I sat on my window sill staring out at the dead garden below me. I hummed softly, trying not to disturb the others sleeping in the room.
I looked up at the moon longingly. I yurned to be high up and free from all this. That stupid care taker, all the kids looking up to me. It’s not really like it mattered. In one more year I’d be thrown out on the streets to be on my own. I was going to be sixteen.
That’s when the orphanages stop looking after you.
I sighed and looked over to my make shift younger brothers and sisters sleeping happily. There were thirty nine of us, not including myself. I made forty.
The care takers were horrible. If not for me I’m sure some of them might not be where they sleep right now.
The door to the room creaked open. I glared at the mistress that stepping in eyeing every one of them. I glared hard at her. Her evil gaze then fell on me.
“You should be in bed.” She hissed quietly trying not to startle her prey.
“And you should be stuffing yourself with unsuspecting men on the streets.” I retorted.
She gasped in her throught, “I will be ecstatic when we rid of you, you no good, ungrateful, whore!”
I stared at her coldly, “I’m sorry, but I believe you have me confused with yourself.”
She hissed and left. All the care takers knew I was more than capable of violence, they also know I have no problem sending one of them to the hospital or something. They also knew I was extremely protective of the others.
I was the oldest. Next in line was a thirteen-year-old. Named Chris. He was a good guy, only thing is he wouldn’t hurt a fly if his life deepened on it.
I sighed and slipped back into my creaky bed trying to get a little sleep before I would be rudely awaken by all the little girls being thrown onto me in the morning.
I woke up before anyone else and dressed quickly, I hurried down to the kitchen to make sure that the care takers had made enough for the kids. I never cared if I ate or not. But everyone made sure I did.
The kids came pounding down the stairs when the bell rang. Anyone who was late didn’t eat, that was the rule. Anyone who was late I’d sneak some of my food up to them.
They carried on with their choirs for the day, I continued to star out the window to the people passing on their busy days. I found it sickening how they could go about this and not even care about the kids. Then again I remembered my parents and how my dad beat my mom. My mom’d take her aggression out on me, eventually social services got involved and I was placed her. I still don’t know about my parents, nor do I care.
I large and expensive car pulled up out front. An older man and woman came out and walked up to the door.
I knew what was going to happen, they were gonna come in and adopt a little girl or boy under ten. Once you hit nine and you’re not adopted yet, it’s over. You’re here until you’re sixteen and then you’re kicked out onto the streets.
All of us were called down stairs by the care takers. I took my place leaning against the wall, the kids eagerly lined up in the large hall waiting and wanting to be picked. I wanted all of them to be. Then they’d be out of here.
“Alright, children.” Stacey, the oldest care taker said in a ‘too-sweet-to-believe’ voice, “This is Mr. and Mrs. Wilngson. They want three amazing children. And who better than one of you?”
I scoffed. She was lying and everyone knew it. She constantly reminded us all about how horrible we all are, and how lucky our parents were to dump them on people like them who ‘take care’ of us ‘unselfishly’.
“Is there something wrong, young lady?” The Mr. asked me.
“Yeah, there is.” I said, “I’ve seen it a million times before. People like you come in here and adopt one or two of the kids under nine or so. Then you pamper them, and dress them up like little dolls. They forget all about the hard life here, and all they care about is getting some of their own. That’s all people like you want.”
He looked at me surprised, “And how long have you been care taking here?”
I laughed grimly, “I may take better care of these kids then them,” I motioned over to the women, “But I ain’t a care taker here. I’m gonna be thrown outta here in One more year, I’ll be sixteen. Law says I’m old enough to be on my own. But before that happens, I’mma make sure that all these kids don’t forget what it’s like to be here, and they all get good homes.”
“You’ll have to excuse her, Mr. Wilngson.” Margret apologised, “She’s always had so much anger we could never control her. She’s sent a few of us to the hospital a couple of times.”
I rolled my eyes and resumed my lean.
He looked between me, the kids, and the care takers. I didn’t care.
“I’d like a little girl.” The Mrs. said.
She spent about ten minutes going up and down the line of thirty nine kids before choosing Elizabeth. An eight-year-old, blond haired, hazel eyed girl. Who was sweeter than anything.
“And our son.” She said. It was about ten more minutes before she chose Chris. I was glad. He deserved a good home like they would give.
