Post by wildheartashley on Jul 23, 2023 5:38:52 GMT -5
Carrie awoke the next morning. She moaned lightly as she rolled over onto her side. Her eyes opened slowly,and she groggily scanned the guest room of her aunt and uncle’s house. She tried to sit up in bed, but her head was pounding. “Ugh,” Carrie said. “My head.” She gently laid herself back in bed. She felt much better when she was laying flat on her back. This must be what a hangover feels like. Carrie wondered how the other cheerleaders were feeling that morning, especially Sarah.
Just then Benjy appeared in the open door of the guest room. He quietly padded into the room,and walked over to the bed. He looked at Carrie sympathetically. He began to sign. “Carrie sick,” Benjy signed. “Ugh,” Carrie groaned. She began signing to Benjy. “A little sick,” Carrie signed back. Benjy nodded in understanding,and began rubbing Carrie’s arm soothingly. Just then Steve appeared in the doorway. “She’s awake,” Steve said in a chipper tone. “How’s my girl this fine morning?” “Ugh,” Carrie said. “My head feels like it’s going to explode.” “Sounds about right, darling,” Steve said dryly. “You’ve got quite the hangover.” Benjy then turned to Steve,and began signing. “Steve and Kayla make Carrie feel better?” Steve spoke and signed to Benjy. “That’s the plan, little man. Why don’t you go downstairs and eat breakfast. Kayla has your pancakes all ready.” Benjy clapped his hands excitedly,and quickly left to go enjoy his breakfast. “Am I gonna have to eat pancakes?” Carrie whined. “I can’t. My head hurts so bad,and my stomach.” Carrie winced in pain. Steve sat down on the edge of the bed. “No pancakes for you my dear,” Steve said. “I have something else for you.” “Uncle Steve, I can’t,” Carrie mildly protested. “Shh,” Steve said. “This will help with your hangover.” Carrie didn’t say a word. As awful as she felt, she couldn’t imagine what would help her feel better. “I’ll be back up in a few minutes,” Steve instructed. “Just lay here.” “You don’t have to worry about that,” Carrie said. “I feel to awful to move.” Steve rubbed Carrie’s arm before leaving the guest room. Ten minutes later, Steve reappeared in the guest room. He was holding a tall glass with some kind of liquid in it. Carrie looked at her uncle curiously. He sat on the edge of the bed,and coaxed Carrie to sit up. Carrie did as she was told. “The room is spinning,” Carrie said. Steve nodded. “You’ll be fine. Drink this.” He extended the glass to his niece. Carrie took the glass,and peered into the glass. “What is this?” She asked. It’s gonna help your hangover,” Steve said. “If I told you, then you wouldn’t want to drink it. Just drink.” Carrie nodded. She tilted the glass to her lips,and began drinking the cold mixture. “Yuck!” She exclaimed. “This tastes gross. I can’t.” “Yes, you will,” Steve said a bit sternly. “Now come on, baby. Drink it.” Carrie tried to shove the glass back into Steve’s hands, but he gently shoved it back into her hands. “Come on now,” Steve said a little more gently. Carrie relented,and continued to drink the mixture. Once she was done, she handed the glass back to her uncle. “I don’t feel much different, besides feeling like I want to puke,” Carrie said. “Hey now,” Steve said. “There won’t be anymore puking today. You did enough of that last night.” “Ugh,” Carrie said dramatically. “I’m so sorry.” Just then Kayla appeared in the door, holding a bottle of aspirin and a glass of water in her hand. “How’s our girl?” “Still hungover,” Steve replied. “But she drank my hangover remedy, so there’s that.” He grinned at Kayla. Kayla walked into the guest room. Steve got up from the bed,and Kayla assumed her husband’s position. She handed Carrrie two aspirin and the glass of water. “Take these,” Kayla said. “And then go take a shower.” Carrie nodded, as she took the pills from her aunt,and took the medicine. “I’m so sorry about last night,” Carrie said sheepishly. “We’ll talk about that after your shower,” Kayla said. “I’m washing your clothes from last night. Shower and put some clean clothes on,and come downstairs. I’ll make you some toast,and we can talk.” “What about Dad?” Carrie asked. “Shh,” Kayla soothed. “I’ll handle your father. Just go get cleaned up.” Without saying another word, Kayla and Steve left the guest room to give Carrie privacy. Carrie retrieved her overnight bag from the floor,and went into the bathroom. She carefully took a shower. The bathroom lights made her head hurt worse, so she decided to shower without the lights on. As she showered, Carrie had to admit to herself that she was beginning to feel a little better. Once Carrie was done showering, she quickly dressed, putting on jeans and a cozy sweatshirt. Her hair was still damp from her shower. She tried to put it up into a ponytail, but that took too much effort, and she still felt drained from the night before activities. She opted to let her hair hang loosely down her back, as she made her way downstairs. She wondered what her aunt would have to say about how she had behaved the night before. Carrie knew that she was in trouble in so many ways.
