“Blue remembered hearing the front door slam and running down the stairs in an attempt to get her mother to stay and she remembered her father wrapping his robust arms around her. She remembered trying to break free from her father’s comforting grip, through tears and sobs and finally getting out of his arms to chase after her mother. But by the time she had run out the door her mother had disappeared into the grey, dreary night.”
Blue noisily walked down the creaking stairs and into the kitchen. Her short brown hair was a mess, but her hazel eyes were glistening in the morning sunshine. Her body was covered in an oversized soft t-shirt and grey shorts. She had been drawn downstairs by the familiar scent of pancakes that had wafted up to her room. She walked right into the scene of her father dressed in a t-shirt he had received from his college and a pair of Nike basketball shorts. He was dancing to the country music on the black radio, sitting on the shelf and setting the wooden oak table that Blue and her dad had just bought. Blue chuckled to herself as her father, Phil, had started to sing along to the song. Phil turned around to see his daughter laughing at the spectacle of him jamming out to the country.
“You should see yourself when you’re dancing to music.” Phil said, grinning with his soft hazel eyes at his daughter. “So, I was thinking,” said Blue’s father, “We could head over to the park to shoot some hoops after breakfast. How does that sound?”
“Wonderful!” replied Blue, yawning sleepily as she sat down at the table and placed her napkin on her lap and put her elbows on the table.
“When do you expect the pancakes to be ready?” asked Blue.
“Pretty soon,” said Phil.
“Will there be enough time for me to change before the food is ready?” asked Blue.
“I think so, if you hurry,” replied Blue’s father.
Blue raced up the stairs into her bedroom. She looked around and peered at the paintings on her wall. She had made a special trip to the local art store, although it had taken her a little while to find it, as she was new in town, just to find decoration for her previously bare, beige walls. Blue walked up to her black dresser and pulled out her drawer to see the faded photograph of her mother in her teen years, and a tattered photo album. She picked the photograph up and studied it and thought of the little memories she had of her mother. She thought about her soft angelic features and long wavy brown hair that she always kept in a tight, beautiful braid. She recalled the sound of her mother’s carefree laugh. Then she would remember the night she left, as she always did when she thought of her mother. She remembered being bunched up in a ball covering her ears, under her forget-me-not blue covers, hearing her father plead with her mother to stay. She remembered hearing her mother say how boring the town was and how miserable she was, and how she felt limited and held back by the lack of resources in the area. Blue remembered hearing the front door slam and running down the stairs in an attempt to get her mother to stay and she remembered her father wrapping his robust arms around her. She remembered trying to break free from her father’s comforting grip, through tears and sobs and finally getting out of his arms to chase after her mother. But by the time she had run out the door her mother had disappeared into the grey, dreary night.
“Are we going to talk about it?” thought Blue, as she snapped back to reality. That day was the 7 year anniversary of her mother slamming the front door and leaving for good. Blue wiped away a small tear that had fallen on her cheek and gently placed the photograph of her mother back into the drawer. She had found the photograph the day they moved in, as she was rummaging through the brown, cardboard boxes of things she had stumbled on a photo album that contained an old photograph of her mother. She had pulled it out and hid it in her dresser. Blue took a deep breath and picked out a flowy summer dress with flowers embroidered on it from her closet and put it on. She slipped her opal ring on her finger and put on her favorite earrings and necklaces. She picked up her hair brush and combed out the knots that she had developed in her hair as she slept. Blue then walked to her door and down the stairs to the kitchen.
Blue dribbled the ball twice, took a deep breath and shot a free throw. She always did the exact same routine before she shot a free throw, during spring break she had made this routine with her coach. He had said this routine would help her with muscle memory and that when she did her routine with pressure weighing on her shoulders in a game it would calm her nerves and let her focus on the goal of making the basket. She shot and watched as the ball swished through the orange net.
Phil cheered her on then said, “But you need to work on keeping your elbow in, form really does matter. If you stand in front of the mirror and pretend you’re shooting a free throw and see what your form looks like and try to improve it just ten times a day, you can make a huge difference in your form.”
“You say that every time I practice.” Blue said, rolling her eyes.
“Ok, ten right hand lay-ups. I will pass you the ball once you get to the basket.” said Phil.
Later that day Blue called her father into the living room.
“Dad, come here.” Blue yelled across the house to her father.
