The orphanage is cold. I don’t like the smell of it either. It smells of dust and mildew – is dank, I suppose. The headboard on my bed is peeling white paint down to the brass. When bored, I find that I spend the time just peeling it off in little pieces and letting the paint fall wherever it wants to, even if that means on my own sheets.
The room I stay in is large and houses 20 beds that are all lined up on both sides of the opposing walls – 10 on each side, to be exact. Not all the beds are filled with other kids, but most of them are. I think there are 15 others here, 16 counting me.
I don’t like it here and I am scared most of the time. I hug my ragged teddy bear that came with me. I used to hug it at night in my bed at home, but it felt better then. Now I find my bear has a job to do, that is to dry my tears at night. Seems he gets this job nightly.
My name is Sable, and I have a twin brother here as well. I made sure his bed is next to mine. His name is Sam. I love Sam, he is my only friend in the entire universe (next to my teddy bear that is).
Sam was the one who held my hand when the police came to pick us up from home and drive us to this place. I didn’t know where we were going exactly… but I knew that I could count on Sam, him holding my hand confirmed that.
I still am not too sure what happened at home, and why Sam and I had to leave with the police that day. All I do know is that my mom and dad used to fight a lot and that night, before the police came, there was quite the ruckus at home. I think I heard them yelling and throwing things against the walls. This was a regular occurrence, but I guess this time Sam and I had to leave.
I still wonder late at night what it is I did exactly to cause them to fight so much. I wish I could have been better. I wish I cleaned my room more. Maybe I didn’t tell them I loved them enough. These thoughts haunt me, and that is why my teddy bear is there… to soak up my tears of missing my mom and dad so much.
Sam and I have been here for about 2 months now, and we both agree we hate it here. The food is yucky and only being 8 years old, we are forced to take vitamins and drink medicine that tastes gross. We are told it is supposed to make us healthy and strong. I’m not so sure about that, but I don’t fight with them, as I am a shy natured girl.
Sam and I were best friends at home too, before we came here. I remember every afternoon we would swing together, laughing and competing who could swing higher and who could jump the furthest while staying on our two feet while landing in the dirt below. We laughed a lot together then. Now it seems we hardly ever laugh, but we can read each other’s thoughts just by looking in the other’s eyes.
I am 12 minutes older and I think Sam hates this. I think he privately wants to be older. He likes to compete with me, and I mostly let him win, just to make him feel better. Besides, isn’t that what love is? It is to me anyway.
The orphanage director came up to Sam and me just this morning and said that there is a nice married couple that wants to meet us tomorrow. Part of me is excited, as I have already found my only dress in my suitcase to wear… I just hope the wrinkles come out by that time. I want to look my best.
Sam is excited too. I noticed he has been playing with his wooden airplane today – his favorite toy at home, but has not taken it out since coming here. Today he has. That makes me happy, too. I like when Sam smiles. It is one of my favorite things in this world. It reminds me that everything is going to be okay.
It is night here now, and I hear crickets outside my window and coyotes howling. Coyotes always scare me; their howls are haunting in a way. Good thing I have my teddy bear. I hope I sleep well, tomorrow is a big day. Sam is already asleep next to me in his bed, I have always been jealous of how fast he can fall asleep. My busy mind keeps me up for hours, it seems.
Morning has come, I can see the brightness coming through the big picture window… I get on my knees on my unstable mattress and see that it is foggy outside. Dense, thick fog covers the dew on the grass below. I’ve always liked the fog. I just wish it were sunny today though, meeting these new people and all. Oh well, at least the wrinkles are out of my dress. I am hoping Sam can tie my big bow in the back like mom used to do. She was always great at tying bows.
Sam is already up and man, he looks dapper. Sam has always been so handsome, even with his hair sticking up in the back due to that cowlick. He hates it, I secretly adore it. He must be excited as well.
Well, I must admit the meeting with that man and lady went really well. They smiled a lot and asked a lot of questions to both Sam and me. I noticed something when they got up to leave, though. They hugged Sam only and the lady rubbed his cheek with her fingers and knelt down to him and said what a nice boy he was. She didn’t do any of that with me. Oh well, people always did like Sam a bit more than me. I heard adults say he has “charm”, not sure what that is, but Sam is something to be sure. To me, he is just plain ol’ special.
Later that day, the woman in the orphanage who usually just sits in her office with the door half closed and her glasses at the tip of her nose, came up to Sam and me and said she wanted to talk to us both. It was at this time that she asked us to take a seat on our beds. We both were obedient and chose my bed. She sat on Sam’s bed, facing us, and started talking differently than she usually does. She was quieter and seemed cautious in her words.
After hearing what she said, I understood why she spoke in the manner that she did. She told us that the nice man and lady that we met that morning liked us both. They wanted to adopt, but sadly, only had room for one child, so they only want my brother, Sam.
Sam was ecstatic; I was wondering if he heard what the Director Lady was saying… I felt like screaming to him, “Sam, they only want you… not me!” But I know he heard what she said, and he didn’t seem too bothered by it. He was happy he got a chance to be with a new mom and dad and get out of this place. I can’t blame him for that, but why is he okay with not being with me anymore? I could never leave Sam, never. We are twins, he is my all. I thought I was the same to him as well. Perhaps I was wrong.
I tried fighting back my tears but could not. I slowly turned around to grab my teddy bear, hoping Sam or the Director Lady would not notice me crying. My heart hurt, I could feel it. My heart literally ached and I started breathing heavy and felt dizzy. I almost felt like I was going to throw up.
I saw Sam leave the next morning with that man and lady, he even asked me to help him pack his suitcase, as he was having a hard time fitting everything in. I taught him how to properly fold shirts and pants so they make a neat stack. I had a lump in my throat the whole time doing this. Sam seemed fine, I still don’t understand that.
Our hug was brief and I hugged him hard, he let go first as I believe I never would have if the option was mine. I miss Sam so much already, and he hasn’t even made it to their car in the parking lot yet.
I miss my twin, Sam. I think I always will. I miss my parents, too. I wonder what it is about me that made it so easy for them to all go away and leave me.
Perhaps tonight when I lay my head on my pillow, I will start praying. Maybe God will help me become more likeable. At least I still have my teddy bear.