All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Friends with the enemy
Alabama, May 15th
"What do you want?" Raven asked, not looking at the man she knew had come to take her away from another family and back to another building full of other bratty kids like her.
"To make you safe, and give you a new home." Harold Jove said, still staring intently at the little girl with raven black hair and emerald eyes.
"Fine, you'll just have to move me again in no time anyway." She said, still not making eye contact.
"And why is that?" He asked, "From what I hear you have the potential to be a sweet child with a bright future."
"Because." She said, that was the only answer he needed anyway, it's not like he actually cared what happened to her, she thought bitterly. She had spent enough nights on the streets to know that when people pretended to care for someone like her it was only for show. No one ever cared about her; she was just another foster kid with a bad attitude and an anger problem. No one wanted her for long anyway; she had been to over seven foster homes in the past two years.
"Ok, I see you don't want to talk so I'll just let you pack while I go talk to your mommy." Harold said, turning and heading for the door.
"Mr. Jove. She is not my mother. He is not my father, and you are not my friend. Get out, I need to pack." With that, she slammed the door.
Well, he thought, never figured on seeing a ten-year-old who was that bitter and to the point.
He walked down the steps of the small two story house that was, literally, a dump in the making. The only reason he was here was a call; the cops had called him saying that Raven's foster father, Brad, had messed her up a bit. That was an under statement, she had a black eye, two chipped teeth, her right jaw was dislocated, broken nose, busted lip, and from her left temple to the bottom of her left jaw she was bruised badly.
But she hadn't cried, no, not even one tear. She had looked at him with disgust when he had walked through the door, a thirty-seven-year-old man; she held no liking for Social Services that was for sure.
But he didn't care, because when you see a kid messed up like she was you don't. You just move, take action. Not time for being a wimp, you slap cuffs on the one responsible and you try to make it all go away.
But with little Raven Night, that was an impossibility. She did not want comfort, or help. She just wanted him to get out of her face and go back to whatever rock he had climbed out from under. She had even said as much. But if you thought about it you wouldn't like being pulled out of home after home for eight years now would you, old Harold? He asked himself as he entered the living area.
Well, a man can only do so much. He thought, knowing it was the truth yet a lie all in one.
Who did he think he was? He could not just waltz in here and take her away! She was a human and she had rights too! She was only ten but she took care of herself well enough to be an adult. She never cried, never pouted, and never used anyone's weaknesses against them unless they were attacking her first!
So what, the old fart who had hit her had left a few bruises, but that didn't make her weak! She fought, and fought well at that, heck; if she hadn't fought, he would have strangled her to death! she thought, taking her backpack from in under the bed and putting her two best pairs of jeans in it, along with her favorite, signature, black t-shirt, along with a red t-shirt, and a white one. She slipped her worn-out and old running sneakers into her bag. Then she grabbed the only other things she owned, she reached into the back of the dresser and pulled out a silver circle locket that was a gift from her real father before her had been murdered, and a small wedding picture of her father and mother.
She looked like her father with her black hair, Indian skin, sharp chin and small ears, the only features she had inherited from her mother were her high cheekbones and pert little nose. (Which was slightly crooked thanks to being broken three times!)
She got her eyes from her grandfather, he was a Cherokee tribe Cheif, and in a way, she was an Indian princess. But she had never met him, and only knew about him from her father's journals, which were already stashed in her backpack. Her father had written letters to her in them. She had only read three of the seven journals but she knew for sure that they held all the secrets she could ever dream of. With them, she had hope of finding where the tribe was, and if she took the journals, maybe her grandfather would accept her. She knew it was a long shot since he had no idea she even existed, but it was all she had.
No one else knew about the journals, and she would never tell anyone. She didn't have any friends to tell anyway.
Pulling on her jeans jacket over her black tank top, she hitched up her jeans and doubled tied her black and white running shoes. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail and it was long, it went just barely past the nape of her neck when she had it up. After she had her jacket on she lifted her pack and slung its strap over one shoulder, slipping her free hand into her back pocket after whipping her bangs out of her eyes again, they were down to her temples now, and wouldn't stay out of her eyes, she walked down stairs.
"I'm ready to go, can we hurry up." She demanded, being purposefully rude when she came to a stop in front of Harold Jove.
"Don't you want to say good-bye to anyone?" He asked, surprised that she would be so cold and unconcerned when she was leaving her home of five months.
"No," She said, "I have no ties here. Now may we leave?" She demanded, becoming bored with his annoying gestures of sympathy and care, they were all fake as far as she was concerned anyway, she decided.
"Ok, if you are really sure you're ready to go now." He said, surprised by the hint of boredom in her voice.
