THIS STORY CONTAINS CONTENT THAT SOME MIGHT FIND TROUBLESOME
Chapter 12: All My Innocence
I did not see Elena for the next few months, but then one day, the nurses took me to the visiting room and sitting across the glass were Eli and Andy, smiling happily at me and saying things that I could not hear. This was my first ever visit and I was told that I only get 15 minutes.
I took my seat across the glass from Eli and Andy and the tiny speaker in front of me buzzed and opened, till I could hear her. She was so happy that she was crying, I’m sure I was, and Andy was trying to keep her good enough to talk to me.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY” they both greeted me.
I smiled widely at them in gratitude.
“Oh sister, how are you feeling?” Eli asked.
“I’m okay. What about yourself? Where have you been?”
They both looked at each other and then Andy spoke, “I guess they didn’t tell you. The police closed the orphanage and all the kids were immediately sent to some families and schools. Elena and I, we got to be adopted by the same family. We’re brother and sister now!”
He was very happy as he said this and Eli hugged her new brother as he finished.
“And how are you doing sister?” Elena asked me.
I remained quiet for a while, not completely sure how to answer that and then replied, “The same.”
“What do you mean? Are they treating you well in here?”
I remained quiet for a moment again, thinking whether I should tell her the truth, or keep it to myself. Then I decided that secrets and lies have ruined everything I thought I held dear, and all I had left was Elena, so I would not lie to her.
“The same. I am told when to sleep, wake and eat. I am given classes once a day and given time play and watch T.V. I am told how to talk to others and to not be rude and to listen to what I am told. I am thrown into a room and hurt with words and water if I don’t do as they say and locked in my room, locked by my hands, and locked by my feet if I still try to not listen to them. For all I have ever known, my little Eli, it is all the same for me since I can remember. Nothing has changed.”
Elena and Andy drew back and their smiles faded from then on.
Andy then spoke to break the silence, “Did they tell you about your Father?”
I looked at him in the eye, and clarified, “Do you mean Kevin?”
He got the message and corrected himself, “Yes, Kevin. They let him out of prison a few weeks ago. Since then they found that you Moth…err…em… Jenny was found dead in her house. The girl with her, Cecily, as well.”
“I see.” My head dropped back and dry tears rolled down my stretched cheeks.
“It hurts me to see you in this place,” Eli spoke. “When will they let you out?”
“When I listen to them. But I do not plan to listen. Listening to people got me here. Listening will not get me out Eli. It will not.”
“But…” she started again. “I do not like seeing my sister here, with all these scary people. Our new parents wouldn’t let us come here for so long, because it’s such a bad place for little girls.”
“Eli…” I was about to talk but stopped myself.
She was right, this is no place for little innocent people like her. Throughout all of this, whatever happened to me, I wanted to be a great big sister for her. The more I tried to protect her, the worst things got for her. Her, Margret, Andy, Chelsea and now Cecily, they all suffered something because I did the wrong thing at the wrong time. Because I tried to help my friends, while trying to listen to adults that always lied and beat me and because I was too scared and too weak to say that I do not want to live that life, that lie. Yet, it never stopped.
The nurse walked in behind me and said that my time is up.
“Ms. Hays, c’mon.”
“Don’t call me that.” I yelled at her, which scared Eli and Andy. If one thing, I had so far managed to keep Eli away from the exact hardships that I went through. She always hurt to see me in pain, she’s just a kid. She deserves better than me.
“Eli…” I take a deep breath. “Elena. Its really nice that you and your brother came to visit me today.”
Eli and Andy were about to speak, but the nurse called in again.
“BUT,” I spoke over her calling. “Your parents are right, this is no place for kids like you. You have a better place now and a real family that you never had.”
Elene touched the glass barrier and was crying as she spoke, “But you are…”
“Kevin and Jenny were never your parents.” The nurse was now over me and pulled me up by the shoulders. Eli shifted closer to the glass.
“They were mine. Andy is better to you than I ever will be. Better for you. I checked the records when the orphanage was on fire.”
The nurse started yanking me away from the speaker, from which I could hear Eli’s deep, innocent breaths.
“I checked it,” I yelled at the glass. “You and I aren’t sisters.”
I heard a sharp whimper from the speaker before it closed shut and saw Eli’s hand slap the glass between us, as the nurse dragged me out of her sight and out the room and strapped me, as I sobbed and wept, into a wheelchair and whisked me off down the hall, away from Elena’s adorable cries, her innocent sobs and her immature, red face, that I would never see again.
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