Sitting in the silence of her room, her eyes fixed on the scene outside her tiny window, Amy sat, her knees drawn close to her chest. Her face looked tired from sleeplessness and her eyes has an eerie maturity about them that scared her own self every time she looked into the mirror to comb her hair.
Outside, where the sun rays fell beautifully on the trees and the garden was filled with cheers and laughter, a few children ran around, playing and laughing. They were the new ones, still so full of hope and happiness. But Amy had been here for way too long. She’d seen people come and go while she remained constant, staring out the window of her boxed up room as she clutched her tattered one eyed doll close to her heart and chanted sweet nothings to herself, trying to calm herself down.
In the corner of the room, a mattress lay on the floor, badly worn out from the numerous years of her weight. On the three legged dressing table that stood crookedly thanks to the books replacing the fourth leg, sat a beautiful photograph of what looked like a loving family. It was of a couple standing in what looked like a garden while a little girl stood in between them, holding their hands as she let out her best toothless grin. It seemed perfect. But that was far from true.
If what that picture portrayed was reality, Amy wouldn’t have been sitting there, her eyes watching the others and her heart belonging anywhere but in that place while she slowly let the soul drain out of her life that was now devoid of hope or cheer.
It happened when she was five, when she overheard her parents talking about her in their room, loud enough for her to hear. Looking back now, she wondered if they wanted her to hear what they were saying or if it just was by accident. But their words shocked her. To know that they didn’t want her upset her more than anything else in the world. Hardly a week afterwards, was she sent off to the adoption centre, after they made her promise that she wouldn’t let anyone know that her parents were alive.
Amy didn’t understand it at that age, but then she knew that her parents were dead to her. In the beginning, she didn’t understand why but while she overheard the nurses talking, she realized that it was because of her gender. It was shocking to her that breaking up a family was as easy as that, that it took hardly the gender to make matters go upside down in her life. She wondered why, if that were true, boys were also in this adoption centre. She also wondered if her parents ever had another child.
In the first three years of her coming into the adoption centre, she made great friends and broke her tender heart plenty of times whenever they left with their new parents. She dreaded the moment that the choice was made, as all the children were lined up as if for an auction while strangers walked around them, pinching their cheeks and adjusting their clothes for them before making a final decision. It seemed very silly to her, to be able to tell which child would suit these unknown people the best just by looking at them. Whenever she saw a couple walk up to her and then look away, as if she were unfit to even glance at, a tiny part of her chipped off, making her retreat deeper into her shell.
Every time a friend left, a little part of her died inside and the horror of the fact that she would never be picked stayed with her, haunting her in her dreams. Initially, she tried to feel happy for her friends as she saw the cheerful smiles on their faces and the joy in their eyes. But eventually, that changed into hatred as she began looking at everyone with venom in her eyes. Ever since she realized that the boys were all getting picked first, she stopped talking to them knowing that her heart wouldn’t be able to take that much pain.
Now, as she sat in her room at the age of eleven, she began feeling like she might grow up and die in the adoption centre. A major portion of her life was in this room, with food being served to her at definite times and sleepless nights terrorizing her till she grew immune to them. She waited for the day a prospective mother and father would look at her the way they would their own child and she herself would feel like she belonged.
As she was so deeply lost in thoughts, she heard the door knob turn.
“Someone’s here to see you,” Her mistress said, walking in with a mischievous gleam in her eyes as she stepped aside.
As if her prayers were being heard, a lovely looking couple walked in and smiled at Amy.
For the first time in years, she smiled back.