I pushed my trolley through the bustling airport craning my neck for the person holding the sign with my name. I found a tall young looking woman holding a sheet of card with my name written thickly on it. She was looking through the crowd and I automatically slowed down to a sluggish pace.
I put my head down and dragged my feet around the corner of the barrier and over to where she was still looking for me. I tapped her on the shoulder and she jumped spinning around to smile at me.
'Laura,' I said sticking my hand out to her. She shook it firmly still smiling at me and I shifted uncomfortably.
'I'm Linda Iero your new foster mom,' she smiled warmly. I nodded and twisted the corners of my mouth up in an attempt at a smile. Her smile faltered but she started leading me through the crowds talking the whole time. I didn't pay any attention to what she was saying as she walked into lift. I stopped outside and chewed on my lip nervously.
She looked at me expectantly and I pushed the trolley in before finding the stairs and legging it up them to arrive there just as the lift did. Linda pushed my trolley of bags out looking for me as I stood at the door to the car park waiting for her.
'Why didn't you take the lift?' she asked. I just shrugged and took the trolley off her whilst she walked still talking to her car. We piled all of my bags in the trunk and backseats before climbing in and taking shotgun. She was still talking the whole way and I barely listened to a word she said until we arrived at the house.
I climbed out lifting two bags in one arm each and putting the duffel bag around my shoulders. As an attempt to be useful, even though I had lived the past seventeen years taking care of myself, she took my small carry on backpack.
'Frank! We're back,' she called out as soon as she opened the door. She had probably spoken about him on the way but I had no idea of who he was or what relation he even had to her. At first I assumed it was her partner but when I saw the boy I tried not to let my jaw drop open.
He was gorgeous with jet black spiky hair and a fringe covering one of his eyes. He had black eyeliner thinly applied around his hazel eyes and a lip and nose ring. He was wearing gray skinny jeans with rips in the knees and a baggy red tee with "Homophobia is gay" written across it. He had a plain black hoodie and a pair of skeleton gloves in Misfits style with a pair of battered red converse on his feet.
'Uh, hey, I'm Frank,' he said offering his hand for me to shake. I looked down at the bags in my hand as if to say you're insane if you think I can shake your hand too. He gave me an awkward smile before leaning against the wall.
Linda started talking on again and I couldn't help but tune her out again. After a few seconds she started walking and I wished I had listened in when Frank followed her and I was left not knowing what to do.
'Um, actually do you want me to show you to your room?' Linda asked. Frank chewed his lip a little and she looked over at him. 'You did get it ready, right?'
'Kinda,' he mumbled.
'Go and get it finished,' she said rolling her eyes. He smiled and kissed her cheek before running up the stairs again. 'Would you like something to eat or drink, Laura?' she asked turning back to me. I shook my head still holding my bags tightly. 'You can put those down honey. Hand them here.'
I passed my bags to her and she stacked them up at the end of the stairs. I stood shuffling my feet until she ushered me into the kitchen and sat me down fussing over me and giving me food and drink even though I declined each time.
'Mom, stop forcing her. Come on, I'll show you to your room,' Frank said adding the second part to me in a monotonous tone waving me over to him. He took two of my bags and I took the last one with my carry on as we headed up the stairs. He glanced back at me a few times and brought me into a room at the back of the house.
It wasn't big or small. It was just the perfect size. There was a window facing into the back yard and a single bed up against the corner by it. There was a chest of drawers, closet, desk and chair arranged along the largest wall. It was simple but it was all I needed for the next six months.
'So, do you need a hand packing or should I clear off?' he asked leaving my bags down. I left mine down next to them and looked around the room for a bit before shrugging my shoulders.
I walked over to the bed and stood by it staring down at it for a second before sitting down. Frank sighed and walked over sitting down next to me.
'Okay, so I'm guessing that you don't like talking or anything and that's cool, just find some way to communicate,' he said with his deep and seductive voice. There was definitely a New Jersey accent to it. 'Oh and don't worry if my mom acts over enthusiastic and kind of creepy. But I'm warning you now that she will be watching every single movement you make and word you say.'
I nodded and leant back letting out a deep sigh.
'So, do you want to unpack? I've been given the role of attaching you to my hip for the next week so sorry but you can't get rid of me,' he said smiling.
'Okay,' I said standing up and heading over to my bags. I sat down next to the duffel bag and fiddled with the lock until it opened and I could unzip it. I pulled out everything and organised it neatly across the floor in piles of where it would go in the room or closet.
'Perfectionist?' Frank asked helping me organise everything. I nodded and opened the second suitcase then the third. We went through all of the clothes leaving the other things to the side so that I could sort those through separately.
I looked through the chest of drawers trying to find the right drawer for the right clothing. I grabbed the few tees I had and put them in one of the larger drawers then put pyjamas in another. I organised everything until it was neat and perfect.
'Right, now the other stuff,' he said looking down at about one and a half cases of sketches and notebooks. I blushed slightly and shook my head at him. 'Do you want me to leave?' he asked. I nodded and he smirked at me. 'Okay, come down in a couple of hours or my mom will come and quiz you.'
'Thanks,' I whispered. He shrugged and walked out of the room shaking his head and muttering something under his breath. I shut the door behind him and started organising everything then reorganising it when it didn't look right.
I used to live in Los Angeles, California. Land of the rich and famous. The only problem was that because of that, my parents had to make sure everything about me was perfect. If I didn't turn out how they wanted me to be I would be punished in some way. By my eighteenth birthday they were going to decide what to do with me. So instead they got rid of me now. When I was the opposite of what they wanted me to be.
