“Goodbye, you endless abyss of misery,” I scream in delight as I’m rushing out of the front doors of the orphanage that I’ve called home for my whole life. I’ve officially turned eighteen and I’m getting my ass out of dodge, if you know what I mean, but I’m not leaving this place alone. I’m leaving with the four women who mean the world to me and are basically my sisters. We have all officially aged out and are no longer being forced to stay here.
“Come on girls, we need to leave now if we are ever going to make it on time for orientation,” Brooklynn shouted at us. She is standing beside the beat-up SUV with her long blonde hair pulled up into a sleek ponytail. Stretching her six-foot body and bouncing on her feet as if she is preparing to go inside and force everyone out of the orphanage herself.
Solana, Alma, and Zola quickly rushed out of the orphanage with frantic looks on their faces, knowing that getting on Brooklynn’s bad side was never a wise choice. Once I got next to Brooklynn, I whispered to her, “Chill Brook, we are two hours early. I changed all the clocks in the house and on all electronics to make sure that we get to school when we need to. I know how those three operate and if left in their hands, we wouldn’t get there until next week.”
I suddenly felt someone smack me on the back of the head and quickly whipped around to see Solana standing there with her hands on her hips, giving me one of her famous glares. Solana was beautiful, her height being slightly above average, with wavy light brown hair down to her mid-back and these light blue eyes that seem to capture a person’s soul when she stares at you, not to mention she has curves in all the right places. It’s surprising to me that Solana is the one who hit me though, she normally just goes with the flow and follows along with the rest of us.
Jumping into the driver’s seat of the SUV, I look out of my window to the orphanage the girls and I grew up in. It was a dreary-looking place with three stories and grey siding that was falling off and the paint peeling. There were weeds climbing up the walls from the lack of care and attention given to the yard. There were many windows that had been broken in one way or another and instead of being replaced, were just boarded up. Looking at the outside of this orphanage, people could only imagine what probably happened on the inside with those under the care of the woman who ran it. Breathing a sigh of relief and letting my body fully relax for the first time in what must be years, I watch as the orphanage disappears in the rear view mirror. I love my sisters dearly, but spending nine hours locked in a car with them isn’t something that I am finding amusing. They are arguing over little things like the music we should listen to or creating these ridiculous road games for us to play and then arguing over the rule. Finally, fed up with it all, I take a deep breath and say, “Girls, I have to pull over now. I can’t handle this anymore.”
“Oh, thank you Jesus! I thought I was the only one who needed out of this car, so I said nothing about it,” Zola informed us.
“Of course you wanted out, Zola. You can’t handle being in any type of enclosed space for more than an hour without going haywire. Unless you are outside in the fresh air, you completely lose your mind,” Alma stated.
Rolling her eyes, Zola responded, “Don’t talk to me about losing my mind when you are the one who believes in the paranormal and that there are people on the other side that want to communicate. If any of us are crazy, Alma, it is you!”
“Take that back right now, Zola. You have no idea what you’re talking about!”
Brooklynn stepped in and ended their argument abruptly. “Ladies, that is ENOUGH! We are best friends. We do not fight over petty things such as this. Now everyone get out of the car and take a breather.”
Looking around at the gas station that I parked in, I watched as my friends all stood in different areas of the parking lot. I had to laugh at Alma doing yoga poses, although she does have the perfect figure for it. Alma is of average height, but she is flat as a board just about everywhere. Seeing her curly red hair blowing in the wind and her dark brown eyes focused on a point in the distance I can’t help but smile at the serenity that she exudes.
Once I’m finished with Alma, I see Zola opposite, leaning into a tree and taking deep breaths. She is so at one with nature it amazes me. Standing a couple of inches taller than Alma, her black curly hair is floating around her as thought she is in her own world, and her nearly black eyes are scanning her surroundings with an eager look in them, and I know it is because in the city there weren’t many plants for her to enjoy.Zola has a knockout body. It reminds me of the fifties pin-up models and makes me jealous. Looking around, I notice that I can’t see Solana anywhere. “Brook, where is Lana at?”
“I think she went in to get drinks and snacks for all of us, Kenna.”
“Alright, thanks. I’ll go in and check if she needs any help.”
