The car horn honked, startling Ashley and waking Maya from her slumber. Ashley jumped up. "Hurry up, kids!" An irritated woman called from the driver's seat.
"Okay, okay!" Ashley called out. "Don't get your damn knickers in a twist," she mumbled. She then got up and grabbed her one suitcase.
Maya stumbled after her. "Wait up, Ashley!"
Ashley smirked. "Slowpoke. I'm walking."
"You kids! Hurry up! I want this done quickly!"
"Okay. Stop getting your cocky self in such a damn twist," Ashley said under her breath.
"What was that?" The blonde lady cocked an eyebrow at Ashley.
"I said you're a pretty woman." Ashley said in a sickly sweet voice that matched with her innocent looking figure.
The unknowing woman fell for it and smiled. "Thanks, Hun. You're quite cute too. How old are you? Ten? Eleven?"
Oh my god. You freaking, walnuts for brains! "I'm twelve." Ashley said through her teeth, trying her best not to claw the lady's eyes out.
"Well, you look younger. Get in the car so we can go."
You can at least ask what our names are. "Okay!" Ashley climbed in with Maya right after her. Maya had just closed the door and the lady rammed her foot on the accelerator. Ashley clawed for something to grab ahold of. "Wait, I haven't put my seat belt on!" Ashley said nervously.
"I'm running late." Damn kids. If I get a ticket, it's your fault. The lady purely hates children. Particularly ones that are more beautiful than her. She was cocky and believed no one could be more beautiful than her, but when she saw some people that are, she couldn't be stupid and ignore it. Why do these kids have to be so down-right gorgeous?
Ashley finally got her seat belt on and she sighed of relief. Maya just looked at Ashley and giggled. "Who's the slowpoke now?"
Ashley rolled her eyes. "Still you."
"So...what're your names? I'm Violene Hobbs."
"I'm Ashley Honeycutt, and she's Maya Honeycutt."
"Nice names." Puh-lease! Ashley? Maya? Those names don't match with each other! What idiot parents. Probably the reason they died.
Ashley rolled her eyes. "Yup. i love my name. It's so original. So is Maya's But at least it isn't so...unique. Like Violene." Pfft! More like unusual. And not in a good way.
"Mmhmm. Well we're here. Get out. Now." Violene's tone transformed from sweet to unwilling. Oh, how Maya and Ashley hated her right now.
They practically ran out of the car into the foster home. A girl their age greeted the two and motioned for them to follow her.
They followed her to a big room. Sitting at a desk stacked with paperwork was a red-headed woman. When they stepped in, the woman looked up from the form she was filling out and smiled. "Hello, I'm Kimberly Flannigan. And I'm guessing you're Ashley and Maya?"
Ashley nodded. Maya smiled and answered. "Yes I'm Maya and she's Ashley."
Kimberly laughed. "How can we tell the difference?"
This time Ashley answered, but very softly. "I'm shy, play music, and more athletic." I hate it when I'm not shy around people I hate.
"I can see you're more shy. I'm sorry, we can't buy any instruments for you, we don't have the money if you were wondering."
Ashley nodded sadly. "Okay." Her expression was so depressing, you'd feel sad when you saw her.
Kimberly bit her lip and frowned. "I'll see what I can do. Put your head up, sweetie. And you can call me Miss K."
Ashley smiled, and when you see her smile, it's contagious. "Thank you!"
Miss K smiled back. "That's a good girl. Now Belle will show you to your room."
Maya started following Belle, with Ashley clinging onto her like a tail.
"Ashley," Maya hissed. "please loosen up!" Ashley loosens her grip on Maya, but continues to follow behind her.
They went up about four flights of stairs when Belle slowed to a stop. "Here's your room. You'll be sharing. And across the hall are Sammy and Nathan."
Ashley looked at the room, door ajar, and wondered about the mentioned two. She shrugged it off and unpacked her one suitcase. She looks at Maya. Maya sees her gaze and smiles at Ashley. Ashley opens a case from her suitcase and pulls out a flute. She plays a melody from her childhood that always lightened Maya's mood. And lighten, it did.
Maya laughed and sang along. Soon, the door to their room opened and a bunch of the other foster kids came in, aroused by the beautiful music. Ashley's eyes were closed as she played. But when she opened them, the flute dropped on the bed, Ashley's cheeks heated to a crimson, and she hid behind Maya.
