Chance Carpenter sauntered into the dining room, whistling to himself as he placed his breakfast on the table. He was surprised to see his uptight parental figures, normally so busy with their careers, already sitting at the table. He decided to ignore them as he sat down and reached for the milk and sugar.
"Morning Dad." He said brightly "Shelley." He nodded coldly at his step mother
"Hey Chance." They said back in unison.
He looked up at them suspiciously upon noting their nervous expressions. They were up to no good he was sure of it. He was fairly certain that whatever they said next was going to change his life, and not in a good way. He felt his heart sink at the fake smiles they had plastered on their faces.
"Tell me what's happening. Why are you looking at me like that?" He asked them. Their sullen faces were enough to change his good mood completely.
"Honey," His step-mum Shelley started but was interrupted by Chance's ugly glare in her direction "We have some really good news but also some bad." Shelley took a deep breath and forced her smug grin into a concerned expression
"And?" Chance almost growled at her
"Well it's mostly bad news for you." She told him
She watched him carefully and secretly gleefully, preparing for his reaction. His face fell as he wondered what it could be this time. Well that does it, he thought, so much for my happy morning. He braced himself for what was to come.
"Well what is it?" Chance ground out
He wished they would just put him out of his misery. With the pair of them everything was good or bad, no in-betweens and no second chances. He was so tired of it, if he even set one foot out of place he was the worst scum of the earth. He glared at Shelley and waited for an answer.
"The fact is we have been...." Shelley looked to her husband John, hoping he could explain it better to this rebellious boy.
John watched his son carefully. He was still deciding the best way to explain that they were virtually adopting him out to another family, for maybe the rest of his time as a teenager and in a foreign country. The words just didn't want to come out. His guilt was almost overwhelming but he knew it was the best thing to do.
"Son, we have been given the opportunity of a lifetime. One of our businesses is being set up in France and we need to oversee the project from there. We have estimated that it will take between one to two years to complete." John explained in his precise manner
"So you're carting me off to France?" Chance looked at his father with wide excited eyes "That's kinda cool." But then he saw his father wince and knew the worst was yet to come.
"No, we can't take you with us. "Shelley answered coolly with a smirk and Chance felt his hatred boiling in his blood for her.
"Chance it would be impossible. But we have made arrangements with an old friend of mine for you to live with his family in Australia. Before you argue, it's either that or boarding school." John told him firmly.
Shelley excused herself and beat a hasty retreat. She grinned with malicious glee, feeling that at last she had won against her pest of a step-son. There was no way he could escape from this one.
Chance sat in shock at the table, his breakfast completely untouched. He felt his life spinning out of his control. What about his friends, his schooling, his life? Did that mean nothing to his father? Finally he spared his father a glance and noticed that he seemed genuinely upset. He knew this wasn't his Dad's fault. It never was.
"You are kidding me about Australia aren't you Dad?" He asked quietly
"You've never been there and this could be a great experience for you." John said imploringly
"No way, there has got to be a better option than this." Chance pleaded as his warm brown eyes turned angry "I can't believe you planned this all behind my back."
"We didn't mean to. It just all happened so fast." He looked at Chance who seemed confused, hurt and angry. In his mind he planned his last words "I'm sorry son but you don't have a choice in what is happening." John stated firmly. Chance recognised his father's tone. Final, no other choices allowed.
"Fine." Chance ground out angrily
He stormed from the room, his anger reaching its highest level. Defiantly he slammed the front door. He hoped they got his message at how furious he was about this situation he had been forcefully shoved into. John looked after Chance's retreating figure and sighed.