“Be right there.” called Phil. He then proceeded to walk in. He was wearing a pair of baby blue denim jeans and a grey button up shirt. He had just taken a shower and his hair was dripping wet.
“I found a great summer writing program. Wanna see?” said Blue. Turning her computer in his direction.
“Sure, honey.” said Phil, as he sat down next to Blue on their leather couch.
“So, this writing program is in Soho. It focuses on all the genres I love, and Grace is going to the camp as well. Grace and I want to spend as much time with each other as possible since she is moving to Japan. I was also thinking, since it starts at 10, we can grab breakfast before I start.” Explained Blue.
“Sounds like a plan.” said Phil. “Maybe Grace could come with us to breakfast.”
“I would love that. I will go to text her right now.” Blue said while getting up from the black, leather couch and grabbing her rose-gold phone.
The gravel crunched under Blue and Phil’s feet as they walked on the driveway to the car. Phil climbed into the front seat and buckles his seatbelt and placed his hands on the wheel. Blue opened the backseat door and climbed on to the grey, plush seat and set her bag on the floor. It contained her laptop, notebook, lunch, and her phone. She buckled her seatbelt and yawned.
Phil turned his head toward Blue and said, “All set?”
“Yea, love you.” Replied Blue, smiling sweetly at her father.
“Love you too.” said Phil. “Are you nervous about getting started at this writing camp?”
“A bit, but I am really excited.” Replied Blue.
Phil then drove out into the cobble hill street, and across the
Brooklyn bridge into Soho.
Phil drove through a green light. He turned the radio up and hummed to the melody of the music. Then he turned right onto Spring Street. They drove past Becky’s bakery and An Artist’s Heaven art store on the way up to the location where the writing program was occurring.
“We are almost there.” Said Phil turning on to the right lane and putting his right turn signal on.
“Ok.” Replied Blue.
A rusty, pale blue car came speeding in with Evan Monatela at the wheel. Phil attempted to swerve out of it’s path but it was too late and the car crashed into Blue and Phil’s car. The car flipped over and bursts into flames.
A few moments later
“The Dad is D.o.a, but I think there is hope for the girl. Have we ID’d the body, yet?” said an E.R worker that had arrived when the call about a car accident had come in.
“No, we haven’t yet.” said the E.R worker’s coworker, helping the E.R worker with placing Blue in the ambulance.
“The girl definitely has a concussion and possibly some internal bleeding. Although she is in critical condition, it looks like she will make it.” the E.R worker explained. “I feel bad for her she is going to have to wake up with her world turned upside down. One minute she is enjoying a car ride with her father and next moment she’s in a hospital and her father is dead. I hope her mother is around to support her.”
“Yea, I can’t even imagine that happening to me.” said the coworker peering at the girl lying unconscious in the ambulance.
Blue was flown in a helicopter to the hospital in Philadelphia. She arrived and her doctors performed surgery on her injured head, and the shattered bone in her leg. Blue remained in a coma for three days.
Blue woke up and groaned from the pain of her pounding headache and a broken leg. A nurse walked in, with a blue hospital uniform on. Her raven black hair was pulled up in a tight bun. On her feet were small black slip on shoes, that made small tapping sounds as she walked around the room. She was carrying a clipboard and she flipped through it and wrote something down with a blue pen that had the Hospital of Connecticut written on it in silver lettering. The nurse looked down at Blue, realized she was awake and said,
“Good to see you awake, Blue.”
“What happened?” asked Blue, her voice meek and dry. She was croaking like a frog.
The nurse sighed and looked at Muracke with poignant eyes and said, “There was an awful accident. A drunk man named Evan Monatela crashed into your car. That man killed your poor father and nearly killed you. You are lucky to be alive, Blue. Evan is currently being prosecuted for his crimes. I hear he will be charged with vehicular manslaughter and drinking while driving and other things.”
“You’re lying. It’s not true, go away!” screamed Blue through tears.
The nurse walked over to the side of the bed and peered at the small fragile girl. She wrapped her long, delicate arms around Blue and held her in her arms, as she wept. The nurse explains what had happened and what injuries Blue had.
“Your father was sprung from the car and was dead on arrival, someone called 911 and paramedics rushed to the accident and saved you. You were flown over here in a helicopter and you had surgery for your injuries. Your leg was shattered and your head was pretty banged up, but other than that you’re doing well. This is a lot to handle and I know it was a very traumatic experience, so we have a psychiatrist on hand that you can talk to whenever necessary,” said the nurse.
