Estrella Alice Montgomery
Running inch by inch. The sound of leaves crunching and trees whooshing is all that can be heard except for the faint voice calling my name.
Run. That’s all that I can hear and that’s all I can do even though my chest is a burning pit of fire and my oxygen is slowly decreasing by each step. Looking forward and not behind I can see that open light of freedom however the voice is getting closer and closer.
“Alice don't run from me”
“We have to face this someday”
“You wanted to know now you do!”
Until the voice can no longer be heard. Trees, trees and more trees are the only thing in my way except the little light of freedom seems to be getting farther and farther away from my grasp. No longer being able to breathe or feel my legs I look back. Instead of seeing the forest I once was in I see burning hazel. Two burning hazel eyes looking at me with such a fiery passion I collapse and for once I catch my breath.
“Alice you can no longer run from me”
“Get away from me”
“Alice stop it!”
“I mean it get away from me!”
“Alice there is no time for your threats you need to get up”
“Alice get up!”
I sit up so quickly and see Cody another little orphan boy who lives here sitting on my bed looking at me shocked.
“Did you have another dream?”
“Yes I did Cody but I’m okay now thank you”
“No problem it's time for breakfast also Mrs. Taylor says we are going to meet someone new today?”
“I don't know she didn't say but hurry I’m hungry!”
Cody says while jumping off my bed and out the door. I slowly get out of bed and stretch. Tenth time this month the same dream. The same forest, same feeling and those same piercing hazel eyes staring at me however there is always a different ending. Yet there is always the same amount of questions. Why am I in a forest? Why am I running? What am I running from? Who is the owner of those two piercing hazel eyes? Walking towards my mirror I just think of how much easier this would be if I knew where I came from. If I knew who I was and if I knew anything about my past but I don't I’m a 17 almost 18 year old orphan who has been here since I was born. The only thing I know is I’m not like your average teen for example I was born with this star and moon tattoo on my left shoulder. No one knows who gave a baby a tattoo so we just assume I was born with it. Mrs. Taylor has been nothing but sweet to me ever since I got here, and she treats me like I’m her own daughter since I was here since the beginning of her business of Castaway’s Orphanage. She opened this orphanage because she knew what it was like to live alone and she didn't want anyone to go through what she had to. Mrs. Taylors a strong woman, the strongest one I met; I just wish my mother were as strong as her. Strong enough to keep me no matter what problems she was having. My mother is not an easy topic for me to talk about even though I never met her. Sometimes I catch glimpses of her in my dreams that is when I’m not dreaming the same forest dream.
Looking at myself in the mirror I see this girl with long brown hair and bright blue eyes. A girl who is average height and average weight. A girl who looks so put together yet she is so broken she can never be fixed. Not until she knows about her past and that’s exactly what I plan on doing once I turn 18. I haven't talked to Mrs. Taylor about it since she doesn't really like when we talk about our past. Like she always says, “Never dwell in the past but look forward to the future however don't forget about the present” I never understood what she meant by that and I don't think anyone ever will but I can't help but wonder about my past especially with these horridly vivid dreams.
“Lost in thought once again I see”
Turning around I am met with those piercing deep blue eyes that anyone would be intrigued by. Adrianne Michaels my 16-year-old best friend who has a dark and mysterious past yet she is the best friend I could ask for. I look over at her and see the smirk on her face. Slowly glancing down at her outfit I realize she is once again wearing all black except for her favorite bright green belt. Remembering I have yet to answer her question I smile.
“Of course I am a lot is on my mind since I’ll be turning 18 next week”
“Yea yea don't rub it in. Are you still planning on finding your mom?”
She asks me and I nod. Adri, what I call Adrienne, is the only one who knows my plans once I hit 18 and she thinks I should go for it but I shouldn't go alone. I asked her to come with me but she always shakes her head and tells me I need someone to protect me and she is younger than me and can't do that. She always tells me I should ask Percy since he is almost my age and is a guy who could protect me. He showed up about a year later of the orphanage first being open. Once we both hit around the ages of 6 and 5 we became best friends. However he likes me now. I know that and Adri knows that which is why she also wants him to go but I just don't feel the same way towards him. Don't get me wrong he is a nice guy but he is like my brother and I can’t see me marrying my brother. I have thought about asking Percy to help me in my journey but he is sort of uptight and is under Mrs. Taylor spell. He tells her anything and everything and to be honest I don't quite know if I am going to be telling her about my trip. She will obviously force me to stay and not bring it up again.
“Are you going to ask Percy or are you going alone?”
