It was a sunny day in Seattle. At least, it’s not like North Carolina. Ugh! It rains there almost all the six months. No one had come to receive me at the airport. Who will? I don't even have a family now. I clutched my purse tightly, grabbed my trolley suitcase and headed towards the exit of the airport. As I was walking out, I saw a plaque reading my name- ROSANNA VALDEZ in big bold letters.
I almost ran towards the plaque holder on the curbside, bumping on an old man on my way. The plaque holder was a young guy of about twenty. He had blonde hair which was short cropped. His face was square-shaped with a jaw-line that could chisel granite and high cheekbones. He was wearing a red Polo T-shirt and blue jeans.
"Hi!" I smiled at him, "I'm Rosanna". He started at me cautiously for a minute. It felt awkward. I was thinking how I looked like after the four hour flight. My raven-black hair was out of place. My worn out jeans and an almost fading green tee seemed to be ridiculous in a city like Seattle, where teen girls like me hang around in high heels and short skirts- overall in completely trendy and branded outfits.
"Mr. Hoffman sent me to pick you up, miss", he said softly. His voice was a bit hoarse.
"Oh," I bit my lip, "And you are?"
"Peter," he answered, his blue eyes on me, "Peter Newton".
"So you live with the Hoffman family?"
"Yeah," he looked away, "I'm there second adopted son actually".
We started walking and as we reached the parking, he stopped near a black expensive sedan. "Let's get in", he said as he unlocked the door and jumped in the driver's seat. I sat next to him on the passenger seat. These expensive cars are all over the car magazines now-a-days. I wondered how rich the Hoffman family must be to own one of those.
"So how many children do they have?" I asked as I sat comfortably in.
"Now three, including you," he hit the gas pedal.
"Cool!" I smiled.
The rest of the time it was all quite. None of us spoke a word. I just kept looking out of the window. It was an all new city for me. I needed to know it well so hat I can travel myself. He pulled on a driveway after an hour and we got out of the car.
"That's the house", he pointed towards the last two storied row house of all the five row houses at the side of the driveway. Each one had a small garden in the front side. As I was taking my trolley suitcase, he snatched it from me in one swift move.
"I will take care of this" he grinned and started walking down the pathway, crossing the garden that led to the main door. I followed. I stood beside him as he ranged the doorbell. I heard footsteps inside and then a girl of about twenty two or twenty three opened the door. She looked and smiled at Peter and then turned to look at me. to look at me. I smiled and she nodded with a grin.
"Tell Mamma that she's here," Peter addressed the girl. She ran inside at once.
"Come on in," he gestured and we both went inside.
The living room was quite spacious with a fireplace. A big LED sat at a side. There was a sofa set in the center. Peter placed my suitcase at a side and sat on the sofa. I sat next to him, without knowing if someone would come and see me. Peter broke the silence by turning on the TV and started watching a baseball game. I had no other option but to watch the boring boyish thing.
"Oh my!" I almost jumped out of the sofa by hearing someone yell like that. I turned to look who it was. A woman in her forties stood near the doorway that led to no idea which room.
"Mamma" Peter smiled, "This is Rosanna Valdez".
"Pretty young girl you are, Rosanna", she smiled and hugged me. She smelled of lavender. She had brunette hair, tied in a ponytail. Her heart-shaped face was perfect. The girl who had come to open the door for us, came and stood next to her.
"Hi, Rosanna", she grinned, "I'm Megan".
"Hello", I smiled, thinking what to say next.
Megan was tall, thin and pretty with strawberry blonde hair which was tied in a bun.
"Feel free to move around, darling", said Mrs. Hoffman, "James is in the office. Let me inform him about your arrival".
James must be Mr. Hoffman, I thought. "You must be hungry, aren't you?" Megan asked. "Absolutely", I grinned as she led me through the door which took us in the kitchen. The kitchen was bright, with blue colored cabinets and a table of six in the middle. Peter sat at the second place while Megan sat at the first. I was given the third place, being the third teen of the family. Mrs. Hoffman sat at the opposite side of Megan.
