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Cara at 14

Cara, The Dreamer

Cara rounded the corner to the kitchen, open book in hand. Her mother was at the table peeling an orange.

“You’re such a dreamer, Cara,” her mother chided for the third time that lazy, summer afternoon.

Fourteen-year-old Cara stopped walking and considered her options for a moment. Ignore the comment as she had twice before or ask her mother what she meant. Maybe she wants me to ask? Otherwise why would she keep saying it?

“What do you mean, I’m a dreamer?” asked Cara.

“Collecting seashells…You’re still playing pretend aren’t you? And at your age? All those shells are just trash!”

“I cleaned them up like you asked me to.”

“And with your nose in a book all the time – reading science fiction or that Bible,” she said scornfully.

Cara was quiet for a moment. “I’m not sure what you want from me.”

“Heavens child, why don’t you take up something practical? You know I’ve offered to teach you how to sew.”

Her mother was an excellent seamstress. Cara looked down, letting her hair fall in front of her face to hide the tears that had squeezed out onto her cheeks. “I don’t really like sewing,” she said quietly.

“You’re just so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good,” her mother chided. “You need to get your head out of the clouds sometimes, Cara.”

“I know. I wish I liked the things you do… I don’t understand why I’m so different.” She wiped her eyes and met her mother’s gaze.

“It’s because you’re adopted.” Her mother’s eyes widened and her hand flew to her mouth. The look on the woman’s face told Cara that she had not meant to blurt the words out – but there they were, unable to be withdrawn. Cara was adopted.

It was such a shock that for a moment Cara felt disembodied. Then the feeling faded leaving a dull ache in her gut. That’s why both her parents had blue eyes, the color of the sea but hers were a muddy brown.

Cara walked quickly from the kitchen without speaking. A sharp pain registered in her foot as she realized she had stepped on a toy squid, doubtless left there by her little brother. The favored child…the biological son. Now everything was starting to make sense.

 

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