A girl could get used to living in the city with 8.54 million others. Seeing the tall skyscrapers that appear to be everywhere, the sound of cars honking their horns, the air is so cold and thick you swear you can touch it with your hand, and even the smell of giant pretzels drifting through the air. It’s 11am on a chilly Monday on December. I was just walking around enjoying my day when I passed by Mrs. Sanchez walking her pet poodle Percy. Mr. Peters is running late for work, again. Everything is normal, well except for my life. I have no family, no home, or no love. My name is Julee, I am 16 years old, and this is the best day of my life.
My stomach was acting ravenous. I continued walking down Broadway Ave knowing I didn’t have any money. So I decided to ask a restaurant for the left overs of their customers. I went to the Crossroads Restaurant as a first try. “Do you happen to have any unwanted food that I can take off your hands?” I politely asked a nearby waiter.
The waiter turns to me sharply with no emotion, “No, I’m sorry.”
“Oh… Thanks anyway,” I replied timidly. I slowly walk out of the restaurant and admire the city around me. So many people crowded in just one city.
I ignore the hungry sound my stomach made as I continued down the street. I suddenly saw a familiar face, it was Johnny’s. The taco food truck owner, a 40-year-old gentleman. I quickly try to catch up to him as he continues driving down the road. He sees me out of the corner of his mirror and says, “Why, hello there Julee! How are things going for you?”
I look at him straight in the eyes and tell him “Well I haven’t had a meal in about 2 days.”
He looks down at the ground and replies “Well, why didn’t you just say so? Why I would’ve made you some tacos.”
I smile at him and say “Well I don’t have any way to repay you, and I would hate to just take your profits away.”
I can see a grin just starting to form but then slowly goes away. Then he says “Don’t worry about my profits. Come! I shall make you the best New York style taco ever!”
We walk to his food truck about a block away. I waited only about 10 minutes for him to make me my taco. When it arrived, the aroma of all the spices he used, hit my face like a hammer to a nail. All these savory smells just made my mouth water. Johnny watched as I took my first bite.
“Mm… it’s so good!” I couldn’t believe that so many flavors existed in one dish. The taste of the meat reminded me of my mother’s cooking. The lettuce was so fresh and earthy tasting! The tomato was so incredibly juicy that it just oozed on to my taco. After I finished my taco, I turned to Johnny.
“My stomach isn’t growling at me anymore! Thanks Johnny!”
He laughed, “Well your welcome Julee, have a nice day!”
Johnny used to live in a foster home when he was 8 years old. Like my parents, his were no longer alive. They were killed in a car accident involving a semi. His mother just gave birth to him, but he was a preemie and couldn’t go home yet. His mother was a very bright young lady but very nervous to be a mother, as most women were. His father was very strict but loved the idea of having kids of his own. Johnny lived throughout multiple foster homes, as the year’s drug on, he later became homeless after he turned 18. He always felt remorseful to those with a similar background as him. When he met Julee, they connected and immediately became friends.
I started down Broadway again. I notice all the nice clothes in the windows of shops. I wish this was all a dream that I would wake up and find my parents were alive, but they aren’t. I continued down the road not really paying any attention to my surroundings, and simply lost in my own thoughts. The last thing I remember is the Taxicab swerving into the sidewalk, it all went black after that.
When I woke up, I was in the hospital. Urgent Care Manhattan to be precise. When I looked around my room it was very bare except for a painting of some flowers. I looked over to my left and I could see the nurse’s station through the glass door, to the right was a window hidden by curtains. The television was on, Keeping Up with The Kardashians was on. I saw the remote laying on the table next to me. I slowly tried to reach it but soon felt a sharp pain in my upper right side.
“Ow!” I screamed. That’s when I noticed the casts on my fingers, arm, foot, and waist. I must’ve really screamed loud because a nurse came running in.
“Are you okay Miss?” she asked anxiously. “My left side hurts, really bad!” I replied anguished voice. “Your liver is severely damaged, you had three surgeries already to try to help it heal,” she says.
“Why is my liver damaged? I don’t understand… Wait it was the taxi… it went on to the sidewalk! It hit me!” I say as the memory of the accident came flooding into my head.
“Yes well, you also have three broken ribs, a broken left arm, 3 broken fingers, and a broken right foot. All as a result of the collision with the taxi,” said the relaxed nurse.
There’s something I must tell you,” I say very nervously.
“Well what is it dear?” said the nurse in a calm but curious voice.
“Well, I’m an orphan, my parents died when I was 8 and I had no other relatives to live with so I was forced on to the streets, I’ve been on the streets for 8 years. I just turned 16 about a month ago.” The tears rolled down my cheeks as the memories of my parents came flooding in. I open them after about a minute and see the look on Cassie’s face. She looks worried, I can’t look her in the eye at this point, because she has the same blue color eyes that my mother had. “I have no way to pay off these medical bills,” I say ashamedly.
The nurse starts to pat my back and then says “Don’t worry about money, I’m sorry for the loss of your parents, but I can’t let you go back to the streets.
” I look at her and say “I have no other place to live, and I refuse to live in a foster home!”
She replies, “Well Dr. Williams and his wife Beth are looking to adopt a girl, I could talk to them about you and we can set up an adoption for you if you’re interested?”
I can finally look her in the eyes as I say “That would be wonderful! I am terribly afraid though.”
The nurse looks straight into my eyes and asks, “What are you afraid of?”
I look towards the window as the tears arrive once more, “Moving into a stranger’s home. The unknown itself.”
She notices the weakness in my voice, “Well they won’t be strangers after you get to know each other, Right?”
I didn’t answer for a few seconds while trying to get my emotions under control. “Right!” I say afterwards.
