January 7, 2011
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Names Nina, well that’s what they say it is. “They” – I’m talking about Ms. Lady. “ What a pretty lady she must be?” Nope. Lady’s evil. She makes me and nine other girls work our butts off in this rat-hole. Doing what? Cleaning! Cleaning everyday, as if we’re going to get any guests. We haven’t had one visitor in over two months! All the crap she drills in our heads- no wonder, “ Because here, at Kin ford-Bridge Orphanage, we’re too dirty, we’re too stupid, we don’t have any manners, or morals, no respect!” Quote Ms. Lady. See? Evil.

I know who we really are. We’re girls who just want a home, we really just want to be loved. We’re really sick of hiding our faces from this world. We want to go out there and know who we’re really meant to be. I know it’s not some orphan just rotting in this joint! I use to be quiet. Girls use to walk in and out of here without motivation, without life. Motivation? Life? In all…hope. Three months ago I ran away. Oh, I ran away from this place a ca-jillion times, but this time was the one time I will never forget. This time I promised I would see my parents.

“She’s crazy!” I know, I already hear your thoughts echoing out of your mouths, but I promise. I was in a convenience store in New York. I was walking outside and I passed this lady. She looked at me and stopped. Her eyes, strange yet so familiar. She was slowly walking towards me when “BAM!” Child Services came to “do justice”. She jerked, as if she was going to save me! I’ve seen it in movies, I’ve read it in books, and I could imagine that’s a mother’s instinct. At the time, I didn’t know that. But, when I saw her jerk, I knew that wasn’t normal. People usually see me, and they act like they never did.

She peered into my eyes, deeper than anyone has. So much my soul felt it. I had to research. And I just know in my heart that, that was my mother. Why, three months later, I’m in this crap-Orphanage? I don’t know. But, when child services found me, she didn’t save me. If she didn’t save me, it’s most likely because she couldn’t, not she didn’t want to. She would’ve not jerked if that were the case.
“Nina!” That voice always shatters my thoughts. “Stop thinking.” What? She did not just tell me to do thee most non-human thing, did she? “Yes, Ms. Lady.” My tone of voice couldn’t sound anymore fake. She turned around and walked away, just me and my broom here. Ms. Lady hates me. She just orders me to do the stupidest little things. I asked her about my parents; she told me, “ You can’t see them!” She grabbed me by my ponytail and said, “If you dare leave again, you’re dead! Dead!” She doesn’t know me. After 15 years, she still doesn’t know me…
“Come clean my office, Rat!”

You wouldn’t believe what happened to me earlier! I think I found pictures of my past! I was cleaning Ms. Lady’s desk; behind it was this tall bookcase. Out of curiosity I scanned each book, studying the colors and the textures of the book covers. Sixth self up, it caught my eye. Blue leather cover, thick, shoelace bookmarks with plastic decorative pacifiers, and cradles at the end of them. I reached for it; it was a pretty tall case. I grabbed the book after a quick hop. It slipped out of my hand and smacked the floor. My heart of skipped. I crept to the office door. No sign of anyone coming so I opened the book. An album. Full of pictures… of this family, a mother, a father, and a baby, I felt this feeling on my chest. I didn’t know what it was at the time. The feeling soon dropped out of my chest as I heard the gut squeezing footsteps dragging closer and closer. I panicked, struggled to slip a picture out of the album and between my apron and “dress of rags” (That’s what I call them). I looked at where the book should have been. “ Crap!” I moaned. The steps where coming closer…
“Lights out, Rats!” – again, that voice!
Anyways, as I examine this picture, the baby’s features, the mother’s eyes! This is my mother. I know it!
“What is your problem, Nina?” Amber asked. She has the most lifeless tone when she speaks. I call her “Dragon”. I mean I don’t blame her, after being in this crap- joint for 16 years I would go Goth too!
“Sorry, girls.” I sighed. I lay back in my bed, not even the broken springs digging into my lower back could take away the expression on my face. That feeling I was telling you about before, in the office. When I seen the picture? I think I know what it is… hope. That’s when it snapped in me. That’s when I was determined to get out of that dirty, forgotten Orphanage once and for all. No more obsessive cleaning, no more stupid demands, no more hopeless cries, no more sad girls, no more! Now all I had to do is make a plan, to get out and stay out.

