View from the Stairs

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Corrie's lived in an orphanage for the past five years. Even though the house is full of other kids, the truth is that exciting things rarely happen there, especially given the fact that they all don't like her. So when a new boy moves in, Corrie decides to take a chance to finally make a friend. It shouldn't be that hard...right? For Corrie, it is.

Submitted: July 18, 2012

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Submitted: July 18, 2012

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Corrie stared as the new boy unpacked his things. He didn't have much, but then again, no one ever really did when moving into the orphanage. When you didn't have a family, there really wasn't much else worth having.

He had come quietly, and sticking true to this fashion, he'd remained quiet. Corrie had only heard him say a handful of things. Enough to know that his name was James, but too little to give even the slightest hint as to why he'd come here.

It was all very strange. Kids were usually brought here- by social workers, neighbors, teachers. Corrie had seen it all. But James came on his own. Just showed up, and Miss Betty had let him stay. Then again, Corrie had never seen her turn a kid down.

James couldn't see her, of course, as she watched. She stood halfway down the staircase, peeking through the railings on the upper landing. She watched from down the hall as he lay what little he had down on the extra bed in Nelson's room. She briefly wondered how Nelson felt about this, getting a new roommate and all. But Nelson was pretty easy going, and this James seemed nice, so far.

He had light brown hair that was perhaps a bit too long and a bit too scruffy. He could definitely do with a haircut. Then again, Corrie found it a bit…cute. She slumped lower down the stairs, her nose almost touching the carpet on the landing. She knew what she was doing was stupid, but interesting things like this so rarely happened she couldn't just go off and do normal things like homework and chores.

Of course, it wasn't as if he was any more exciting to watch than doing math problems would be. But to Corrie, there was something about him that fascinated her. He had an air of quiet mystery, a gentle voice, cute hair, and eyes she was dying to know the color of. Her hands tightened on the bars of the railing. Maybe he could be someone to have a fresh start with, someone who might, God willing, actually like her.

She couldn't let herself be annoying. That was the first thing. Everyone in the house, Miss Betty included, had in some way or another called her annoying or irritating. She usually shrugged it off. Whatever; she just liked to talk a lot, ask questions, get to know people. She didn't mean to aggravate them. Well, maybe sometimes she did, but that was when they were rude to her, or ignored her, or boasted the fact that they were older or taller than her, and therefore smarter and wiser.

Corrie, only fourteen and the youngest in the house, had an inkling that she was very bright. She'd been told by teachers, and she got good grades at school. She listened, was attentive, and always had something to offer. But none of it mattered, really. Kids didn't like it. They didn't like her.

Corrie watched as James put the last of his meager pile of clothes into the dresser. He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. He looked around, clearly not knowing what to do next, or where to go. Corrie's heart began to race. This could be her chance. She could go over and introduce herself and be normal and helpful and his first friend here. This new, mysterious, cute boy would like her. Corrie closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

She heard footsteps coming her way, and she quickly ran down several steps and turned around, straightening her old green t-shirt. She looked like a mess, but whatever. Friends weren't supposed to care what you looked like. At least, that's what TV shows taught her. As if she could get anywhere with her looks, anyway.

Still, she pushed a lock of her dirty blonde hair behind her ear before very casually starting up the stairs again. She walked slowly, waiting to hear his footsteps at the top.

She looked up when he did, and she found herself staring into a pair of very lovely hazel eyes. He blinked and looked away, bearing to his right to pass her.

Do it Corrie, do it! a voice inside her head shouted. It was obvious he wasn't going to acknowledge her, so she may as well give it a try.

"Hi," she said loudly, just as he reached the stair above hers. He looked at her again and blinked. "I'm Corrie," she added. She stuck her hand out. He looked down at it lifted his own to shake it.

"James," he said. He's shy, she thought with the part of her mind that wasn't intensely focused on the fact that his hand was in hers. He's new, and wherever he'd come from was most likely a troubled place.

He pulled away and made to start down the stairs again. Wait! the voice in her head said again.

"Welcome," she said quickly, trying to sound inviting, perhaps warm, "to the house. I think you'll like it here. It's nice, most of the time."

"Okay," James said. He looked away from her again.

"Have you met Nelson yet? He lives in the room you just moved into. He's nice. So's his sister Olivia. I'd stay away from Mia, though. She hates me," Corrie said.

You're rambling, the voice reminded her. She shut her mouth. James was staring at her.

"Thanks for the tips," he said slowly.

"No problem," she said. "I'm not a very hateable person, I don't think. Mia doesn't like a lot of people. She's very pretty, though."

"I'll keep that in mind," he said.

"Well," she said, deciding that the best time to end this rather one-sided conversation was nothing short of right this second. "Nice meeting you."

"Yeah," James said. He nodded. "You too."

He continued past her down the stairs, not looking back once. She let out a breath of relief as he disappeared into the kitchen.

The conversation went on instant replay in her head. Corrie sighed as she walked up the stairs slowly, pushing her hair out from behind her ear so it fell into her face again.

As she walked through the hall she found that she was the only one upstairs. Of course. When she reached her room she fell back on her bed, on top of the old blue comforter she'd slept under for the past five years. She dragged a hand over her eyes.

Yup, she thought to herself. Good job, Corrie. You blew it again.


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