Marian, Dom, Ryder, and I. Marian, Dom, Ryder, and I. Family? I have none. Marain, well her parents abandoned her because they wanted a boy. Ryder, his family disowned him when he became a Christian. Dom, he is an orphan just like me. I guess we are likely friends-then again we aren’t.
I am Phoebe. I am 13 years old. Everyone says I am so beautiful. I have tan skin with a dirty blonish with a hint of red hair. I am about average height not too tall, not too short. Marian, she is 15. She is kinda like my big sister. If I am beautiful,then Marian is gorgeous. Her hair fall into perfect blonde ringlets, and she is pale. Not a sickly pale, but a doll like pale. Dom well he is my best friend. We are like twins, he is 2 months older than me so we could pass as twins if only we didn’t look so different. He has an olive complection, and dark brown hair. He is just an inch or so taller than me. And Ryder. He is like a big brother to all of us but he is also like our parent, not in a bad way. He always looks out for us and takes care of us.i He is super tall and he is tan just like me. He has light brown hair l I guess I kinda lied when I said I don’t have a family. Maybe not by blood, but these 3 are for sure my family. Marian, Dom, Ryder, and Phoebe.
“Ryder, can you PLEASE come help with this algebra PLEASE,” I shout. “Give me just a second Pheb-I gotta finish the soup,” he responds. I sit back and smell the taco soup, which is almost ready. Before long, Ryder arrives and patiently explains how to work the equations. I hug his neck and thank him for helping. He will help anyone who needs help. Marian helps me and Dom whenever she can. We are really a team. We always help each other and do our part. We usually team up on chores. Usually, the guys work together and us girls work together, but sometimes we trade up. Oh we all live together in a little trailer in a trailer park. I really don’t know how, but Ryder like has a special agreement with the state or something. I never really worry about it.
“Hey Pheb wanna go run in a little bit?” Dom asks.
“Yeh if it’s not too dark after dinner. Oh wait I’m on dish duty with M, so I probably can’t”
“Oh, wait what if we all like pitch in and help each other. Like we can help Ry finish dinner and I will help you and M with dishes”
“OK! What do I need to do to help you?”
“Um can you set the table? I will go do the drinks and get the bread done”
I hum as I put four spoons, napkins, bowls on the table. I set the cheese and sour cream out too. Tonight, Marian says grace and we dig in. Taco soup is a favorite in our family. “So Ry what are we doing for Thanksgiving dinner this year,” Marian asks. “Do we want ham or turkey?”he questions. “HAM,” we all shout in unison. We burst out in giggles. We discuss what else we want to eat and what we want to do after. (we always do some kind of game or family type of event) This year, we decided on football before dinner is prepared, and a big game night after we eat.
Dom and I arrive back at the trailer 30 minutes and 3 miles later. We usually run faster, but we were talking to much tonight. We both run cross country and track-lucky for us they are both very inexpensive. Dom was the one who actually got me to start running a few years back. We started it just for fun, and now we do it full time. We work out together all the time as well. He is the best friend anyone could want. He understands me so much, we are both orphans so we can relate to each other. When we step in the door, Marian is sitting cross legged on the floor, and Ryder was sitting in a chair. Ryder was on the phone,and Marian’s head is in his lap. Ry looks upset. I sit down by M, and Dom plops down and grabs my hand. I squeeze it like I always do when I am worried. Marian looks over at us, with worry and care in her eyes.
“Hey guys, um I have to go, I will be back before school tomorrow, after school at the latest, I promise,” Ryder hesitantly whispers as he looks around at us, upset. Marian stands up and puts her hand on his shoulder. “We will be just fine tonight, don’t worry about us. MK?”she reassures him. Dom and I nod in unison. “Ok I love you guys,” he bids us goodbye. We all give him a hug and he walks out of the door.
After my shower, Marian braids my hair so it will look good for school the next day. “Do you know what was wrong with Ry?”I question. “Pheb, no I,I wish I did but I just came into the room right before you got back.I am worried, but all we can do is pray, right?”she responds. “I guess.” We both head to our room and I climb up on the top bunk and read a book. Books have always helped me escape from the life I really live. Worry floods my mind with endless possibilities of what could happen tonight. Marian turns out the light, so I put my bok up and try to go to sleep.
The next morning, Marian and I wake up and start breakfast. We call for Dom, and he comes and eats with us. We go throughout our morning like usual, Dom and I joke around. Marian and I do our hair and simple makeup together. Her hair seems to curl in all the perfect ways today. Mine comes out in really cute waves. Whoosh! The door slams and Ryder enters. He looks extremely tired. Dom runs and gets him some yogurt and a little bit tired. We all look around tensley, but decide to say nothing. An alarm clock goes off signaling that it is time to leave. Startled, we grab our bags and head out. Dom and I start walking towards the middle school, while Marian and Ryder head to the high school.