Post by wildheartashley on Jul 30, 2023 7:01:47 GMT -5
Carrie walked into the kitchen. She was greeted by the aroma of toast as she slid into a chair at the kitchen table. Kayla smiled warmly at her niece as she put a plate of buttered toast in front of her. “You look better,” Kayla observed as she joined Carrie at the kitchen table. Carrie nodded as she picked up a piece of toast. “Yeah, I do feel a little better,’ Carrie admitted as she took a small bite of toast. Kayla nodded. “Good. You had quite the. Night last night.” “I’m so sorry Aunt Kayla,” Carrie said. “Oh Carrie,” Kayla said gently. “What happened last night?” “I don’t know,” Carrie said sheepishly. “I think you do so know,” Kayla said. “Talk to me, baby.” Carrie put her toast down,and began to fidget with her napkin. She was quiet for a while before finally speaking. “You’re right. I do so know. I drank vodka milkshakes last night. All the other girls were drinking them. And Lisa said that it was just a little vodka.” “Were you pressured?” “Maybe,” Carrie said. “Sarah was even drinking them,and she said that she was fine. I figured that I’d be fine too, and I didn’t want to be the only one not drinking. But,” Carrie’s voice trailed off. She felt tears begin to prick at the back of her eyes. “Aunt Kayla,” Carrie said in a choked voice. “What?” Kayla said sympathetically. “Honey, what is it?” “The girls,” Carrie choked out. “They told me not to tell about the alcohol. That if I told, that they’d deny everything. And now here I am telling you, and I’ll probably have to tell Dad too.” “You better believe that one,” Kayla said. “But it’s only because he loves you. We all do. So, Lisa gave you girls the alcohol?” “Yes,” Carrie confirmed. “And all the girls were drinking, even Sarah.” Kayla was quiet for a long moment. She finally spoke. “How did that make you feel?” “I don’t know,” Carrie said quietly. “Maybe not so good,” Carrie finally admitted. “I mean when I said that I was going to leave, Sarah didn’t even stop me from leaving. She just kept drinking her milkshake.” Kayla nodded empathetically. “Carrie, would you even of wanted her to stop you from leaving?” “No,” Carrie said. “I wasn’t feeling good by that point. I wanted to leave. Besides, the girls were more worried about me telling about the alcohol then anything else. They weren’t even worried about me.” Carrie began to openly cry. “Oh Aunt Kayla,” Carrie said in between sobs. “Sweetie,” Kayla said as she wrapped her arms around her niece. “Shh,” Kayla soothed as she rubbed Carrie’s back. “It’s okay, baby. I’m here. I got you.” Carrie held onto her aunt as she lightly sobbed into her embrace. A few minutes passed,and then Carrie broke away from her aunt. Kayla brushed Carrie’s hair from her tear stained cheeks. “What is it, sweetheart?” “Aunt Kayla,” Carrie said, her voice thick with tears. “They really aren’t my friends. At least I don’t think so. Maybe Benjy was right.” Kayla nodded sadly. “I’m sorry, hon. That’s a hard pill to swallow.” Carrie nodded. “I don’t know what to do,” Carrie said. She was about to say something else, but she stopped herself. She wanted to tell her aunt about Jennie, but she thought better of it. Kayla observed her niece. “Is there something else, Carrie?” Carrie shook her head no quickly. “Are you sure nothing else happened?” Kayla questioned. “Maybe,” Carrie relented. “But I can handle it. I promise.” “Are you sure?” Kayla asked feeling concerned. “Baby, you can tell me. I hope you know that.” “Oh, I know,” Carrie said. “Really I know. I know that I’ll have to tell Dad about the alcohol,and that I got it from Lisa. I know that. It’s just something else happened, but I think I can handle it myself.” “Are you sure?” “Yep,” Carrie said as she nodded. “I need to.” “Okay,” Kayla said. “Just know that I’m here.” “Thank you,” Carrie said. “Why don’t you finish up breakfast,” Kayla said. “And then I’ll take you home.” Carrie nodded. She knew that she’d have to come clean with her dad about the alcohol. Carrie also knew that she’d probably be grounded for quite some time for what she had done. And then there was cheerleading. After what had happened last night, carrie wasn’t sure if she wanted to stay on the cheerleading squad. The other cheerleaders were counting on her to deceive Jennie,and Carrie wasn’t sure if she could go along with it. She had to find a way to get herself out of the situation that she was in. She felt by telling an adult about things, would just make the situation worse. She was already going to have to say enough about the drinking. She had to handle the situation with Jennie herself, even if it meant no longer being on the cheer squad.
