Today is my birthday. Nothing special, so I sit there at the table as Jake, my adoptive father, paces around. The floor creaks wherever he takes a step. The flat we lived in is small and old. Its quite plain too. And old tele set in the lounge with two worn out sofas in front of it, a rug in front of those. A kitchen that is well kept since I have the duty of keeping it clean. A bathroom across from the front door that is quite small but used often. There are 3 bedrooms. Jake and Linda (my adoptive mother) own the biggest room while I occupy the smallest. The middle sized room is where Jake and Linda store their useless junk and go drink or have a smoke. Compared to that room and their room, my room is the cleanest and neatest. I have actually never gone to their room except once, when I was first adopted at age 9. I wandered into to the dark, smelly room one too see the filth that covered the floor, the bed, and blocked bathroom door. Never have I gone back. My room just contained a twin sized bed, a small closet, and a coffee table I used as a 'desk'.
Linda, a thin dirty blonde, comes through the door and Jake jumps a bit. He is a thin man (he barely ate, he usually drank all the time), with a buzz cut and and a buzz cut beard. "What took you so long?" Jake says frantically. Linda, with all the mail in one hand, gives him an annoyed look. She places the mail in front of me and Jake searches through it like a maniac. I patiently wait for him to grab his pay check, then I reach for the 2 letters that is addressed to me. I open one and it is an acceptance to Union Music Academy. I can't help but smile happily to myself. "What are you so smiley about?" Linda says to me with a scowl. She probably is upset that Jake is going to go buy more beer again. "I got accepted to Union Music Academy," I say. She rolls her eyes and walks to the fridge and a can of beer falls out and spills every where. "Argh!" she cries as it spills on her bare feet. "Clean it up!" she barks at me. I jump at the loudness of her voice. I stuff the other letter into the back pocket of my dark blue jeans. I get up and pick up the can, placing it in the sink, so the remaining liquid goes down the drain. "Are you stupid? Can you not hear me?" Linda practically screams. I shudder a bit, knowing what is going to come next. She turns me around and slaps my right cheek. I cringe at the pain, fight back the tears. "I'm going to sleep, this better be cleaned," she says, then storms off to her room. I take a dry wash cloth and wipe the mess. Then I put the wet washcloth in the sink, rinse it, then let it dry on the side of the sink. I throw the can in the recycle bin right outside the door.
"Arianna, I want a beer, get it for me," I hear Jake, who is sitting on the sofa watching tele, say. I sigh and walk over to the fridge, grabbing an unopened can and bring it to him. "Open it," he says and I do then hold it out for him. "Thaaaaanks." He's defiantly drunk. Must have drank to celebrate for getting his check. I back away and go straight to my room, locking the door behind me. When their drunk, its a nightmare. Linda will hit me, beat me for something as simple as beer spilling, but Jake is worse. He harasses me, sexually. Thank God he hasn't raped me or done anything that bad, but he touches me in inappropriate places, and once, he made me strip down to just my undergarments and stare me down. It's awful and I hate it. I hate them. I only put up with them because they are my "parents". But now that Union Music Academy has accepted me, I'm leaving. I don't really know how I'll pay for school, but I have £5,000, which should pay for my dorm room and classes for a year.
I sit on my bed, feeling tired, but I hear the crinkle of papers when I sit. I reached into my back pocket and pull out the other envelope. I open it and find some government papers explaining to me that I have a bank account with £10,000.00 in it and two wills. I look over them carefully. One is Charlotte Ledelle and the other from Henry Ledelle. My deceased parents. I sit there in shock, unaware that my parents even wrote down wills before their deaths 9 years ago.
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a quite similar scene to one you may be familiar with. Have you ever heard the story of how Batman lost his parents? Well, that's how I lost my parents. We had finished watching a movie, Batman, in an old theater one night, and my father had parked car behind the theater so we had to walk through a dark alleyway. In this dark alleyway there was a man, and he cornered us asking for money. I was only 9 at the time so I didn't understand what was happening, until my parents told him that we had no spare money with us. The man thought they were lying and pulled out a gun. In an instant I recognized what was happening, but had no knowledge of what to do, so I stood behind my mother who shielded me with her body and watch them get shot. The man gave out a sinister laugh as he watched me stand there, frozen in pure shock, then shot himself.
I still shudder at the thought of what happened and fight back the tears. I scan through their wills. They left me £10,000.00, their 195 navy mini cooper, and my mother's jewelry set that was stored in the bank. I also read one of the other papers giving me addresses to family members that they were able to find. I was surprised to see my old address in Manchester being owned by my Aunt Isabelle, my father's little sister. I'd have to give her a call and see her. I hope that everyone still remembered me.
Just outside my window I hear the soft chimes of Big Ben that snaps me out of thought. I get up from my bed and head over to my closet. It is small and doesn't have much, but everything in there is important. I reach for the huge old fashioned suitcase that I hid under some blankets and open it. In it are some old pictures of the past, zipped in a small compartment. I quickly fold my clothes and put them in my suitcase. Then I reach for my Batman blanket and place it in the suitcase. It's almost filled, but I still have some spare room. I pull off my clothes (my jeans and a t-shirt) and grab the clothes I left up. A pair of light blue shorts, a black tank-top, and a black sweatshirt. I slip into them then pull on some knee-high black socks and my navy blue high-top Converse. I look at my black Diamond backpack and pull out a sheet of paper and a pen. 'Linda and Jake,' I start to write. 'Since I have been accepted to Union, I will be leaving you two and living on my own. I am an adult now and you are no longer responsible of me. Don't worry about the money, I will pay for everything on my own. I'll come up with the money by getting a job and I won't come to you for it. Thanks for taking care of me. Arianna.'
I put the letters in my backpack, the one I had just written on my bed, and I walk over to my door placing one ear on it to hear voices. I hear Jake's snore and Linda's sleep talk. I gather everything together and step out quietly. I place the letter on the table with two cans of unopened beer and a pack of cigarettes. Then, as quietly as I can, careful not to make the floor creak, I walk out of the hell hole I had been living in for 9 years, and I'm never turning back.