The Little Princess Chapter 1
I'm back and with an original story! It's a WIP, but I'm proud of it! I really hope you enjoy this!
This is a subject I'm really into, and I hope I don't steer you away with what I like, but here goes!
It was raining. Maybe that was why Hannah lay in her bed, sweat covered from another nightmare that plagued her, brought on by the weather. As soon as she'd felt the memories start to trickle in, she tried forcing herself awake. And it worked, but only after she relived the worst day of her life. The rain always brought back those memories whether she liked it or not.
A boom of thunder filled the room, causing the girl to jump. Annoyed she couldn't have slept in on the first day of summer break, she threw the covers off in a huff. Above her the bed creaked as her bunkmate slept peacefully on, unaware of the problems going on below her. Hannah was just glad she was able to wake up before the screaming started. She did not want another trip to the psychiatrist.
Aqua colored eyes roamed the room and the nine other girls who were still asleep. For the past three years, she'd been in this room. She'd seen boys and girls alike come and go so many times, she didn't bother to learn their names anymore. It seemed they were there for a week or two, and then like magic, a family member came to get them. It was never Hannah's turn.
Her gaze fell on a lone suitcase sitting in the corner of the room and her lips turned up in a small smile. Until now. Two weeks ago, the head of the foster home, Mr.s Morrison, came to Hannah with tears in her eyes, telling her that her father's sister had made contact to come and claim her.
But, that had been two weeks ago. Mrs. Morrison had told her time and time again that there was a lot of paperwork to go through before her aunt could even step foot on the block. Hannah had to think if that was really the case, though.
It was nerve-wracking to think she was going to meet a member of her father's family when she'd never even met the man herself. Sure, her mother told her stories about him before. Hanah knew what kind of man he was due to those. He was kind and brave, always thoughtful of others, and above all, he loved her mother. Her mother loved him too, always keeping her heart for the day he came back. But, he never did. And now it was too late.
She had to wonder what kind of man he was really. He left his family before Hannah was born, and her mother told her they both didn't know she was there when he had to leave, and he was somewhere he'd never be able to know. What kind of place was that? There was such a thing as international calling.
Another rumble of thunder ripped Hannah from her musings with a jump. She glanced at the clock on the nightstand and let out a quiet groan. It wasn't even seven in the morning. Maybe she could get more sleep? A low rumble of thunder had her shaking her head. No. If she did, she would be plagued by nightmares again.
With that thought she got out of bed and made her way to the packed suitcase, opening it as quietly as she could. She stared at the clothing inside, all but one shirt neatly folded. She picked up the rolled-up article and unwrapped the framed photograph inside. As soon as she saw her mother's face smiling up at her, she felt better. In the picture was a man standing next to her mother, her father.
The resemblance between them was uncanny. Every morning, Hannah stared into the mirror, trying to see her mother's face staring back at her, but all she could see was her father. The only thing she got from her mother was her platinum hair.
Putting the picture away, the girl took out clothes for the day and glanced at the window. It seemed the rain was stopping. Good. Maybe she could get a run in before everyone began waking up. She got dressed quickly and quietly stole out of the room, the house silent around her as she made her way downstairs.
As soon as she stepped outside the humidity from the rain hit her and she began to sweat. Perfect running weather. Making sure her laces were tight, Hannah took off down the block toward the quiet town. It was quiet as she jogged, the shops still closed until later that morning. Only a few people were out, either running or walking their dogs.
The air was a bit misty from the onslaught of rain and the ground was still wet, her sneakers splashing through some puddles as she went. A car passed her and the driver honked the horn, waving at Hannah with a smile, his wife mirroring the gesture. In the back seat, their children sat asleep, suitcases telling her they were on their way for a vacation. Hannah waved back, forcing a smile, all the while wanting what they had to come back to her. Her mother once told her life wasn't fair. She snorted. 'Tell me about it.'
She turned a corner and headed for the park, mainly for her favorite spot. When she made it, she collapsed under the branches of a thick pine, the ground underneath the bristles dry even after a full night of rain. She panted as she leaned against the trunk, watching the gray clouds lighten even more as the sun rose fully. A few drops of water still fell here and there, splashing down to the ground in a rhythm that slowly called to Hannah and she closed her eyes, slipping into slumber quickly under the tree.
A voice cut through the darkness that wrapped around Hannah's mind, calling her from slumberland.
"Hannah! Wake up!"
She recognized the voice as one of the high school girls from the foster home. They were in the same grade, but different classes. What was her name again, and why was she here? Hannah opened her eyes and blinked up at the girl standing over her, hands on her hips, sweat running down her face.
"Do you realize how long I've been looking for you? It's too hot to be running around town like this."
Hannah sat up with a groan, stretching out her sore muscles before standing. "What time is it?"
The other girl gave a frustrated sigh. "A little after noon. Mrs. Morrison is looking for you. There's someone at the house for you." The girl's voice spoke volumes as hints of her jealousy came through, her dull brown eyes narrowed.
"All right, I'm coming. did she say who it was?" Probably another state official coming to ask questions about her mysterious aunt. How many times did she have to tell them she didn't know the woman.
The other girl shrugged, walking beside Hannah. "No, but she isn't from the state. If she is, then they'd better start hiring different people that won't scare the kids. I saw her waiting in Mrs. Morrison's office, and this lady was huge! I mean, sitting down she had to be like six feet!"
Hannah almost stopped short. Not from the state, and extremely tall. Her father's figure in the photo flashed through her mind. Could this mean..."Listen, I'm gonna jog the rest of the way, loosen up from sleeping under that tree. I'll see you at home!" Hannah waved as she ran off, skipping right into a full out sprint. Not someone from the state asking for her. Was it finally the day she got to meet this mysterious aunt?