Heading into the convenience store, I can’t help but feel like someone is watching me, but when I look around, I don’t notice anyone. “That’s strange,” I mumble to myself.
Once I’m inside, I see that Lana is already finished with the shopping and is in the process of checking out. “Lana, do you need any help?”
“No, I’ve got it, Kenna, but thanks for offering,” she responds with a bright smile.
“Well, I’m going to run to the restroom.”
“Alright, I will meet you back at the SUV with everyone else.”
I quickly reach the bathroom and noticed that it was disgusting. The wall tiles were stained yellow, the floor tiles were stained brown. The toilet wobbles when I touch it. I can’t go to the bathroom here. It would be more sanitary to just cop a squat on the side of the road, I think to myself. I look around and notice a mirror, so I decide to use this opportunity to make sure that I don’t look horrible after nine hours on the road. I am not a great beauty like the rest of my friends, nor do I have a great body. I’m a very petite woman barely over five feet tall. I’m skinny but have size D breasts and a rather large ass. I have long slightly wavy midnight black hair and silver eyes that always seem to creep others out. Deciding that I still look presentable, I leave the bathroom and meet the girls back at the SUV.
After seventeen long and somewhat painful hours of driving, the girls and I have finally reached our destination, the Elysian Valley. Pressing my face to the window and can’t help but be in awe of the sights right in front of me. Growing up in New York City, I was never able to see nature, and this place is filled with it.
Large trees cover nearly every inch of space that is not inside the actual town. Huge rolling hills surround the town and I can see numerous children sledding down them and frolicking in the snow in joy. There’s a lake with water so clear it is perfect, I can imagine that if I was standing beside it, I would be able to see all the way down to the bottom. I can’t believe that my sisters and I get to live in this amazing yet seemingly undiscovered part of the country.
When we entered the town, I can see that there are many people walking around and moving from shop to shop simply chatting with each other. It seems that this is a friendly home, and I can’t help but be shocked by the simple connections these people have and how they seem connect unlike how people were in the city.
When you grow up the way I did, the rule was to look out for number one and being kind and nice got you nowhere. Fighting for what I wanted was a way of life for me, and it seemed that I would be extremely out of place here. This quaint little part of the world probably isn’t quite ready for a tough city girl who knows the ugly parts of life rather than the beautiful ones.
We eventually got to our house, and it was like looking at my own little slice of paradise. It looked like one of those sorority houses; it was a brick home with three levels and colonnades around the porch. There was a small fountain out front with an angel as the spout, which seemed a little cliché to me. However, who am I to judge what the college wants to put around their buildings, I should just be glad that I get to live in such a magnificent home.
I still don’t really understand why the girls and I have a house instead of dorm rooms, either. The paperwork said it was a perk of the scholarship. Yet, the scholarship was sketchy as well, considering that none of us applied to college yet somehow all got full rides to this little middle of nowhere valley.
Normally I would have blown the opportunity off as a scam, because when I first received the letter it seemed completely ridiculous. However, Brook cornered me and convinced me that when given an opportunity like this, it was best not to look a gift horse in the mouth. I could now get a college education for free and better my life, quite different from most people who grew up in an orphanage who would most likely work, minimum wage jobs for the rest of their lives and that was only for the orphans that were able to stay on the good side , and those that went the bad way would in up in prison or dead from drugs. I am lucky to be here, no matter how strangely it came about.
Walking into the house, I notice that the walls in the living room are a neutral beige color and that all the furniture in the room is made of black, sleek looking leather. There are two couches, a love seat and a couple of recliners. There is also a large television, which I imagine will be awesome to have when movie night comes around.
Walking into the kitchen, I am in heaven. The countertops are a black granite with gold flakes inside, all the appliances are stainless steel, there is a large island with an attached bar that seats six people. This is the room that will be like a home to me.
I love to cook and am always trying new recipes. There was never a lot of chance for that in the orphanage but with this kitchen, I will be able to cook what I want whenever I want, and that brings a bright smile to my face.
While standing in the kitchen, I hear Brook. “This room is mine!”
I giggle as I quickly hear everyone else claiming their own bedrooms and dash out of the kitchen so that I can claim one as well.
