My name is Arthur, and my life wasn't a very good one. At least, the one I had so far.
I was the 9 year old son of a drunken soldier, and a sociopathic mother. Things were getting nasty, with them fighting all the time. It got violent most of the time, and I always had to hide under my bed.
But things changed when our neighbors started to notice this loud pattern.
They sent the police over, and they saw the pig sty which I call a house. My mom started breaking down, saying my father was unstable and that she couldn't take care of me. Screw that compassion; she just didn't want me anymore. Probably because of my smart mouth.
Before my father became the drunkard he is, he kept a vast library. He taught me how to read before he enlisted 3 years ago, and for a 6 year old, I was a quick learner.
He had to come back from war due to him losing his leg. He got so depressed, he started drinking. Then my mom became depressed and developed other issues. So I, trying not to get involved with the situation, spent most of my time in the library.
I couldn't go to school because neither of my parents was stable enough to drive, so we didn't have a car. If you wonder how we got food, we paid our neighbors to get it for us. They couldn't drive me to school because the nearest school was in the next town. Their car doesn't have much mileage.
Eventually, they heard my parent's violent banter and they called the police. Officers didn't know what to do with me after they arrested me, so they decided to send me to an orphanage.
I knew it would be hard for me to be adopted, I was an older child. With a name and memories and everything. I remembered my father told me I was named after King Arthur.
Apparently, I didn't need to worry. It seems I finally got luck.
"Arthur, I have some good news." My agent told me, she seemed more excited than me. Her name was Ellie; she had bright blond hair and brown eyes. She always dressed casually, and acted very childish for a 26 year old.
"Yes, please tell," I watched her, she was holding papers.
"The Smiths, a nice couple, want to adopt you!"
"Tell me more about them," I wanted to get more information on this couple. I guessed they were ordinary, as 'Smith' was a very common name. I also wondered what they wanted with an 'old' Black Irish orphan. With my pasty complexion, black hair, and blue eyes, I was somewhat a rarity. But I still didn't know what they wanted with me.
"John and Rose Smith, who are both somewhat famous, Rose is an heiress to 'Vitex' and John is the Director of Astrophysics at the space science center, Torchwood. Turns out they've been trying for a long time, and Rose was infertile. Journalists say they didn't think they were capable of raising someone too young, so they are looking for someone not too young or too old. They came here and saw your file, and they felt you perfectly matched what they're looking for!"
I smiled at her, but it wasn't genuine. I've been meeting hopeful couples at least once a month, and I always got let down. I wasn't mentally prepared to be let down again, it happened to me way too much.
"Come Arthur! I promise they will love you and you will love them!" She grabbed my hand and led me down the black metal, spiral stairs. Carefully walking down, while trying not to trip, I heard a loud man talk. He had a tenor voice. Suddenly a female voice cut through his banter.
"Rose, aren't you excited to see him? I bet he will be fantastic, just fantastic! I hope he's brilliant too, wouldn't want a thick son, now will we? I feel bad for him with one aspect, as he'll have Jackie for a grand-"
"Oh shut it, John! I'm sure he'll be just lovely, but don't talk dirty about my mom! Who took care of you when you had the measles while I was away on a business trip?"
He sighed and mumbled something I couldn't hear.
"That's more like it," The blonde woman said smugly as I stood in front of the chipped wooden table. The orphanage seriously needed some major renovation.
Ellie smiled at them, and I just stared at them. They looked nice, just a bit queer. "It's not nice to stare… Smile dear; you look like a raccoon caught in headlights…" Ellie chastised me under her breath, elbowing me. I glared at her and rubbed my shoulder.
"Isn't he just so handsome?" Rose squealed, and I cringed. I tried not to make it too visible, but John seemed to notice.
He gave me a look of pity, and I smiled at him. He returned it warmly.
"Yes, and he will be deaf soon if you keep on making noise!"
She just rolled her eyes at him, and stood up to greet me. She looked quite young, maybe 25 years old. John looked like he was just about 30.
"Hi, if you didn't know already, I'm Rose. The fool over there is named John, but he usually likes to be referred to as the Doctor. It's really nice to meet you, Arthur." Holding out her French-tipped hand, I put mine in hers.
"It's nice to meet you, Rose. Thank you for coming here to meet me." I say politely, and go to take a seat at the table. I was able to face both members of the couple, as the table was round. How ironic, me, Arthur, sitting at a round table!
"I'll leave you three alone." Ellie smiles and leaves the room after putting adoption papers on the table. I really hope they will be signed by the end of this session.
A comfortable silence follow, but from what I collected at the moment, neither of them could have it. Or sit still either.
"So, Arthur, what are your interests?" They both asked me, each a second apart so it sounds like an echo. This was a typical question in what I would call my 'interviews'. I practically memorized the answer, but always made sure not to answer it mechanically. No one wanted to hear someone being emotionless.
"I do like to read books, any genre. Honestly science and fantasy are my favorite. I like to write anything from stories to poems. Basically learning. I also like humor, I'll laugh at any joke that is good; sometimes even bad ones too… I know I don't sound like a normal 9 year old, it's just I never had the resources to like things like television shows and video games." Usually all the couples I told my story too always said 'I'm so sorry,' but I didn't see what was so bad about a modest life.
