The Eye of the Storm
Summary: I am not giving up on my Megan stories, but I always loved the book "The Face on the Milk Carton" by Caroline B. Cooney. I also love the movie that is based off of it. So after a lot of thinking along those lines for a possible "Batman Begins" story plot this is what I came up with. I hope you like it and this is my first try at first person. Review plz!!!! And no flames!
Disclaimer: I don't own "Batman Begins" or "The Face on the Milk Carton.
My life is normal. Or I'd like to think it is. I grow up in a nice town with some really terrific parents. My friends are good friends. We often like to hang out at the mall or have "Star Wars" or "Lord of the Rings" marathons. With this much normalcy in my life all of you would probably ask how my life turned out the way it did. How my name changed from Rachel Hamilton to Roberta Wayne.
If any of you have read the book "The Face on the Milk Carton" and the other books that followed then you'd know. How a normal girl like me could find out that something as hideous and ugly, like kidnapping, could happen. Like I said a minute ago my name is Rachel Hamilton. I've grown up my whole life in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Or I've lived there since I could remember. My mom and dad said we moved here when I was three. I can't remember moving here, but Mom said that I loved every minute of the move. Of course we don't exactly live in the city. Mom said she doesn't like city noises. So we live in one of the suburbs.
The day my world fell apart it was a very nice day. It was cool and sunny. Summer had just ended. In Cedar Rapids summer normally ended in the middle of August. The first day of school was like fifty degrees. So I'm used to wearing a down jacket in the middle of August.
It was the first week of my freshman year of high school. I was in honors classes out the wazoo. In my last year of middle school my counselor had decided that I would do better taking the college path during my years of high school. The best part was that most of my friends were smart any way. So all of them were in the honors classes with me.
I was finishing taking the quiz for algebra that our teacher had assigned when the bell rang for lunch. I know that during the book that was going to map out how I fell into a nightmare Janie Johnson was in English, but suffice it to say I'm not exactly Janie. There are some differences in this story. One I don't have a boyfriend and two I'm not allergic to milk like she was.
"All right, boys and girls, when you come back from lunch you can finish the test," the teacher said, for everyone's benefit, but mine. I was done. I planned to pull out "The Hobbit" after lunch and read for the rest of the period.
I ran down the hallway, my dark brown braid beating my back with a slap. Now that should have been my first clue that my parents weren't my parents, but for some strange reason I had never thought about it. I'd thought maybe I'd gotten my hair color from a grandparent.
"Hi, Rachel!" My best friend Sara said, hugging me. Now there's an irony for ya. My best friend is Sara and Janie's best friend is a girl called Sarah-Charlotte Sherwood.
"Hi, Sara," I said calmly. Sara was exuberant and bouncy. I wasn't. You ever heard that old saying about opposites attracting? Well, me and Sara invented that phrase.
"So, how was the algebra test?" Sara asked, wrapping her arm around my shoulder as we walked into the cafeteria.
"Okay, I suppose. I finished even before the bell rang," I said as we walked into the lunch line.
"How'd you do that, Rachel?" Sara asked, a dumb look on her face. If her hair wasn't red and had been blonde I would have called her a dumb blonde.
"Simple. I've been learning this stuff over the summer. You know my dad. He said he wanted me prepared when I got here," I said. That was true. My father is a stickler for preparing yourself when you're going to do anything. My father is a doctor in the hospital in Cedar Rapids. If anyone ever watched the TV show "Doc" that's what my father is like.
I got my lunch and sat down. Today was potato soup. I know what all of you must be thinking. In a school cafeteria how can potato soup be good? Believe me, in this school, potato soup is out of this world. Especially if it's cold outside the potato soup warms you up.
Now the milk cartons at school are relatively new. I mean, now they put kids pictures on them. I don't know how they figure that high school kids care about kids that are kidnapped or missing. I would look at the picture briefly, but I never really paid that much attention. Of course Sara had to be the minority.
"This is interesting," Sara commented, looking at her carton of strawberry milk.
"What?" I wanted to know. When Sara got interested in something she wouldn't even answer me when I asked what it was.
"This little girl has been missing for almost twelve years," Sara said, indicating the picture of a cute little girl on the carton.