Finally the nurse had to leave and attend to other patients in the recovery ward. Blue was left broken by the news that the nurse had just delivered to her. She wept and wept herself into a restless slumber. She dreamt of wonderful days spent with her father, curled up in his welcoming lap. She dreamt of reading books like Owl Moon and The Lonely Book in bed, snuggled next to her father. Then her dream turned into a nightmare and flashes of her father drenched in blood, dying at the scene of the accident appeared in her mind. She tossed and turned during the night until dawn broke across the grey sky, that was mimicking the feeling Blue had felt inside ever since she found out about the death of her late father. All she felt was emptiness and pure anger at the man who had killed her loving, innocent father. The only person she felt really knew her and loved her. She had friends like Grace, her best friend but after Grace would leave for Japan their friendship would fade away and they would never see each other again. She felt alone in the world without him. Evan Monatela, the man who killed her father, when that name crossed her mind she imagined strangling him. Wrapping her arms around his throat and squeezing as hard as she could but then reminded herself that it would be a terrible thing to do. It would be almost as bad as what he did to her father.
The nurse who had told Blue what happened to her parents walked into the room with a tray of food. It consisted of packaged pancakes, hashbrowns and 1% milk. The nurse placed the tray on the hospital’s glossy, wooden side table and hugged Blue tightly and whispered into her ear,
“It will be ok.”
The nurse pulled up a small tray table in front of Blue and placed the tray on the table. She propped a pillow up behind Blue’s back and helped her sit up. She then said to Blue,
Blue looked up at the nurse with tears in her glossy green eyes and said,
“What am I supposed to do? I’m completely alone. My mother left me and my father when I was only five years old and now my Dad is dead. I don’t know what to do. I have Aunts and Uncles but I don’t know, they probably don’t even want me.” It was the first thing Blue had said in a few days.
The nurse’s face softened and showed empathy for Blue, she sat down at the end of the bed and said, “When I was about your age, my parents died in a terrible plane crash. I felt exactly the same as you feel now. I felt alone and even abandoned by my parents, but I pulled through. I pursued my dream of becoming a nurse. You are strong, and you will persevere. I know you will, Blue whitener.”
“I don’t know if I can.” whispered Blue through sobs and incessant tears. Her previously warm, olive complexion was now pale and almost grey. Her long, brown, baby hair now seemed to be faded and aged. Her blanket and cast covered her bony figure.
“There’s someone here to see you. Her name is Bridgit Tate, she is going to be your foster mother. She’s also a nurse at this hospital, she will take great care of you.” said the nurse as a middle aged woman with sharp, icy blue eyes walked in the door and smiled sweetly at Blue.
“Hello Blue,” said Bridget.
“Hi.” replied Blue, wiping her tears.
“How are you?” asked Bridget.
“Okay, I guess. I mean I got in a car accident.” replied Blue, weakly.
“Yea, you did. The doctors say you will be up and running in about a week. Then you can come to my house, I’m sure you will love it there. I would love to paint your room hot pink,” said Bridget. She then walked over to the side of Blue’s bed and turned her head towards the nurse, “How much do I get for taking care of her?”
“500 dollars a month, but that shouldn’t matter should it? Blue is an admirable, magnificent human being, and I would be honored to have her in my home even without paychecks every month.” said the nurse, who was quite skeptical of this woman who was supposed to take care of Blue.
“Yes, I completely agree, but I was just wondering what the amount of money I will get to support Blue is. I would like to know what I should set my budget for her room so that I can get started right away,” said Bridget. Bridget then said, “Well it looks like you are eating breakfast so I will leave you to it. It was very nice to meet you. I am very excited to have you in my home and hope that overtime it will become your home as well. Goodbye, Blue.” Bridget said as she left the room.
Blue could hear the clicking of Bridget’s heels as she walked down the brightly lit hallway. Then Blue said to the nurse,
”Did you really mean the things you said?”
“Every single word.” said the nurse, as she flashed a quick smile to Blue.
“When you go and live with this Bridget woman, keep me posted on how she treats you.” the nurse said.
“Ok, why?” asked Blue, frowning.
“This woman just doesn’t seem trustworthy. I have learned to trust my gut when it tells me something. I think she should be focused on you rather than the money she gets for taking care of you,” replied the nurse.
“Ok,” said Blue. She had liked Bridget but thought there was something a little off about her. But she was still not ready for this woman to replace her deceased father, she was barely even ready for her to become Blue Tate.