“Nina!” I opened my eyes to find green-grayish, aged eyes right in front of mine. I screamed. A group of girls behind Ms. Lady laughed. Ms. Lady jumped back in shock. “Stupid child!”
“It’s too early for me to say anything to this lady,” I thought to myself. “Wait, what time is it?” I looked at the old grandpa clock near the door. 6:00AM, and I just knew it was morning! Ugh. Ms. Lady grabbed me by the collar of my dress.
“Where is it?”
“Where’s what?”
“Nina “Unknown”, (She’s been calling us that forever, I guess to signify that we’re…unknown?)
“, Tell me! It must’ve been you!”
“Ms. Lady? What on earth…” My stomach tightened. My legs grew numb. She can’t be talking about the picture.
“The picture!”
The lady just had to say it!
“The stupid picture, where’s the stupid picture, Nina? Where?”
“Why do you …”?
The small sound of paper hitting the floor and sliding from my bed stopped Ms. Lady from practically choking me. Everyone in the room turned to see the picture. My picture. I looked at Ms. Lady as the grimmest smile stretched out across her face. She let me go of my dress, letting me fall on the floor, and headed towards the picture. “No!” I yelled inside, but outside I was a hopeless girl watching a monster pick up the very thing that made me fearless, and tuck it into her pocket; turning my dream into a nightmare. The saddest thing about it; I was once again a hopeless girl.

Ms. Lady glanced at me behind her shoulder while walking out the room.
“There’s great punishment in your future.” She said, as if she were Satan himself, or herself. I sat back against the wall. Just as I was starting to think about what just happened and why, Sarah came up to me.
“Nina,” I closed my eyes.
“If I hear that horrid name one more time- just leave me alone!”
Sarah was a real nice 14 year old, she was caring and most certainly someone I could talk to; but, just imagine when someone takes such a small thing away from you, and you feel as if that small thing was your heart. I don’t know about you, but Nina “Unknown” wishes she were really unknown.

I was cleaning the dining room right across from Ms. Lady’s bedroom. I really didn’t want to be anywhere near that lady. I could hear her laughing while she was on the phone. Giggling, snorting, “Oh, stop it, Herald!” –That kind of thing. Disgusting. I was lost in my thoughts at one point, thinking of a reason, an understandable reason why she would want that picture so bad. Why would she almost choke me for that picture? Amy came from down-stairs.
“Who’s there?” Ms. Lady asked, still in her room.
“Amy,” Amy replied nervously.
(Anytime Ms. Lady asked, we had to identify ourselves)
“Run along!” Ms. Lady commanded.
I could see the look on Amy’s face, waiting for me to answer. Amy shook her head. I know what she was thinking-
“ She just doesn’t get sick of trouble slapping her in the face.” She walked away.
“Well, Bobby, the little rat found the picture,”
I heard Ms. Lady say. I dropped rag I was using to wipe the table.
“Thank God she didn’t find that note… yea, it was in the floor under my desk. Stupid child!” Burst of laughter.
“Note” I whispered to myself in disbelief.

I quietly and quickly ran to Ms. Lady’s office. I searched for the book on the bookcase. Bingo! I grabbed the chair, put it against the case, grabbed the book and opened it, scanned the pages. Bingo #2!
“Stupid lady!” I laughed. I discovered that under the picture WAS a note.
“Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid-“
“Child.” That voice!
“You just won’t stop this rebellion until you’re dead, hay?” Ms. Lady was dressed in her silk sleep gown, her hair was messy, and a fluffy scarf was wrapped around her neck. I wish that scarf had life blown into it and strangled her. I looked Ms. Lady right in the eye as I said with the most brave and heartless look I could find within myself,

I jumped off the chair. She dodged for me. I stepped back and pushed the chair into her stomach. She gagged. I ran out of the office and headed for the front door, picture and note in hand.
“Nina!” The way she yelled it made my feel run faster. I could see the girls coming out of the rooms. I didn’t care anymore. I was so close to my freedom. I was going to be smart and figure my way out, but what happens when the most desperate, deprived feeling posses you? You just fly. Before I could even see it, I ran in to the door. The skin on my arm lifted and I could see the blood gushing out of my arm as it scrapped against the lock, but I could also see blue skies beyond the door. I opened three other locks, flung the door open and jumped.

Jumped? Wrong door. I was flying two stories above the ground. I saw gray and green. Gray for the sky, green for the grass and I also saw my death. As the ground was coming closer, I took one last look at the world around me. I thought to myself, “What about my mother? The note? Oh, I’ll see her soon,” I laughed. “And she’ll read the note with me, too.”

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