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Unwritten Lies, Unwritten Letters. Chapter One.
I knew foster care would be bad as soon as I walked into my room.
It reeked of axe and there were clothes everywhere.
Two beds were on either side of the room. The empty, clean, side was mine.
My jaw hung open. I turned to look at Ms. Claire.
She smiled sadly. “You’ll have to share a room with Kyle… We ran out of extra space when Melina moved in…” Something pinged inside my head. I’d heard that name before.
“But… I… a guy!? Are you serious!?”
She sighed. “Calm down. He won’t hurt you.”
“Yeah…right…” I mumbled.
I sat down on my bed and started to unpack. There was a white dresser next to my bed and a lamp on the floor. My bed was just a mattress and a box spring.
I put sheets and a blanket on my bed and put my clothes away. I was used to this. Mom and dad would run out of money and they wouldn’t want to take care of me. So they’d send me off to another foster home somewhere far away.
Then I remembered. I knew Kyle once when we were little. But that was only a five minute conversation before we separated and went on different buses. I really liked him. He understood what it was like to be a foster kid like me. We each took pictures of each other and had them developed. We would send each other letters. Until about fourth grade, when I forgot to reply. Two years later I found his unopened letter in my closet. I was too scared to write back, so I didn’t.
I was just about to get up and ask Claire where I would put my bathroom supplies when Kyle smashed through the door and looked right at me.
“Dammit!” he whispered under his breath. “She wasn’t kidding…”
I managed a half smile. “Yeah… she kinda wasn’t.”
He glared at me. “She’s an idiot. Having us share the same room. I swear that woman has lost her mind..”
And then he walked out, and slammed the door. I flinched.
This was not good.
I walked over to his desk. He had his guitar laying on his chair and a sheet of notebook paper over it.
I picked up the paper.
“Unwritten lies,” was the title.
Everything else was blank.
I looked up at his corkboard. On it were drawings of all different colors but the same person.
In the picture, I’m laughing. And I’m only five years old.
I hear footsteps so I take one down and I dive for my bed. I lay down and pretend to be absorbed in “Romeo and Juliet.”
Kyle storms through again. He looks at me quickly. I peek up at him. “Can I help you?”
He shakes his head and walks over to the corkboard. He slowly takes down every picture and locks them in the top left drawer of his desk.
Then he walks out.
I smile and take the drawing I took out from between my two mattresses.
There was a light outline of a heart around me and the color was a light blue. I folded it carefully and put it in my bag.
Kyle walked in again. He narrowed his eyes at me. “Where is it.”
I raised my eyebrows. “Where’s what?”
He clenched his teeth. “The drawing.”
I grinned. “Oh, you mean the one of me?”
He shut his eyes tight and bit his lip. “Yeah…”
I sighed and pulled it out of my bag. “I saw the others too. But I only noticed this one.”
He unfolded it. His face had gone red. He noticed it was the one with the heart.
“Yeah… I still have that picture of you that I took that day too.” I said softly. “Too bad I’m a crappy artist.”
He looked at me again. “You do?”
I nodded. “The one you have of me is in a frame. I saw it fall out from under your pillow when I took the picture down.”
I pulled his picture out from my back pocket and held it up. “I haven’t forgotten you either.”
He stormed out.
I buried my face in my hands and sobbed.
I heard shouting downstairs. I put my ear up to the air conditioning vent.
“Have Nicole take my side of the room! I can’t handle this! She would’ve found me earlier if she really loved me!” Kyle yelled. It sounded like he was crying.
“Kyle, calm down. Nicole is leaving in two weeks. You can have her old room if it’s not working out between you two.” Ms. Claire said softly.
“Fine.” he mumbled. Then I heard him stomping up the stairs.
He walked through the door and laid down on his bed. He looked at me. “What are you doing here anyways?”
I sighed. “This was the last possible foster home that was far enough away from my parents. So they sent me here.”
He looked away. “You knew I was here.”
I frowned. “No. Actually Kyle, I didn’t. How long have you been here?”
He looked down at the floor. “Since that day.”
My lip trembled. “I’m sorry.”
He glared at me. “No you’re not. You said you loved me that night at the train station. But guess what, you never wrote back. And I waited all those years. I’m still waiting…”
He picked up an old, folded piece of notebook paper off his desk and unfolded it.
There was something written on both sides. He slid his guitar off the chair and ran his fingers across the strings.
He began to play a soft melody. It was a low rhythm. I tapped my fingers on my bed along with the beat.
He started to sing.
“For all that time,
You would decide to walk away.
Even though you know,
I wanted you to stay.
Stay with me tonight,
Don’t have one more fright.
I know you’ve waited, waited,
For this moment tonight…”
“No!” I frowned, “Don’t stop… Please.”
He looked at me. ‘I’m not that good…”
My eyes went wide. “Yes. You are.”
He put the guitar back. “Not really.” He turned over on his side and pulled his blanket over him.
“Could you turn off the lights?” I asked.
“Nope.” he mumbled.
“But… the light switch is right there. Above your head.”
I heard him laugh. “I know.”
I groaned. “C’mon. Don’t be mean!”
He laughed again. “Oh Tate, you just don’t know me that well anymore do you?”
I sighed and got up. “Apparently not.”
I flicked off the lights and stepped forward. He grabbed my ankle and I fell right by his bed.
“Oh by the way,” he whispered, “I snore.”
I giggled. “You had to trip me just to tell me that?”
He grinned. “Yep.”
I crawled over to my bed and climbed in.
“Tate?” he said.
There was a long silence.
“I… Never mind.” he mumbled.
“No, tell me.” I said.
Nicole kicked the door open. “Would you two put a sock in it! I need to sleep! It’s already midnight!”
“Sorry Nicole.” we both mumbled.
She rolled her eyes. “Better be.”
She slammed the door shut. I rolled on my other side. “I don’t even know why I was talking to you.” I whispered. “’Cause according to you, I don’t love you anymore. I didn’t find you fast enough.”
“How did you-”
“I heard you and Ms. Claire talking downstairs before.” I clicked off my lamp. “Goodnight Kyle.”