She had already served spaghetti and meatballs which was my not-so-favorite. But I was too hungry to resist. I grabbed a spoonful of spaghetti and put it in my mouth.
"Rosanna", Megan started, "We have heard that you have come from North Carolina. How is that place?"
"Well", I chewed, "Its rainy all the time".
"Wow!" Peter exclaimed, nibbling with his food, "I love rain".
"Oh", I smiled as I put a meatball in my mouth, "If you love rain then it’s the best place you can visit".
"Don't you like it?" Megan asked in excitement.
"I don't really like the weather when it is all wet and humid", I finished the last part of my meatballs.
"Rose, honey", said Mrs. Hoffman, "Can I call you Rose?"
"Yeah, sure", I grinned.
"Then we all will call you Rose", Megan laughed as she sipped her Diet Coke.
"Rose", Mrs. Hoffman continued, "Your uncle said that you are gonna study in Seattle High School. So have you taken your admission already?"
"Yeah, I have", I looked at her. "In fact, my new school is gonna start from tomorrow".
"That's great", Peter said, "It’s not so far from here either".
"Can I get a map of this city?" I asked, hoping to get one for further usage.
"You will find one in your room", Mrs. Hoffman smiled, "I knew that you are gonna need one so we have already kept it in your room. It’s upstairs, to the left".
"Thanks a lot, Mrs. Hoffman", I answered politely, "That’s very generous of you".
"Call me Mamma", she laughed, "You are a part of this family, Rose".
"Thanks, mamma". I smiled.
The whole day I spent talking to Megan and Peter. Both of them were pretty talkative as well as good. They never made me feel low or got bored when I talked about my ruined life.
My parents, Steve and Mia Valdez died in a car accident when I was two. Since then I have been living with my uncle and aunt in North Carolina until one day my aunt fell head over heels with her young office colleague, and ran away with him. My uncle was really depressed and heartbroken. He didn't know what to do and I had to leave him and come here. My uncle is quite well now. He is overcoming from his depression and guess what? He has found his love interest in a pretty nurse at the hospital where he is a child specialist. They both had been thinking to get married and move to Tennessee, in a quiet and peaceful farmhouse. I thought to move in a big city and study further in a better school. When I had first said this to him, he refused, but then when I was all too stubborn, he let me go. He had contacted the Hoffman family through internet. They had put an ad on a site about wanting a foster child. My uncle had sent them my whole biography as well as my latest photos and at once, they liked me.
Megan said she belonged to a Jewish family back at Nashville. She was the eldest daughter out of three sisters. Her father died of illness when they were very young and so her mother couldn't afford their livelihood alone. She handed over all the three daughters of her to different families. Her full name was Megan Smith. She has been living here since she was ten. She have completed her high school as and now she is studying Mythology in Seattle University.
Peter Newton didn't say much. He said that he was in an orphanage when Mr. Hoffman and Mrs. Hoffman came and took him away. He had been living here since the age of 13. He studied History in Seattle University, the same university where Megan studies.
That night in dinner, I met James Hoffman. He was a fat, tall and fun-loving guy who loved children and he treated me really well. Megan and Peter called him Dad. His wife, Veronica (Yes, I got to know her
name at last) had prepared ham and steaks. She was a superb cook.
Megan showed me my bedroom. It was on first floor, the last bedroom. It was a spacious room with a medium sized bed, a study table, a cupboard, a dressing table and a chair. The bathroom was very posh and marbled. The basin was swan-shaped. Megan was in the next room and Peter was next to hers. Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman slept downstairs. There was a bedroom beside kitchen and dining.
Tiredness rushed in me as soon as I hit the soft feather-like bed. New home, new city and new school. My heart skipped a bit thinking about new school. I wondered how co-operative the classmates and teachers would be here. Back in North Carolina, they treat the newcomers as if they are old students. But here, in Seattle, it's gonna be tricky, I guessed.
It was all quiet by that time. I could only hear the bedside alarm clock ticking. I fell asleep.