Two days ago...Crystal

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Crystal plopped down into the leather recliner in her family’s living room with her Sci-Fi book in hand.  She had woken up especially early this morning just so she could read in peace. Normally during the day, the house would be in summer chaos.

Crystal was one of many in a group of nine children. She had five adopted siblings and four biological ones. Her adopted brothers and sisters were; Susie and Susan(the twins)-age seven-, Jake from Switzerland-age eighteen-, Mandie from the local orphanage-age two-, and last but certainly not least Bobby(Jake’s younger brother)-age ten. Of course then there are the biological siblings of her parents; Kate-age seven-, Hank-age sixteen-, and finally little Fredrickson (Little Freddie, was what he was called the most)-age four weeks old.

 Crystal breathed out a quiet sigh of relief as she finished reading the last page of her book. It had taken her weeks just to finish this one book when she could have easily read the three hundred page book in one day if she had the chance. However, that didn’t happen often since she was the oldest girl of her siblings, even if she was only fifteen.  Her age didn’t stop her from doing everything her mom couldn’t do any more since she was busy now all the time with Little Freddie.

 She closed her book as quietly as she could. Just as she closed it the piercing cries of Little Freddie rang out of his mini lungs. Crystal let out a soft sigh, so much for quiet. Her father ran passed Crystal without paying her any attention, and took off up the spiral metal staircase that stood in the middle of the room. She shook her head in amusement; it seemed like not too long ago Freddie was crying to be fed and here he was at it again.

 From the other side of the wall Crystal could hear the quiet squeak of someone coming down the slide into the kitchen. The massive two-story house was a dream project of her parents who have always wanted to create the best yet totally random kid-friendly house they could imagine. It definitely excelled in the random department with the many ways to get from one room to the other.

Crystal stuffed her book in the pocket on the side of the recliner. She jumped off the chair and took the secret door in the wall that was next to it to enter the kitchen.

The smell of her mom’s cinnamon candles filled Crystal’s nose as she walked into brightly lit kitchen. The kitchen’s happy yellow rectangular design greeted Crystal and she still smiled at the two stained glass windows of random patterns that filled the room with a vast array of colors as the morning sun streamed in. For the millionth time Crystal bonked her leg against one of the fourteen person table’s legs.

Not again. Crystal thought as she rubbed the spot where her leg and the leg of the table had made yet another meeting. The sound of someone shifting on plastic brought Crystal out of her thoughts and back into the present. Sitting on the big booth chair where their orange slide had its landing area was, Kate.

“Hey Kate,” Crystal greeted, “Why are you up so early? It’s seven-thirty.”

“It’s only seven-thirty.” Kate yawned with her eyes barely open.

 “Yes…” Crystal agreed, “But it’s also summer and everyone, except Mom, Dad, and Freddie sleep in until nine.”

Kate sighed and threw her hands up dramatically before placing her face in her hands, “It’s Susie and Susan. They kept me ups all night with their sleep talk. I couldn’t take it anymore!”

Crystal nodded in understanding. Five years ago Crystal’s mom, Helen, saw a news special on California orphans. Susie and Susan were some of the orphans interviewed and Helen knew immediately that she wanted to adopt them, and her mom had a way of making things happen. What they found out on the first night Susie and Susan stayed with them was that the two of them liked to talk to each other while they slept.

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