I don’t think I ever believed that this day would ever come. The day I must leave my home and move to an orphanage. Orphan the hated word, the lowest of society, shunned and ridiculed, charity case of the earth. As an orphan I will be on government support and food. Ok so in reality its only till I move in with a foster family.
When I woke up this morning, I wanted to roll over and go right back to sleep and pretend my
parents were still alive and on their way home from a successful safari. But it wasn’t true. Maria knocked on my door and all hope that the last week or so had been a dream flew out the window.
“Rise and shine darling, today’s the day” She said cheerfully through the door. Cheerfully how could she be happy when my worst nightmare had come true and I had become an orphan and now I was leaving my home to…to….STOP….Breathe…I will not break down I will keep it cool, calm and collected. Rationally, Maria is paid to be happy in the mornings and not matter the circumstances.
“Francis has gone to get the car dear”
“Alright” I replied. “I’ll be read in 20 minutes.”
“Okay, Dear.” Maria left to go do whatever she does in the mornings.
Exactly 20 minutes later I was downstairs at the front door. Francis was holding the car door open when I walked out on to the porch.
“Good morning, Miss”
“Good morning Francis, Today’s the day” I turned around and hugged Maria, who had followed me out.
“Good-bye Maria, I hope you enjoy your new position.” When Shandra’s mother had found out that I was going to fire Maria and Francis, she snatched them up immediately. They have very good reputations for being good honest, hardworking servants. Turning around I crawled into the car, the last item that had been sold. Francis was going to take it to its new owner after dropping me off.
As much as I wanted to I did not look back.
2 hours later
I hate my parents! I cannot believe that, they did this to me I blame them for everything. They just had to try wrestling alligators. After a 2-hour car ride I arrived in Denver, Colorado. Mr., Beket was there to greet us as I climbed out of the car.
“Good morning Francis, Good morning Jaqueline, are you ready?” He asked as her shook hands with Francis.
“I will never be truly ready.” I replied curtly. I hugged Francis good-bye.
“Good luck, you knock em dead, girl. I know you can do it.” he whispered in my ear.
“Good-bye Francis, I’ll miss you.” I choked out. Feeling like I was going to cry I entered the brick building. There was a sign across the top that read “Denver Child Care Association”. What a name for an orphanage. Childcare ha, I was no child and had no intention of letting them treat me like one.
Mr. Beket knew right where he was going, he walked up to the front desk.
“Hello, my name is James Beket and I’m here to see Miss Jaunt.” The lady sitting at the desk did not even look up.
“Hello” Mr. Beket said again, louder this time. She paid no attention to him.
“Miss, please I have other things I need to do today.” Mr. Beket said exasperated The receptionist finally looked up.
“Oh…Hello, what can I do for you?” She asked startled.
“You can tell Miss Jaunt that Mr. James Beket has arrived and would like to see her.” I think that is she hadn’t answered when she did Mr. Beket would have exploded his face was so red.
“You can go right in, it’s the first door on the right.” She replied. As we walked by I noticed two things one, she wasn’t working on orphanage business her instant messenger was up and running, two she had headphones on. you know those ones that you put into your ears, she had those on no wonder she couldn’t hear anything. Mr. Beket knocked on the first door on the right.
“Come in” a voice called, it sounded like nails scratching across a blackboard. Mr. Beket opened the door and ushered me in.
“Good morning, I am Mr. James Beket, we spoke on the phone.” He raised his hand, the woman behind the desk stood and raised her hand to shake his.
“Yes, I remember you must be Jaqueline. I am Miss Jaunt.” she said turning to shake my hand. I didn’t raise my hand. I didn’t want to be here, and I didn’t like her at all. Even though I had just met her. I did answer though.
“Yes I am”
“Well it’s very nice to meet you. Lets get down to business. Please be seated.” I obediently sat in one of the straight-backed chairs. They were old styled like the ones you see in really old movies, before they designed comfort. Miss Jaunt opened a file on her desk.
“I see that you have filled out all the proper forms, we have a foster home becoming available very soon, in a couple of days in fact.”
Mr. Beket nodded “ That sounds fine, when she does move to the families house, I’ll need the address and name sent to my firm immediately.”
“Of course, we run this orphanage like a military school.” Miss Jaunt said smiling “Now, I’ll call Janet, she will show you to Jaqueline’s bedroom.” She pushed a button. No one answered or came to the door, still smiling, Miss Jaunt pushed it again.
“Sometimes Janet is a little hard of hearing.”
“Maybe if she didn’t have headphones on she could hear you.” I said sarcastically. Miss Jaunt frowned.
“I told her last week she was not to bring those to work again.” She pushed the button again. This time Janet came in.
“Yes, Ma’am, what can I do for you?” she asked
“For one thing you can take those headphones out of your ears and if I see or hear them again you’ll be finding yourself a new job.” Miss Jaunt replied crossly. “Now show miss Jaqueline to her room.”
