LaVide Home looked like any other home. It was a two-story home with crisp white curtains, a beautiful little porch and a basketball court. The only difference was the huge, iron fence and locking gate.
Mother held my hand as she clicked the bright red buzzer. Moments later, a medium sized lady with curly auburn hair, freckles and dark green eyes, strolled out of the house.
"Yes, can I help you?" the lady asked.
"Uhm, I am looking for a Justelle LaVide," Mother said. With a low buzz, the gate swung open. The woman motioned us in.
"I'm Ms. LaVide. How can I help you today?" she said. While Mother and Ms. LaVide talked, I looked around the yard. The lawn was a deep, healthy green and the flowers, roses and lilies were in full bloom. I noticed movement in a bush near the shed. Out of curiosity, I walked over to take a look. I knelt down and peered through the leaves.
I smiled as I spotted a blue jay's nest. Mama bird was sitting on a branch, watching her three babies. The mama spotted me and chirped. I clicked my tongue quietly and held out my hand. The bird stayed on its branch, but didn't she didn't seem threatened.
"Ari, what are you doing?" Mother called. I spun around. Ms. LaVide's head was cocked to the side; a slight smile was on her face. I walked over slowly.
"I'm guessing that you like animals?" she asked. Mother laughed sadly.
"She used to come home with baby squirrels in her pockets," Mother said. Ms. LaVide smiled wider.
"There are three other girls in the house, along with three boys. One more boy will be arriving a little later today and then the house will be completely full. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights, at 7 p.m., you will attend group therapy. During the week, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., you will attend class. Lunch is always served at 3 p.m. and dinner is at 8 p.m. Also, lights go out at 10 p.m. and you are to wake up at 7 a.m.," Ms. LaVide explained. I nodded. She turned to Mother.
"She'll be in great care, I promise," she assured Mother.
"W-will I get to visit her?" Mother asked.
"Yes ma'am, every Sunday at 1 p.m.," she said. Mother nodded. I clinked my tongue ring against my bottom teeth.