The nurse walked into Blue’s hospital room, lit by fluorescent lighting, and brought with her a tray of food.
“Today is your final day here at the hospital. I am really going to miss you, Blue. It has been phenomenal to get to know you.” said the nurse.
“I’m going to miss you too,” said Blue.
Briget walked in with a purple polka dotted dress, a black shawl and cream colored high heels. She smiled at Blue and the nurse.
“Nice to see you guys again. Are you almost ready to head home?” asked Bridget, with a smile.
“I will be ready once I finish with my breakfast. I also have to wait for them to give me my crutches, and I will have to practice walking with my cast and crutches a bit in the waiting room, if that’s ok with you of course,” replied Blue.
“That’s totally fine. I will be in the waiting room if you need me, and let me know when you are ready to leave so I can help you practice and we can go to my car. I parked it right up front so that you would not have to walk far.” said Bridget.
“Alright.” said Blue as she ate her breakfast of cereal, milk and orange juice. She was dressed in a white hospital gown and on her wrist was a shiny, plastic bracelet that had the hospital’s name written on it.
Briget left the room and sat down in the waiting room. The nurse then said to Blue,
“Are you sure you are ready to go. I’m sure I can get you permission to stay a bit longer.”
“Yes, I’m sure. Even though Bridget is not that motherly and will never, ever, ever replace my Dad, I think we will be able to form a strong bond. I know you are a bit skeptical of her. I’m sure she is great.” said Blue, hopefully.
“Alright. If you say so.” said the nurse, sighing.
Blue walked with her crutches up to Bridget. They continued practicing and Blue slowly started to get comfortable with her crutches.
“I think I am getting the hang of this,” said Blue.
“Yea, I think you are.” replied Bridget.
“Ready to go. I really think I am going to love it there.” Bridget said, her eyes bright with excitement.
“Yes, I’m sure I will.” said Blue.
They walked to the elevator and down into the parking lot. Bridget pressed the button on her car keys and a small, white toyota camry beeped nearby.
“There it is.” said Bridget.
Blue and Bridget walked up to the car and got in. Bridget buckled her seatbelt and turned the key and the engine started to hum, she looked back at Blue and saw her struggling.
“Oh my goodness, I am so sorry. I entirely forgot you need help getting in the car. Here, I’m going to go over there.” said Bridget while she unbuckled her seat belt and opened the car door to get out. Bridget assisted Blue into the car and placed her crutches in the trunk. Bridget got into the car and said, “Prepare for the two and a half hour drive to connecticut.” chuckling.
Finally, Blue and Bridget pulled up to a small brownstone house in the center of a block on Kane Street.
“This is it. Your new home.” said Bridget, happily as she climbed out of the car.
“It looks wonderful.” said Blue, getting out of the car with Bridget’s comforting help. Bridget locked the car and opened the house door and led Blue into the house. Blue’s crutches made noises across the wooden floor. Bridget turned on the light to show a brown leather couch and a wooden coffee table with five beer bottles and two wine bottles, thrown on their sides, on it.
“Oh god I am so sorry about that, I did not get to clean up after last night, just please don’t tell anyone about this. I was really nervous about you coming and I should not have had so much alcohol. It won’t happen again.” said Bridget, her face tinted red from embarrassment.
“That was all just from last night.” thought Blue, frowning.
“Here I will show you your new room.” said Bridget walking towards the back of the house. She opened the door to a small room, which was empty except for a small cot with brown flannel sheets and a small grey dresser, with an alarm clock on it.
“It’s not much, but it’s something and we will decorate it soon. I wanted you to have complete say in everything, so I only got a small amount of things. You need a bed of course.” said Bridget.
“Thank you so much.” said Blue, as she walked into the room and sat down on the bed.
Blue woke up and walked out of bed and out the door. She walked into the kitchen and found Bridget cooking asparagus and BLTs. She was humming and spreading the mayo onto the pieces of brown, toasted bread. She looked up at Blue and said,
“You’re up. That’s wonderful, I’m just making lunch; roasted asparagus and BLTs. I hope you like them.”
“Thank you so much. I really appreciate what you are doing for me. I honestly don’t know where I would be without you, foster care probably. Just, thank you.” said Blue.
“Your welcome, I was just so lonely in this house. I don’t have many friends and no significant other and I wanted to help someone so I decided to adopt and sure enough you came along.” replied Bridget.