“Yes, Ma’am.” She turned and faced me, her face was red, bright red. I didn’t blame her one bit, I would’ve been embarrassed to if my boss had chewed me out in front of perfect strangers.
“Come on, I’ll show you where you are to sleep.” she beckoned, the adults rose, I stayed seated.
“Mr. Beket, Why can’t I just stay somewhere else until a home becomes available?” I asked.
“Because, there is no place for you to stay. Now get up and come on, don’t act childish.” Mr. Beket motioned me to go out the door.
“Fine, but I am not happy about this.” I got up and walked to the door. Janet led us down the hallway and out a side door.
“As I take you to your room, I’ll give you a little tour.” She said excitedly. I guess not many people want a tour when they come. Janet lead us down a brick path, to a early 19th century building with red bricks, green shutters, and morning glories growing up the sides, very picturesque.
“This is our girls dormitory, the boys dormitory is over across that field.” She pointed to a building you could barely see, across this massively huge field.
“There are motion sensor lights covering the whole field. We do not encourage boy/girl relationships, even friendships are prohibited.” Wait one minute did she just say what I think she said, I can’t have any guy friends the whole time I am here this is the straw that broke the camels back.
“You are kidding right?” I asked
“No, that’s the way things are run around here.” Janet answered. “Very strict sometimes, but its all for the students good.”
“Will there be classes for her to take while she is here?” Asked Mr. Beket.
“Of course she will learn how to sew, cook, knit, clean a house and take care of children. These are normal housewife activities that need to be learned.”
“What about math, science, global studies, and gym?”
“A little math will be taken but only boys take those other classes. Here we teach women to be and act like women. God made them to watch over and raise children and to keep the house clean and tidy for the husband. There is no need for them to learn all that other stuff. Boys need to learn it so when they grow up, they can get a job and support the wife.” Mr. Beket stared at her, dumbfounded. I knew exactly what was going through his head, I wouldn’t be taking educational classes, I would be taking hobby classes., things that really didn’t matter all that much. We are in America not Peru, where women are married when they move out of their parents house, here when I woman moves out she gets a job.
“I insist that Jaqueline take math, science, global studies and gym, plus I will send over my personal trainer to teach her how to ride her paint horse.”
“But Mr. Beket, we don’t allow such things a girl in boy classes is forbidden and here there is no room in our stables for another horse.”
“You will just have to bend the rules and make room. I assume the boys take care of the stables, They will not be tending Jaqueline’s animal. She will care for him herself.” I stared at Mr. Beket I was going to take car of my own horse! Not possible! Well I must conform and for once I’ll have to do my own work. The good point is that Mr. Beket will not allow me to waste my time learning how to sew. Janet joined me in staring, only she was appalled, coed classes to her was shocking, absurd and disgusting.
“Mrrrrr. Bbbekkettt.” she stuttered.
“No buts, if any of my orders are not fulfilled, I will cancel my funding. Just to remind you, I donate 500,000 dollars a year to this organization.” Mr. Beket was angry, and Janet was quivering in fear.
“I’lll ttalkk tto Mmmisss Jjjaunt immmeddiately.” she said, shaking so hard I thought she was going to have a heart attack.
“I’ll talk to her myself, show us Jaqueline’s room and I’ll go back.”
“Yes, sir” She lead us up the five steps to a porch, the door was oak, with an iron knocker. It creaked as is opened; someone hadn’t oiled the hinges in a very long time. A girl greeted us.
“Good morning” she smiled
“Oh, Hello Jenny.” Janet put her arm around Jenny’s shoulders. “ This is Jenny one of the girls that lives here. Jenny this is Jaqueline, she will be living here for awhile.” Jenny smiled.
“Welcome to Mirror Bay, that’s the name of this dormitory. It is said there used to be a pond or lake behind it, but they filled it in to make the playing field.”
“I see.” Not that I really cared all that much, but better to be polite.
“Will you show Jaqueline to her bedroom please, Jenny?” Janet asked, well really it was one of those adult questions where you really have no choice.
“Of course Janet, I would love to.” Janet smiled all big, like this was some wonderful treat.
“Well, I see you are in capable hands so I will pop off and see Miss Jaunt, about your classes.” Mr. Beket left with Janet, leaving Jenny and me alone.
“Well where is my room?” I asked.
“It’s up-stairs on the third floor.” she led me into the living room. My trunks were sitting by the door on top of each other. Jenny put her hand on one end of the trunks.
“Are you going to take an end or do you want to carry them yourself?” She asked
“Your kidding right, I mean this place is insane and crazy. but they don’t make you carry your own luggage.”
“Look princess, around here everyone works. We all have to pitch in to keep this place running steadily. There are no servants. Here grab the other end and I’ll help you get them upstairs.” she pointed to the other end. I sighed and picked up the other end. Another thing I noticed about this place it had no elevators so we carried those trunks up two flights of stairs. When we finally reached the third floor, Jenny led me to a room on the left.
It was pleasant enough, a kinda pale yellow adorned the walls, there were two beds one on each side of the room, two nightstands, a dresser and a closet.
