• CHAPTER FOUR: Blair, Dawn, and Andrew.

    Somehow, I knew it was going to end up like this. I knew I was going to have to move from family to family. I knew I was going to have to settle in, more than once. You see, when there is a girl in a Foster Home, someone is only going to take her if she looks cute, sweet, and innocent. And, come on, let’s face the facts, no matter how brutal they may be. I am none of those. I was cute when I was a baby… hopefully. I was sweet when I was a baby, right? But, these scars and bruises I have now… nobody is going to want a child with this many scars. Not to mention the fact that they scream out “I AM NOT INNOCENT!!!” So, in the end, it all ends of the same for an abused orphan, right? I guess so. I guess this is how it’s meant to be. Or maybe not. Sexy man (a.k.a. the fourteen-year-old son of Jon) walks over by us. Blair (I take it that’s Jon’s wife’s name) gives him a stern don’t-do-it look, but whatever he’s not supposed to do, I can tell he’s going to do it.

    “Mom, don’t make her feel worse!” His voice is so deep! It’s soothing, yet firm, mysteriously at the same time. “Look, she needs us.” Uhh, hello? I’m right here! Sheesh! “Cassy, right?”

    I look into his gorgeous hazel eyes. “Er, uhh, yeah.” STUTTERING?! AM I STUTTERING?! WHAT THE HELL?! Why the hell did my voice choose this particular time to stutter? GOD! I hate myself so much!!!

    “My name is Andrew. It’s nice to meet you. I hope my mom isn’t making you feel bad…” Making me feel bad? Well, yeah, she is!!! She was just asked to adopt a poor, helpless, abused orphan! And she pretty much just rejected her!!!

    “No, not at all!” I lie, easily. Why am I blushing?

    “Okay, good. Well, I’m about to go over to my friend Seth’s house to hang out for a little while. You want to come with while mom decides?” He’s about half-a-foot taller than me. Wow! That’s tall because I’m 5’ 4’’! So he’s like 5’ 10’’!

    Did I really just tune out what he said? All I caught was ‘Do you want to come while mom decides?’ s**t! “Uhh, yeah sure. That would be nice, I mean. If it was fine with you, Jon.” I turn to Jon, and he has a look of envy on his face.

    “Yeah, that’s fine Cassy. Have fun you two!” Jon leans over me, closes the gap between his mouth and my ear, and whispers, “Be warned, this friend of his…he’s a real trouble maker!” WHA---?! A trouble maker? D…does that mean… he’s in a gang or something?

    “Haha! Dad, you’re so crazy! Seth isn’t a trouble maker.” He turns to me now, “He’s actually kind of shy around other people, but he is very nice!” Andrew grabs my hand, pulls me down the sidewalk, turns around and waves good-bye to Jon.

    Once were down the block a little ways Andrew lets go of my hand, turns straight towards me, and says he’s going to lay down a few rules. Rules? What kind of rules? “First of all, don’t call him Jon, call him dad! Relax. Secondly, loosen up around mom! She’s nice if she knows that your calm. See, she’s like a dog. She can sense fear, and other bad emotions, and when she does, she knows something bad is going to happen. Okay, and lastly---”

    “Wait, can I ask a question really quick?” He nods and I go on, “What do you think your mom is going to say about adopting me?” He looks surprised that that’s what I was going to ask.

    “Well, you are a very cute girl,” ME?! I’m cute?! “and, you seem very nice. So, I presume that she will say yes!” He smiles delicately at me. My nerves are jumping inside of me! I can’t tell the difference between light and dark, and I feel like I’m going to faint! Now, you might think this is because Andrew smiled at me, but then you’re thinking wrong. I haven’t eaten anything for three days, except for the gum that Jo- I mean dad gave me.

    “WOAH! Are you okay?” Well, besides the fact that I am as hungry as an alligator, and the fact that I just fell on the concrete sidewalk, yeah. I’m smashing! He grabs my arm and lifts me onto his back. Wow! This is, I believe, the first piggy-back-ride I have had in my entire life! And it’s awesome! Especially since it’s Andrew that’s doing it! “We’ll get you something to eat at Seth’s house. It’s not to far from here, I’ll carry you.” On his back, I feel like a queen! I’ve never felt this way before. Oh god, I think I’m going to barf! NO! Please, don’t do this! I manage to hold it down, but it is not without difficulty! “You okay, up there?” He looks up at me, smiling again.

