Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Orphan (Short Story)

I lay awake in bed, dreadfully tired, yet cannot sleep. There are people tossing and turning around me, they ramble in their sleep. There are too many things running through my mind. Will they love me? I couldn't handle any more feelings of rejection, pain, anguish or despair. Tomorrow morning I'm meeting my new guardians. My nerves are attacking me, making me feel as sick as a dog. I'm surrounded by people, but the orphanage has never felt so lonely.

My previous guardians were the most horrible people you could ever imagine. They only fed me once a day, usually it would be dry bread. They had padlocks on the pantry door, so I could not steal any extra food. I would only be allowed outside for school and 2 hours on the weekend. The rest of my time was spent in my cold, dark room. I was made to cook, clean and do basically everything around the house. Occasionally I would be allowed to take the dog for a walk, I looked forward to this more than anything else. I did not know any different, I didn't know I was being treated different from other kids. I didn't know that other kids were allowed outside everyday, that they were allowed to eat whenever they were hungry, that they didn't have to clean the house daily.

I remember the day my second year teacher  brought in a cake to school, for my 8th birthday. It was a marble sponge cake, the kind littered with all the colours of the rainbow. It was the happiest time of my life. Before school, I was made to clean up the vomit of my binge drinking foster father. They didn't even know It was my birthday, not like It would have made a difference anyway. School was the one place that I felt as if I were not alone, as if I belonged.

I spent a lot of time by myself as a child, so I developed quite an imagination. My childhood friend, Perry was nothing but a figment of my imagination. Although he felt so real, so comforting. He was my retreat when I had nothing else to fall back on to. He was my best friend. My guardians would scald me with their cigarettes… The scars still disguise my arms and haunt my memories. I would run to my damp, dark room and stay hidden under my rusty, old bed to release my pain and anguish. This would occur nearly every day, the stress and pain I experienced was overwhelming and I didn't know how to handle it. I was distraught. It may sound foolish and naive, but I honestly believe that Perry saved my life. He gave me the strength to go on, he was my real guardian.

My alarm was always set to ring before dawn, so I would be able to wake up and have some time alone, before they woke up. I would sneak into the living room and look out the window, out onto the street . I wasn't ever allowed in the living room, unless I was cleaning it. I took a deep breath in and appreciated the solitude and bliss of the early morning sunrise. Mother nature at its finest.

I was starved and malnourished and this resulted in me being extraordinarily skinny and underdeveloped for my age.  My teacher started to notice this along with that I never brought any food to school. One morning, she pulled me aside from role call and asked me if I brought any food to school. I told her that I had no food. She gave me some money to buy some food for lunch, but I did not accept it. Later that day she went to the office and tried to find my home phone number, the office did not have my number. 

The next day, I was pulled aside again and asked if I knew my home number, I told her the number. Later on that day she called home. I do not know exactly what went on in the phone call, but from then on in we were getting a lot of visits from the welfare. On the 3rd visit, they took me away, never to see the monsters again.

 I stayed with these so called "Guardians" for 5 scaring years of childhood life. From the age of five to ten years of age. Ever since I was saved from them, I've been here, In Rosken orphanage. I am now thirteen, this Is the first time that anyone has even looked at adopting me since I've left my last "Parents". I am bubbling with excitement and boiling with fear. 

Written by Reef Stevens