“I think I’m going to go alone. It’s what best. I don't know where my past will lead me and I don't know what I’ll find. Dragging Percy into my unknown past is unfair to him.”
“Yea I guess so. Well maybe you can find someone else to go with you?”
“Like who a stranger?”
“I mean I guess. It’s better than no one and since he will be a stranger you won't feel bad dragging him into your past right?”
“Not likely I mean if you think about it who knows how long it will take to figure out my past. By the time we do we might become friends and then I would feel bad.”
“Yea you’re right but still I think you should take someone at least.”
“I’ll think about it. Thanks Adri for caring”
“Hey I always will. Now get dressed and come downstairs so we can eat breakfast. I hear she is making chocolate pancakes!”
She squeals and leaves my room. That girl and her chocolate. I go over to my closet and just decided on a simple outfit of a red tank and some black jeans. Pulling my hair into a ponytail I quickly brush my teeth and head down the stairs. For this orphanage being open for almost 18 years there sure isn't a lot of kids. There are about 7 kids here. 3 boys and 4 girls. With me being the oldest we have Percy next who is 17 years old. He is a tall boy with sleek black hair who is actually quite shy until he gets to know you. He has been here for almost his whole life too. After him we have Luke who is 16 and has blonde hair and a great sense of style. He is always matching and always has the newest brands. He is very into fashion and he is really good at putting together clothes however he is very isolated. I believe it’s because of his parents leaving him but he doesn't talk much. He has been here for 6 years now. Next is Adri she is 16 years old and has black hair with blue tips... She has only been here for a year. After her are the twins Jess and Kayla they are 12 years old and have only been here for three years. They have the biggest attitude but when you need them they will be there for you. That’s how it is here we may have our separate problems but when it comes to each other we are there for everyone. We are a family a weird unrelated family and we got each other's back. Then we have Cody with shaggy brown hair and the little brother of Luke, he is 7. He is the most energetic one out of all of us completely opposite from his brother. He has a small little crush on Adri, which I think is absolutely adorable. Last but not least is Trey he is the youngest at 4 years old. He just got here. Since he is young and new he doesn't do much.
Arriving in the kitchen I see everyone except Luke, which is normal. He is probably in his room putting together some extraordinary outfit. As usual the twins are creepily eating at the exact same time with the same movement both death starring Cody who is shoving pancakes down his throat. Adri is sitting down slowly eating each of her pancakes. Treys coloring and Percy is setting up a plate of food.
"Smells good Mrs. Taylor"
I cringe but smile. I hate when people use my real name. My name is Estrella Alice Montgomery well that’s what it said on the piece of paper I came with. I prefer to be called Alice because Estrella sounds too I don't know beautiful and I don't see myself being as beautiful as the name, however I don't correct people if they call me Estrella. I think it’s rude and that’s the least thing I want to do. Percy and I make eye contact and he gives me a small smile.
"Estrella would you like one or two pancakes"
"One please and a glass of orange juice"
I tell her and she smiles putting a pancake on my plate and Percy handing me a glass of orange juice. I take it from them and smile and say thank you. While we all eat in silence with a couple of 'Stop it Cody' from the twins Mrs. Taylor begins to talk.
"Okay so you all know by now that we have someone for you guys to meet"
"Is it another orphan?"
Cody says with his mouthful and the twins both chorus an 'ewwwwww' and Trey just giggles. I see Percy trying to hold a laugh and Mrs. Taylor is scolding him.
"Don’t talk with your mouth full"
“As I was saying…. I have someone for you guys to meet and no he is not an orphan just someone who will be helping me out with paperwork and watching you guys.”
“Great someone else to boss us around!”
“What it's the truth! Whatever”
“You guys stay put and I’ll go get him”
She says as she exits the kitchen. Him? So it's a guy probably some guy Mrs. Taylor’s age since she said he would help with paperwork. I wonder if he is nice. What if he isn't? What if he is a murderer? I honestly don't believe Mrs. Taylor would hire a murderer but you may never know he could be really good at cleaning up his mess. We all start going off into little conversations about this new guy and how he will be but I don't join them instead I start to think about my plan. Now would be the perfect time to go ahead into Mrs. Taylor’s office and search for my papers or whatever I came with. Technically when I turn 18 she is allowed to give me my stuff but every time I mention it she tries to tell me that all I came with is a letter explaining my name and age. No number, no address, no hint of any whatsoever, however I have this ‘magic power’ I call it and I can tell when people are lying. It's just how you pay attention to someone really and I’m really observant.