Post by wildheartashley on Aug 6, 2023 19:20:29 GMT -5
Kayla and Carrie walked up the front sidewalk of Carrie’s house. Kayla could see Roman standing in the living room from the front window. Upon reaching the front door, Carrie opened the door, walking into the house, Kayla following her niece. Walking into the house, Carrie greeted her father. “Hi Daddy.” “Caroline,” Roman said in a stern tone. “Go sit on the couch.” Roman then turned his attention on Kayla. He looked at his younger sister. “Kay, you and me in the kitchen. Now.” Kayla swallowed hard as she walked into the kitchen, with Roman following her. Carrie plopped herself on the couch, with her overnight bag at her feet. In the kitchen, Roman turned on his sister. “Kayla, what happened last night?” “Exactly what I told you on the phone,” Kayla said in an even tone. “Carrie drank alcohol at the sleepover,and she called me to pick her up.” “You should have brought her home,” Roman countered. “Why didn’t you?” Kayla was quiet for a long moment. She could understand why Roman was upset with her. Steve was probably right. She should have brought Carrie home. Kayla finally spoke. “She asked me not to.” “And you actually listened to her,” Roman spat back. “Why, Kay. “You’re the adult in this relationship. Don’t you think that I needed to handle things last night?” “I’m sorry, Roman,” Kayla said. “It’s just,” Kayla’s voice trailed off. Roman looked at his sister. “What?” His voice was a bit softer. “What is it?” “She wanted me last night,” Kayla said gently. “Carrie wanted me last night.” It was now Roman’s turn to be quiet for a minute. He felt like he had just been punched in the gut. “She did?” Roman finally asked. Kayla nodded. “I’m sorry Roman. I just wanted to take care of her. I understand why you’re upset. I should have brought her home. It’s just,” Kayla’s voice broke away as Roman touched his sister’s arm. “No, Kay,” Roman said. “I’m sorry. I just can’t believe she got drunk last night. I’m glad she had you. Thank you for taking care of her. I just hope she wasn’t to bad.” “No,” Kayla said. “She was fine. Steve and I handled her just fine last night.” “She really got the alcohol from that cheerleader, Lisa?” Roman asked. Kayla nodded. “Yeah, that’s what Carrie told me.” “Well, she and I will be talking about that,” Roman assured. “I told her as much,” Kayla said. “But, hey, big brother, Carrie realized some hard truths this morning. I know you’re upset with her, and I know that you need to punish her, but please hear her out.” “I will,” Roman assured. He hugged his sister. “Thanks again for last night. You are a good aunt.” “Thanks,” Kayla said. “I’m glad Carrie has you,” Roman said in a choked voice. “It’s just hard,’ Roman’s voice broke. “Marlena,” Roman said. “Hey, I know,” Kayla said softly. She wrapped her brother in an embrace. It’s okay,” she soothed. “I’m here to help you with those beautiful kids. You’ll always have me.” “Thanks,” Roman said. “I just know that Carrie misses Marlena something fierce. I just hope that I’m doing right by her. She’s growing up.” “You are,” Kayla assured. “You love your daughter so much. Go talk to her.” Roman nodded. “Thanks sis.” “Any time,” Kayla said. “I should get home.” Roman walked Kayla back out to the living room. Kayla hugged Carrie. “You hang in there,” Kayla said to Carrie as she gave her one last squeeze. “Love you.” “Love you too,” Carrie said. Kayla gave Roman one last hug,and then walked out of the house.
Once Kayla left, Roman turned to Carrie. “Caroline Anna Brady, we need to talk.” Carrie wanted to groan, but she reframed from doing so. It wasn’t to often when she was called by her full name, but when she was, she knew that she was in trouble. Carrie nodded, and braced herself for her father’s talk. Roman sat on the couch beside his daughter. He looked at her. “Pumpkin, what happened last night?” Carrie looked at her father. She knew that she had to come clean with him, at least about the alcohol. Carrie took a deep breath as she began to talk.
