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Never Knew

Story: 

My name's Cassidy Charleston. I was born in a small New York town near New York City known as Shellston. Mother was 35 when she had me. She abandoned Father and I and left us to tend to ourselves when I was six months old. It was in the town of Shellston that I went to my first orphanage on my third birthday, April 1st, 2000. I can still remember it now: my father, who was 40 at the time and dying of cancer, had brought me to that place. He'd told me that I'd be fine, because I'd be around other children who were my age. If only he'd known! I lasted there for only five days. My dad died on my second day there so I became a foster child. This fact - along with my young age - made me an easy target for bullying by older children and teenagers. On the fifth day at the orphanage, I got into a fight with another young kid. I wound up with a bloody nose. The orphanage leader, Anne, freaked out and called a couple of people. A couple days later, I met my first caseworker Anita.

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Now it was May 11th, 2013, and I was riding to yet another foster home with my caseworker, Stella, to the town of Portland, Maine, where a new couple (John and Mary Thompson) were waiting to meet me.

I was bored as I looked out the car window on the ride to John and Mary's house and blasted my MP3 Player on full volume. I couldn't help but remember that on this exact date two years ago I had been transferred to my previous foster parents. They were supposed to be used to people like me. People with schizophrenia but when I hurt their child, Timothy they decided to take drastic measures and called up Stella to let her know that they could no longer handle taking care of me. That was a couple days ago. Now hear I am, riding in Stella's car to this new couple's home. They're supposed to be the best foster parents in the state and are supposedly experienced in taking care of schizophrenic children and teens.

Halfway through our ride, Stella gave me a slight sideways glance. "Look, I know you didn't want to leave any of your friends, but you gave me no alternative. You definitely shouldn't have attacked that first grader! Have you been taking your medication? You know you black out when you skip any doses." Her voice was rising with each word. "You also ran away, which made everything else on your file look worse."

"Yeah, I have been taking it, Stella. I just don't always remember. I guess I must have just forgotten to take the necessary daily dosage on that specific day." I stated, in an ashamed, matter-of-fact way.

"Cas, you know that's dangerous. I've been talking to my boss and we've both agreed that it'd be in your best interest to participate in therapy; I've already contacted an old friend of mine who specializes in teens and kids with mental medical conditions such as yours."

"What?" Now I was practically hysterical. "No! I promise I'll behave; I just forgot. That's all! Besides, I only ran away because Kim and Tom assumed that I'd attacked their 'precious little Timothy'."

We rode in silence for the rest of our trip until I said, "So, did you inform this couple about my reputation and background?" I gave her my 'I swear I'll run away again if you did' look.

"You know that's impossible. Don't even attempt it." Stella said, reading my expression.

"What are you-" I started to say.

"You know exactly what I'm talking about." Stella said as she pulled into a driveway and parked. "We're here."

As we got out of the vehicle, I noticed that the Thompsons had a beautiful, three-story house, with a big front yard that had two tricycles in the middle of it. On the roof, right next to the chimney, was a partially deflated beach ball.

A woman, probably in her mid-thirties, stood on the front porch. Behind her stood a pair of twins (a boy and a girl) who were approximately six years old. The woman had her arms crossed, in an unimpressed manner that informed me that Stella had indeed told the couple about my reputation. Standing to the left of the woman was a man that was probably a little bit younger than her.

"You must be Cassidy. My name's Mary. This is Skylar, Matthew, and my husband, John," the woman introduced, pointing to each person as she said their name.

I turned to Stella and gave her a doubtful look. "Really? You expect me to stay here? I swear, I'll run away again, and when I do, you won't be able to find me."

"Cassidy, listen-" Mary tried, but Stella interrupted her before Mary could have a chance to say what she wanted.

"No, Mary, don't trying talking to her when she's like this." Stella turned towards me. "Give me your pill bottle," she demanded. I knew why she wanted it: she wanted to make sure that I'd actually been taking my medicine.

"NO!" I screamed. Then I threw the bottle at a random tree and ran into the forest. I didn't manage to get very far before Stella reached me.

"Did you seriously think that would work?" she wondered out loud.

"Yes, actually, I did." I answered, sarcastically.

"Did you forget about the court-recommended tracking anklet and watch that I had put on you after the last time you attempted to run away from a foster home? If you continue with this violent behavior and these outbursts, I'll have no alternative except to have you institutionalized, or arrested by the police. And believe me; I don't want that to happen to you. It would look horrible on your record." Stella explained.

"You put a tracker in my MP3 player too, didn't you? That's how you found me the last time I ran away."

"Yes, that's right. I'm glad you're finally learning. Anyway, if you come back with me, there's something I'd like to talk to you about." She seemed unusually calm in this situation, considering the fact that she'd been dealing with me and my violent outbursts for six years.

"I'm not coming with you! Besides, I'm sure whatever you want to say won't make me change my mind about how I feel, being here. You want me to care and respect you? Well, how about you actually care about and respect me for once? Anyway, I'm not coming with you unless you can promise me one thing."

Stella impatiently sighed and wondered, "What's that? What do you want?"

"I want to get off the meds, and I want to be able to get in keep in touch with every single damned friend I've ever made and been able to keep in the past. I want-" I couldn't continue the sentence because I was suddenly crying, interrupted by my tears. I choked on them, and started hyperventilating. Soon I was losing consciousness.

Stella could immediately tell that something was amiss when I stopped talking. Her next words were obviously very panicked and full of concern. "Oh my goodness, Cassidy, can you hear me? CASSIDY!"

The last thing I heard before completely losing consciousness was Stella taking out her cell phone and dialing 9-1-1.

blurb: 

Cassidy Charleston is a 16 year old who’s had a rough start. She’s bounced from home to home, always being rejected. No one seems to want her or has any patience to deal with her. Her special powers make the adoptive families fearful.

She ends up at Brown Psychiatric Hospital. Cassidy catches the interest of a Dr. Jack. She’s made to believe that Dr. Jack’s goal is to help her. Be her friend. Cassidy knows better. Something more sinister is happening.

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