twenty five - circles

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I return home an hour after leaving and absolutely nothing has changed except the fact I'm holding Ivan's shirt. The fact that I kissed Ivan. I'd even go as far as to say I made out with him, but I'm still in disbelief so I just squeeze his shirt between my fingers to stop thinking.

In my room, I tuck his shirt in the corner with the rest of my dirty laundry and climb into bed to get some sleep.

The next morning, I wake up around noon and join Kylie and Nigel in the kitchen. Their chatter turns quiet when I appear.

"What?" I ask while my eyes dart from one to the other.

"You left. You're not getting that job and I'm not gonna help you now," Kylie says as she rolls her fingernails against a coffee mug, "I saw your papers laying on the sidewalk after my shift."

"I'm sorry, I was nervous and it was the wrong thing to do," I tell her as I try to rationally think about what I was doing yesterday.

"Okay. I'm kinda mad about it," she shrugs.

Nigel keeps his head down as Kylie shakes hers in disapproval. Why is everyone so sensitive and dramatic around here?

"It's okay, I have another way to make some money," I shrug and tell them while leaning against the counter.

Nobody says anything so I stay quiet and fill up a glass with water.

"James got me a job at his parents restaurant. It's that pizza place on 6th avenue," Nigel tells us after a few seconds of silence.

I roll my eyes while the water reaches the rim of the glass, some drops overflowing.

"What else is new?" I ask Nigel before taking a sip of my water.

"Mm, nothing really. Just glad to be back," he smiles at me for the first time in a really long while.

I smile back and raise my glass while leaving the kitchen, going back into my room. I sit down on my bed and sip my water, staring into the wall. If Nigel traveled all that way to find his parents, then backed out, I bet I can actually do it, unlike him.

I smile to myself and think about it while pulling some clothes on in place of the ones I slept in.

But how would I start?

I sigh softly and rub my eyes to try and wake myself up some more, to try and get myself in touch with reality again.

I guess the most basic starting point would be to visit the group home that fostered me all of these years. They're sure to have some sort of record... I hope.

Or I could ask Nigel how he started... but I don't want to do that.

Instead, I pick myself up from my bed and head straight out the door without acknowledging anyone. Nigel and Kylie don't say anything and that's fine with me because they don't need to know what I'm doing anyway.

I zipper my jacket and rub my eyes to adjust to the blinding sunlight while I walk towards the foster center I was once registered under. I can't help but to feel thousands of emotions begin to flood my brain as I think back to the years growing up with Nigel and my other friends from the system. I bet it's so much better now since they were adding "substantial changes" right around the time I turned eighteen.

Upon approaching the building, nothing really changed. The outside is still brick with an a faded sign nailed above the door, a few snowflakes stuck onto the windows because of the winter season. I pull the door open and get hit with a blast of warm air and a familiar smell that brings back so much nostalgia.

"Hello, how can I help you?" A pleasant voice asks me while I make my way inside.

"Hi, uh, I used to be registered in this system and I was wondering if I'd be able to gather some more information on my birth parents," I ask the lady sitting at the desk while she stares at me with unusually wide eyes.

The lady suddenly smiles and nods, positioning herself at the computer placed in front of her. "Your name please?"

I rock back and forth on my heels. "Eliott Price. It's, uh, spelled E-l-i-o-t-t. You probably wouldn't get any results if you spelled-"

"Eliott Price. Okay, our records show that there were no release papers signed by your parents or guardians at the time you were registered into our system. This means that I cannot release any information to you," the lady says again with a toothy smile, "however, you can sign this form in the event that a biological parent asks us for information on you."

I shake my head and stuff my hands in my pockets. "So, what if they have already came in and looked for me and you just said the same thing you told me? You can't give them my information because I didn't sign the papers?"

The lady nods. "Correct."

"So I can't really do anything?" I ask one more time.

"You can sign the forms to release your information to your biological parents if they come in seeking information."

I bite down on my tongue to stay quiet and shift on my heels again to leave the place. I push the doors open and lean against the brick wall directly outside to light a cigarette.

"Hey! Can't do that here, go somewhere else," A deep voice suddenly yells, "you could get fined."

I look around and see that there is literally nobody else except this man who is about fifty feet away from me. "I don't see anybody who will fine me."

The man grumbles something and takes another sip of his coffee, turning his back to me completely.

I scoff and take a drag of my cigarette while reflecting on what I should even do next. Keep trying? Sign the papers?

If there's one thing I learned from the building my back is leaning against right now, it is that giving up is always the easiest option, and that's the option that you want to choose.

--

I'm sorry for taking forever to update, life got crazy, especially with the holidays! Along with that, I hope everyone had a great holiday season. I can't quite pinpoint how I've been feeling lately, but my creativity has been at a -10 and I have been struggling to even think of something remotely interesting to write. I promise I will try to update more frequently now and thank you for sticking around.

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