They both sat down at the table and ate the BLTs and asparagus. Blue picked up her fork and cut her asparagus and placed it in her mouth.
“Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy, sports or other things?” asked Bridget.
“I really enjoy playing basketball all actually, I was on my school’s basketball team, along with my best friend Grace. I was even a point guard.” said Blue. “I guess I can’t go to the Blue school. Are there any schools around here with basketball teams?”
“I am not sure but we can look although I have a niece who went to school around here who loves basketball. We can ask her where she went and if there was a basketball team at her school.” added Bridget. “How is your food?”
“It is delicious. Thank you for making it.” replied Blue.
Blue put her last bite of food into her mouth and placed her fork and knife on the plate. She wiped her mouth and said, “May I be excused?”
“Of course, Blue.” replied Bridget.
Blue picked up her plate, rinsed it out in the sink and placed it in the dishwasher. With the napkin in her hand she looked around, looking for a trash can.
“Where is the trash can?” asked Blue.
“Right behind you actually.” directed Bridget.
Blue turned around and threw her napkin away. Then she walked back into her new room.
Bridget walked into Blue’s room and asked, “What would you like to do today?”
“We could get some clothes.”
“Ok. Before I went to pick you up at the hospital I went to the store and chose some clothes for you. I hope that they will fit you.” Bridget said while she handed Blue a Marshalls shopping bag with three outfits stuffed inside.
“Thank you so much.” Blue said while taking the clothes out of the bag and laying them on the bed.
“Sorry I did not know what your style was. I tried to pick out something you would like.” said Blue. Blue and Bridget drove to her house.
Blue climbed into bed and yawned as she drifted off into a deep sleep. She woke up in the middle of the night and looked around at her new room. The walls were cream colored and on the ceiling was a small chandelier, off to the side of the room was a built-in closet with two bronze handles. It was dark and the curtains were drawn but a small amount of moon light was coming. Blue pulled off her covers and walked over to the window and opened the curtains to see a bright full moon in the sky. She remembered her father telling her marvelous stories about the moon. She remembered him pointing up at the moon and his soft, familiar voice seemed to fill her head. Tears fell from her eyes and she wiped them away, but her shirt was now wet and tear stained. She could see a light coming from behind her closed door and could hear the faint sound of the TV in the living room.
She decided to get up and get a glass of water from the new kitchen. She tiptoed out of the room and peered out the door to see Bridget watching the television and swigging some beer. Blue just walked up to the fridge and opened it to see an abundance of alcohol strewn about the fridge.
Blue grabbed a glass from the cabinet and filled it with tap water from the sink. She had started walking back to her room when she heard the jumbled words,
“What are you doing?”
“Just getting a glass of water,” said Blue.
“Whatever. You know your pathetic. That’s why your mother left you and Dad crashed that car on purpose just get away from you.” said Bridget, walking up to Blue and hitting her. The side of Blue’s was red and stung where Bridget had hit her. “Not one of your aunts and uncles even wanted you.”
“Ok.” Blue said, confused as she looked up at Bridget, scared.
Blue woke up the next day tired and still scared of Bridget. She got out of bed and squinted at the bright morning sun that was shining in her face. She walked up to the drawer to find it filled with clothing all from the gap. In through the partially closed door came an orange cat that was meowing. She knelt down on her knees and let the cat lick her hand. She sat down with her legs crossed and played with the cat, she even smiled a small smile, for the first time in a while. Finally when the cat lost interest and went to venture off into the rest of the house, Blue went back into the drawer and picked out a yellow romper. She stepped out of the room and endured misery and abuse from Bridget.
Blue laid awake in bed devising a plan to escape her misery. She made a checklist of things she would need in her mind. Food, a water bottle, backpack and some clothes, and Bridget’s macbook air.
“Where will I go? Should I try and find my mother?” thought Blue. “I am going to find my mother.” she finally decided.
The next day Blue looked up her mother’s name. Immediately, she found a phone number and address. She packed a bag full of the things she needed.
While Bridget was going to the bathroom Blue snuck out of the house and took a train three hours away and then took a bus into her mother’s neighborhood, and then walked until she found her mother’s house. A yellow brick house with blossoming cherry trees in the front yard. She walked up to the door and rang the doorbell. Her mother answered the door with a little baby in her arms.
Blue’s mother stared in shock at Blue and said,
“Hello.” said Blue.