood up and paced in an attempt to stop it and paused in front of the mirror and raced upstairs quietly. I needed a shower. My hair was a mess of brown and pale blond from so much time in the sun. My skin had mild traces of a tan and dirt. I was never a girls-girl and so my idea of a good time was climbing trees and general adolescence silliness in the woods close to school. It didn't take me long to wash and pull on the cloths again. I wondered if it was worth me trying to find a nicer set, but I knew all my jeans were ripped and I would die before I owned a skirt or dress. I grabbed a hair band from the cupboard and tried to tie my impossible near-black hair into some kind of order and managed a half hearted plait before giving up and leaving it as a just a ponytail. I looked at myself in the mirror. I wasn't a pretty-pretty girl either. I had high cheekbones which I’m told are good, but my jawline stood out and my grey eyes looked a little to distant and usually scared people off. No wonder all my friends had either grown up with me here or were the crack-heads/drunks of the school. I headed back to the stairs and paused as I heard a door open behind me.
“Anna?” I turned to see Greg, one of my friends looking at me in confusion.
“What's going on?” he asked, moving closer, he had a serious case of bed-head and was only wearing his trousers. He was turning eighteen soon. Then the system would spit him out. I hoped he was able to handle it.
“Adopted...apparantly” the words felt so foreign on my lips. It was such a distant possibility and I saw Greg's eyes grow wide then a smile crossed his face.
“Glad, you deserve it” He said before turning to go back to his room. He was wrong, everyone here deserved it more. I went downstairs and could hear a new voice floating up the stairs. Charles walked past me on the stairs.
“He's here” He whispered excitedly before continuing up. Morning rounds I guessed. Would I be out before everyone found out? I reached the bottom of the stairs and saw a tall man with brown fading into grey hair. I was surprised to see he shared the same grey eyes. But I guess we were going to have similarities. He wasn't stick-thin but he wasn't portly either, healthy. I knew I was a stick. Side effect of some my not so good recreational activities. I wondered how I would even begin to explain that to him? Then again I didn't do it enough to have an addiction per say.
“Anna right?” he asked, a warm smile touching his eyes. I nodded mutely. Christ, meeting my dad for the first time and I didn't have a smart thing to say. My mouth felt dry and I had a feeling if I tried to speak my voice would sound horrible and raspy.
“Nice to meet you at last” The words were sincere, heck he looked sincere. I hadn't put much though into how my parents would look...okay, total lie. I'd drawn them god only knows how many times as a kid. My dad had always had blond hair admittedly, but other than that his appearance was spot on.
“Sir, we need to hurry” A man in a dark suit and a shaved head said from behind him. I glanced out the window and had to stop myself doing a double take. That was definitely a limo, though I'd only ever seen them on TV.
“Yes, of course, another dull meeting. Anna, are you ready to go home?” the question was so innocent and I knew he expected an instant yes. But as the word left my mouth it felt chalky. I didn't know him. I didn't know anything about the world I was slowly guessing he came from. A limo couldn't exactly be cheap. But he put in effort to find you...
That must means something, right?