The Beginning

June 29, 2011
She was nobody. A nobody born into a family of nobodies. Raven Nottingwood sat on the edge of her bed and stared at the delicate, swishing pattern of her blue and black comforter. She wondered how or why it had come to this. Why she'd been forced into this situation. It was only moments until they came, moments until they took her away.And, somehow she still felt affection for her mother. Her mother, Julia, had been on drugs since Raven was a mere twelve. She felt the thick, sticky tears mixed with black eyeliner run down her face. She'd always been there, taking care of her mother, paying the bills. She'd grown up teaching herself small things like riding a bike and bigger things like how to be perfectly silent when the bank officials came knocking on there door, looking for money they didn't have and couldn't pay off any time soon. Any scraps of money Julia did get, she immediately spent to quench her thirst for alcohol and her immense cravings for drugs. She just wanted to shut it all out. Forget every bruise that Mikey, Ravens' father, had every given her. Raven had been patient and calm but had also screamed in her mothers' face for not doing something about it sooner. Then one day, Mikey just woke up, cleared out the fragile thousand dollars they had and disappeared. Ravens' mother refused to cope with it or even mention it. Yet, his pictures still sat on the end tables like foggy ghosts of someone you were afraid to miss. Eventually, those started disappearing too. And, all-together, Julia had made sure that they were going to forget Mikey and all his terrible habits.
Now, Julia sat downstairs, wide-eyes as if she were concentrating extremely hard on something as a cigarette slowly disintegrated into ash as they came for Raven. She'd known in the back of her mind that if Julia didn't get it together, and fast, they'd move her to an adoption agency. But, Raven was sixteen and was aware that no one would likely adopt her and she would probably just sit in the adoption home for the next two years. She wondered about school and how strange it would be, leaving behind the few friends she had at Blakesview Academy, a run-down public school on the edge of town. She wondered if any of her friends would miss her. Probably not, she though. I'm nobody. Worthless. Just taking up space and air. Needless to say, Raven wasn't all about self-esteem or loving yourself or confidence. She hadn't been in one relationship the two years of high school she had attended Blakesview. Most of the kids thought of themselves as thugs or entirely too popular to be seen with a girl who always had her nose in a book. She waited and felt the crumbling loss of her mother not even pretending to care she was leaving. More sticky tears rown down her face. Then, she heard it. That light, almost happy chime of the doorbell, as if it took pleasure in all of her suffering. Her spine felt like ice as she heard low murmurs of conversation downstairs. She smacked herself in the face, trying to rub away the smeared eyeliner as fast as possible. Taking a last glance as the red-eyed Raven in the mirror, she started at her bedroom door, growing sadder and angrier with every creak of a stair that was emitted as someone climbed up to her bedroom. A gentle knock sounded on the door.
"Raven? I'm Sheryll, Sheryll Davis. I'm here to pick you up." She said all of this with a gentle smile. Sheryll was a tall, dark-skinned woman with a gorgeous face and big, shiny, white teeth. She was thin and every bone in her face seemed to be carved smoothly and perfectly. She could have been a model. Her hair was black, cropped short on the base of her neck and spiked up with gel, giving her a modern-business look with her pale-blue pants-suit. Raven continued to stare at her like a wide-eyed feline that was ready to pounce, scared but dangerous. Sheryll looked down and closed her lips in a sad smile.
"May I?" she said, motioning to the end of the bed. Raven stared for a moment but finally moved her feet. Sheryll sat down stiffly, her back still perfectly straight.
"I know this must be hard for you. But, I'd like for you to trust me. IF it makes you feel any better, I'll tell you a secret. A family has already heard about your...condition and is more than willing to take you in. They've adopted several other children from the agency and are desperate to add you to their family." Sheryll said all of this with a smile.
"They are?" Raven asked, beyond shocked. Sheryll nodded excitedly. It was more shocking that they wanted her, despite her mysterious "school problems" .Sheryll took one of Ravens' pale hands into hers and said reassuringly, "I promise everything is going to be ok. You just have to trust me." Raven gave a small smile.
"Okay." she said, picking up her suitcase.
"Let's go."

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