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At the end of the corridor, the closed door was waiting. It was the door that would change everything. Suddenly a cold tickle of fear ran down my neck as I assessed the horrific possibilities that this would entail. Maybe this was a mistake. I took a few steps back. ‘But our life would be better’, whispered a little voice in my head, ‘much better.’
With that thought I made up my mind, I have to do this for Henry. I took a deep breath and shakily gripped the cold, steel knob of the door...
“No turning back now.” I muttered as I slowly turned the knob and opened the door where my fate awaited.
As I quickly slipped into the room, Henry silently followed me; shadowing my every move. At fourteen he was exceptionally tall, already towering over me… always protecting me. But now I am going to protect him as an older sister should.
My eyes quickly darted to the middle aged man sitting behind a large, intimidating desk at the back of the room. He raised his bushy eyebrows at the sight of two battered children in torn clothing.
By studying his face, I could tell that he was a kind man; a man who would never raise his hand on children¬¬¬¬ unlike them. Smile lines edged his eyes which were worn and weary ad his lips looked as if they were constantly twitching for a smile. Overall, he seemed perfect for the task ahead.
“May I help you?” he asked with uncertainty.
“Uh… um…” I stuttered.
The lawyer raised his eyebrows even more. Henry came up behind me and laid a comforting hand on my shoulder. I took a deep breath and prepared to speak again.
“I need a lawyer, we need a lawyer.” I said as my heart raced with fear and a tinge of excitement and hope.
“Well you’ve come to the right place.” he joked. After a slight pause he spoke again more seriously. “So your parents know you’re here?”
“My parents are dead.” I said flatly as I watched his eyes flash with sympathy. “But no, my adopted parents don’t. However, that is why we are here today.”
A few moments of silence passed before he motioned for me to continue. I glanced at my brother and saw the split lip they gave him and I became determined to never let anything happen like that to him again.
“I want to fight my adopted parents for custody of my brother, Henry.” I said as I gripped my brother’s hand desperately.
The lawyer’s eyebrows have now reached his hairline
“How old are you, miss?” he asked.
“Eighteen; today is my birthday.” I said shakily.
“What a happy, happy birthday.” muttered Henry.
“Well, why? Why do you want such a responsibility?” the lawyer asked, perplexed.
“Because of abuse, the abuse they put us through.”