Author: Juliette Reynolds PM
After her parents and sister were killed in a car wreck, Lacy and her brother Ethan adjust to life lived in a foster home.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama - Words: 1,559 - Published: 07-09-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3040291
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I sit staring out the window, watching the sun set, and replaying the events of the past few weeks: the fire, the funeral, and being sent away with my brother Ethan to some foster home. Ethan says I've been disturbingly quiet since the fire that killed our parents and baby sister.
The car has stopped now outside an old and rusted gate. The woman driving gets out, pulls out a key, and unlocks the gate. Within seconds, she's back in the car and is driving through the gate and towards the house. The foster home, sitting on eighty acres of land is a farmhouse; yellow walls, a light gray roof, a wrap-a-round porch, and white trim. On the side of the house is a black 1984 Ford F150 that is covered in dents, scratches, and mud. Sitting in the driveway is a red 2004 Chevy Suburban and a silver 2006 Toyota Sienna LE minivan.
The car comes to a stop and Ethan helps me get my bag out of the trunk. We each bring a small bag that contains two changes of clothes and a few things that survived the fire. We are three steps away from the door when a woman with a smile the size of China on her face opens the door.
"Good evening. I am Sara Hamilton." She looks at us like she wants us to introduce ourselves. Ethan goes first.
"Hi. I'm Ethan and this is my sister Lacy." I muster up a smile that quickly fades as Sara turns around to show us the house.
"Well, how about a tour? Huh? Let us start upstairs." I could already tell I was not going to like Sara. No one has said 'let us' since the English language was created. We reach the top of the stairs. "On your right is the boy's dorm and on your left is the girl's. No boys in the girl's room and vice verses. Each dorm has a bathroom and the door in front of you is another bathroom." Sara whirls around and walks back downstairs. Ethan and I follow. "This is the living room over here. And in case you are wondering, there is not one television in the house. You will have to find some other way to entertain yourselves." Sara smiles. "In here," she says walking into another room, "is the dining room and kitchen. It is quite small, but we never have more than ten children at a time." She pauses as if she has forgotten something. She did. "Oh yes! Dinner was served almost an hour ago at six, but if you are hungry, come into the kitchen and I can heat up some of the left over spaghetti." We follow Sara into the kitchen. I look at Ethan who is trying not to laugh.
"Where are the other kids?" he asks. Sara glances at him.
"Oh they are just finishing up in the pasture. Checking on a cow and her newborn calf I believe. That reminds me: you will have daily chores around here. Each morning when you get up at five-thirty—"
"Five-thirty?" Ethan cuts in.
"Yes Ethan, five-thirty. Anyways, there will be a chore sheet taped to the dorm doors. The chores must be completed before breakfast at seven-thirty. You will not eat breakfast before your chores are completed. And you will not skip breakfast either. So if breakfast is cold, then breakfast is cold. Got it?" Ethan and I nod. "Good."
Sara has finished heating up the spaghetti. She puts it on plates and hands them to Ethan and I. She nods and walks out of the room to who-knows-where.
Ethan sits down and starts eating. I just stand there. "Better eat," Ethan says. "It'll get cold." I sit down and put a forkful of spaghetti in my mouth when the back door opens and someone walks in. It's just Sara.
"My husband needs me down in the pasture. You two will have to come."
Twenty minutes later, Ethan and I were back up at the house being scrutinized by a bunch of teenagers. One girl, slightly older than me, looks like she's one of those kids who everyone wants to be. Well, everyone but me. She has a smirk on her face and looks down on my like I'm something that came out of the tabby cat sitting at her feet. She whispers something to the girl next to her who laughs. Then she looks at Ethan who's standing next to me and smiles all nice like. I role my eyes at this. Everywhere we go, this is the reaction we get: smiles for Ethan and scowls for me. But I'm used to it by now.
The girl walks up to Ethan. "Hi. I'm Bailey. What's your name?" she says in a high-pitched squeaky voice. I know I'm not going to like her either.
Ethan shifts uncomfortably. "Ethan."
"Ethan," Bailey says as if tasting the word on her tongue. "I like that name."
I roll my eyes again and Bailey shoots me an evil look.
She turns her focus back to Ethan. "Come on," she says taking him by the arm. "I'll show you around."
Sara walks up behind her. "Ethan has already been shown around the house Bailey. I think it is time for you all to start getting ready for bed." I look down at my watch. It's almost eight o'clock. You've got to be kidding me. Then again, we are getting up at five-thirty tomorrow morning.
I walk out of the bathroom in the girl's dorm and am greeted by the face of Bailey. "So Lacy," she says trying to sound friendly, "what's your story?"
I ignore her and walk to the bed I've been assigned. I put today's clothes in my small suitcase and zip it up. Bailey smirks, no longer trying to be friendly. "So the rumors are true. You can't talk." She and her friends laugh at this. I try to control my anger, but her next comment gets the best of me. "What's the matter Lacy? Cat got your tongue?" It's all I can do to keep from lunging at her.
Sara opens the door and pokes her head in. She announces, "Lights out," and hurriedly shuts the door.
I climb under the covers and lie there while everyone runs around the room getting ready for bed. In five minutes, Sara is standing in the door way counting down from ten. When she reaches zero, she turns off the lights. Apparently she thinks we're first graders.
At five, someone turns on the lights. There are a few moans, but everyone eventually gets out of bed. What happened to getting up at five-thirty? I pull the covers over my head and try to go back to sleep, but eventually give up because, despite the early hour, chit-chat spreads through the room like the chirping of cicadas.
I groan and crawl out of bed. Now I get it. The girls are doing their hair and makeup. I slip outside the room and into the hallway with some clothes. The bathroom out here is unoccupied. I walk in and close the door behind me. There is no lock. I moan and hurriedly strip off my pajamas and slip into today's clothes: a purple Star Wars tee, blue jeans, and a pair of leather boots I was given last night by Sara.
Walking out of the bathroom, I literally run into a group of boys coming out of their room. "Woa. Nice Star Wars shirt," one of them says. He looks to be about Ethan's age, 16.
I nod, still not talking.
"Daniel," he says, apparently not surprised by my silence.
I hesitate. "Lacy."
"Aren't you supposed to be in there?" he asks pointing to the door of the girl's dorm room.
"I guess, but everyone in there is trying to look all pretty for the cows." He and his companions laugh at this.
He stands there looking at me for a while before remembering his friends behind him. "Oh yea, this is Nathan, Wade, Isaac, and Todd," he says pointing to each of the boys behind him. They offer a smile and a nod when Daniel says their name. In return, I offer a smile, the first real one since before my parents and sister died.
"We'd better go," Daniel says. "The chores await and personally, I don't want another cold breakfast." Daniel smiles and he and his buddies turn away and walk down the stairs.
I turn and walk back into the girl's dorm. When I open the door, one of the girls falls forward, almost on top of me. She was listening in on the conversation. Pretending not to notice, I walk past to put my clothes away and grab a sweatshirt. Bailey is sitting on her bed glaring at me. Maybe it's the fact that I have red hair—or maybe it's my gray eyes—but for some reason, I don't know, Bailey has had something against me since the moment she saw me.