Emma could hardly believe it, she was walking on air. She was getting adopted, she was going to get two great Mums, and she’d never have to share a room with Kate ever again.
She couldn’t help but skip all the way up the stairs to her bedroom. She still had a beam a mile wide on her face as she pulled her suitcase out from under her bed.
Inside the suitcase, was another smaller suitcase, and then a backpack. Both suitcases were fairly old and well worn, but they still did what they needed to.
She packed away all her clothes into the larger suitcase folding them all carefully so she could fit more in. Her collection of a dozen or so books went into her smaller suitcase, and all the assorted extras went in her backpack.
She was just putting in her teddy bear Edward and doing up her backpack when Kate came into their room to plug in her phone to charge.
‘What are you doing Freak?’ sneered Kate seeing Emma’s packed bags.
‘If you’re running away, I’m not going to try and stop you. Good riddance!’
‘I’m not running away,’ said Emma picking up her backpack and smaller suitcase.
‘I’ve been adopted,’ she stammered waiting for Kate’s explosion.
‘Yeah right,’ smirked Kate, ‘who would want to adopt a Freak like you?’
‘The couple downstairs,’ said Mike grabbing Emma’s last bag.
‘They just finished the paperwork,’ he beamed.
‘Bye Kate,’ said Emma waving cheerfully and leaving a shellshocked Kate behind in her old room.
Meghan and Sam were out by the car waiting and Sam had just opened up the boot.
‘You got everything Cariad?’ asked Meghan taking the suitcase from Mike.
‘You don’t have very much.’
‘One suitcase for clothes,’ said Emma counting on her fingers, ‘one for books, and the backpack for miscellaneous.’
‘Organised packing and a whole suitcase of books,’ said Sam, ‘are you sure she’s not our biological daughter?’
‘You look after yourself alright Ems?’ said Mike.
‘I can’t believe how big you are,’ said Mike bursting into tears, ‘it sometimes seems only yesterday when I held you in my arms.’
‘It was only last week,’ said Sue shaking her head, ‘you carried her upstairs when she twisted her ankle on sports day.’
‘If you ever need anything,’ said Mike putting his hands on her shoulders, ‘just call, or write.’
‘Mike,’ laughed Emma, ‘I’m moving to Dorset, not Australia. It’s only two hours away.’
‘Mike,’ said Meghan gently, ‘it’s not the moon, you can come and visit whenever you want.’
‘Just be glad we’re not moving to Wales to be with Meghan’s family,’ said Sam, ‘it would take you over four hours to get to theirs.’
‘Look after her,’ said Mike looking from Meghan to Sam.
‘Of course, we’re going to look after her,’ beamed Meghan.
“You got Edward Tedward?” asked Mike.
‘Always,’ said Emma.
‘Bye-bye Em’s,’ said Mike finally letting her out of the car and doing up her seatbelt in the back of the car.
Mike and Sue waved as the car pulled away from the home, and Emma saw the children’s home disappeared from view.
‘Now then,’ said Meghan as she reached the motorway, ‘being a nurse I don’t usually get take away that often as it’s unhealthy, but I think today's a special occasion.’
‘Can we stop at a service station!’ asked Sam.
‘I think I saw a McDonald's on the way up!’
‘Samantha,’ sighed Meghan, ‘who is the child in this car, you or Emma?’
‘Well Emma’s a child,’ admitted Sam, ‘but I am autistic, and have a child-like brain. So, both of us I suppose.’
‘Do you want to get a McDonald's Cariad, or would you like something else?’
‘I love McDonald's,’ beamed Emma.
‘Mrs Collins-Llewelyn,’ said Emma.
‘Yes?’ they both asked turning around.
‘Which one did you want Emma?’ asked Sam.
‘Meghan,’ said Emma.
‘What is it Cariad?’
‘Well, that’s the thing,’ said Emma, ‘what does Cariad mean?’
‘That is a very good question Emma,’ beamed Meghan.
‘Cariad is Welsh, it means sweetheart or darling.’
‘Oh,’ said Emma, ‘I like that then.’
‘Emma,’ said Sam, ‘I’ve been thinking. You can’t call us both Mrs Collins-Llewelyn.’
‘It will get confusing, and it’s far too formal.’
‘What should I call you then,’ asked Emma.
‘Well, you could call us by our first names,’ suggested Meghan.
‘Or there is, of course, Mum,’ said Meghan only half hopefully.
‘But then I’d still be calling you both Mum,’ said Emma confused.
‘How about you call me Mum, and Meghan Mummy?’ said Sam.
‘I’d like that,’ said Emma, ‘I haven’t had a Mum or a Mummy before.’
‘Well then,’ said Sam, ‘I’m deeply honoured.’
‘McDonald's!’ shouted Emma and Sam at the same time pointing out the window at the service station.
‘Are you two absolutely sure you’re not related?’ laughed Meghan who was used to her wife's weird behaviour, but was finding it amusing how similar Sam and their new daughter were.
Meghan got a veggie burger as she was a vegetarian, Sam got a Big Mac, and Emma got a Happy Meal with chicken nuggets.
By the time that they had finished dinner, they were nearly home.
As they had driven further and further away from London, there was fewer high-rise flats and motorways, and more cows and country cottages.
‘We’re home,’ beamed Meghan.
It was already eight o’clock but it was July and Sun hadn’t started to set yet. They had stopped outside a house that Emma had seen pictures of or read about, but she didn’t think still existed.
It was a cottage with a thatched roof and an immaculate rose garden in front. It looked like a fairy-tale cottage where Snow White and the Seven Dwarves or Red Riding Hood might live.
‘Welcome home Emma,’ said Sam putting an arm around Emma.
‘You’re joking right?’ asked Emma who was still awestruck by her new house.
‘First thing to learn about Sammy,’ said Meghan getting Emma’s bags, ‘she never jokes about anything.’
‘Take whatever she says literally.’
‘Well at least that means she never lies,’ said Emma.
‘Good point kiddo,’ laughed Sam.
They went into the house and passed a large farm kitchen, and a sitting room which had bookshelves with books stacked three deep, a coffee table with even more books a television, and a piano.
‘Who plays the piano?’ asked Emma on the way past.
‘Guilty as charged,’ admitted Sam.
‘Cool,’ said Emma.
They went upstairs and found three bedrooms and a bathroom. One of them was the master bedroom, the smallest bedroom had been changed into a study for Sam where she did her writing, and then there was the last room.
The door had been left open to the room, and its walls were painted white, and the curtains were a light yellow. There was a small double bed with light yellow sheets to match the curtains and a homemade quilt laid on top.
Emma even had her own desk, and flowers were growing around the window frame.
‘I think I’m in paradise,’ said Emma.
‘Why’s that?’ laughed Sam.
’Well I counted at least fifty books on the way up the stairs, and those were the ones not on the shelves.”
“You really need to tidy those up Sam,’ muttered Meghan.
‘No, I like it,’ said Emma, ‘books should be everywhere.’
‘I’ve been trying to tell her that for six years,’ laughed Sam.
‘Also this bed is at least twice the size of my old bed,’ said Emma, ‘and that quilt looks so soft. And I’ve got my own room.’
‘But the best bit is, I don’t have to share a room with Kate anymore!’
‘Emma,’ said Meghan, ‘she lives two hours away, you won’t even be going to the same school anymore.’
‘I think this is the best day of my life!’ exclaimed Emma leaping on the bed.