In the New York borough of Manhattan, in a calm little area called Turtle Bay, lied an apartment complex created by the rich and infamous Beekman family.
“Pop, I don’t like this.” Bryant whined. He was the son of Alexander Beekman. Alexander was a wee boy when his father first founded the Beekman Apartment Complexes. Now, he had taken over and was bringing his 8 year old son along for the day. Alexander had brown hair that was slicked back with too much gel and was overly drenched in cologne that smelled too powerful for his weak skin. He wore his usual outfit for the day, a black collared button down shirt with a blue tie and a white suit jacket covering it. He also had black pants and white shined dress shoes. He patted his son on the head. “It’s just for a moment to collect this woman’s late rent.” Alexander said in his “proud father” voice. Alexander was just like his father, always proud to have a son and slightly built in the gut area if you know what I mean. “But I’m not even going to have fun with a bloody orphan.” Bryant whined again, fixing his hair after his father touched him. Bryant was blonde and had green eyes like his father. He had small barely noticeable freckles around his nose and had slightly crooked teeth. He wore a grey sweater vest with a light blue shirt under it and khakis. He slicked his hair to the side but it puffed back up slightly to give it a fluffy feel. “He’s not to be played with. I just need the money.” Alexander said.
They stopped at apartment 61-D and knocked on the dark maroon door with the chipped golden letters. The door opened with a squeak and a middle-aged woman, around 46 years old answered the door. Her hair was a mess and had too many grey hairs for a woman her age. She appeared older than she was because of the years of smoking she had done during her 20’s. She was wearing a green worn gown with big flowers with pink petals and yellow centers. Bryant looked down to avoid the woman’s bitter looking face and noticed her pink fuzzy slippers. “Mrs. Finnegan. Good to see you. I’m looking for the rent you have failed to pay…once more.” Alexander said. “Oh please, Alexander. Call me Harriet.” She said with a flirtatious smile. “Come in.” Harriet added.
Alexander looked down at his son then motioned him inside as well. “Fredrick! Take your hat off! You’re off duty!” Harriet scolded bitterly as she caught a glimpse of Fredrick on her way to the kitchen. “Alexander, please sit.” She said sweetly to her landlord. Alexander turned around and looked down at his son and with a pat on the head said, “Go play with the boy.” Bryant sighed and walked away.
Bryant walked out of the kitchen, into the living room and down the hallway to see Fredrick’s door closed. The walls of the apartment were a weird middle shade of green and beige with dirty old white trimmings. The door was a faded olive green color and seemed antique. Bryant rolled his eyes and grabbed the rusty door knob and opened the door. Fredrick was sitting on the floor with his tan corduroy overalls and his vertical green striped collar shirt under it. “On the floor, I see. Your rifle spot.” Bryant muttered. Fredrick stayed silent. He had a corduroy tan hat newspaper hat on as well. “Didn’t that woman tell you to take that off?” Bryant said. Fredrick slowly removed the hat from his head without a word, revealing his smooth dark sandy hair that covered the top of his forehead.
Fredrick Young was a small skinny boy with a round face and well-pointed chin. Bryant couldn’t tell whether the dots on his face were dark freckles or dirt upon his face from scrubbing the floors. Bryant was all American like his father and Fredrick was Irish. They stared at each other in silence until Bryant spotted cards around Fredrick. Small piles of 5 cards each made a circle around the room. A circle in which Fredrick seemed to be a part of.
“What are the cards for?” Bryant asked, still standing in the doorway. “I’m playing a game.” “By yourself?” “No.” Fredrick replied quietly. He looked down at his own cards and studied them. “Loser.” Bryant muttered and he left the room, closing the door. Fredrick looked up from his cards and looked around. At each pile of cards sat each one of his friends.
“Got any 5’s?” Fredrick asked Annie Hilltop who sat next to him. She was 6 years old, two years younger than Fredrick. She was a small Irish girl as well with straight brown hair. She had button nose and had green orb-like eyes that glimmered when she looked at Fredrick. She had pale white skin that matched her white flats she was wearing. She also wore a raggedy red dress with white spots on it. She was Fredrick’s girlfriend. “Go fish!” She said giggling and smiling up at Fredrick. “Got any 8’s?”
“Penny does!” Paige proclaimed. Next to Annie sat 10 year old twins Paige and Penny Bailey. They were born two minutes apart they separated the year they were born in. 11:59PM December 31st was when Paige was born and Penny followed at 12:01AM at January 1st. Both girls were red-headed with vibrant bright faces. Paige had blue eyes and Penny had brown eyes but they were otherwise identical. Paige always wore her favorite pink shirt and Penny always wore her favorite purple shirt and they were as American as the bald eagle. “Why do you always rat me out? Got any 4’s?” Penny asked.
“Go fish again!” Proclaimed 8 year old Roberto Rivera. He was considered the “Argentinian lover.” He had a faint Spanish accent when he rolled his r’s that helped him woo his 7 year old girlfriend, Reba Jackson. He had dark black hair slicked to the side and dark brown eyes that complemented his tan skin. Though he embraced his Spanish culture, he was a classical ballet dancer. “Any 2’s, my dear?” He asked his girlfriend.
Reba Jackson sat next to him trying to peer over at his cards. She was African American and always had her jet black hair in a bun. She was a classical pianist and was slightly a tomboy. She wore ripped jean shorts, a blue t-shirt and a black watch. She had perfectly straight teeth which she flaunted at night when you could really see them through the darkness. “Nope. Hey Wayne, got any 6’s you didn’t eat yet?”
12 year old Wayne Firman sat next to her. He was half French and half English. He was the big boy of the group. He had enough fat to warm all the kids for the winter and yet he always seemed to be starving. He chubby cheeks caused his brown eyes to squint. He had short black hair as well. He wore red and green horizontal striped sweater, black sweatpants and brown shoes with broken soles. “Funny. Go fish.” Wayne said.
9 year old Lucas Frank, New Yorker sat by that big boy. He had the typical New York accent and was always prepared to make a deal. He wore a plaid collar shirt and a grey vest over it as well as khakis. He had curly brown hair and green eyes.
Next to him, trying to make a deal with his cards was 11 year old Jack Celino. He was Italian and had thick black hair that was overly gelled. He had chubby round cheeks that seemed to have dirt rubbed upon them and dark brown eyes. He swore he knew it all from the past to the future and he was very flirtatious. He always kissed the cross necklace he wore.
“Come on boys! Speak up!” Last but not least, to complete the circle back to Fredrick, sat his best friend, 8 year old Oliver Fletcher. He was a newspaper boy like Fredrick. He was quite inventive and an Irish skinny boy like Freddie. He was polite but quick and witty too. He had brown eyes and brown hair about the same length as Fredrick.
These were the orphans that lived with Fredrick Young since he was a boy with Ms. Harriet Finnegan. There was one bed in his room but none of the other kids needed a bed. They hid whenever someone else was in the room. Perhaps because they were shy, but no matter, they were Fredrick’s only friends.