    “Yeah. Super!” I laugh, nervously. Partly because I am still holding down a spew of nothing-ness that I ate in the past few days, and partly because I’m scared that I might have said or done something wrong to make Andrew think I’m crazy.

    “Well, here we are!” He sets me onto the sidewalk path, gently. “This is Seth’s house!” IT’S HUGE!!! I can tell there is at least three stories! The garden in front is enormous, filled with many vibrantly colored flowers. The double door takes up more space than the two windows that are on either side of it. It’s like the perfect dream house!

    A beautiful girl walks out with a dog on a leash. It’s a Germen-Shepard, and he’s very calm. The girl walks down the long sidewalk towards us, hugs Andrew and looks at me like a hawk. SCARY! “Cassy, this is Babe, Seth’s sister. Babe, this is Cassy. Mom and dad might be adopting her.”

    “Oh, she’s an orphan?” Babe looks upset, like she feels really bad for me.

    “Yeah, my biological parents died in a car crash when I was still a baby. The family that I stayed with up until now was abusive, so Jon arrested them. Now I might stay with Jon and Blair and Andrew…… and, who was that girl with long blonde hair?” I turn to Andrew once I realize I have no idea who she is.

    “Oh, that’s my little sister, Dawn. She’s five-years-old, but she’s very hyper. Sorry, I forgot to introduce you to her.” Andrew turns back to Babe. “Anyway, we’ll be going now.” He grabs my hand and pulls me up the sidewalk towards the dream house. I turn around and see Babe, looking upset.

    “Bye, Babe!” I say. Andrew knocks on the door but doesn’t wait for a reply. He walks right in and goes into the kitchen. Now I’m just standing here, in the middle of Seth’s living room, hoping someone doesn’t walk in and see me standing here. I decide to go into the kitchen and find Andrew.

    “In here, Cassy!” Andrew calls out, and I follow his voice. The kitchen is small, surprisingly. Andrew is sitting in a chair that is set neatly at a table with five other chairs. On either side of him, two little girls sit. They are completely identical. Twins? They are so cute!

    “Hi, I’m Pippi, and this is my sister Poppy!” She gestures towards the other girl.

    “Nuh uh! Don’t believe her! I’m Pippi and she’s Poppy!” Okay, um, I’m confused.

    “Quit joking, you two!” Andrew laughs. “This,” He gestures to the girl on the left, “Is Pippi, as was first said, and this” He looks to his right, “Is Poppy. She’s a bit of a trouble maker, but she’s nice. They are twins, as you can tell, and they are Seth’s kid sisters.” He stands up, goes behind Poppy, and thrusts her into the air, making airplane noises. An ear-piercing shriek of laughter comes from the little girl, and Andrew laughs too. Wow, he’s good with kids!

    “My turn! My turn!” Demands Pippi. Andrew sets down Poppy, goes over to Pippi, and within no-time the same shriek of laughter comes from her. That is so cute! I start laughing now, but it makes me light-headed. I need to sit, but I can’t seem to get to the chair fast enough! I fall to the ground and Andrew stops right away, rushes over to me, and yells out “Seth! HURRY!!!” I don’t think I can take it anymore! I’m so hungry, I honestly think I’m going to barf of starvation!

    A guy runs into the room, but I have no idea what he looks like, because white dots are everywhere in my vision.

    “Is she going to be okay Andrew?” Pippi says, obviously shocked.

    “Yeah, what happened to her?” Poppy chimes in.

    “She’s just really hungry, she’ll be fine once she gets something to eat. Pip, Pop, go make her a sandwich.” The white dots start to fade, and I can see Andrew and another guy - way hotter than Andrew, if I may say so - standing over me.

    “You’re not another one of the I-think-I’m-fat-even-though-I-know-I’m-not-so-I’m-not-going-to-eat-anything girls, right?” Says the super-model type guy that I assume is Seth.

    “SETH! How dare you say something like that?!” Andrew pipes up. He shoves Seth into the living room, and I think he’s trying to explain my situation. I’m not sure though, since they’re whispering. Pippi and Poppy come back over to me, just as I’m sitting in a chair at the table.