Post by wildheartashley on Aug 13, 2023 9:38:25 GMT -5
“I drank vodka milkshakes last night,” Carrie said in a guilty voice. “And I guess I got a little drunk.” Carrie stared at her father, expecting him to say something, but he didn’t. She took this as a sign to continue talking. “I’m sorry Daddy.” “Sweetheart,” Roman said in a firm yet gentle voice, “Why did you drink?” Carrie felt her eyes burn with tears. She swallowed hard before beginning to talk. “All the other girls were drinking, even Sarah,” Carrie said in a choked voice. “I didn’t want them to think I was a loser. I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway.” Carrie’s voice was thick with shame. “Did they pressure you?” Roman asked. Carrie nodded. “I didn’t think so at the time, but thinking back on last night, yeah, I felt pressured. Daddy,” Carrie’s voice trailed off as a tear slid down her face. “What pumpkin,” Roman brushed the tear from his daughter’s cheek. “Sarah,” Carrie choked out as she began to lightly cry. “Sarah was drinking too. She made it seem like it wasn’t a big deal. And when I started not to feel good, Sarah didn’t even care. She just kept drinking her milkshake.” Carrie’s voice trailed off as she began to cry harder. Roman watched his daughter. This was the real first time that Carrie had really been in trouble. His heart broke for her. He knew that he had to be stern with her, but in that moment, watching her cry, he just wanted to hug her. So, Roman did exactly that. He wrapped Carrie into a hug. Carrie buried her face into Roman’s chest as she continued to cry. Roman held his daughter in a tight embrace, rubbing her back as she continued to cry. Father and daughter stayed like that for a long time. Truth be told, Roman wanted to cry too. In that moment he missed Marlena so much, and he wondered what she’d say if she were here.
Carrie finally broke away from her father. She wiped at her nose with the back of her hand. Roman brushed Carrie’s hair from her tear stained cheeks. They didn’t speak for a long time. Giving each of them time to compose their thoughts. Roman finally spoke. “It sounds like Sarah hurt your feelings last night.” Carrie nodded. “Maybe a little,” Carrie admitted. “Aunt Kayla says that you got the alcohol from Lisa. Is that true?” “Yes,” Carrie said quietly. “Lisa made the vodka milkshakes and gave them to us.” Roman looked at his daughter. “Carrie, you know that I’ll have to call Lisa’s mother, right?” “I figured as much,” Carrie said. “I know you do, but Daddy, it’s going to only make things worse for me.” “Worse how?” Roman asked. “Carrie, I have to talk to Lisa’s parents. You girls should not be drinking. They need to know.” Carrie nodded. “Just don’t call Maggie and tell her about Sarah. Please, Dad.” Roman wanted to object, but he promised that he wouldn’t call Maggie. “Did anything else happen last night?” Roman asked. Carrie was quiet for a moment. She thought about Jennie,and what the girls had said about Jennie,and what Carrie had agreed to do. She wanted to tell her father, but she decided to keep quiet for the same reason that she didn’t tell her aunt. “No,” Carrie said. “The girls just said some really mean things about Jennie. That’s another reason why I wanted to leave.” “I’m sorry,” Roman said. “That had to be hard to hear.” Carrie nodded. “Daddy,” Carrie said as she looked at her father. “I’m not sure I want to stay on the cheer squad.” Roman was quiet. “Baby, you haven’t been on cheer for that long,” Roman said. “I don’t think you should quit because of what happened last night. Besides, you are great at cheer,and you really do like it, right?” “Yeah,” Carrie said slowly. “I do like cheer. I just am not sure if the girls really are my friends. Maybe Benjy was right.” “Why don’t you give it a chance,” Roman suggested. “Let what happened last night blow over. You made a commitment when you joined the cheer squad. You need to honor that. Okay?” “Yeah, okay,” Carrie said reluctantly. “I’ll try.” “Good,” Roman said. “Now for your punishment. You’re grounded for the next three weeks. No friends after school and on the weekends. And you’ll be helping your grandparents out at the pub during that time as well.” Carrie nodded knowing that she couldn’t protest to her punishment. Roman kissed his daughter on the cheek. “I love you Carrie,’ Roman said. “I love you too,” Carrie said. “I am sorry.” “I know,’ Roman replied. “Just never do anything like this again. Do you understand me.” Carrie nodded. “Don’t worry, I won’t,” Carrie promised. “Good,” Roman said. He kissed Carrie on the top of the head before going into the kitchen to call Lisa’s mom to talk about what had happened the night before. Carrie sat on the couch, as she listened to her father make the phone call. She had to think of a way to get out of the plan with Jennie.