I go up to the third floor and open the door on the left-hand side of the hallway, and what I find inside takes my breath away. It is a library filled with books from floor to ceiling on all the walls except for one that has a large fireplace with a few chaise lounges in front of it.
The library smells musky, and there is dust everywhere, so I know it has not been used in a long while and that whomever prepared the house completely forgot about it. I spend about ten more minutes in the library before I remember I was looking for a bedroom before I stumbled in here.
Leaving the library, I go to the right-hand side of the staircase and open that door. Inside, I find the room I am going to call my own; there is a queen-size platform bed in the middle of the room with gauzy silver curtains surrounding it. The wall is painted a deep royal purple with splashes of black lace looking embroidery around the roof and floorboards. There is also a small sitting area with a few silver chairs and a silver coffee table all placed upon a deep purple rug to tie the room together. Noticing doors on the other side of the room, I open them to find a large bathroom with the same granite counters from the kitchen up here. There is a standing shower encased in glass, as well as a black whirlpool bathtub that looks like it could fit at least five different people. I am very pleased with the room I found, and now it is time to go and get my bags out of the car and begin unpacking, which is going to suck.
Racing down the stairs, I slip and fall down the last five. “Watch out,” I call in warning as I see Zola coming in carrying a box.
She doesn’t hear me, and we collide, leaving both of us in a tangled mess and groaning in pain. “Really Kenna, must you always be so clumsy?” Zola states, while trying to get her feet under her.
“Well, I’m not a picture of grace and perfection like you, Zola. Just be happy I only fell down five of the stairs and not the whole staircase. Could you imagine what would have happened if that had been the case?” I question jokingly while Zola stares at me, trying to hide her smile.
Alma walked in and look at Zola and me on the floor. “Let me guess, Kenna somehow managed to trip on something invisible and cause this wreck?”
“I did not trip on something invisible, I tripped on the air, Alma.”
“Um Hun, I don’t know if you realize this, but the air is invisible,” stated Solana as she walked in to our conversation.
“Will someone please just help us up so that we can get everything out of the car and unpack?”
Brook quickly reached down and grabbed my arm, pulling me up as if I was the size of a feather. “Woah girl, are you on steroids?” I questioned her.
While rolling her eyes, Brook stated, “It is not my fault that you are the size of a ten-year-old even though you are an adult, Kenna. Maybe now that we are here, you will put some meat on those birdlike bones.”
Now that we were all standing, we laughed as we walked out to the car and began unloading our belongings. It’s sad when I think that everything the girls and I own or find value in managed to fit inside of one SUV but dwelling on the hardships of our life will get me nowhere. It is so much better to look toward our future now full of possibilities.
Finally, the unloading and unpacking is done! I am so glad that my room turned out to be perfect. I think it is time to have a small celebration dinner with the girls.
Going down to the kitchen, I see that it is already filled with groceries. I decide to make something simple since I am so exhausted and get to work on making hamburger steaks, grilled asparagus and mashed potatoes and gravy. Once it’s done, I plate the food and set it on the bar hollering, “Dinner is ready, ladies!”
“OMG, I love you so much, Kenna. I feel like I could eat a cow,” Zola states while running into the kitchen while dragging Alma with her.
Solana walks in and gives me a small smile with a quiet thank you and then takes her seat at the bar. We all sat there for a few minutes, waiting for Brook to show up. “I’m going to go check on her, you guys,” I say while getting up.
Brook chose to have the only room on ground level. Walking to her door, I knock, but she doesn’t respond. Walking into her room to check if she is ok, I see her sitting in the middle of the floor completely still as if she were meditating. Standing in front of her, she still hasn’t noticed me. I bend down, waving my hand in her face. “Brook, snap out of it!”
When she heard my voice, her head snaps up at me, and her eyes have changed into a clouded mist, which freaks me the hell out. “The waters are moving now that the five have arrived! The flow is getting faster and if they don’t find their souls, all shall end in disaster! They must be wary because their adversary is legendary! They must choose the right one to lead if they hope to succeed! Otherwise, his five daughters shall be led to the slaughter!” she screamed out and then fell to the ground with her eyes shut and her body not moving.