Like take Mrs. Taylor for example. When Mrs. Taylor is lying she looks everywhere but you because she knows if she looks into your eyes she will obviously cave in and tell you. I’ve only called her out a couple times but every time she realizes I know that she is lying she tries to cover it up with ‘You wouldn't understand’ or ‘You’re too young’. Well I’m 18 now what's her excuse. I can leave this place and try to live on my own but where do I have to go. Sure I have a job at my local supermarket down the street and I did graduate from homeschooling not too long ago but I have no experience in the outside world. Be honest to yourself though who does? My conscious tells me and its right. When we get put into the real world we have nothing but ourselves to rely on and to fend for. Some have their families to catch them when they fall but what about those who don't?
Those like me?
I hear someone call my name and I look up to see Percy looking at me confused.
“Yeah? Did you want something?”
“No you just were blanking out. You have been doing that a lot lately. Are you okay?”
“Yes Percy I’m fine just have a lot on my mind you know. Since I’m turning 18”
This sounds exactly like my conversation earlier with Adri, whom I now notice is watching us. I look at her and expect her to look away however she doesn't. That’s when I realize her eyes are on Percy, not Percy and I. I really got to ask her about that. This is not the first time I caught her staring at him. She stares at him a lot and I think expects no one notices but I do. I notice everything that goes on in this place. I realize that Percy is asking me something, so I try and figure out what he is saying.
“What are you thinking about?”
“Oh just what I’m going to do. If I’m going to stay here or go out into the outside world.”
“If you leave are you going to find your parents?”
“According to me right now my parents are dead. I would love to know about my past though.”
“What makes you think your parents are dead?”
“Why else haven't they come and got me?”
I say silently and he also stays silent. Probably not knowing what to say to that. I don't blame him what I just said I have been dealing with for years. For a long time I believed my parents were out there alive and just trying to get their life under control before they came and got me. That’s what happened to one boy. This orphan boy who was not much older than Percy. He was here for two years. His parents had dropped him off and we believed promised him they would come back soon. He would slowly lose hope until a couple came back to get him. They were believed to be his parents he didn’t remember what they looked like, so he was happy that they had come back for him. I was young when it happened, but I also believed that is why Luke is like this. They were best friends. The boy didn’t talk to anyone else but Luke and just like Luke now they stayed in his room together. However, when that boy embraced his parents it was such a breathtaking heartwarming moment. I always longed to have that reunion. Slowly though I began to lose hope and the only thing to keep me from losing my mind and not think that my parents didn't want me was to tell myself they were dead. Who else could stay away from their child for almost 18 years?
Lost in thought I almost didn't notice Percy going to sit down next to Cody and Luke coming to sit next to me. Luke is not a very talkative person but yet the only person he really talks to is me. Even if it's just a small hi or I like your hair it's more than what others hear out of him in months. I look over at him and give him a smile. He returns with a small sad one that doesn't reach to his eyes. I decided to try and have a conversation with him.
“You excited to see who Mrs. Taylor has brought in?”
“Another person to look at me like I’m some psycho”
“You don't know that”
“Yea I do. Everyone here does it. Except you.”
“Is that why you talk to me?”
Is all I say and that’s it for our conversation? That is the longest one we have had since I met him. So that is why he doesn't talk to anybody because everyone looks at him like he is psychotic. I get why when Luke first came here he was kicking and screaming for his parents to come back and he threw a vase almost hitting Mrs. Taylor. Those who weren't here to witness it still know about it, but they don't fully understand it. I know he isn't crazy he was just hurt I saw the pain in his eyes when he threw the vase. Luke is the sweetest person once you get to know him but people won't see past his incident.
“Can’ she just bring this guy in so I can go back to my room?”
Luke whines and as if she heard him Mrs. Taylor comes back into the kitchen with no one. We all look at her confused and she just smiles at us and tells us he is just putting his bags in his room. For someone who isn't an orphan he sure sounds like one. He just randomly comes and next thing you know he has a room. We all are starting to get impatient so I just drink my orange juice to keep me occupied. Looking down at the drink in my hand I can see each little pieces of pulp floating around in my cup. It's actually quite entertaining until I hear a male’s voice.
“Sorry I kept you waiting I couldn't find my room”
He says and I hear Adri gaps and Kayla make a comment about him being hot. I decided to look up for myself. Once I look up our eyes meet and everything feels in slow motion. My glass slowly falling to the floor and my head feeling light headed. Next thing you know I hear the crash of my glass and everyone’s eyes fall on me. I can’ feel anything and can't think straight. The room is spinning and I don't feel so good. When I’m finally able to feel something it's me falling just like my glass did a few seconds ago except I don't meet the same fate instead I fall into the arms of who made me feel like this.The owner of the two burning hazel eyes.