James was your average, not so average preteen. For one he lived in a foster home with a dozen of other tweens and teens. The home, was more like one big extended family, with the owners taking on the role of mother and father. While the supporting staff often acted as aunts and uncles. The older teens acted like big sisters and brothers to the younger ones and in some cases even mentored the younger ones.
Second, he was short, barely pushing five feet. Third, he painfully shy, choosing to keep to himself. Forth, he was often mistaken for a girl. He had shoulder length brown hair, blue eyes, a slender frame and despite his best efforts to 'Bulk up' he still remained a frail little flower.
His hobbies and taste where also odd. While most boys his age tended to love video games that centered on robbing stores, playing soldier, shooting random and blowing random things up. He tended to love video games that had a plot and storyline to them. Games that tended to explore the themes of friendship, love, and romance. And When it came to anime, he loved to watch ones centered on a strong female lead. While he peers tended to watch such series that centered on fighting, battling and killing.
Right now, James was sitting in the game room of the foster home. So-called because here most of the video games and consoles were found. He was sitting cross-legged on the floor, his eyes glued to the T.V, his fingers gripped the controller and worried look crossed his face, on-screen his character, a blonde haired girl with deep blue eyes, slowly moved through the inky darkness. She had a shovel in her hand and at times would stop and dig up a small section of digital, pixilated earth. And sometimes she'll uncover a rare jewel or two, but today. The character on screen was finding nothing.
And so James sighed with mild annoyance as he kept plowing along. He was so engrossed in his game, he failed to notice that standing in the doorway was a tall, athletic looking women. The women's long brown cocoa powdered hair was pulled back in a ponytail. She wore a simple cream-colored blouse that was tucked into the waistline of a black pencil skirt. White stocking and low heel black dress shoes rounded out the outfit.
"Hey, James." She said knocking upon the door to get the boys attention.
James did not respond, instead, he kept going about his business.
The women folded her eyes across her chest and stepped into the room. Under her breath, she muttered complaint after complaint about this generations love of video games, social media, lack of respect and all that good stuff. She then caught herself and blushed. She was only pushing thirty-five and here she was complaining up a storm. She mentally zipped her mouth and stepped between James and the Television.
"Hey! What gives man!" James said moving his body to the left and to the right as he tried to see around the women. "I'm trying to like get enough gold to upgrade my chicken coop for Spring! Like I can only access this area when Sunflower Lake freezes over." James said in a mildly annoyed tone of voice.
"James, please put the controller down for just a minute, you and I need to talk about something." She said kneeling down and looking the boy in the eyes. She reached over and gently lifted some of the losing strains of hair from his face. The boy had such pretty blue eyes. And for the third time that month, she wondered if she should finally go ahead and just adopt the boy. Most of the other children and teens had been adopted already by varies members of the staff. Many my the owners themselves.
"What?" James said putting the controller on the ground. "My grades are good, Like, I've done all my chores, I followed all the rules to the letter. Crossed all my 'T's' and dotted all my 'I's' too."
Josephine sighed and reached over and ruffled the boy's hair.
"I know silly, but you and I have something else to talk about. Your behavior is fine, but somebody has a birthday coming up in say two weeks, and somebody needs to tell us, what that special little boy wants. It has to be special for such a special boy on his special day."
James blinked and blinked again. Finally, wanting to get back to his game, he said the first thing that popped into his mind.
"How about this, how about I become a girl for the day. You know total make-over, hair, nails, dress and such." He said smiling. "Birthday party too, with a cake too! A yellow cake with pink icing and yellow piping!"
Josephine blinked and peered toward James. A slow smile peered across her face.
"So, is that your birthday wish? Become a girl and be thrown a birthday party befitting a princess? I think I could do that. Okay, if you could get any two gifts. Within reason."
"I guess a hand-held with a new Pokemon Game or something," James said rubbing his chin. "And maybe finally getting adopted would be nice, I mean at this point, I'm like the only kid around here that still floating around limbo. Like everybody else has been adopted by the staff or the owners."
Josephine stepped back and peered at the boy. She tilted her head to the side, "Okay the second one will take some work. The first one, I can see, you've been a good boy like you have really good grades. But are you really sure about the first one, do you really want to be a girl? I mean, there nothing wrong with it. But it's a strange kind of wish don't you think?" She said trying to figure out if the boy was being real or if he was just pulling her leg.
"Hey, it's my birthday, my wish," James said, as he picked up the controller. Once the controller was in his hand, he started to move the character around the screen again, shifting his head to the left and to the right as he peered over Josephine.
Josephine smirked and nodded her head, she could not argue with that logic. Very well if the boy wanted to be a girl for the day, she'll make it happen. And for his second wish, he deserved the gift. But his third wish, that one made her frown a little. Maybe it was time, time to take the deep plunge and go ahead and take the boy, give him a forever home. She was sure Robert, another caretaker at the house would agree. Robert was, after all, her soon to husband, something this big should be talked out between them.
"Okay, good enough for me." She said stepping out of the room. She had planning to do.
Once Josephine was gone, James sighed and rolled his eyes. Who wanted to celebrate his birthday anyway? In his old home, nobody ever celebrated a birthday. It was just another day to them. Another day, another grade, another mile down the road till the hour of doom and gloom. Slowly the boy started to smirk, he felt quite proud of himself. His birthday wish had to be the strangest one ever made. And the adults in the house, where bound to just throw his request out of the window. And that would prove a long-held theory, that the staff only cared about certain teens.
Anyway, it was time to return to his game. But it was too late, a day had already passed in game time, his character was now standing before the entrance of the mine. A small timer at the bottom warned him that he only a few more hours left in video game time to skirt across the lake before the ice thawed. Grunting, he did the only thing he could think of, he returned his character home and saved the game. As he powered down the system his mind started to daydream, what if he really wanted to be a girl for a day? What if he really wanted to be adopted? What if...
"Nah." He said to himself as he stood up. "Its all a big put on, their just trying to keep the Fed's off there back, that all." And with that, he left the game room. He had homework to do after all.