“Whom do I share a room with?”
“No one right now, but another girl is due to arrive tomorrow around midday.”
“Oh, ok, what was that sheaf of papers that Janet gave you before she left?”
“Some things I need to tell you and give you.” She unfolded the papers and handed me a couple. “Here’s your list of rules, and letter of welcome.”
“Your kidding right!” I stared at the papers in my hand.
“I know that it seems like a lot but you get used to them pretty quick, most of them are about manners.”
“All right is there anything else, I’ll read the rules later.” I said putting the papers in my pocket.
“Well, it doesn’t say on the list but you have to dress for dinner.”
“What? Like a formal dress?”
“No, most of the girls here are to poor to even think of owning a formal dress, you just wear the nicest pair of clothes you have, what you are wearing isn’t half bad you could wear that to dinner.” I was wearing a plain colored t-shirt and a light flower print skirt and flip-flops
“Ok then, do you have any idea what time it is?”
“About dinner time I would say. I’ll leave you to change and I’ll go change and come back to get you.”
“Ok” strange that I had bonded so fast with Jenny; I thought I would hate her but I actually like her and I think that we are going to be good friends. I am so sorry Mattie; I forgot to describe her to you. She is about as tall as me, light brown hair, gorgeous green eyes, and an easy smile. Jenny shut the door behind her, I opened one of the trunks and dug around for something else to wear, I was looking for that dress. Where was it…ughh..Oh here it is. It was the one I bought in Paris, black, figure cut, with a scoop neck, but not to low cut. I dug out my diamond pendant necklace that I got when I was born, and put that on. I brushed my hair so it hung around my shoulders. “Knock, knock” somebody knocked on my door.
“Come in” I called. Jenny walked in.
“Are you ready too..Wow, you look amazing.”
“Thank you, yes I am ready to go. Is that what you are wearing?” I asked. she was wearing a plaid skirt and a red t-shirt.
“Yes, it is all I have.” she blushed in embarrassment.
“Well, any friend of mine doesn’t have to wear a t-shirt, we have a few minutes before dinner lets find you something to wear.”
“Really? I could wear some of your gorgeous clothes?” she asked in disbelief, I smiled.
“Of course. Come on lets dig around and see what we can find you.” I started going through my open trunk, she joined me about twenty seconds later when she realized that I was for real.
“How about this?” She held up a bright red number meant for a really formal dinner.
“No, umm, how about this one.” I held up a simple but gorgeous green dress, that was almost figure but hid little pudgy points.
“Ohhh, I love it.” She squealed and ran to put it on. I rummaged a minute more and found what I was looking for, my jewelry box. I opened it with a key that hung around my neck, pulling out a necklace of pearls and a bracelet to match. When Jenny came back in I held them up to the dress, they matched perfectly.
“I couldn’t wear those, I might lose them.” she said as she stared at the jewelry I was holding out to her.
“Look, They are real, just promise me you won’t take them off.” I told her as I put the jewelry on her.
“I promise.” she breathed in awe. next I did her hair simple but elegant enough to go with the dress and pearls.
“I think we had better go to dinner now.” I said leading her to the door.
“Yes, of course you can sit next to Me.” she led the way to an old Victorian styled house close to the playing field.
“We eat here because the boy join us, see here they come.” she pointed across the field where you could see a straight line of boys coming across. Some of them looked like they were goth, but others looked like they needed a friend or two.
“Come on we have to be seated before they get to the door.” Jenny pulled my arm. We walked into the dining hall, and sat down at one of the long tables. I looked around there was apparently a teachers table, the only people I knew up there were Miss Jaunt and Mr. Beket. The boys filed in silently, and sat down. Miss Jaunt rose from her chair.
“Good Evening Children, before we eat I would like to introduce a new student who has joined our little family. Jaqueline where are you please stand up dear.” I stood, I could almost her the gasp that rippled through the crowed of teens.
“Oh my gosh, she is gorgeous!”
“Where did she come from”
“She is beautiful”
“I wish I live closer to the girls section.” People whispered this is just a little of what I heard.
“Children, come to order, Jaqueline will be staying with us for awhile. I want you to make her comfortable, but still no breaking the boys don’t talk to girls either.” the boys table groaned, Miss Jaunt shot them a frown.
“She will however be taking Math, Science, Global Studies, Gym, and several other classes.” I glanced up at the table. Mr. Beket winked at me he had won the battle.
“Now let us eat and head to bed.” She sat down, I also sat, there were still murmurs going through the kids. Jenny leaned over.
“As soon as your done eating we can talk and I’ll help you unpack if you want me to.” she whispered.
“Sure, that sounds great.” After dinner we went back to our dorms.
“I’ll help you out tomorrow during break, we have to be up by 8:00. Breakfast is at 8:30.” Jenny said as we walked in my door.
“Ok, that sounds fine to me.” I replied. I had originally thought that this place would make us rise at dawn, so it sounded great to me. Jenny waved as she left.
“Sleep well.” and she was gone. I am going to bed.