Post by wildheartashley on Aug 27, 2023 5:10:56 GMT -5
Kayla arrived back home from her brother’s. She hoped that things were fine between Roman and Carrie. Kayla sighed lightly as she parked her car in the garage, got out,and walked inside the house. She found Steve busy in the kitchen. As she walked into the kitchen, Kayla was greeted excitedly by Benjy. “Kayla,” Benjy signed quickly. “Steve said we have a picnic in the park,” Benjy said with fast hands. Kayla smiled warmly. “A picnic sounds great,” Kayla said as she ruffled Benjy’s hair. “Why don’t you go get your jacket while I help Steve.” Benjy nodded. “Soccer ball too?” Benjy signed. “Of course,” Kayla said. Benjy ran off to get ready for the park. Kayla turned her attention to Steve. “What a nice idea for a picnic,” Kayla said as she snuggled up to Steve. She kissed him lightly on the neck. “Baby,” Steve said feigning annoyance. “You’re interrupting my sandwich making game.” Kayla grinned. “Sorry. Want some help?” Steve nodded. “Sure. How’d it go with your brother and Carrie?” Kayla sighed as she got vegetables from the fridge,and began to cut up peppers and cucumbers. “Well, I got Carrie home,and Roman and I talked for a bit.” “Are they okay?” Steve asked as he put a turkey sandwich in a zip lock bag. “Yeah, I think so,” Kayla said in a far away voice. “I just feel bad for him. He really does miss Marlena,and I think he really felt that this morning.” Steve nodded. “I’m sure,” he said sympathetically. “He and Carrie will get through it.” “Yeah,” Kayla replied. “I know they will.” Before Steve or Kayla could say anything more, Benjy appeared back in the kitchen, jacket on,and soccer ball in hand. “Benjy ready,” he signed. “We are almost ready, little man. Why don’t you get us some drinks,” Steve suggested. “Benjy help,” Benjy signed as he walked over to the fridge, and got out three bottles of water,and a snack sized bottle of apple juice. Benjy presented the drinks to Steve and Kayla. He signed proudly to them. “Benjy got drinks.” Kayla smiled. “Perfect,” she said as she got the drinks,and put them in the cooler with ice. “What for lunch?” Benjy signed. Steve gestured to the bags of food on the counter. “We got sandwiches, cookies, fruit,and veggies curtesy of Kayla.” Benjy rolled his eyes at the mention of vegetables. “Benjy have to eat vegetables?” “Hey, you like veggies,” Kayla countered. “I got your favorites carrotts, cucumber, and celery.” Benjy wrinkled his brow in thought. “Benjy guess,” he relented. “Have ranch dip for veggies?” He asked. “Of course,” Steve said. “We can’t have vegetables without ranch dip,” Steve looked towards Kayla as he said this. “Of course,” Kayla agreed. “What was I thinking.” Kayla reached into the fridge and retrieved the tub of ranch dip. Benjy smiled as he went to the cupboard,and got a container out, and retrieved a spoon from the silverware drawer. “Benjy do,” he signed to Kayla.” “Sure,” Kayla said. Benjy grinned as he took a huge helping of the ranch dip from the tub,and put it into the container. He smiled satisfied with himself as he handed the container to Kayla. “We go now,” Benjy signed. “I think that’s everything,” Steve said as he began to pack up all the food. Kayla helped as she looked at all the sandwiches. “Geez Steve,” she said as she put a sandwich into the picnic basket. “How many sandwiches did you make?” “Just being prepared Sweetness,” Steve said coyly. “Benjamin and I are going to work up an appetite playing soccer.” “Swinging too,” Benjy chimed in with his quick hands. Kayla grinned. “My two big boys are going to play hard today,” Kayla said with a light giggle. “You better believe it baby,” Steve quipped. “Now let’s go have a picnic.”