Most people think of adoption as a positive bonus. For the Williams however, it’s there only option to raise a kid of their own. Just last September, Mrs. Williams tried and tried to get pregnant but sadly she couldn’t. She set up a doctor’s appointment to see if it had something to do with her. They drew blood and took many samples. A few days later she received a phone call from the hospital, they had bad news. They found that she had Endometriosis, meaning that she had things wrong with her uterus. They went for the surgery and after she recovered they tried again, but it didn’t work. Mrs. Williams knew she wanted to be a mother but sadly knew she couldn’t have her own. So she and Mr. Williams went through the adoption process, they met with over 50 kids hoping to find the right one for them. After meeting with all these kids, their hope to find one was fading away. Their house, a three bedroom and two bathroom house would never be full.
“Well it’s lunchtime right now. What would you like to eat?” asked the nurse.
“Do you have a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup?” I asked curiously.
“Why yes, yes we do! What would you like as a drink? She asks.
“Well, what about some chocolate milk?” I asked cautiously.
“We do have chocolate milk!” she says smiling.
“Could I have the remote? This show is too dramatic!” I say boldly.
She laughs and replies “Why yes your royal highness!”
We both laugh as she leaves the room. I turn the channel to The Series of Unfortunate events, it was my favorite book series, so I hoped it was good. My eyelids slowly start to close as the first show ended. When I woke up, about two hours had passed. I pushed the Nurse Button, and politely asked the nurse for my food. When she brought it in, I could instantly see the gooey sharp cheddar cheese that just longed to be in my mouth. As I dipped my sandwich in the soup and put it in my mouth, I felt the soothing warmth feeling in my stomach. About thirty minutes later my stomach felt stuffed and that’s when I heard the nurse come in.
When I sat up she had the biggest grin from ear to ear on her face, “Julee! The Williams are interested in adopting you! They wish to meet you as soon as possible!” I couldn’t believe someone would want an orphan like me but I guess it is 2017.
I looked at the nurse and said, “Well I’m not planning on going anywhere anytime soon so when should I meet them?”
Still having the massive grin on her face she said; “Well today if you’re feeling up to it!”
My anxiety builds up as I say “Sounds good to me!” I could tell that the nurse knew I was nervous, but I never said a word after that.
“I’ve got to go call them to let them know the good news!” says the nurse as I watch her disappear through the door to the nurse’s station.
A few hours later, the nurse comes bursting through the door. “Julee! They’re here!” Followed behind her are a young man and woman. The man is wearing jeans with a red sweat shirt, he smiles after seeing me. His face looks slightly exhausted, with big brown exhausted eyes and curly blonde hair. The woman is wearing typical mom clothes- a white blouse with mom jeans. Her face looks young and pretty. Her big green eyes look like emeralds amongst her red hair.
“Hello Julee, my name is Kyle Williams.” Dr. Williams says calmly.
I look at him and say “It’s nice to meet you Dr. Williams.”
The woman looked at me and sheepishly says “Hello Julee, my name is Beth Williams, Dr. Williams is my husband.”
I can tell that she is just as nervous as I am.
“Hello Beth, it’s nice to meet you!” I say meekly. We exchange our interests and hobbies which turns out to be some similar things.
“Would you like to see pictures of our house?” Dr. Williams asked.
“That would be lovely,” I say.
Their house is a typically farmhouse style with a big front porch. Located in Wesley Hills, New York. Approximately about 1 hour away from New York City. On the porch is a hanging chair. I looked over to another photo and see a huge barn that looks plum full of animals. Inside the house a huge wrap around couch surrounds a large flat screen television in the living room. The kitchen has a huge island right in the middle with a bowl fruit on top. The dining room has a nice rustic appeal to it with the old rustic chairs and the cool saw table. My bedroom looks like a fairytale dream, it reminds me of the room I left behind. Pink walls, plenty of stuffed animals, fuzzy blankets and even a shelf full of books. It’s a picture perfect home, one that reminds me of my old home, the one before the streets. The peacocks, pigs, chickens, cows, Nubian goats, and even a couple rabbits.
I decided it was time to explain to them what happened with my parents and how I became an orphan.
“My parents were killed in a house fire. My mother and father were cooking dinner, I was playing outside. ” I say trying to hold back the tears. “I remember hearing their screams as I saw a huge explosion occur. The police and firefighter sirens still ring in my ear. I never got to go to their funerals. I don’t understand why they had to go but I didn’t.”
They look at each other and then back to me. “I’m sorry to hear about your parents,” said Mrs. Williams.
“No kid should have to go through the death of both parents,” said Mr. Williams.
“Are there any health problems we should know about? Family History perhaps?” Asked Mrs. Williams curiously.
Dr. Williams and his wife Beth Williams say goodbye as I watched them leave the room.
The nurse enters the room about 20 minutes later and says “Well that went very well! They told me they were definitely interested in you.”
I smiled as I watched their car leave the parking lot. “Do you mind if I go to sleep now? I’m exhausted from today.” I say before I am overcome with yawns.
“Oh it’s only 8:30, I thought teenagers stayed up later than this?” Said the nurse chuckling.
I laugh as I say “Well then I guess I’m not like other teenagers.” She watched as I drifted asleep.
A week later, I was just about ready to leave the hospital when I heard “Julee! Julee!” I turned around to see the Williams running towards me with a stack of papers in hand.
I stop and waited for them. When they show me the papers, they are adoption papers.
They both looked at me and asked “How would you like to join our family and never be hungry or cold again?”
I look at both of them in the eyes, I slowly feel my eyes welling up with tears as I pull them into a hug as I slowly managed to whisper the word’s “I would love to”.