"I'm sure, now let's ditch this joint already." She said, and headed for the car parked on the curb.
"I'll be right there, just wait in the car." He said, but the car door had already slammed.
"Wait! She forgot a few thing's, give these to 'er will ya'? They were gifts form me and Brad, let 'er keep 'em." The busty blond in red heels that looked like torture devices said, with the hint of an Oklahoma accent.
"Ok, I will, Mrs. Henderson," He said, balancing the notebooks, a couple of cd's, CD player, and pencils and pencil sharpener, "And thank you again, for calling us. I know how it must hurt to have to call the cops on your husband."
"Oh, it was nothin' he didn' deserve me no ways. `Sides, I hate seein' a poor thin' like 'er gettin' hurt by a big ol' ape like Brad."
"Ok...Well, I had better get going Mrs.Hende-"
"Please, call me Beverly. And by this time next month big boy, it'll be Ms. Henderson."
The woman said, batting her fake eyelashes at him and trailing her fingers down his arm.
"Well, I had better get out of here Ma'am; my wife will worry if I'm not home by ten." He said, thinking himself clever for dodging her fingers by shaking her hand and turning away to walk to the car.
"Bye, Raven! Bye, Mr. Jove!" She shouted to the taillights of the car, considering how much seduction it would take to lure him away from that wife of his.
In the car, Raven sat, ramrod straight, with a pile of gifts next to her. She had picked up the headphones and CD player and was listening to Avril Lavigne's 'Complicated' on full blast.
Ignore it, she thought, ignore it all. It`s just as it's always been. No one cares they just want you gone. But after a while, you get used to it, to the loneliness and pain. You have to, when it's you against the world.
U.K., May 19th
"Yas? You coming?"
"I'll be out in a minute!" Yasmin called out to her friends.
She chewed on the end of her pen and stared down at the blank piece of paper.
Their teacher had announced that their school in Glasgow, UK was linking with a foster home in Alabama, America, and that all of the kids would be linked to a foster child as a pen pal.
Yasmin and her friends had crowded round the table that their teacher had put all of the fact-files of the different kids on.
"I'm gonna pick him", Miranda had said, picking up one of the files. "Brad, 12 years old."
"I like the look of this one", Jack had said. "Sara, 10 years old."
"What about you, Yas?" her best friend Tracy had asked. "There's one you might like. Julie, 11 years old. Or Fred, 10 years old."
But Yasmin wasn't looking at Julie or Fred. Her eyes had fallen on a photo of a girl with black hair, green eyes, and a bored expression on her face. She picked up the file.
"Raven, 10 years old", she had muttered.
She opened the file. Tracy read over her shoulder.
"Wow, seven foster homes in two years? Sounds like she's a difficult kid!"
"Shut up Trace, you sound like a Social Worker", Yasmin had laughed.
So, Yasmin had chosen Raven, and here she was, sitting at her desk trying to think of what to write while her friends were out having fun. She didn't want to put the boring old, 'My favorite color is... My favorite food is... My favorite sport is...' She wanted this to mean something to Raven. It sounded like she had had a tough life.
"Yas!" Tracy called through the open window. "Come on! Recess is almost over!"
"I just want to finish this letter!"
"Finish it? You've not even started it! Just scribble something down and come out!"
"God sake...." Yasmin muttered under her breath.
If they would just stop pressuring her into doing something... wait a minute!
Something clicked inside Yasmin's head, and she started writing. She was finished within two minutes. She signed the letter, 'Yasmin Brooke, xxx', dropped the letter on the teacher's desk, and ran out to join her friends.
Miss Johnston walked into her class five minutes before Recess was meant to end. She started tidying up her desk, ready for the afternoon lessons, when a piece of paper caught her eye. She picked it up.
It was one of the letters that she had asked the children to write to the foster children in America. This one was by Yasmin Brooke to someone called Raven Night.
Dear Raven Night,
Hi! My name's Yasmin Brooke. I go to a school in Glasgow in the UK. Sounds like you've been through some tough times. I mean three nose breakings! Flipping heck, what'd you do to deserve that? I've only had my nose broken once, when I was six. I got in a fight with my friend's big brother over his skateboard. I wanted a go on it and he said we were too small, so I kicked him where it hurts, and he got so mad that he punched me in the face and broke my nose! It hurt. Huge understatement, it reeeeeeeally hurt. I hope you write back! If got loads more gory stories, if you want to hear them. Well, talk to you soon!
From, Yasmin Brooke, xxx
Miss. Johnston smiled, and put the letter in an envelope. She would be posting these as soon as she left work, and they should get to Alabama in about a week. I would be at least two weeks before the children got any replies. Ah, there was the bell. Time for class.