"We Revolve Around You"

The Dakota Planet

"We Revolve Around You"

The Dakota Planet

"We Revolve Around You"

The Dakota Planet

Carry me Away

Part One
Carry+me+Away

There wasn’t a lot that inspired me. Most days, I just wake up and lay in bed for another hour or two. 

Even when I had school, that didn’t help much. Instead, there was only one thing that truly brought me excitement. 

I remember the festive lights hanging on all the houses I passed by. The holidays hadn’t been a time of merriment this year, but I didn’t mind looking at all the bright lights while having my backpack hauled over both my shoulders. 

But the holidays do not mean much when you don’t really have friends or family. Instead, there’s just an empty feeling that’s festered for about six years now.  

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** 

My birthday happened to be on the winter solstice, December 21st. 

Six years ago, that day happened to be my thirteenth birthday.  

And at that time, I was with my first foster family. Truthfully, it was hard to remember much from this experience. I was taken from my grandma’s home one night, and in the months prior to my birthday, I was taken from place to place until I was living with a couple in their early thirties and their two children.  

And with my first foster family, I learned about how insignificant I was to the people around me. 

 

On my birthday, I woke up on my makeshift bed. Beneath me were about three layers of thin blankets and some pillows from the living room. Meanwhile, on the other side of the room were two beds for Ash and Max, the two children of my foster parents. According to my foster parents, they were still saving up to buy a bed for me, so I’d have to make do with what I could find.  

I walked into the kitchen, looking around for some cereal when I heard my foster mom walk into the room.
“Hey, don’t eat too much. We’re going out later,”
Before I could ask her anything else, she walked out of the kitchen to go wake up Ash and Max.  

As per usual, the two brothers sandwiched me between them as we got in the back of the car.  

“I wonder where mom is gonna take us!”
Max chimed excitedly. He was the younger brother, so he’d always get babied by my foster parents. Meanwhile, Ash was slightly older than me.  

“I heard that she got some more money this week, so she’ll probably take us Christmas shopping,”
Ash replied. My eyes lit up slightly.

“Really?”
I glanced over at Ash, but his gaze remained fixed out the window as his mother entered the car, followed by his father.  

 

For the majority of the ride, Ash and Max kept the conversation going while I sat awkwardly between them. And it turned out that the two of them were correct. We arrived at the mall, and I was baffled by the colorful decorations that it boasted at its entrance. I looked over to my left, where Ash had been sitting, to stare at the mall’s festive decorations until Max shoved me impatiently.

“Val! Move it! You’re blocking my view!”
Max whined while I tried to shove him back.
 

“Quit it! You’ll be able to see it when we get out the car! OW!”
I winced in pain as Max harshly elbowed my side. I looked at the front visor, making eye contact with my foster mom pleadingly. I noticed as her eyes narrowed back at me.

“Valeria, quit overreacting. He’s just a boy, it’s normal for him to be impatient!”
 

“But-”

“Watch it! Or else we’re not buying you lunch later!”
Max laughed a little as he joined the conversation.
“Yeah Val!”
 

I just rolled my eyes at him.
“Whatever,”
I mumbled under my breath, crossing my arms as I watched my foster family unbuckle their seat belts and step out of the car. 

 

Later, when we were in the mall, I followed around lazily as Max and Ash excitedly told their parents what to buy. That was when we passed by a display window with all sorts of girls’ clothes. It had been ages since I had gotten something new to wear, and I was starting to outgrow all the clothes I had, which gave my foster mom and Max an excuse to tease me. Whenever I’d lift my arms and my shirt rose to reveal my stomach, they’d say I was “chubby,” and I had been eating too much.  

So, when my foster family was distracted by a Nerf Gun that Ash was begging them to buy, I walked into the store.  

I began to look at all the clothes, admiring them all as I’d take them from the racks that they hung from and held whatever I had against me.  

Eventually, I found a bright pink hoodie with ruffled sleeves. I quickly took it from the rack, and held it against myself, trying to see if it would fit me. But that was when my foster family found me.  

“Valeria! We thought we lost you!”
My foster mom announced loudly, yanking the hoodie from my grasp. Her eyes scanned over the price tag, and I noticed her nose wrinkle in a sneer.
“$29.99? That’s way too expensive Val!”

“But I need new clothes! Nothing fits me anymore,”
I tried to argue as she placed the hoodie back onto the rack.

“Well then maybe you should stop being such a pig all the time and eat less! A girl your age should be taking better care of herself!”
 

I knew it was stupid to stand up for myself, but I just couldn’t help it.
“I barely eat anything! Most of the time, you either make me go to my room or you make me eat salads while Max and Ash get to eat whatever they want! Can’t I just have something for once? It’s my birthday!”

The look my foster mom gave me told me everything I needed to know. I was screwed.  

 

Later on, when we went out to eat, I had to watch the rest of my foster family while I sat quietly at the table. And when we went home, that’s when I really faced her wrath.  

“I can’t believe you Valeria! Making me look bad in public! You should be thankful that we brought you in! But then again, what do you know about manners? Your parents were probably just a bunch of homeless drug addicts!”
 

My face went red with a mix of anger and embarrassment.
“Shut up! You don’t know anything about my parents!”  

My left cheek became redder the second my foster mom slapped me.
“Go to your room! You can forget about dinner too!” 

Stunned, I retreated to my room, feeling tears welling up in my eyes. I shut the door behind me, hearing my foster family talk amongst themselves as they prepared for dinner. Since I was alone, I decided to lay on Ash’s bed. It was the cleaner one, at least. 

I shut my eyes tightly, sobbing to myself as I grabbed a blanket from the edge of his bed to muffle myself with.  

It was that day that I had stopped living within reality, and I began to embrace my imagination instead. While Christmas music played outside my room and I could hear my foster family having the time of their lives, I had used my imagination to try and take myself away from that moment. Anything was better than reality, especially when your voice as a kid means nothing in the world you live in.

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About the Contributor
Emily is a senior at Dakota High School, and this is her first year at the Dakota Planet. For nearly seven years, she's been writing creatively in her spare time as a hobby. Emily is also the president of Writing Club and the Historian of Women's Empowerment Club. In the future, she plans on writing professionally as an author.
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