"Which book would you like me to read?" I asked my younger brother Thomas. He couldn't sleep and had come through to my bedroom hoping for a late night story. I couldn't blame him. He was only six after all and being thirteen meant that it was my duty as his older sister to be tolerant. "Can you read 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?" He asked.
"Again? I've read that one to you quite a few times." I pointed out.
"I know but I like the story... and the way you read it." He mumbled. He was so cute. He had the same brown hair and blue eyes like me but he seemed to suit them so much more. "Well if you insist." I sat down beside him, opening the book up. I cleared my throat to read when out of the blue, my dad burst into the room. I nearly dropped the book in surprise.
His eyes locked onto me, "Valerie, get your suitcase and start packing your clothes into it." He said, his voice eerily monotone. "W-what? Why? Dad it's past ten at night. Why do I have to pack?" I stuttered. He glanced over at Thomas who was still wide eyed from shock. "Why is your brother in your room?" he interrogated.
"Thomas couldn't sleep. So I was reading him a story." I answered truthfully.
"Just pack your things." He turned on his heel and left the room.
Afraid of what would happen if I didn't, I began to pack my clothes into my suitcase. Amongst the flurry of clothes packing, I grabbed my favourite necklace. Thomas had given me it on my eleventh birthday. It had a pendant of a ladybug. Thomas thought it'd bring me good luck. I quickly put it on, hiding it inside my pyjama top. I shut my suitcase and hurried down the stairs, Thomas following behind me.
Both my parents were both downstairs. Thomas and I were told to put our shoes on and were hurried into the car. The inky black landscape swept past as we drove. Thomas swallowed nervously, "Mummy, Daddy? Where are we going?"
"Ssh, Thomas. Just... just be quiet." My Mum said. Thomas huddled closer to me. He was close to tears. I hugged him back and tried to give him reassuring smile. In reality, I was just as scared. I felt like I was going to be sick. My heart began to beat faster as the car slowed as we came to a quiet street. We came to a stop outside of a big building. It was too dark to make out where we were.
"Valerie. Get out of the car." My Mum suddenly said.
"Valerie?" My brother trembled. Reluctantly, I got out of the car. My Dad had got my suitcase out of the car and was heading up to the building we had stopped in front of. I followed him. He knocked on the door several times but nobody answered. He sighed, putting my suitcase next to me and turned to head back to the car. I moved to follow but he stopped me. "Wait here Valerie." He said. I stopped. I watched as he went back to the car. He got in.
I watched in a mix of confusion and fear as the car began to move. I only realised that I had been abandoned when the sound of Thomas screaming my name faded into the night.
I jolted awake. I had been sleeping at the kitchen table. Miss Heather was standing next to me, looking concerned. Miss Heather was in charge of St. Andrew's Orphanage and was thankfully a very nice women with short blond hair and kind brown eyes. "Huh. What is it?" I said sleepily, rubbing my eyes.
"You were sleep talking. You were having that dream again. Are you okay. You seem to fall asleep a lot dear." She said, "Are you sure you're getting enough sleep and eating enough?"
"Yeah, yeah, don't worry about it." I brushed it off.
"Okay," Miss Heather said unconvinced. She suddenly brightened up, "Remember how there was that young gentleman looking to adopt a few days ago?"
"I guess?" In truth, a lot of people come in each day, looking to adopt. I've pretty much given up on the thought of a home. I'm sixteen, now almost seventeen and I've had many unsuccessful adoptions.
"Well," Miss Heather said positively, " He wants to adopt you! He'll be picking you up tomorrow. Isn't that exciting?"
"Yeah." I smiled, it was forced but I didn't want to hurt Miss Heather's feelings. Another 'Home'. I don't now how many people have sent me back after a short time. Miss Heather tries to convince me it's not me but the fact that most couples are looking to adopt younger kids. I know that it's because I don't really eat and I can get so snappy... basically I'm what most would describe as 'problematic'.
I went up to my room and began putting my clothes into a suitcase. My room was pretty small, white in colour and only had the necessary stuff like a bed, table and wardrobe. I didn't want to leave again. I liked the orphanage. Even though there were a lot of kids with their own issues, we all got on because we knew we were all stuck in the same boat.
I went to the bathroom and got my toothbrush. I quickly checked into the hallway to make sure no-one else was around. The coast was clear. I went back into the bathroom and worked up one of the loose floor tiles and took my blades out from underneath. I put the tile back into place. I headed back to my room and put the blades on top of my clothes in the suitcases.
I heard a knock at the door. Tania peaked her head round the door. "Hey Smithy!" She smiled. She calls me Smithy because my last name is Smith. "Hey Tania!" I smiled back, Tania is more or less my best friend in this place. Probably because we are close in age, she's fifteen. She slipped into my room, she was nervously playing with her dreadlocks. "I heard you're getting adopted again." Tania hugged me, "Congrats!"
"Don't get too excited, I'll probably be back within the week." I sighed.
"Oh come on. Maybe this time it'll work out." She comforted. I rolled my eyes. Tania sat down on my bed. "So you remembered everything?" She looked into my suitcase. I quickly tried to stop her, "Wait no!"
It was too late though. She saw my blades. "Valerie..." Tania looked at me with sad eyes, "You're still self-harming?"
"N-no. I'm... you see..." I stuttered. Tania walked over to me and pulled up my sleeves, exposing my new cuts. "You still are! Smithy, I care about you and I don't want you hurting yourself like this. It's dangerous!" She quickly left my room. I thought she'd gone for good but she came back. She had several elastic bands. "Hold out your hand." She instructed. I did that. She slipped the elastic bands onto my wrist. "If you ever get the urge to hurt yourself, just pull the elastic band like this," She pulled it away from my wrist, "and then release it." It snapped back, stinging my skin. "See, it does hurt but the effects aren't dangerous at all."
"Thanks, I guess."
"Now promise me you want keep on cutting yourself!"
"Promise!" Tania demanded.
"Okay, okay, I promise!"
"Thank you." Tania grabbed the blades, dropping them into my bin. "You won't be needing these anymore. Now get yourself sorted out. Tomorrow is a big day!" She left my room. I headed over to the bin and took the blades out, "I'm sorry Tania but it isn't so simple." I thought to myself. I put the blades at the bottom of my suitcase. I looked out my outfit for tomorrow. A simple black and white stripey, long sleeved t-shirt and denim shorts. I hoped that Miss Heather wouldn't notice how thin my legs had gotten. The last thing I needed was her making a fuss tomorrow. I sat down on my bed and pulled my pendant out from my shirt and looked at the small ladybug. I missed Thomas. He'd be about nine now. I wish I knew where he was. After my parents left me at the orphanage, my family disappeared. The police checked the house but they had just upped and left without a trace. I hope he's okay. I could care less about my parents. They were the ones who left me behind after all.
I lay down on my bed, drifting off to sleep. I dreamed I was with Thomas, when we were younger. We weren't doing anything in particular but we were happy and that was all that mattered.
Thank you for reading! This is my first Movellas so please leave a comment. Any feedback is welcome! I'm sorry for a short chapter but the next chapter will have the story really going! :3