The kids' faces quickly from happy to sour. Then, a boy with black hair and green eyes, spoke up. "Please play more."
Ashley slowly grabbed the flute, and gave a tiny smile to the stranger. She played miraculously.
It's wonderful. The new girl's playing and her sister's singing. It reminds me of...of mom. She used to sing that song. Before dad left and she became and alcoholic. She then drove herself dead. Literally, left me, and crashed herself into a tree and she hit her head against the window, shattering glass, and bled to death. What a horrible day it was.
"Sammy, you okay?" A boy with brown hair and blue eyes asked.
"Huh? Oh Nathan, I'm fine."
"I know you're not, but let's focus on the two cute girls."
"No offense, but the flute player shines to me."
"As the singer to me."
Sammy gave Peter a sheepish grin. He didn't know why, but he liked that flute player. Maybe it's her shyness, he thought. or the fact that her eyes were wild and she looks hard to tame.
The song is finished and Ashley sighs of relief. She looks up shyly at the kids and they smiled a toothy grin at her and clapped.
"I-I'm not that good." She said quietly.
"Yes you are, Ashley," Maya hissed. "one of the best."
Ashley's eyes became timid as Maya angrily answered her. She slid off the bed and slunk in the corner. Sammy felt concerned for the poor girl. He felt a sudden urge to hold her in his arms.
And he did. He rushed over to the crying girl and held her in his arms. "It's okay," he whispered. "cry it all out."
Ashley looked at Sammy, her dark brown eyes sparkling. He's cute, and like...daddy. Daddy used to hold me like that. Ashley shook her head of the memories as tears dripped her cheeks.
Sammy patted her back after letting her lean her head on his shoulder. It's so sad seeing her like this. I don't care if I can win her heart this way. I want her sadness gone.
The foster kids left awkwardly. Maya looked at Ashley with sad eyes and whispered. "Ashley. I'm sorry. Truly. I didn't mean to hurt you. I really think you're one of the best."
Ashley turned to look at Maya. She gave a smile. "I know," she choked. "I was just emotional. Don't worry."
Maya nodded and gave a mischievous grin. "How about I leave you with that guy, and I leave you with that guy and I leave with this one?" Maya gestured to Nathan.
Nathan laughed and threw his arm around Maya. Maya giggled and walked out with Nathan.
Ashley jumped up. "Sorry! Um, really, I shouldn't have turned to you. I'm such a baby."
Sammy shook his head. "It's okay. But I don't want to see you sad. I'll always be there to help and comfort you."
A heat rushed up to Ashley's cheeks. "O-okay. That's nice to know. You sound like a good friend," Ashley struck out a hand. "I'm Ashley and you?"
The word friend struck him like a dagger through his heart. He forced a grin and shook her hand. "I'm Sammy."
"So...when do I go to school?"
Sammy laughed. "Don't worry about that. It's summer! Wanna go to summer camp provided by donaters?"
Ashley nodded eagerly. "Sounds cool. What do we have?"
"Just join the one I'm going to."
"Nice try. Seriously. Choices, boy!"
Sammy rolled his eyes. "Just go. Blue Turtle Sea Side. It's saving turtles and cool stuff like that. Join!"
Ashley giggled. "Alright. Take me to Miss K."
Sammy jumped up and linked elbows with the little giggler. They skipped down the steps and knocked on Miss K's door.
Miss K opened the door and laughed. "Shy girl my butt!"
Ashley's eyes widened and she hid behind Sammy. His hand searched for hers and he squeezed it.
Miss K rolled her eyes. "What do you want?"
Ashley's tiny voice filled the air. "I-I want to join Blue Turtle Sea Side."
Miss K nodded. "Only Sammy joins that one."
Ashley's eyes widened. "Really? It sounds like fun."
"Girls rather stay indoor, and the boys take on sport camps. He's the only one in environmental camp."
"Ahh...is there music camp?"
Miss K shook her head. "All taken."
Ashley was heartbroken. "Oh,"
"But you can play music at Blue Turtle Sea Side! They'll be cool with it."
Ashley grinned. "That's wonderful, thank you." She whispered. "Is there any way to earn money?"
Miss K looked up at her. "Figure that out yourself, doll. Package for you, by the way."
Ashley moved the huge box and carried it slowly upstairs. When she finally got to her room, she lay the cardboard on her bed and opened the package. Her eyes widened. Does she carry a smile? A frown? Or weight on her shoulders.