“You pick the last one, dear.” She said to her husband.
He and I had been glaring at each other the entire time. He broke his gaze away from mine and stared up and down the line again. He picked the snobbiest girl, possibly in the world.
Brown hair, brown eyes. Marysa. She was always acting like she owned the place, never caring about the others. I hated her. I had to straighten her out quite a few times. She was still no better. Not that I cared.
“Will that be all then?” The Mrs. asked.
“We just have a little paper work to do, and you’re free to take them home.” Margret told them.
They left to do it. They kids filled away slowly and sad at the fact they weren’t wanted.
I sighed and went up to the room. I climbed out and up onto the roof. I came out here a lot just to think. Being up high, I loved it.
I watched the car pull away not two minutes after another car pulled up. What’s going on? I thought seeing one more pull up after it.
I was called down, I sauntered down the steps slowly to see a lovely blond haired woman taking a liking to youngest girl here. I knew she’d get adopted.
“And who’s this?” One gentile man asked as I took my usual place against the wall.
“The one who’s going to make sure they all get good homes.” I told him coldly.
He stared at me, about to say something, but then he turned his attention back to the youngest boy here.
After they left we still weren’t dismissed as three more families came in and wanted to adopt.
One by one they withered down to me, two girls, and three boys. Only six. I sat on the steps and pulled a pack of cigarets out of my pocket. The care takers scolded me but I blew the smoke into their faces.
Three more families came in not even twenty minutes later. I was the last one left with in an hour.
I put the cigaret out in the stairs and walked up.
The sun was setting. I was glad they were all out of here. I wouldn’t have to worry about them when I leave then.
It wasn’t until almost seven o’clock that I was called down stairs.
An old woman was standing there. Fancy skirt, blouse clean, tailored jacket, slight heel, gloves, clutch purse, and I’m pretty sure her hat was designer.
He hair was silver and curled, her faced was wrinkled and slightly worn. But you could see she was once a beautiful woman. And if you asked me, she still was.
I felt slightly out of place under her gaze; being in old, baggy, worn and torn jeans, broken sneakers, and a t-shirt that had the sleeves cut off. For the first time in a while I actually cared.
“What is your name?” Her voice was smooth and steady, warm yet had a stern sense of authority to it.
“Scarlett.” I almost whispered.
“How old are you?”
“How long have you been here?” She asked quite intreaged by me.
“Since I was four, so eleven years.” I said slowly. It suddenly dawned on me exactly how long I’d been within these walls, and not cared.
“Do you want to be adopted, Scarlett?” She asked me.
I shrugged, “To be given the choice, I think it’d be nice to get out here. Maybe have a family.” I told her, “But if I have that big a choice, I think I’d rather die than anything.”
She walked slightly to one side, her heels clicking with each step.
“I was just like you.” She said, “I was here eleven years. This same place. I hated my care takers. I hated everything. I expecally hated all the people who came in and didn’t give me a second glance when picking their children. I grew up, got out of here when I was sixteen. I became a waitress, I fell in love got married. My husband had a business, it wasn’t all that much but it put food on the table for me and him. I was never capable of having children. His business grew, he sold it for oh. I believe it was about six million dollars. He went into a partner ship with those who bought it. He changed that six million into thirty-three point four billion. He passed away last month. But before he did, he tole me he wanted a child. A daughter. And he said because I could never have one, as I was in one, I should adopt. Give a child who needs it a fresh start.”
She turned back to me. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“I arranged for a few of my country club friends and their children to come in and adopt a few children. I knew there where forty here. And I knew I’d find someone like you here, Scarlett. So, I ask again. Do you want to be adopted.”
I felt a few tears start to form in my eyes.
I shook my head, “No one’s ever wanted me before.”
She smiled softly, “I want you.” She spoke so softly.
I nodded, “I wanna be adopted.” I choalked, “I wanna have a mama and a daddy. I wanna have a home, not just a place to live, but a home. And if you’re willing to give it to me, I’m more than honored to accept.”
She smiled and opened her arms to me, “Come my daughter.” She spoke kindly, “Let me bring you home.”
I ran to her arms and cried. I haven’t since they left me here that day. This day, eleven years ago. And after so long, I was finally wanted and excepted. It was everything I wanted and more.