My earliest memory is being held in strong, uncaring arms. There were flashing lights, and loud noises. The Sanders adopted me when I was just five years old. I know that I was just a publicity stunt to sky rocket the Sanders popularity. I know this because Mr. Sanders tells me this almost everyday.
At first, they took me everywhere they went, weather it was to the movie sets, or to the grocery store. Everywhere we went, people shoved cameras in my face, asking me how it feels to be adopted by the famous Sanders family. I remember being terrified as I tried to hide behind Mrs. Sanders, only to have her pull me out from behind her. I missed the orphanage, it was quite, and had warmth. The people there actually cared.
Then Mrs. Sanders got really sick. They stopped taking me everywhere. I didn’t have a problem with it, I rather liked staying home and not having my picture taken every five seconds. But I didn’t understand what was going on around me, they hardly talked to me. I think for those few months they forgot I existed.
Dot, the maid at the time, was left to care for me. Rather, when she found me trying run myself a bath by myself, she took it upon herself to care for me. I would follow her around the massive house, helping her with the cleaning, asking all sorts of questions that little kids ask. Unlike Mr. Sanders, she didn’t shooed me away and told me to ‘fuck off.’
Months later, Dot woke up me in tears. She told me Mrs. Sanders was gone. My young mind couldn’t grasp the concept of death at the time, but I knew she wouldn’t be coming back anytime soon.
No one other than Dot paid attention to me for the next few years. Not that I had any problems with that. Bert scared me, and Gerard was always hiding up in his room. The whole house was hectic. People would always be in and out, all day long. But Dot was my safe. I knew she was the only one in the house that cared for me.
Like when Bert would take away Squeakers, the stuffed dog I got for my birthday at the orphanage the year before I was adopted, and hide him from me, Dot would always go find it for me. Mr. Sanders would just glare at me, and tell me to stop being such a baby.
When I was nine, I woke up a few hours after Dot would normally wake me up. I was scared, this never happens. I ran to the main level of the house, hoping to see Dot smiling at me, telling me she was sorry she didn’t come to wake me up.
She wasn’t there. She had died in her sleep. They didn’t let me go to her funeral.
The first week after she passed, I was in shock. The house seemed colder, all the warmth left when Dot did. I mostly sat in the middle of my bed, hugging Squeakers, wrapped in the blanket Dot sewed up for me from different scraps of material she had laying around her house.
The next week Mr. Sanders yanked me out of bed at five a.m, and told me that if I wanted to continue living here, I’d have to pull my weight around. That I owed them for adopting my lazy ass.