“Wake up, Henry! Today’s my birthday!” Beatrix shouted.
“Why do I have to have all sisters?” Henry David grumbled as he got out of bed.
“I’m up!” Polyanna announced. “Happy birthday, Beatrix!”
Beatrix threw on her clothes and headed downstairs, while Henry David and Polyanna finished getting dressed.
“Happy birthday, Beatrix.” Alexander said, bending over to hug his daughter. “Let’s try not to make this a traditional Goth birthday, okay?”
“Okay, dad,” Beatrix replied, giggling a little bit.
Once everyone was dressed and the cake had been baked, the family headed into the kitchen, greeted by the aroma of Rosalynn’s baking. Beatrix walked over to the counter, quickly made a wish, and blew out the candles. After a whirlwind of color and sparkles, she was a teen!
After a clothing and hair change, Rosalynn sat Beatrix down to talk. “Now that you’re a teen, I think that it’s time to tell you the details of your adoption. To start out, what to do remember about your life before the orphanage?”
“I remember living in a village, and running around with other kids- but there were more adults than kids. We lived in the middle of a huge jungle, and we would go to the beach to fish and swim. I liked to go out on my own and explore, and one day I found this old, abandoned building filled with things I had never seen before. Then I heard a noise, and when I turned around I saw a man staring at me. He said something I didn’t understand, took me into what I thought was a really large and noisy bird, and I never saw that amount of freedom again. That was when I became gloomy; when I was at the orphanage and realized that I would never see the village, or the jungle, or the beach, or the volcano ever again,” Beatrix replied, remembering it all clearly once her mom had prompted her.
“What we were told when we adopted you,” Rosalynn began, “was that you were an abandoned child, living in the worst possible conditions, and fighting to survive on a remote island when you were found. Now, how about we stop talking about the past, and talk about the future instead.”
“We’ll start out with something simple- what do you want to do when you grow up?”
“I want to work in an office like Annabeth does so I can make lots of money and have a really nice house and go back to the island and find my real family and make sure that no one else ever goes there.”
“We’ll see how that works out. How about you make some paintings that you can sell to start earning money right now? We have an easel on the back porch that never seems to get used.”
“Okay,” Beatrix replied, suddenly feeling a bit gloomy again.
That night, Beatrix dreamed that she was back on the island, running through the forest and giggling as orangutans searched her hair for bugs. She knew that she wanted to go back, and have that happen again.