I felt her shiver under our thin blanket as we heard the wind pick up outside, some of it entering the room through the broken screen. I made note to try and swipe a warmer blanket from the linen closet in the morning. I don’t need her getting too cold. If she got sick I would have no means of helping her. I would fight to save her, of course I would, but there was only so much I could do. I shifted into a sitting position pulling her into my lap and wrapping the entire blanket around her. She looked up at me worriedly, but I smiled hoping to soothe her a bit. She fell asleep shortly after.
I sat there thinking about our life so far and if I should turn my worries to myself, take care of me before anyone else. Would that be so bad? I sighed and looked down at the fragile, thin, sleeping six year old and knew I could never turn my back on her. She was my little sister, the only family I had left. She would also not make it if I wasn’t here for her. We were the lowest of the low in this stupid foster home. If I left her she would be broken and there would be no way to fix her. I would never do that to her, not for anything in the world.
The door opened and I wrapped my arms protectively around her glaring at the door. The lousy owner of the foster home, Frank, came in. “Quit that glaring. It’s no wonder you aren’t liked here.” I didn’t listen I just wanted to know why he was in here. “I may have found you two a home. Oh and if this doesn’t work we will be splitting you two up.” That was all he said and he left the room.
I blinked that was the last think I expected. We have been “adopted” out before. But people seemed to find out taking care of two kids especially when one was six and the other was twelve was fairly difficult. And since I was overly protective of my sister, it was hard for me to let someone else step in and take care of her. And in past homes when I did that they would force me to step away from her and they would take care of her, but in the process scare her so bad that I spoke up against them and we were then taken back here. This was the first time he threatened to separate us.
I pulled her closer to me. Little Sophie shifted slightly, but stayed asleep. I ran a hand down her smooth light blonde hair. My hair was slightly darker. But we share baby blue eyes. I prayed silently that we would never be apart. I realized that not only would she break if we were separated I would too. I remembered that day well, the day we were brought here. I still hate my mother for what she did. Though she claimed it was for the best. She brought us here when I was eight and Sophie was two. She claimed that providing a good home for one child was difficult but two was so difficult that she couldn’t handle it. I sighed angrily; maybe if she hadn’t broken up with dad, maybe we would still be a happy family.
I settled back down into a laying position with my little bundle on my chest. I knew I needed my rest so I took a few calming breathes and let my eyes close. I knew I wouldn’t be in a deep sleep—I never was here or anywhere for that matter. But I would get enough sleep.
I awoke to Sophie jumping on my chest. “Wake up, Sis!” she squealed, a giant smile on her heart-shaped face. “We are getting adopted!” She jumped again to make sure I was awake. It warmed my heart to see her smile and be happy. But I knew what would happen if this place didn’t work out so I stayed neutral.
“Oh really?” I asked, sitting up as she moved to the side of the bed. I stretched with a yawn. “Who did you hear that from?”
“Mary. She came in and said we needed to be ready to go by noon,” my little angel smiled. Then the smile faded into a frown, “You aren’t happy…”
I felt my heart squeeze, I hated to see that frown. So I put on a smile and said, “Oh no, Sweetie. I’m very happy. I just woke up though so I’m a little groggy.” I hated lying to her, but I also didn’t need to make her scared as to what Frank had said. “Let’s get ready for the day.”
Her smile returned and she bounced off the bed and went to our shared closet were the clothes were sort of clean. Frank and his wife didn’t want kids using the washer and dryer because they were afraid that we would break it, but they said we do our laundry. Once a week they set up two basins that we can wash in and I’m always last in line and the water isn’t normally very clean.
The door opened and Frank’s wife, Sally, came in. “Hey find a somewhat nicer clothes and hand them here I’m gonna wash them.” I pulled out two shirts, one for each of us, and a pair of jeans for us and handed them to Sally. “Be back with them soon.”
I sighed how could I forget? They made sure to wash one set of clothes for us to wear so that we looked nice. I sighed heavily and went over to Sophie and picked her up. “Don’t worry Sweetie, this will be the last time we move into a new house. And I prayed to whoever was listening that it was. “Come on I will find you some breakfast.”
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