Post by wildheartashley on Sept 10, 2023 7:44:33 GMT -5
Kayla sat on the picnic blanket as she watched Steve and Benjy play soccer. Benjy smiled as he animatedly kicked the ball to Steve. Steve kicked the ball back to Benjy. As Benjy went chasing after the ball, it rolled away from him. Benjy went after the ball as Steve watched after him. The ball went under a park bench that was adjacent to the grass where Benjy and Steve were playing. Benjy approached the bench with caution, noticing that someone was sitting on the bench. In that moment, he wished that Steve had come with him to retrieve the ball. Benjy glanced at the person who was sitting on the bench, and he then broke out in a broad smile upon noticing who was on the bench. “Jennie,” Benjy signed. Jennie glanced up from her notebook upon feeling the ball roll under the bench. She noticed Benjy standing in front of her. She looked a bit surprised upon seeing him. She smiled shyly. “Hi Benjy,” Jennie said slowly as she too signed to him. “Hi,” Benjy said in sign. Jennie bent under the bench,and handed the ball to Benjy. “Here you go,” she said. Benjy signed thank you before taking the ball from Jennie. “Benjy have picnic with Steve and Kayla,” he explained. “Jennie want to eat cookie?” Jennie looked around the park, and noticed Benjy’s foster parents. She remembered them as Carrie’s aunt and uncle. Frankly, she was surprised that Benjy even remembered her. Not many people actually did, let alone want to hang out with her. Jennie hesitated for a moment. “Please,” Benjy signed to Jennie. “Jennie play with Benjy.” With that last signed comment, Jennie coudn’t resist. “Sure,” she said. “I’d like a cookie,” she said as her stomach began to rumble a bit. Benjy extended his hand to Jennie, as she took it. Benjy pulled Jennie up from the bench. She grabbed her backpack,and quickly put her pen and notebook in her bag. Benjy then dragged Jennie over to where Steve and Kayla were now sitting on the picnic blanket. “Jennie have picnic too,” Benjy signed to Steve and Kayla. Kayla smiled warmly at Jennie. “Hi honey,” Kayla greeted warmly. Jennie smiled shyly. “Hi Mrs. Johnson.” “Please call me Kayla,” Kayla replied. “We’d love to have you join us.” Kayla glanced at Steve for confirmation. “Yeah,” Steve said easily. “A friend of Carrie’s is a friend of ours. Have a seat Bright Eyes,” Steve said as he motioned to the blanket. Jennie hesitated for a moment. “Bright Eyes,” she said a little unsure. “Don’t mind Steve,” Kayla said easily. “He has names for everyone. He calls me Sweetness.” “Oh,” Jennie said. “Why is that?” “Cause my wife is so sweet,” Steve quipped. Jennie nodded. She slowly sat down on the blanket. “Why Bright Eyes?” She asked curiously. “Everyone just calls me Jennie.” Steve stared at the girl for a long moment. He couldn’t help but notice her beautiful piercing blue eyes. “You’ve got beautiful blue eyes, baby,” Steve explained. “They’re bright and light up your entire face.” Jennie grinned bashfully. “No one has ever said that before.” “Well it’s true,” Steve said. “Eat now,” Benjy signed. “Hungry.” Kayla nodded as she began to take the food out of the picnic basket. Jennie looked a bit uncomfortable at all the food around her. “Help yourself,” Kayla said to Jennie. Jennie hesitated for a long moment. She finally decided on taking some vegetables and an apple. “Would you like more then that?” Steve asked as he noticed what Jennie took to eat. Jennie took a cookie. Benjy then gave her a bottle of water. “Thanks Benjy,” Jennie signed. Benjy smiled at Jennie. “Jennie sign just like Benjy,” he signed happily. “Yes,” Kayla said. “That’s cool.” Everyone began to eat. Jennie nibbled on her vegetables and apple, saving the cookie for last. Steve and Kayla talked easily with Jennie. She was worried that they’d ask a lot of questions about herself, but. Surprisingly, they just talked to her about their weekend thus far. Jennie thought that they were very nice, and she could see why Carrie talked about them all the time.
Once everyone was done eating, Benjy asked Jennie if she wanted to go swing. She agreed, and she took Benjy’s hand as they walked over to the swings. Kayla and Steve sat on the blanket, watching Benjy and Jennie on the swings. “She’s a sweet girl,” Kayla said. “Yeah, she is,” Steve agreed. “Do you know much about her from Carrie?” Kayla wrinkled her brow in thought. “No, not really. Carrie has told me that Jennie is a quiet girl, but she doesn’t talk much about her family.” Kayla replied. Steve nodded. He thought that was interesting. He looked wistfully at the kids as they continued to play on the swings. Steve couldn’t help but notice how Jennie’s blue eyes shown in the sunlight, much like his eyes did. He wondered if that was a coincidence,or if that meant something. His instincts told him that it meant something,and he made a mental note to look into it the next day at work.
