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What's Life Without Love

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After 5 foster homes I no longer held any trust. I learned a long time ago to keep my head down and do what my social worker told me to do. I’m pretty sure that the women who was supposed to place me in safe homes is actually the devil in disguise. Katy is horrible creature who preys on the weak. Not literally, but to me she was a monster. Ever since I was found on the streets and brought in this women has been my social worker. She is cold, and doesn’t care what situation I am in, no matter what I’m always to blame. I don’t know what I did to annoy her, but I suspect she is just angry about her own life.

This day seemed deceivingly bright for the solemn occasion. As we drove down the road all I could think about is “how long this time?” They all gave up eventually, what I’ve learned is that everybody is in it for the money. I didn’t want to be placed in another home. All that meant was abuse, pain, and a butt load of false hope. I didn’t know anything about my new “family”, I never did. Looking out the window all he could see was trees, and fancy houses. The type of house he didn’t deserve to live in. They were in rows along the forest separated by gates. All of them looming over him with a dark energy, taunting him. “You don’t deserve to be here.” “You’ll never be good enough.” “You’re a lost cause.” Of course it was true, all of those statements were true. As they drove further the houses got further apart. They were descending deeper, and deeper into the heavily wooded forest. Clouds floated into view above them which I personally thought was a more suited atmosphere for the moment.

As they pulled into the driveway he looked around curiously. He saw a modern house that looked like it was at least 3 stories if not more. It was masked by the surrounding forest, and he doubted that anybody would ever find the house unless they were looking for it. It was well hidden, and that gave him a strange sense if security. Maybe this forest could mask his pain as well is it masked the house.

“Ezra! Does your stupidity inhibit your hearing? I’ve been trying to talk to you for that last million years you imbecile.” Katy screamed at me

“Sorry…” I whispered, scared of her.

“As I was trying to explain to your incompetent brain is that we are here, and you better not screw it up this time! Honestly boy, I don’t know why the agency is still trying to help you.” She rubbed the bridge of her nose like she had a headache. She stepped out of the car slamming the door behind her. I followed trying to stay calm and steady my breathing. I hoped this foster family wasn’t as bad as my previous ones. I just don’t think that I could deal with that again. “Ezra, hurry the fuck up I don’t have the time to deal with your shit.” She screamed grabbing me by the arm tightly and pulling me to the door.

As she rang the doorbell I thought about how many times I had been in exactly the same position, scared out of my mind, and ready to run. The door opened, and I kept my head hung low trying to ignore the pain in my arm.

“Hello. Please come in. Welcome! I’m Esme.” she said in a happy tone. Katy dug her nails into my arm making it look as if she was guiding me into the house. That was going to bruise. As we walked into the entryway I kept my eyes down at the floor. Rule number 1: never look your foster parents straight in the eye. It draws attention to you, and makes them angry. You must respect them at all times, because they control you.

“Hi! Thank you for taking him on such short notice, I know he can be a handful, but we had some unsuitable circumstances at his last residence, and the agency insisted he be removed. I told them that a 16 year old is perfectly capable of dealing with their own problems, but you know how they are, always over reacting.” Katy laughed, fake smile plastered on her face.

“Of course! We are happy to take Ezra no problem at all. I’m sure that he won’t be a bother in the least. We are just glad to help. My family is very excited to meet you Ezra.” She said with no hint of a lie.

“Answer her you idiot, she’s addressing you.” Katy whispered in my ear never taking her eyes off of Esme, her fake smile never wavering. Rule number 2: If Katy tells you to do something, you do it. I looked up to meet the face of an incredibly beautiful women. . She was middle aged and held a big smile. Her caramel brown hair and pale skin held a stark contrast, but her brown eyes gave off a sense of warmth and comfort.

“Hi.. it’s nice to meet you.” I said barely audible, but somehow she heard me. Her eyes lit up, and her smile grew wider.

“It’s very nice to meet you as well. I look forward to having you stay with us.” Again all I heard in her voice was pure honesty.

“Well, I must be going, but please give me a call if there is even the slightest problem with Ezra. It would be good to know how he is behaving. Thanks again!” Her smile never wavered, but her voice was laced with a warning. She gave one last bone crushing squeeze on my arm and turned walking out the door. I rubbed my arm and waited for Esme to speak.

“Well everyone is at school and work right now, but I’m sure you are tired and hungry. Would you like to eat?” She asked in a kind voice.