Taking a good look at the carton I felt my throat close like a trapdoor. The little girl had dark brown hair, just like me and impressive eyes. Because the picture was black-and-white I couldn't know what color they were unless I read the information on the carton. But I didn't have to read the information. I already knew. That little girl was ME!!!!!
I don't know how I managed to get through school with that newfound knowledge. I had drained out the milk carton and kept it. I know, like Janie Johnson, I kept it. Don't ask me why I did. If you found out that you had joined the ranks of other kidnapped kids would you keep the thing that had brought your life shattering around your ears?
For some reason I just had to keep it. Even though my mind kept saying that this had to be a mistake I kept it. I, Rachel Hamilton, had not been kidnapped. My parents loved kids. They wouldn't kidnap them.
But my eyes stayed glued to the picture. I had seen that face countless times. I have about a million pictures of me at home. My parents are in love with the camera and there are about a zillion photo albums in the house to prove it with more than a zillion photographs of me. About 10 of those are pictures of me when I was three.
I looked back at the photograph and the information below it. Roberta Wayne Kidnapped in Gotham City. Now there was a place everyone knew about. The Batman was there and it was a dangerous place to live. If I had lived there at one time it was a miracle of God that I hadn't been killed when I was kidnapped. Wait a minute. I just said when I was kidnapped. I had to shake my head slightly. I was admitting to being kidnapped? I had no proof that the little girl was me.
I had heard that everyone has a lookalike. What if this girl is my double and she's out there somewhere. That was where I made my first mistake. I should have known that there was no mistake and that I was Roberta Wayne.
Now considering that I found out this information what do y'all think was my next move? All of you would think that maybe I would be too numb with shock at finding out this information. I wasn't. My next move was at dinner that night. Looking at my mom and dad I had to know if I looked anything like them.
My mom was short and beautiful with icy-blue eyes and blonde hair. My father's hair was black and he had brown eyes. Okay maybe my dad's hair color would explain mine, but my hair wasn't black. Only when it was dark did my hair look jet-black. When the sun hit it did it look dark-brown with a few black tints. And I couldn't explain my green eyes. My mother's parents had blue eyes like hers because they were German and my father was half-Indian so his eyes were brown. I was taking biology this year and I would have gotten hazel eyes, not light moss-green eyes.
Also my father's nose was large and my mother's was short. My nose was long and thin. I remember reading the book "Queen" by Alex Haley where her grandmother said she had the looks of Josephine, Napoleon Bonaparte's wife. I felt my nose was like that.
My close scrutiny of my parents got their attention unfortunately. 'What's the matter, Rachel?" Mom asked, taking my long, thin hand in hers. This was another way we were different. My hand was long and bony while hers was short and plump. My father stooped eating and stared at me.
"I'm doing a project for biology and all of us have to figure out what characteristics and looks we got from our parents," I said, giving a lie that I couldn't even believe I was giving. I never lied to my parents and I was doing that just now.
Sadly my parents bought it. "You get your hair color from your dad," Mom said affectionately in that way that mothers have.
"But I'm tall and thin compared to both of you?" I asked, eating a bite of cornbread. Because my father was Indian he had taught my mother to cook, Seneca fashion. Corn, beans, and squash were a common staple in our house.
"Your grandfather was the tallest in the whole tribe. You got your height from him," my father said in his gentle, soothing voice. My father's voice was incredible. All the movies you see about Indians who speak English and have calm rollicking voices that can put you to sleep are true. Both my father and his brother have those voices. But back to my grandfather. My grandfather was adopted into the Seneca tribe when he married my Indian grandmother. I had seen pictures of him. He was tall.
"Mom, Dad, can I see my birth certificate?" I asked, after chewing on a bite of beans for a few minutes.
"Why is this so important to you, Rachel?" Dad asked, wiping his mouth.
"I'm curious, I guess. You've never showed it to me and I wanted to know why," I asked. At least that much was true.
"Well, there was a fire on the reservation a few years ago and your birth certificate got burned up with your social security card. We just never had the time to replace it," Dad said, a worse liar than I was. I knew that was not true. I got to the reservation at least a dozen times a year to visit my grandparents and cousins. There was no fire. Dad had just lied to me. I guess now I wouldn't be able to trust my parents.