At dinner, Ryder begins to explain what happened last night. He tells us how he had a meeting with his boss, another with someone from the school and a few other errands. We all sigh relieved. I start to wonder why this couldn’t have been handled in the day time, but I do not question. Ryder always tells us just what we need to know. The evening goes by quickly without much excitement, which is nice.
A week goes by and Ryder has been working a little more than usual. He had a meeting with the middle school. It is pretty common that he has to meet with our schools. It is the day before Thanksgiving and we are all having a really good time. I am sitting on the couch and reading a new book from the library when all of the sudden Dom comes up behind me and scares me. I slap him and he laughs.”PAYBACK!” he yells, referencing last week whenever I scared him at school. We both start laughing until Ryder comes out and asks us what’s so funny. Marian comes out of her room and tells us she has written another song. She is the best singer that I know. She begins to sing and I tear up realizing that the song is for me. She sang about how when we met I was a light in her darkness. She sings about I still show her love when she feels there is none. When she finishes, I run and give her a big hug. Ry and Dom join us and it feels like we are a real family.
A few hours later I see a Ryder bent over a bunch of papers at the table. I sit down to him and I ask him what they are for. He tells me they are for a class at school and sets them aside. We talk about everything that has been going on and I tell him how I’ve been worried lately. He just wraps his arms around me and doesn’t let go. “Pheb it’s gonna be ok, we will get through it. Things have just been difficult lately and I-I don’t know what is gonna happen. I love you no matter what happens.God I never wanted to hurt you,” he tells me and I can feel his tears roll onto my hair. “I know you always make a way for us. I love you even when it hurts,” I respond as my voice cracks. We let go and wipe away our tears. “I’ll let you finish working,” I tell him as I go to my room. I sit down on Marian’s bunk next to her. We start talking about what has been going on with Ryder. Dom walks in and sits on the floor and tell us how he feels. He tells us that Ry has been going to sleep a lot earlier and doesn’t joke quiet as much. “I hope nothing happens that will seperate us, y’all are the only family I have,” I blurt out. “Nothing will happen to us, he wouldn’t let it,” Marian exclaims, “we have to stay strong just for tomorrow ,OK?” Dom and I reply ‘yes’ at the same exact time. We start talking about church to get out minds off of things. Not long after, we all go to bed completely exhausted.
“Goooooood morning!” Dom exclaims as he opens my door to wake me up.
“Ughhhh, I’m so tired,” I sluggishly declare as I rub my eyes.
“Get up sleepy head and we can run before we have to start on dinner”
“Ok ok let me put on clothes and eat real quick”
I sleepily put on some leggings and a t-shirt and my running shoes. I eat quickly and begin to stretch. Dom joins me and we stretch out really good. We leave and start to run. “Wanna do 3 or 4 miles,” I ask. “Let’s start with three and if we feel like it we can do four,” Dom decides. We get in pace with each other and every now and then speed up or slow down. We have a system worked out so that we do not overuse our muscles. We run 3 and a half miles just so we will have enough energy to play football with the neighbors later.
Thanksgiving goes perfectly. We get the food started and make it to football on time. We divide into teams, girls against guys. There are 4 people on each team. (there are 4 neighbors) The game was close, but the girls won by 3 points. We tell our neighbors goodbye and head inside to finish preparing the meal. All the tension that we felt last night had disappeared in touchdowns. Finally, we sat down to eat the mouthwatering meal. We had ham, roasted potatoes, corn, green beans, and rolls. It isn’t the most traditional meal, but it is going to be a good one. We grasp hands and let Ryder say grace. Food is passed out, jokes are made, and there is hope. I am not sure where the hope is from, but I know we all have hope that our lives will turn out just fine.
“Hey guys I have news,” Ryder declares with shining eyes. We urge him to tell us. “So you know I have been a little mysterious lately, and I hate doing that,” we all laugh, “well I was about to have to send you all to a foster care center.” We all look around at each other. Dread fills my heart. I wonder why he had to tell us this at such a wonderful time. “But I have met with some people and I am going to adopt y’all the day I turn 18, we will really be family then.” “Oh my gosh YAY,” we exclaim.
Ryder then goes on to tell us how we have been living here all these years. The guy who runs the trailer park fosters kids. We never knew that it was a foster care system because it is so well disguised. It is a real trailer park. The owner, Matt loved the way we four were connected so he always kept us together. At one point we had an adult living with us full time but it kinda slacked down the older we got. Matt usually comes by every day to make sure we are behaving and doing our school work. He always makes sure we get everywhere safe. Since Ryder was soon going to be out of the system, they were going to take Dom, Marian, and I somewhere else. But under special conditions, Ryder worked extra shifts to get money for adoption. He obviously had to meet with our schools because custody will be changing, and had to settle all the papers.
Marian, Dom, Ryder, and Pheobe; family forever.