“Um… Okay.” I wanted nothing more than to go sleep and not get up. To hide in my room never having to meet the rest of the family, but we can always get what we want.

“Come with me sweetie.” She said as her hand lightly touched my back to guide me into the kitchen. Unlike Katy her touch was comforting, and made me feel safe. Like I should wrap up in her arms and cry all of my problems out to her as she strokes my hair and gives me motherly support. I knew I was crazy for thinking that, and I reprimanded myself in my head thinking don’t trust her, you can’t trust her. She will turn on you eventually. And I knew that I had to keep reminding myself that she didn’t actually care for me. Rule number 3: Everyone is always in it for the money, don’t forget this. So I ignored the comforting hand on my back and focused on all of the cuts, and bruises, and sore spots. Yes Ezra that is your life. You were and never will be loved. It is you against the world, and don’t forget it!

As we walked through the hallway that lead into the kitchen I couldn’t help notice a large picture that took up almost half the wall. There were 4 men and 3 girls including Esme, and they all looked so incredibly happy, they were standing by a waterfall, all covered in mud, and laughing. They looked so content and at ease. The guy in the far back was huge at least 6’5 with dark brown, almost black hair, his blue eyes shined with life. In the picture he looked happy, but I wouldn’t want to get on his bad side. Actually I wouldn’t want to get on any side, he looked scary. He had his arms wrapped around a girl from behind as the girl leaned back into his chest. The girl in front of him was tall and beautiful. Her blue almost purple eyes were happy, but it was almost like she held a secret behind them, like there was a wall that she kept up. She had light blond hair, and pale skin. There was a fierceness about her that made her even scarier than the guy behind her, but they were both smiling. The next guy had a light brown hair and brown eyes, he looked like he had been through hell and back, but lived to tell the tale, and had started healing. He was laughing with a short black haired girl who looked at him with so much love it was over welling. She was holding his hand and they looked as though they belonged together. Esme had her arms wrapped around a blond man, who had caring blue eyes. He was kissing her forehead as they watched the others with loving smiles. The last person in the photo was a brown haired man who was sitting on a rock to the far right. His green eyes shone, as he watched everyone else with a smile dancing on his lips. Lonely wasn’t the word to describe it, he looked more fulfilled than anything.

“This is my family.” Esme said smiling at him. I guess he had stopped, because she was on the other side of him looking at the picture as well.

“You guys look happy.” I whispered

“We are. Family is the most important thing to me, and my family is what keeps me going. What is life without love?” she said, so much affection coming off of her in waves I was almost choking on it. I stayed silent thinking about what she had said. What is life without love. I guess I’ll never know true life then. “Come Ezra, you must be starving” She ushered me into the kitchen. It was massive. The ceiling was tall and a bunch of natural light coated the room. It looked like a kitchen off of food network.

“Sit anywhere you like hun. There is no need to be shy.” She told me softly. I chose to sit at the island in the middle of the room. It had the high chairs that you see at diners, and a beautiful marble countertop. “I hope you don’t mind, but our family is vegetarian. You don’t have to be, but we don’t keep meat in the house, so you should tell me if you would like some next time I go shopping.”

“Vegetarian is fine.” He wasn’t about to tell her that he had been force fed rotten meat and that had turned him off it forever. So yes you could say he was vegetarian.

“Is a veggie burger alright?” she asked

“Yes, thank you.” I said looking down. I felt slightly guilty that I was being such a burden. I really didn’t need much to keep me alive. I wondered if it was all a trick. That the family would get home after Esme lulled me into a false sense of comfort, and then they attacked. Either was he wasn’t going to let his guard down. After gulfing down a veggie burger and some fries he felt exhausted. He hadn’t slept in days not trusting Katy to not do anything to him. Not wanting to bring attention to himself while Esme was cleaning the kitchen he sat there and waited to have her tell him what to do. He started to fade in and out of sleep in his chair, head laying on his arms.

“Sweetie, if you want to sleep than you can do that. You don’t have to wait for me to tell you that’s okay.” She said putting a hand on my shoulder.

“okay.” I said sleepily. We stood up to go upstairs to what I assume was where I was sleeping. Walking through the living room Esme said “can you wait here for one second, I need to grab some extra pillows for your room.”

“okay.” I said sitting down on the couch. She left the room, and against my will I fell into a deep sleep.