Mrs. Bailey barged into our room, yelling at us to get up. Squinting my eyes to read the clock on the wall. It's 6 a.m. Ugh! Why!?!
"Let's go, ladies; you have 10 minutes to get outside!"
We are likely going to be punished for the stunt that happened yesterday. I blame Hannah.
I live in an all-girls foster home called With Little Help, and six of us live here, all coming from different backgrounds, and none of us care enough to make friends. Why would we? Eventually, we will move away or into another foster home. What's the point?
I rolled out of bed at the same time as Hannah. She glared at me as she turned her back to get ready. I scoffed and turned my back on her to open the trunk at the end of my bed, pulling out the only pair of black basketball shorts I own and a tightly fitted gray tank top. I reached for my sneakers, lacing them out.
Hannah bumped into me as she left the room. She's mad that I beat her up yesterday for knocking my bowl of oatmeal onto me. She's a typical mean girl but no posse. I had to show her I was not someone to mess with. I lost control.
As I finished getting ready, I headed to the yard. Everyone else was already in a line waiting, staring at me.
Elise is a petite girl with round green eyes, shoulder-length blonde hair, and light freckles sprinkled across her nose. She seems nice, but she has the worst bite of us. Then there is Hannah, a tall Amazon-looking girl with long red hair, blue eyes, and pale as paper. Next in line are the twins Emma and Ezra. They are curvy girls with brown eyes and medium-length black hair, with the perfect tan. Lastly, Brittany is tall and bulky, with dirty blonde hair and brown eyes. She looks as if she is a bodybuilder. I walked to the end of the line at the end of the yard, not meeting anyone's eye.
Mrs. Bailey cleared her throat and eyed me. I squirmed at the negative energy she threw my way.
"Since you, girls can't get along. We will be doing a team-building exercise. Do you understand me?" Mrs. Bailey said firmly.
"Yes, ma'am," we said in unison.
"Good, today's exercise will be called cross the line. Three of you will stand on this side of the string and the other three on this side, facing each other. Do so now."
The twins and I went to the right side of the string while Hannah, Elsie, and Britney went to the left side. Hannah, of course, is standing directly in front of me with her judgy eyes.
"Thank you, girls; now I will call out statements, and if this statement pertains to you, you will take a step forward. If the person on the other side does the same, you have shared the same experience. You girls are more alike than you think. Let's get started." Mrs. Bailey called out.
I looked around at the other girls, who also seemed uncomfortable.
"Step forward if you are in foster care."
We all stepped forward, shared a look, and stepped back at our spots. I hope the questions aren't that obvious throughout the entire game.
"Step forward if you have been in another foster home."
Only Hannah and I stepped forward, and we went back to our spots.
"Step forward if you stole to provide for yourself."
Elsie, Hannah, and I stepped forward.
"Step forward if you lost one or both of your parents."
I hesitated, but Hannah stepped forward, and so did I. We both quickly looked down at our feet and stepped back.
"Step forward if you have other siblings in Foster care."
Again Hannah and I stepped forward.
Mrs. Bailey kept asking harder and harder questions. Hannah and I seemed to have the most in common out of us six girls.
Once the team-building exercise had ended, I felt like I understood Hannah more. I never got close to anyone, and she's completely closed off. We both sit alone while the other three girls sit together. If I'm sincere, I also noticed her scars and the fact she keeps a journal and goes for daily walks, just like me. I usually go the opposite way of her.
"You girls can go shower and get ready for dinner."
We all headed inside in silence. I reached the trunk at the end of my bed and grabbed a towel and shower basket. I pulled out gray sweatpants, a black crop top, and my black slippers, laying them on my bed. I tried not to notice Hannah, but I couldn't help but wonder if we got off on the wrong foot.
She glanced my way and walked off toward the showers, but she didn't give me her typical hard stare.
Making my way to the showers, Elise stepped in front of me.
"You did well at team building today. You want to join us for dinner?" She spoke softly.
I shrugged as I stepped around her. The bathroom is like a girl's locker room, with four sinks, four-bathroom stalls, and ten shower stalls. It's bigger than our room. I quickly washed up and headed to my bed. No one was in here. I threw my clothes on and headed for the dining room.
The three girls were in their usual spot, the table in the middle of the room. Hannah is in the right corner, which is her regular. I picked up a plate, adding chicken, corn, green beans, and some macaroni. I went to head towards my usual spot and found myself walking towards Hannah.
I sat down on the opposite side of Hannah; she looked up at me but didn't object to me sitting there. I placed my plate down on the table; we sat in silence as we ate our food. It was more comforting to someone to be with.
"I don't like getting close to people, so maybe we can like not getting close to people together?" I asked her. I shook my head at myself and went to stand up.
"I notice you take walks around the house; want to go for a walk?" She asked me as she stood up.
I smiled at her. We emptied our plates and headed outside.
Today I made a friend.