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“We are here, Megan.” Mrs. Drew nodded towards the ranch style house. I looked down at my backpack, a dumpy old one that looked like I found it on a bus. I got out of the car the same time Mrs. Drew did and followed her up the driveway, past the nice looking car. At the door, Mrs. Drew rapped loudly on it and then stepped back. The door behind the screen door swung open quickly, and the screen door was pushed open for us.
The woman who answered the door was medium height, blond curly hair, and looked young. She wore a lounge-y hoodie and a pair of clean jeans.
“Come on in,” she grinned, showing her big white teeth. We stepped inside and I slipped off my black flip flops and sat the nicely next to the other shoes.
“You must be Megan,” the woman grinned again. “Well, I’m Michelle, and I guess you can call me Michelle.” She laughed and I laughed too. I instantly felt relaxed around her. I was always nervous when I was moved to a new foster home.
“Good to see you, Stacy!” Michelle hugged Mrs. Drew. “Why don’t we all sit down, I made lemonade and lemon squares. Perfect summer snacks, in my opinion.”
“Well, I can’t stay long.” Mrs. Drew stayed by the door while I sat on the curved yellow couch. “I have more work to do today, but I’ll stop by in a week to see how things are working out.”
“Oh, you are such an angel, Stacy,” Michelle hugged Mrs. Drew again, and then Mrs. Drew left.
“So Megan, would you like some lemonade and lemon squares since Stacy doesn’t trust my cooking skills?” She led me into the kitchen. It was a big kitchen, bright colored and stainless steel appliances.
“Wow,” I said quietly. All the other foster homes I had been in had been dull, this one was so nice.
“I like colors, as you can tell, not ‘fraid of them like some folks,” she said pulling a tray of lemon squares from her fridge. She sat one on a paper plate and handed it to me.
“Have a seat, sweetie,” she said motioning to the breakfast bar. I climbed up on the stool and took a bite from my lemon square. I had never eaten one before. I was amazing.
“Wow,” I said again, licking my lips.
“You like it?” Michelle ate across from me, standing up.
“A lot,” I said finishing mine before she took her first bite. She smiled and handed another one to me. I ate it more slowly, enjoying the texture on my tongue.
“I’ll show you your room,” Michelle threw away the paper plates then led me down a hall off the kitchen. We passed a bright blue bathroom, a sliding glass door to her backyard, which had an odd shaped pool and lounging chairs and some palm trees, and then she pushed open a door. I stepped into a white and purple bedroom. A plastic chandelier hung over the queen sized bed, which had a purple and white striped comforter on it. The wooden floor gleamed, but had a big white shag rug over it.
“I see you didn’t bring much clothes, so that means…” Michelle spun around and laughed. “Shopping trip!” I had never been shopping before.
“Do you like these?” Michelle held up a pair of jean shorts. I just nodded, still in slight shock. I had never been to a mall before, only seen them rarely on TV. It was amazing. It was filled with beautiful people, like a magazine. Stores were filled with clothes and shoes and a few had furniture and candy. It was like being in a dream.
Michelle me were both weighed down heavily with shopping bags, filled with not just clothes for me, but shoes too. All the clothes she bought me were colorful. I had always had dull gray and brown clothes. When I tried on the clothes I nearly had a heart attack. I looked pretty, healthier. Michelle could tell.
Michelle folded the shorts over her arm and pointed at the section of bikini’s. I had never really been swimming, never actually owned my own swim suit. I stared at all the different patterns and colors. Michelle went to work looking for all the cute ones, she knew better than I did. She handed me three different swim suits. She took hold of my shoulders and steered me towards a dressing room. Soon I found myself wiggling into a hot pink bikini with big black stars on it. It was cute, I liked. I opened the door, and Michelle gave me two thumbs up. I shut the door and wiggled on the next one, a mostly white one with a navy blue lace pattern over it. I opened the door and Michelle grinned.
“That one is so cute,” she said making me spin around. I shut the door and tried on the next one, which was light princess pink. I opened the door and she smiled.
“I like all three, well get all of them,” she pushed me gently back in the dressing room. I quickly got back into my old jeans and t-shirt. The girl at the counter was maybe 19 or 20 and she smiled at me, making me feel good inside. Normally people don’t like foster children, but this girl couldn’t ever tell. This was the first time I felt normal. Felt like no one could knock me down. Like I normally felt.
I stared at all my new clothes. I had laid them out on my bed after we got home, then me and Michelle made bow tie noodles for dinner. We watched a movie on TV, it was funny and we had laughed a lot. Now she was in bed, sleeping, and I was standing here, staring at my new stuff. I felt like it was floating, in a dream or a bubble. It would eventually end or pop. I felt like crying, I don’t know why. I knelt down like I was praying and sobbed silently in my hands.
“What’s the matter, sweetie?” Michelle scared me.
“Nothing,” I sniffled trying to control myself. She was on the floor beside me. I felt her brush my hair back from my face, like a mother. I just looked at her and my eyes filed with tears. I hugged her and she hugged back. I always wanted to give someone a hug, some I decided I might get one from her before all this ended. Michelle patted my back and hummed in my ear.
“Better?” She asked pulling back to look at my red face. I just nodded. She helped me to my feet and handed me my new pajama’s.
“Bed time, angel,” she said. Then she left. I put my pajama’s on and moved my clothes to the small love seat against the wall. I curled up in the bed, the comfiest I had ever slept on. I fell asleep quickly, and I heard Michelle whisper, “Good Night.”