Post by wildheartashley on Sept 17, 2023 12:20:42 GMT -5
Kayla and Jennie sat on the picnic blanket as they watched Steve and Benjy play soccer. Kayla talked with Jennie easily as they watched the mini soccer game. “You’re really great at signing,” Kayla said. “How did you learn?” Jennie smiled meekly. Jennie hesitated for a moment before answering. “Um, I learned when I was staying in a group home.” It was Kayla’s turn to be quiet. She had no idea that Jennie was living in a group home. Kayla looked at Jennie sympathetically. “It’s okay,” Jennie said. “You don’t have to say how sorry you are.” Kayla blushed in embarrassment. “It’s that obvious, huh?” Jennie nodded. “You just look how everyone looks when they learn that I’m a kid in the system, that’s all. I’ve gotten used to the looks.” “You shouldn’t be,” Kayla said. “And I am sorry for the look.” “No big deal,” Jennie said easily. “I’m used to it.” “What happened to your family?” Kayla asked with concern in her voice. Jennie picked two blades of grass from the ground,and began braiding them together. She looked at Kayla with a far away look on her face. “My mom gave me up when I was a baby. I was only one. I don’t remember her, and I never knew my father. Besides, even if he would have been in the picture, I wouldn’t have remembered him. But he wasn’t.” Kayla rubbed Jennie’s arm soothingly. She knew that she couldn’t say anything to Jennie that would make things any better. Jennie smiled at Kayla gratefully. “Thanks for not saying anything.” Kayla nodded. “Sometimes you can’t say anything. Sometimes you just have to listen.” Jennie nodded, and in that moment, Jennie decided that she really liked Kayla. Jennie didn’t know why, but she felt compelled to share more of her life with the woman.
Jennie absently threw the braided grass on the ground. “I moved to Illinois when I was one because I was supposed to be adopted, but the couple backed out when they found out that they were pregnant, so I went into the system.” “And you’ve been in foster care ever since then?” Kayla asked. “Yep,” Jennie said. “I’ve been in foster care since I was one. I’ve mainly lived in group homes. There have been a few foster homes that I’ve been in over the years, but mainly group homes.” With that being said, Jennie felt herself move a little closer to Kayla on the blanket. She leaned into Kayla,and Kayla put her arm around the girl. Jennie continued to talk. “I learned how to sign in the last foster home that I was in.” “Well, you’re really great at it,” Kayla said. “Thanks,” Jennie said quietly. “So are you. Did you learn when you and Steve began fostering Benjy?” “No,” Kayla said. “I already knew how to sign. I had been in an accident a while back,and I had lost my hearing for a short period of time,and I had learned to sign during the time of my deafness.” Jennie looked at Kayla in awe. “Wow,” Jennie said in disbelief. “And now you can hear?” “Yep,” Kayla said. “I had surgery,and I was able to regain my hearing.” Jennie instantly thought of Max as she listened to Kayla. “Um, in my last foster home, I lived with these two boys. The one boy couldn’t talk, so his older brother taught all three of us sign language, so we could talk with him. He got a book,and that’s how we learned it.” “Very cool,” Kayla said. “Sounds like those boys were very resourceful. Do you still talk with them?” “No,” Jennie said quietly. “We got separated, and i went to go live in a group home.” “I’m sorry,” Kayla said as she pulled Jennie a bit closer to her. “I’m sure you miss them.” “Yeah, I do,” Jennie said in a sad voice. “I hope they’re safe.” “What are their names?” Kayla asked in curiosity. “Frankie and Max,” Jennie said. “Frankie was the oldest.” Kayla’s heart skipped a beat. She was about to ask Jennie another question, but then Steve and Benjy walked back over. “Hey Sweetness,” Steve said. “We should probably be getting home. We got dinner at my mom’s in a little bit.” Kayla nodded. She cglanced at her watch. “Goodness, I lost track of time. We do need to go.” Jennie jumped up. “Thanks for lunch,” she said quickly. Jennie turned to Benjy. “Thanks for playing Benjy,” Jennie signed. Benjy hugged Jennie. He began to sign. “Thanks for play with Benjy.” “I should get going,” Jennie said slowly as she signed. “Want a ride home Bright Eyes,” Steve offered. “No thank you,” Jennie said politely. “I’m good.” Before Steve and Kayla could say another word, Jennie waved, grabbed her backpack, and walked away.
As Kayla and Steve began to pack up their picnic, Kayla couldn’t help but wonder if they had just spent the afternoon with Steve’s daughter. She made a mental note to talk to him about things that night.
Jennie returned to her group home. She quickly went up to her bedroom,and was relieved to see that she was alone. Sharing a room with two other girls, it wasn’t that often when Jennie found herself alone. In that moment, she took advantage of the quiet,and sank onto the floor. She retrieved her notebook from her backpack and her pen, and she began to write. She wrote about how nice her afternoon was with Steve, Kayla,and Benjy. As she continued to write she made a silent wish that Steve and Kayla could be her foster parents. She also thought of Frankie and Max. In that moment, she wanted to ask Carrie about them, but she thought better of it. Just then Jennie heard footsteps. She shoved her notebook back in her backpack,and brushed her wishes aside. She had to be fine with how her life was.
