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Copyright © 2011 by Sandra Madera
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"This is it," Rosalyn Dennis announced as she pulled into the driveway of a large manor. "Do you like it?"
"Sure, Mom," I muttered as I brushed a few strands of my silky, black hair away from my face. "I like haunted houses."
"It's not haunted," she said matter-of-factly. "This house is our new beginning. Can you see its potential, Chloë?"
"You say that every time we move," I told her with a smile.
My mom smiled back. She wasn't like other mothers I have met. Appeared younger than her years, her skin was smooth, free of wrinkles and blemishes. Her eyes were large and sparkled like bright, blue gems. She had long, black hair that was silky and straight, reaching her delicate waist. She was tall and thin, but she wasn't awkward like I was. Her movements were graceful.
Opening the passenger's side door, I got out of my mom's minivan. I looked up at the massive, stone facade. The house was almost uninhabitable, but it seemed to have nice bones. It had large windows... some of which were broken, but I could look beyond that. Those windows were sure to let in lots of light. It had a heavy, wooden door with a stained glass insert. Taking a better look at the glass, I realized it depicted a large oak tree.
"I like it," I said sincerely, more for my own ears than anyone else's.
"Chloë," my mom called from the rear of the van.
I turned to her.
She motioned with her hands. "Your ears, darling."
"Oh," I gasped, brushing my hair to my face. "Sorry."
"Why don't you go inside and make yourself at home," she said, taking a box from the back of the van. "Your room is up the stairs. The first door to the right."
"Okay," I said, feeling embarrassed.
I ran inside and flew up the stairs. I couldn't wait to see my new room. I hoped it was everything I dreamed it to be. We never lived in such a big house before. It made me wonder where mom got the money to buy this place.
When I reached the door, I gently slid it open. I couldn't believe my eyes. The room was twice as big as my old one. It had a large bay window with a window seat. I envisioned myself reading many books on that window seat.
My furniture had already arrived, and I jumped on my bed. Excitement washed over me, and I started to giggle. This house was a new start. No more being teased.
I stood up from my bed and walked over to the mirror on the opposite side of my room. My appearance was shocking to most people my age. I was tall with a wiry frame. People said I was all limbs like one of those daddy-long-legs spiders. As a matter-of-fact, kids use to call me daddy-long-legs in school. We moved a lot, but I was teased no matter where we went. I used to cry about it, but now, I understand my bullies a bit more. I was different. Even at a young age, I towered over everyone in my class. Over the years, I have come to terms with my five foot ten inch frame and have been more comfortable in my skin than I was then.