    “Here!” the twins say in unison. They hold out a sandwich to me, and I reluctantly take it. Biting into it and tasting the peanut butter and strawberry jelly, it’s like heaven! I take it in slowly, savoring every bite of it.

    Almost on cue, when I finish the sandwich, Seth and Andrew come into the kitchen. Seth has a look of pity on his face. It’s really getting old, all of these people and their pitiful faces, but I guess there’s nothing I can do about it.

    “Hey, sorry about the not-eating comment earlier. I just… I’m stupid like that sometimes. I’m Seth.” He holds out his arms in a way that suggests he’s willing to give me a hug. I accept it, and melt into him. I feel like I’m in heaven, with his arms wrapped warmly around me. Pippi and Poppy decide to ruin the moment by making the one-on-one hug and group hug. Andrew takes the cue and joins in. I’m happy as ever, but I don’t really know why. I guess because this is the first hug I’ve had in my life. Not to mention it’s a group hug, and it’s all based on me! I smile, and close my eyes, taking in my surroundings. The smell of something burning bursts into my nose and I hear a smoke alarm kick in. It’s really loud and it takes me back to a time when Nancy set my bed on fire.

    “NO! LEAVE ME ALONE NANCY!” I say out of pure instinct, wincing and covering my head with my arms. I fall to the ground and lay there curled up in a ball. Seth wraps his arms around me once again, trying to comfort me.
    But nothing’s going to work. I can remember it and I can feel the flames licking at my back, just like they did that day.

    I wince again, and Andrew picks me up and carries me outside. I feel something catch under me. Something firm, but scratchy. I think it’s a swing. Yeah, it’s a swing. Andrew lets go of me and I am now sitting on the swing, rocking back and forth. Why did that have to remind me of a day back with Nancy? Why?!

    “Hey, did your foster parents set a fire on you before? Is that why the smoke alarm scared you?” Seth looks just as frightened as me. He grabs my hands and makes me look at him.

    I nod my head and explain what happened. “She had come home drunk one night and she had a lighter in her hand. I had made the mistake of looking at her and she yelled at me to go to my room. As soon as I got in my bed she busted into the room with the lighter lit. It was one of those ones that you can light and it doesn’t go out until you close the lid. She took the lighter to my sheets and they started up in flames almost immediately. I had about two seconds to jump off of the bed before they reached me. I didn’t do it in time and the flames consumed my clothes as well as my pillows. It caught my back and melted my skin. I couldn’t believe what was happening to me and I couldn’t do anything about it so I just sat there and took it like a wimp.” Seth and Andrew look surprised, but I don’t think they believe me. I guess I’ll show them the proof. I step off of the swing, turn around, and pull up my shirt in the back. They glare at the brownish marks on my back.

    “It’s horrifying, isn’t it?” Seth touches his fingers lightly against my back, rubbing the burn marks.

    “It’s just, I’ve never seen anything like it before. Does it still hurt?” I wince as he touches the heart of the scar from when Nancy whipped me with the stick.

    “Well, yeah, but I guess I’m kind of used to the pain. Do you see the scars that are kind of slanted?”

    “Yeah, how did that happen?” Andrew asks, Seth backing up a little.

    “My foster mother whipped me with a stick, it had thorns on it so it cut into my skin. That was when I had snapped. I ran down the street as fast as I could but my foster father caught up to me in the car. I didn’t see him and I had ran into the street. The car hit me, but luckily it wasn’t going that fast. I ended up with bruises on my back as well as the welts from the tree branches. And the other bruises on my back are from the countless times that she hit me.” Seth and Andrew look scared, more than me. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have told you that.”

    Seth grabs my shoulders and turns me around. “Actually, you are very brave. I don’t think I would have ever had the guts to run away from her. What you did - fighting back - was… well there’s not really any words to describe it. Just, brave.”

    “Seriously, Cassy! You are amazing!” Andrew backs him up. Wow, I’ve never been called so many good names in my life before! It makes me smile, but I’m not sure if I can completely understand it. I wonder if Seth is like Andrew…? In any ways… I don’t know but I hope we can all turn out to be good friends in the end. Or maybe something more than that.