Niall was shaking all over. He sat quite still on the chair, and heard how the doctor talked with the woman from social services.
"He has no family now, you need to make sure that he comes to a home. He has suffered a trauma and he needs someone to talk to."
The woman from social services just snorted and seemed not to care about the doctor's words.
"I'm sending him to the orphanage. You know how hard it is to get families and there he has at least a shelter."
Niall gulped and felt the tears came again. He was ten years old and had already lost all the family. They'd go on vacation, but the car ended up on the wrong road and a truck ran over them. Niall was the only one who survived. He wished he had died instead. He had a little pain in his knees and his face felt swollen. He realized that it was now that life ended. Maybe he customer to commit suicide? Then people wouldn't anyway have to care about him?
The woman came out of the office and looked at Niall carefully. She sighed over his tears over his feeble revelation.
"You'll get a roof over your head and food to eat." said she coldly. "The orphanage receives you and I guess you should be thankful for that."
He stood up and didn't know what to say.
She snorted again and seemed not impressed over him.
"You're going to be working and the owner, Mrs. Sanders, has taken care of many orphans over the years. She's strict, but you get at least a home."
Niall sat back in the social worker's car. He looked outside how families went to the weekly shop and he saw people who lived their lives. Niall was jealous and he felt so small. He would never tease his brother about something. Nialls mom would never hug him again and brag about how good he was. Nialls dad would never play ball with Niall and teach him how to scorer. The only thing that was available was Niall and he felt lost. He didn't belong anywhere and now he had to go to the orphanage, only because his parents were dead. Was it a punishment because he survived?
Ms. Sanders received him, but not with open arms. She looked down at him and opened the door to a large orphanage. She went before the social worker and Niall. They went into her office and she took out a folder with papers.
"So he has no one to care for him?"
Social worker shook her head.
"You're going to get paid for taking care of him and I know that the orphanage has far too many children, but see him as an income?"
Mrs. Sanders snorted and sat down. She stared at Niall and didn't like his looks.
"Extra-low, narrow, and he doesn't look like a healthy kid. He will be difficult to find a home for."
The social worker did think the same thing.
"Yes, he's not much to look at, but with a little work, he will become stronger."
Mrs. Sanders nodded a little weak and watched Niall closely.
"We have rules here that are here to obey."
Niall knew it was important words that would be said. He nodded and she continued.
"The girls living on the west wing and the boys on the other. If I find you among the girls, you will be punished. Food served at eight, twelve and after finished work in the evening. Misses you the food you blame yourself and here we provide nutrient filled foods, which doesn't always taste good. We receive food that make you strong and if you complain we punish you."
She pulled out a piece of paper.
"We have different pursuits for all children. You can take care of the garden, working in the basement to fix old furniture or be with one of those who laws the house, when needed, which means always."
Niall nodded weakly.
It was the only thing he knew anything about and she seemed to be pleased at the response.
"The girls take care of the cleaning, laundry, and so it looks good when any parents come to check you out. I always expect the best from you and when I feel that you fit into the parents' template, you get to meet them. Otherwise, hold away from any adults you see, except me and the people who work here. "
She looked at him again.
"You share a room with twelve other boys. You follow the rules and you can't do things you mustn't do. Takes care of yourself, you will receive benefits, but if you misbehave yourself, I will make your life a living hell."
Niall was scared, but he nodded.
She smiled weakly.
"And the first thing you do before you get to meet the other is showering. I'll make sure you get clean and get different clothes."
Showering meant to strip naked, stand against a wall and Mrs. Sanders sprayed ice cold water over him. She made sure he got the soap and that his hair was clean. Niall froze when she gave him a towel and other clothes. He had a sweater that was too big and a pair of pants that seemed to have been well spent. He's got nothing on his feet and she seemed satisfied.
"Now I'll show you around."
The dining room was large and the wooden tables were lined with wooden benches. At the front was a finished table and Niall realized that Mrs. Sanders and the other employees sat there. She showed him the yard and where the tools were. Then she pulled him up to the dormitory. As soon as she opened the door, stood eleven boys up and looked to belong to the military. Mrs. Sanders wasn't impressed but nevertheless drew with Niall at the end of the room. There stood an empty bed and she pointed to it.
"It's yours and it's up to you to ensure that you get clean sheets and what you need. We sleep naked here, to save on fabric." she pointed to a cupboard. "It's yours and there, your store everything that's personal."
She then showed him the other as he shared the room with.
"Louis is the leader and he's the one who makes sure you do what you should. Harry's in your age and he's also working in the yard. Liam is one of my favorites and you should obey him. Zayn isn't from here and you see at him that he belongs to those Muslims."
She talked bad about some of the boys, but Niall didn't dare ask why. He just nodded and hoped that these guys could become his friends, or something.
As soon as she had left the room Liam came up to Niall and looked coldly down on the new guy.
"I hear that you're Irish?"
Liam laughing cold.
"We don't like odd people." He then looked at Zayn, who immediately sat down on the bed and looked down at the floor. "You may belong to the Muslim category. Ye are the bottom of the bottom."
Niall backed off and had no idea what he would say.
Liam laughed and left him. Niall sat down on his bed and he was just scared. Harry still seemed to bother and came gently against him.
"Don't listen. He just wants you to be afraid of them." he whispered. "I can be your friend if you like?"
Niall nodded instantly.
"Okay, if you want?"
Harry nodded and seemed genuinely curious.
"I promise to stand behind you and protect you."