Her heart pounded in her ears as she ran, a smile blooming on her face, and for the first time in three years, she couldn't wait to go home.
She was panting as she rounded the corner on her block, nearly slipping on the damp pavement. As she neared the house, she saw a strange car sitting in the driveway in back of the state van. She made her legs move faster, running up the stairs to the porch two at a time and burst into the house, the door slamming against the wall.
Mrs. Morrison and another woman were standing in the hallway talking, both of them jumping at Hannah's entrance. The girl couldn't help but stare at the strange woman with the foster home director. The other girl was right...she would definitely scare the kids if she were from the state. She towered over Mrs. Morrison by at least two feet, making her close to seven feet tall, which meant Hannah would look like a child standing next to her.
"Hannah," Mrs. Morrison began a stern look on the woman's face from her entrance. "This is Susan Dereks, your father's sister." She said the words lightly, her voice wavering a bit.
Hannah stared up at the woman. Her aunt...All she could do was stare in complete shock. In all her dreams, she never thought an aunt or uncle would come for her. Heck, she never thought any family member would come for her. Instantly she could see the resemblance between the woman and her father. She had the same eyes that shone with mysteries and warmth, their smiles the same.
Susan's eyes filled with tears that she blinked back, taking a step toward Hannah. "You look just like your father," she whispered in a strained voice. "But, you have your mother's hair."
The girl brought a hand up to her hair, the waves entangling in her fingers. While she was staring at her hair, she didn't realize the woman had come closer, and nearly jumped back when she was right in front of her. She felt dwarfed in Susan's presence, much like, she was right. A child. Hannah stared up at her for a moment before the question that had been plaguing her came out. "Why now?"
The tall woman cocked her head to the side. "What was that, sweetie?"
"I asked why now? It's been three years, so why did you come now? Why you and not my father?" Even though things had been explained to her, Hannah thought this was a little too fishy.
Susan shook her head and took a seat in the overstuffed armchair in the hall, smiling at Mrs. Morrison when the woman took her leave to give them some time alone. "Your father, he doesn't know about you, Hannah. I actually just found out about your mother a few days ago when I came to see her. You see, I live pretty far from here, as does your father. He," she paused to take a shuddering breath. "He doesn't know about the accident yet." She shook her head. "As soon as I found out and learned you existed, I began making preparations to come and get you. Oh gods, why didn't I come sooner?"
She dropped her head into her hands. "When your parents went their separate ways, I was angry at your mother. I thought she just couldn't deal with the differences between her and my brother and threw him out. I learned later that it was your father that left. He didn't want to hurt your mother, and couldn't bring her with him. At least at the time. He's been requesting things be changed, but the council has been stubborn as ever."
Hannah listened to the woman's story with confusion. What was this woman talking about? "What differences?" she asked after a moment. "What could have been so different about them that they had to split apart? It's not like they were two different species. And what country could he possibly live in that wouldn't allow us to go with him? I've never heard of any law like that anywhere on earth."
Susan stiffened and raised her head, her face white with shock. "She never told you," she whispered after a long moment.
At that moment Mrs. Morrison came back into the hall looking at her watch. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but it's almost time for me to start lunch, and trust me, you don't want the younger ones around when you take Hannah. They look up to her, in a way."
Wait, she was leaving today? What about what her mother never told her?
"Everything is set. I called the numbers you gave me, Mrs. Dereks, and all the paperwork is in complete order." She paused and looked between them. "Is everything all right?"
That question seemed to snap Susan out of her trance and she nodded. "Yes, just talking is all."
Mrs. Morrison nodded and gave Hannah a kind, but watery smile. "Why don't you go get your things while Mrs. Dereks and I talk some more?"
Hannah nodded slowly and made her way toward the stairs, her eyes on Susan as she climbed, following her until Mrs. Morrison shut the door to her office. Those words, the look on her face. Something was up with this Susan. And in order to figure it out, Hannah had to go with her and get all she could out of the woman. What started out as excitement slowly faded into worry.
The girl sat on her bed, her packed suitcase in front of her, staring at it as thoughts piled into her mind. What didn't her mother tell her? What could that possibly mean? She wracked her brain, still staring at the closed case. But, she couldn't figure out the answer, and sitting there wouldn't get it for her. She had to find out for herself. So with a nod, she grabbed the handle and lifted it with a grunt.
Turning, she stared at the room that had been her home for what seemed like forever. She finally leaving this place, and with a stranger that the state said was her aunt. Hannah thought she would be sadder to leave, but she wasn't that happy either. Maybe because everything was happening so suddenly.
She gripped the handle fo her suitcase and walked away from her bed with a grim smile. "Finally," she whispered. It was her turn. She walked out of the room, closing the door behind her. Now it was time to find out what was going on.
Susan was waiting for her at the bottom of the steps, giving her a happy yet sad smile. "Ready?" she asked and Hannah nodded.
Mrs. Morris stopped her, pulling into a tight hug. "I'm so happy for you, sweetie." Her voice was thick with emotion and Hannah felt tears burning her eyes. Why did she feel like this was the last time she could see the woman?
"Thank you for everything," Hannah whispered.
The woman nodded and sniffled, pulling away. "Better get going before it gets too late. And Hannah, be good."
Hannah nodded and turned to Susan who was waiting by the door, her head nearly touching the top of the frame, the sunlight pouring in from the open door as they took a step outside.
And that was how, after three years, Hannah left the foster home.