Authors Note: This was a little rushed. I don't quite like the title, so I'd be open to any suggestions. I promise I'll get a better story out, but for now, this will have to do. Open to criticism and feedback. Enjoy!
I flop on the couch, stretching stiffly. I notice my aunt staring at the window, as teardrops ooze down the window competitively.
"Are you okay, tante?"
Aunt Indi gets up quickly and spins towards me. I can't help noticing how her eyes are pretty puffy and red, and how her cheeks are flushed. "Jeanne, I told you. We are not to speak French inside this house!" she hisses.
I nod miserably. "But, why?"
"Ask no questions, and I'll tell you no lies."
I sigh irritably, "Why won't you just tell me?"
She ignores me clearly and watches the window. A single tear seeps from her blue eyes. She doesn't bother to mop it away, just stares at the window.
I look at her carefully, and then offer her a sugar-pink napkin. She shakes her head and sniffles. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't be crying. I just feel like I'm a traitor." she sobs.
I don't ask her anything, but I'm a little puzzled.
She mops up her tears with the hem of her skirt, and then says gently, "Why don't you get us a cup of tea or two, eh?"
I nod, sensing she wants to be alone, and then go to the kitchen, and plunge a tea bag, and pour hot water. It dribbles a little on my hand. I yelp, and then suck my finger gingerly, as I spoon in five spoons of sugar for the two of us.
Carefully, I set the cup on the coffee table. As I drain my cup eagerly, Aunt Indigo picks it up slowly, and cradles it in her hands, blowing the surface. "Aunt Indi? What happened to my parents?"
Aunt Indigo sighs. "Aunt Indigo to you, honey. I've told you. They died in a car crash."
I slump in my seat, disappointed. "Just like that?"
She nods solemnly and then looks into my eyes. "Come, let's get you to bed, chérie."
I don't complain that she talks to me in French too, because that will just brew up an argument, and that's the least I need on an exhausting Thursday night.
I wake up with my head on Aunt Indi's lap. My heart laps around as I jerk awake as my eyes jolt open. She tucks a strand of hair into my ears and strokes it fondly.
I feel something wet on my cheek. I glance up at my Aunt. She's crying softly.
"Are you okay, tante?" I ask for the second time.
This time, she doesn't lecture me. She sobs a little, and then whispers, "I have a confession to make, Jeanne,"
I sit up in bed, spitting a mouthful of hair out of my face, impatiently, and stare at her. "Tell me, tante. Tell me."
She sighs, inhales, and then shuts the curtains, bolts the door, locks the latches, and glances warily around before opening her mouth.
"You know why I never told you to speak French in the house? Your parents were English. They never spoke any French."
I am confused. "W-what?"
She sighs. "I'm n-not your Aunt, sweetheart. Just a kindly old lady who decided to take you in."
I gape, too shocked for tears, too shocked for words.
"Your parents didn't die in a car crash, honey," she whispers, fresh tears flowing.
"They dumped me." I realize, as my heart drops like a stone.
Aunt Indi sighs. "Well, not in exact words, but something like that." she hesitates.
"You brought me up to speak French, but you didn't want me speaking it, because my parents don't speak it. You were afraid I would get suspicious."
Aunt Indi stifles a sob, "I'm sorry, chérie."
I nod slowly, as she shuts the door quietly, "I lied to the police. I told them you were my niece. They believed me. If they know I'm not your real aunt, they might put you back into the orphanage." she inhales.
I nod. "You betrayed me," I say quietly, but she's already making breakfast down in the kitchen, in between heartfelt sobs.
I stuff a couple of clothes into a sapped backpack. I pick a tube of used lotion. I shrug and stuff it into the bag, and then toss some dusty overalls into the bin. A book. Why not?
A comb, a bottle, and a couple of other stuff go in. I zip it quickly, get dressed, and come downstairs.
If Aunt Indi's not my aunt, I'd rather live in the orphanage than living with a "family member" who betrayed me.
Quickly, I grab the sandwiches on the table. Aunt Indi stares at me, stunned. "W-what?"
"I'm leaving." I declare, holding back my tears, and trooping out of the door, sobbing.
Aunt Indi runs after me, sobbing too, and clutching a buttered toast. "Please, don't. They're bad, the orphanage.
"I don't understand."
"They don't treat kids properly. Please, stay with me. I'm honestly sorry."
I glare at her.
"Will you forgive me?"
I stare at her and bite my lip tentatively. I shrug and continue walking. "I'm not living with someone who betrayed me my whole life."
"Look, honey, I know it's hard for you to digest in. And I'm really sorry. The orphanage is a bad place. You wouldn't want to live there. Please."
As we walk home, Aunt Indi stops me and looks into my eyes. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. But I fell in love with you the moment I clapped eyes on you." she sobs.
I shrug. I don't want to give it away. The tears. The emotions. Everything.
Aunt Indigo notices it. "It's not okay to bottle up everything. If you feel sad, come and have a word with me. I'm always free, cherie."
I stifle a sob as we walk home in silence, Aunt Indi sobbing again, and me still in shock. We hold hands, as I swallow, not able to believe how this day has changed drastically since I woke up.