I wasn't skinny, pretty, tanned or preppy. I wasn't a cheerleader, I didn't have big breasts and I wasn't in to performing arts. I wasn't willing to do whatever they wanted when they wanted and I worked hard to get straight grades.
So I was the
most hated out of their children. There were four of us-two girls and two boys- and they hated me the most. I was the trouble child. The youngest one who was least willing to completely change my image for them.
I could change my appearance but I wouldn't change my personality. So I would be punished whether it was through starvation, labour or a more abusive method.
My hand had a long burn mark from when they had "accidentally" tipped boiling water on my hand when I was reaching for the dishes. I hadn't been able to get it under cold water so I had a blistering burn for a few weeks until the blisters went and left me with just the burn scar.
I looked down at my hand and traced over the area where it was badly scarred. I sighed heavily and covered it back up with my sleeves. I didn't want them to notice so soon really.
'Laura?' someone called knocking on the door. I walked over and opened it to see Linda standing in the door with Frank behind her leaning against the wall. 'Would you like to come down for something to eat?'
'I'm not hungry thank you,' I said. They both looked at me quizzically. I wasn't going to say anything unless they asked me why.
'Okay then, well if you want anything just let me know,' Linda said walking off as the phone rang. She greeted them warmly at first before dropping her voice to a hushed whisper.
I knew she was talking about me but after a five and a half hour flight to come to the other side of the America I wasn't up to going down and acting normal anyway.
'Sure you're okay?' Frank asked barely looking at me. I nodded briefly and he shrugged giving me a mock salute as he walked past. That boy was insane.
I walked back into my new room and looked out of the window which led onto a small porch roof. I climbed out and sat there staring up at the sky. It relaxed me knowing that my siblings were looking up at the same sky as I was and seeing the same moon.
'You stole my spot,' a voice said from somewhere to the right of me. I jumped at the sudden noise and looked over to see light coming form the room next to mine shadowing across Frank's face. I tried not to marvel at how beautiful he looked with the artificial light on one side of his porcelain face and the moonlight on the other side.
'Sorry,' I muttered shifting over half a metre.
'Really I'm not that fat,' he laughed. I smiled as he sat down where I had been sitting. 'So what do you think so far? We're all nutcases really so we're probably not the most pleasant of people to live with.'
'You're great,' I said lying back and staring up at the sky picking out constellations. I loved doing this at home when I couldn't sleep at nights. I would go out onto the rooftop terrace or the balcony and just stare at what I could see of the sky.
'So what do you want to do tomorrow? It's the weekend so we can go to the mall or the park or whatever,' Frank suggested. I shrugged my shoulders and he looked uncomfortable. 'You know you have to give me something to work with.'
'Sorry,' I said. He shook his head and lay back with me. 'If you look there, you can see Delphinus really clearly,' I said pointing at the constellation. He shifted around so his head was next to mine and squeezed one eye shut following the direction of my finger to the constellation.
'Oh yeah, that's pretty cool,' he said even though he didn't sound impressed.
'You know you don't have to pretend,' I said staring up at the sky and taking a deep breath in. 'It's too quiet here.'
'It must be. So what's it like in Los Angeles?' he asked. I shrugged again and stared at the crescent moon.
'Busy and bright. The beaches are good though and the weather is nice even though it can get too hot sometimes,' I said honestly. He smirked and chuckled lightly.
'But seriously, what do you want to do tomorrow? I can't leave you at home with my mom. She's amazing but she can be pretty intimidating when it comes to work stuff,' Frank said looking over at me. I turned my face and looked into his gorgeous hazel eyes with his fringe falling away form his face.
'I don't mind,' I whispered trying not to get lost in his beautiful eyes. He didn't respond for a minute then cleared his throat and turned his face away.
'How about a tour around town?' he asked. I nodded along to keep him pleased seeing as I didn't know him, and I had barged in on his life. 'Well, if you don't mind I'll have to bring a couple of people along so we don't get attacked. It's obviously less likely to happen when you're in a bigger group.'
'That's fine,' I said nodding. He gave me a brief smile. He shifted around uncomfortably for a little while before letting out a long sigh and shutting his eyes.
'Listen, I'm not good at all this stuff but if you need to talk to anyone I'm right next door,' he said standing up and climbing back in his window. I think he expected me not to reply which is why he didn't wait.
After another few hours lying out on the roof I climbed back into my new bedroom and looking around at the unfamiliar surroundings I climbed into bed fully clothed and lay all night staring up at the ceiling.
When morning came, the sun wasn't bright like I expected it to be. I couldn't hear the busy people running around outside and the cars already roaming the streets. I couldn't hear the sound of my parents and siblings running around and rushing back and forth.
It disconcerted me to the point where I was pacing back and forth across my new room. I changed into a fresh change of clothes and sat at my desk with my sketchpad in front of me.
At first I sketched the city where I had grown up. Then in the space I had towards the bottom corner of the page I drew Frank finding his beautiful features perfect to draw. I shaded over the picture leaving a paler area around Frank's body and darker shades on his clothes.
'That's really good,' someone said from behind me. I jumped and slammed the book shut spraying pages out in the process. I fumbled around picking the stray pieces off of the floor and looking up to see Frank standing over me looking amused. 'Was that me?' he asked as I neatly placed the pages back inside the book. I stuttered for a second before hanging my head and hunching my shoulder giving him a slight nod. He walked over to me and looked over my shoulder reaching out to the sketchbook. I snatched it away and stacked it amongst my other books.
'Please don't look at them,' I said quietly. He shrugged and nodded helping me push everything into perfect piles.