The next day arrives. Hunter wakes up in a room he isn’t used to and freaks out for a minute. He doesn’t remember where he is and starts to shake.
“Hunter, are you alright?”
It takes Hunter a minute to remember that it’s Luke talking to him. He tries to stop shaking to quit worrying his new brother Luke and their dog Lucky.
“Yeah. I’m sorry. Is something wrong that you woke me up?”
“No. It’s time to eat breakfast. Come on, mom is waiting.”
Luke had learned to call her mom. The woman had been like a mother to him for as long as he could remember and he knew he would always be with her. He had always wanted a brother to be there, but she had said it wasn’t going to be an easy task for her to raise two children.
Hunter follows Luke out to the kitchen and is confused. He expects a small serving of cereal like at the orphanage. The orphanage didn’t have a lot of money in it’s later years. They had to ration food the best they could to supply enough for everyone. Instead, there’s a choice of sausage, eggs, and toast.
“Hunter, go ahead and eat.”
“I can have anything?”
“Yes. Let’s get some of this into you. You don’t weigh enough and the owner wants you to become more healthy while you’re here as a foster child. It will make it easier for your other health problems to improve.”
As Hunter finishes eating, there is another phone call on the home phone. The mother asks Hunter to answer it and give it to her. He used to do this at the orphanage and she thought it would help him feel a little more at home because Luke was taking Lucky out in their backyard.
“No. Do you need her for something?”
The man on the other end acts surprised. He recognizes the voice. He had always visited the orphanage and heard Hunter’s voice, but never been allowed to visit.
Hunter starts to get nervous. He begins to shake as he realizes who this might be. Miss Everett begins to wonder if the call was meant for him.
“Hunter, is everything alright? Give me the phone. It’s alright..”
She takes the phone and hangs it up. She goes over and starts calming Hunter down like she has many times before. She sings his favorite song softly to him.
“Mom? Is he ok?”
“Yes. There was just a slight problem over the phone. Don’t worry about it.”
“Was that man my father? He knew who I was.”
“Yes, it was. He’s not allowed around here though. I want you to understand that.”
“He never hurt me though. He never wanted to get rid of me. It was my mother that made him get rid of me when I was born with these..things.”
Hunter looks down at his arm that shows his scars over the years. The scars that show how affected these conditions have made him.
“I know. I think it’s time to let you settle in more though. Let’s get you in the bath to calm you down. Then you can play with Lucky and Luke while I deal with this. Alright, son?”
“Yeah. That sounds better.”
It’s hard for Hunter to remember the times he’s been called son. It’s either been by the owner of the orphanage or this woman. The only other time was from his father who wasn’t his dad. These people had been his family. He just hopes he can get through this.
Maybe I can stay here with them forever if I behave? I like Luke and Miss Everett. Lucky’s a nice pet too.
He follows Miss Everett to the bathroom to the bath as he considers his new life.