Jordan sat slouched, arms crossed over her chest and cap pulled down over her eyes. She pretended not to be interested in the conversation between Victoria and Jessica her new foster mother. They were in Victoria’s office finishing the final paperwork and talking as if Jordan wasn’t sitting right there listening to them. Of course the earbuds crammed into her ear and the slight bobbing of her head might have led them to believe that she couldn’t hear anything, but that’s what she wanted them to think. The last thing she wanted was for Victoria to think that she was actually interested in anything having to do with Jessica Taylor.
“I can’t say she’s exactly excited to go with you.” Victoria was saying, shooting a side glance at Jordan.
Jessica put the pen down pushing the finished paperwork toward Victoria, “Can you really blame her?”
Victoria took the papers, taping them on the table to straighten them out before placing them in a folder and putting them in her desk. She turned back toward the desk placing her folded hands on her desk, “I don’t expect her to be jumping up and down but her complete lack of interest is what bothers me.”
Jessica shook her head and smiled, “I wouldn’t worry about her too much.”
“It’s not her I worry about; Jordan isn’t exactly the easiest to deal with.”
“If it’s me your worried about – “
“It's my job to worry about you, do you know how many other families have taken this girl in and couldn’t handle her? And those were families with two parents.”
“Maybe that’s the problem,” Jessica said as she stood to her feet grabbing her purse off the back of the chair, “maybe she doesn’t need someone to be her parent, maybe she needs someone to be her friend.”
Victoria stared at her in surprise for a moment before standing to her feet as well. “Well I suppose it’s worth the try Ms. Taylor, but no one would blame you if you decided it wasn’t going to work out.” She came around the desk and shook Jessica’s hand then turned to Jordan who didn’t even look up. “Jordan?” Jordan ignored her, “Jordan?” She still ignored her.
The woman crossed over to her, pulled off her hat and pulled the earbuds out of her ears. Jordan jumped up angrily snatching the hat back from her, swearing as she planted the hat firmly on her head. Victoria was unfazed and turned to Jessica, “She’s all yours.” She glanced at Jordan than back to Jessica, “I guess I’ll let you two get acquainted.” With that she left the room.
Jessica sighed and turned back to Jordan. “We haven’t been properly introduced. I’m Jessica Taylor, you can call me Jessica, Jessie, Jess, it really doesn’t matter.” She took a deep breath, “Look, Jordan, I know this is hard, but I really do want to get to know you, as a friend,”
Jordan looked up at her and reached up to cock her hat to the side, her earbuds hung down across her oversized hoodie, which in turn fell over her sagging pants. “Look,” She said shaking her head, “Don’t pretend that you actually care, Ms. Taylor, what is it for you the money? The good feeling you get from helping someone less fortunate? You say you want to be my friend, well my friends don’t take me away from everything I’ve ever known and say their doing it for my own good.”
Jessica didn’t even blink, but only nodded and turned toward the door, pausing with her hand on doorknob she said, “I can’t make you like me Jordan; I can’t even make you come with me. But Ms. Krammer assures me that you’re a good girl – “
Jordan scoffed, “She has to say that,”
Jessica continued, “That may be the case, but now that I’ve talked to you myself I can see that she’s right. I think that underneath the tough act there’s a sweet girl who’s been so numbed by her pain – “
“You know what,” Jordan snapped holding up her hands in surrender, “whatever, you’re wrong, but I don’t really care what you think. If all this is some weird, psychological thing, where you think you can pull the poor, helpless girl out of her misery than good for you. As for me I’m just along for the ride and waiting for the train out of here and as soon as it comes I can assure you I'll be on it.”
Jessica smiled, “You’re right, I don’t know anything about you. I shouldn’t assume anything.” She turned back toward the door and opened it, “shall we.”
Jordan rolled her eyes and hiking up her pants, swaggered over to the door. She put the earbuds back in her ear as they left the room and ignored the rest of interactions between Jessica and Victoria. She’d already had enough of this woman.