Post by wildheartashley on Sept 24, 2023 19:51:25 GMT -5
Kayla and Steve laid in bed that night after putting Benjy to bed. “Today was nice,” Kayla said as she snuggled up to Steve. Steve nodded. “Yeah, it was,” he agreed. “Jennie really seems like a sweet kid.” Kayla was quiet for a moment. She figured that this might be a good lead in for her to talk to Steve about her observations of Jennie. “Steve?” Kayla asked. “Yeah, baby.” “Jennie really opened up to me today when she and I were talking on the picnic blanket.” “Oh,” Steve said in curiosity. “In what way?” “She told me that she’s living in a group home,” Kayla said. “She also told me that she’s been in the system since she was one. That her mom gave her up,and that her father isn’t in the picture.” Really,” Steve said as he looked at his wife. “What else did Bright Eyes tell you?” Steve’s curiosity was really peaked. “Jennie told me that she had come to Illinois when she was one to be adopted, but the couple that was going to adopt her backed out when they learned that they were pregnant.” Steve propped himself up on his left elbow and looked at his wife. “Baby, I found that same info out about Ellen’s daughter.” Steve jumped out of bed, and retrieved a pen and notebook from the nightstand. He got back in bed,and began to write feverishly. Kayla looked at her husband curiously. “Steve, what are you doing?” “Taking notes, baby,” he explained. “You might be helping me to find Ellen’s daughter. Keep talking. Tell me more about what you and Jennie talked about.” Kayla was quiet for a long moment. “Come on Sweetness,” Steve coaxed. “Cat got your tongue.” “I don’t know if I should,” Kayla said slowly. “Jennie told me some things today,and I’m not sure if she’d want me telling anyone.” “What things?” Steve asked as he put his pen and paper down. “Just things about her previous foster homes,” Kayla said vaguely. Steve nodded. “Okay. Can you tell me things in vague terms? That would be better then nothing. Cause I’ve kind of hit a wall as to where Jennie could be in Illinois. And I promised Ellen I’d find her girl.” Kayla looked at Steve with sad eyes. “Steve,” Kayla said gently. “What if you have already found her?” Steve looked at his wife knowingly. “I thought the same thing, baby. What if Carrie’s friend, Jennie is Ellen’s daughter?” Kayla nodded. “She has blue eyes like you.” Kayla observed. “They sparkle so.” “I thought that too,” Steve agreed. “When Jennie was playing with Benjy today, I couldn’t take my eyes off her blue eyes. Hence my name, Bright Eyes.” Kayla nodded. She felt tears prick at the back of her eyes. What if Jennie was Ellen’s daughter? Then that would make Jennie Benjy’s big sister. They’d be family. “Steve,” Kayla said in a meek voice. “Jennie told me that she learned sign language when she lived in her last foster home with her foster brothers. The one brother didn’t talk, and she and the other boy learned to sign so they could communicate.” “What happened to that foster home?” Steve asked. “I don’t know,” Kayla admitted. “Jennie wouldn’t tell me. She just said that she and the boys got separated, and then she went to go live in the group home.” Steve was quiet as he wrote absently in the notebook. He was broken from his writing when Kayla spoke again. “Steve,” Kayla continued. “The boys names were Frankie and Max.” Steve stared at his wife in disbelief. “What else did she say, baby?” Kayla sighed lightly. “Nothing more. I wanted to ask her, but then you and Benjy came over, and then she left. But my thought instantly turned to Frankie and Max when she told me though.” Steve nodded. “It would make sense if it were the boys she was talking about,” Steve reasoned. “Frankie has told me that he feels guilt about getting separated from Jennie, and guilt over the fact that he and Max were adopted.” Kayla nodded. “Maybe things are starting to come together,” Kayla quipped. “Did Jennie tell you her last name?” Steve asked. Kayla shook her head no. “I never thought to ask,” Kayla admitted. “I didn’t think it was important at the time.” “Ellen’s maiden name was Bosworth,” Steve said. “I remember that. Jennie would have the same last name since she was never adopted.” Kayla nodded. “Sorry I can’t be more help,” Kayla said. Steve rubbed his hands together anxiously. He kissed Kayla on the cheek. “No baby, you’ve been a great help. I think I now know who to look for. tomorrow I’ll reposition my search, and begin looking for Jennie Bosworth. This is the best lead yet. I think I’ll try talking to Frankie tomorrow afternoon.” “Glad I could help,” Kayla said as she kissed Steve back. “Steve, if Jennie is your daughter, then we’ll bring her home.” “Only if she wants to, baby,” Steve said in a choked voice. “Only if she wants to.” Steve reached over and turned the light out. He wrapped Kayla in an embrace as they settled in to sleep. He only hoped that his search for his daughter was beginning to turn a corner.