For BrokenSmiles's Contest

For BrokenSmiles's Contest

This is for BrokenSmile's picture contest. The picture of the two puppies is what I'm writing about.
Thanks for reading this. :)

Sorry if it is not very good though.

Chapter 1

Something to be Thankful For

I stared down at my paper hoping words would just magically appear on the paper. I could not think of anything to write down, no matter how hard I tried. Meanwhile my classmates were filling up their papers with a huge list of things. Why did my teacher make us do this stupid assignment?!
"Alright children, you have two more minutes to write down what you are thankful for!" my teacher, Ms. Simons, announced. "Finish your last minute thoughts and be ready to hand in your paper. Remember, I am counting this as a quiz grade."
I sighed and continued to stare at my paper. I was going to fail this quiz and I knew it.
"I just can't think of anything!" I thought to myself. "My life has gone so downhill over these past two years. I do not even have a single friend at this new place, not even a dog."
Suddenly I heard the bell ring. School was officially out for Thanksgiving break. My classmates eagerly sprung up from their desks and began to make a beeline for the door.
"Please hand in your papers on the way out the door," Ms. Simons said. "And have a happy Thanksgiving!"
I groaned and began to walk towards the door. I was the last one to the door and the last one to hand my paper to Ms. Simons. When I handed the paper to my teacher, she merely looked at it and frowned.
"Jenna, may I please speak with you for a moment?" she asked. "Or do you have a bus to catch?"
"Sure, I'm walking home anyway," I muttered.
Ms. Simons led me across the room. She sat at her desk and motioned me to sit at a chair facing her desk. I obediently did as she instructed me to. An uneasy feeling then began to settle in my stomach. Ms. Simons was the best teacher I ever had and I liked her a lot. But I did not want her to be upset with me.
"You do know you are turning this in as a grade, right?" my teacher questioned.
I nodded. "Yes, I do."
Ms. Simons looked at me perplexed. "You needed to write what you were thankful for in order for me to give you a good grade on this."
"I know," I replied, looking down at my feet. "I do not have anything to be thankful for and I did not feel like lying."
"Certainly you must have something you are thankful for."
"But I honestly don't," I informed her.
Ms. Simons' expression grew stern. "You know, Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for what you have. There are children in far worse situations than you. You can at least be thankful for your family, friends and all the nice things you have."
"But I don't!" I felt angry. "My parents were killed in a car crash two years ago. I have since traveled from foster home to foster home. It's impossible to make any friends when I am moving around so much. The only person that has kept me happy since my parents died was my older sister, Ray. But Ray and I went to different foster homes last month and I'll probably never see her again."
My teacher's eyes widened. "I had no idea...."
I ignored her and continued with my story. "My foster parents here want nothing to do with me and always remind me of that. They sold a lot of the nice things I had, including a necklace that belonged to my mom. The kids here seem to not like me either."
Suddenly tears started rolling down my cheeks and I buried my head in my arms. I felt so stupid for crying but I could help it. All the anger, sadness and frustration I had felt had bottled up inside me the past month. I had tried to be strong through it all. I was strong with I sad goodbye to Ray for the last time, I was strong when my foster parents took my mother's necklace and I was even strong when the kids at school bullied me. But now it seemed like I had lost that strength and was reduced to a sopping, defenseless mess.
Ms. Simons came over to my side and began to stroke my back. "I'm so sorry honey. Please don't cry." She then tilted my chin up so I was looking at her. "Listen, I think I can help you. Would you mind coming to my house with me for a minute? I live right across the street from the school."
I was shocked my her offer. I managed to smile at her though and give a little nod. I then presumed to wipe the tears from my eyes and follow Ms. Simons to her house.
Ms. Simons and I walked out of the school, across the street and up the drive leading to a blue house. My teacher unlocked the door and invited me inside. She told me to wait in the kitchen while she went and got something. I did not know what else to do so I just nodded and waited for her to return.
When Ms. Simons returned she was carrying a bowl containing two small puppies in it. There was a bed of leaves underneath the puppies so they would have something to lay on. I just stood there speechless as Ms. Simons took the puppies out of the bowl and handed them to me.
"Happy Thanksgiving!" Ms. Simons exclaimed. She smiled at me. "These are two Dalmatian puppies I have been caring for and I would like to give them to you, if you want them. Just a little something you can be thankful for."
I peered down at the little puppies in my hands. They both looked up back at me as well. Then the pups began to wiggle and try to lick my face. I laughed as their rough, wet tongues went across my face.
I then turned my attention back to Ms. Simons. "It's um, very nice of you to offer me these two puppies. They are really cute but I don't think I can accept them. My foster parents don't like dogs."
Ms. Simons smiled at me. "Yes Jenna, but you see, the dogs would still be living here."
I cocked my head. "Then why did you offer them to me in the first place?"
"Jenna, I would like to adopt you," Ms. Simons replied. "I have been looking for a daughter to adopt. When you told me you were living with foster parents, I was wondered if you would like to be the girl I adopt."
Now this shocked me even more than when Ms. Simons offered me to come to her house with her.
"But why would you want me?" I asked.
"I like you Jenna," my teacher replied. "I always have since you started school last month. You were quiet and reserved but I could see a caring and smart person in you. Also I know how much you like dogs considering all the times I catch you drawing dogs on your paper in class."
I blushed a little. "Sorry about that."
"Since I found out you needed a good home, it just seemed perfect for me to adopt you," Ms. Simons explained. "I could easily adopt you by the end of the break, if you like. I have fostered two children before so I know the process very well." My teacher put her hand on my shoulder. "So what do you say Jenna? Do you want me to adopt you?"
I did not even need to think about my response. I gently placed the puppies down on the floor and wrapped my arms around my teacher.
"I would be delighted too," I whispered.
Ms. Simons hugged me back. "I am very happy to hear that."
I picked up the two puppies again and cradled them close. Then I gave Ms. Simons a warm smile.
"If you don't mind, I would like to redo that paper," I told her. "I think I do have something to be thankful for after all."

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