"Well, I think you'll be happy when you come live with us, that is, if you want to, because we got plenty of books. Have a room and a half filled with books!" John exclaims, while passing me a picture of their house.
Considering they were both rich, at least from what I heard, their house was quite meek. But it was still beautiful, at least from the picture, which showed the exterior.
It was a dark blue with a gray trim; the window sealings were white. It was a two story structure, which was more wide than high in length. Flowers and trees surrounded it, and there was a big front lawn.
"Your house looks marvelous,"
"The inside is pretty nice too, if I do say so myself. There is also a big backyard, we are installing a pool there, John insisted on it! The neighborhood is full of kids, and not the annoying type,"
The idea of being able to be with them sounded great, but I didn't know if they would like me. I was more reserved, not the outdoorsy type. I wasn't interested in sports or camping, the only out door ventures that sounded nice were sailing and traveling to different countries for the history.
"I'm more reserved, although it would be nice to meet some of them if I ever have a strange craving to go outside…" We all laughed.
"Who said having a quiet life is a bad one? Well Rose would, but that's only because of her mom. Her mom can't stop throwing parties, and I always have to go, and it's a pain in the-"
"John, don't curse! And deep down, you love those parties. You just don't like to admit it!"
"The only good that comes from those social gatherings is banana daiquiris and the finger food, that's it."
Rose just patted his hand, and faced me. She held out her hand, and I was assuming she wanted to hold mine, so that's what I did, I held her hand.
"You seem perfect for us, Arthur. Do you want to join our family?"
"Yes, I would. I really would," I exclaimed, and squeezed her hand. Tears started welling up in her eyes, and just gave me a fatherly smile. I was so happy; I knew life with the Smiths would be very exciting.
Ellie was standing behind us the whole interaction, and her presence was revealed when she started clapping her hands. She told me to go to my room and packed the little belongings I had.
As I was leaving the room, I saw John and Rose quickly filling out the adoption papers. I still remember the color of the pen, it was blue.
He took his old brown suitcase, which was starting to have a green tint, and packed all his clothes. In another bag he put in his journal, pencil case, books, and his tool box. He liked to tinker with things, making weird structures from scrap materials. He usually made a mess, so he didn't mention it to the Smiths, but they would eventually find out. Oh well…
He made his bed, as he wanted to be courteous to his temporary shelter. He would miss Ellie, and the other children who left him be because he asked them politely. One thing he knew he wouldn't miss is the food. It was horrid, and tasted like you were eating dirt. He really hoped Rose was a good cook, or John.
When he was downstairs he bid farewell to Ellie and the children that were there.
"Remember not to make a mess! And don't be too quiet, they might worry something happened to you! Don't forget me!" Ellie called out as he drove away in the car with the Smiths. It was very big and comfortable, unlike the car his neighbors had.
Unlike I expected, John, or, 'the Doctor' and Rose didn't live in the middle of nowhere kind of suburb. They lived very close to the city, so the scenery we passed wasn't countryside. A bunch of skyscrapers passed as we drove by. I sometimes had to squint, because there were many with reflective, mirror-like glass coatings.
I pulled a pair of sunglasses out of my backpack, and scooted them up my nose. They used to be my dad's, so they were a little big on me. I did tinker with them once, which made it a little better. But I did break the front in half, so the middle was duct taped together. It made them a little uncomfortable to wear, but there were many memories behind them.
"That's a great idea, Arthur!" Rose said, and she pulled a pair of sunglasses out of her overhead. They were brown glasses, probably a designer brand. She started pestering John to wear sunglasses too, but he said the sun wasn't bothering him. Rose gave him a stern look, but he just ignored it. Pulled on his ear, and just continued driving.
When I saw the opening of the neighborhood, I was shocked. There was a guardhouse, with gates to the left of it. Flowers flowed all throughout the two structures, and there was a water fountain on the very front. John just had to press a button above him, which allowed the gates to open. He waved at the guard, whose name was Jake.
Behind the house, there was a canal. There was a dock, with a small light which was shining brightly. They also had a pool that had water that changed color due to a light floating around in it. Rose said she also put a small greenhouse on the side of the house, which she grew many flowers and plants in. She said she also planted vegetables, and was planning to grow an apple tree in the backyard.
"Go ahead inside, we'll catch up with you," Rose said as John was getting my luggage out of the car.
"Let me help," I said, walking over to John. I took my lighter bags, and he smiled at me.
"You are very polite, Arthur." Smiling, Rose ruffled my hair. Walking inside, I was delighted to see how tastefully the house was designed.
Whereas the outside had cool tone colors, the inside were very warm toned. The color schemes of the walls were varied from pale yellow, gold, clementine, and red. Pieces of art were scattered all over the walls, and other pieces of décor, like chandeliers and statues.
When we walked into the library, my mouth dropped.
"I'll be spending a lot of time in here!" I told them, looking at their large selection of books. They weren't lying about the vast amount; the room was practically covered head to toe with them!
They laughed, and walked me over to my room. It was very plain, with white walls. But the furniture was very modern, and there was a lot of space to fill.
"We can redecorate as soon as you want to," Rose explained, staring distastefully at the white walls. John hurriedly agreed with her, knowing that I'd practically fill the room with many things. I knew that he and I would get along nicely, we were both scatter brained.
"I assure you, there won't be much to change about how it looks. Just how the space is used."
"You remind me so much of John!"