As we grow closer to my new home, I realize how big the house actually is. It seems I must have been adopted into very rich family cause there is a fucking castle in front of me. Of course I haven’t really seen anything bigger than the orphanage. In reality, I know it’s just another home, but this one’s different. It’s a boarding school for orphans. I was chosen by one of the teachers to come to the school so I'm going to go live there and attend the school. I’ll actually get an education and it won't cost me anything.
It’ll be strange since it’s in Iceland. I only speak French and English. I’m screwed. I have no idea how I’m going to learn Icelandic.
I swallow nervously. What if I don’t fit in? I’ve always lived in the slums of London. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to be getting out of there. I’ve just turned thirteen and everyone knows how hard it is for a teenager to be adopted into any kind of family.
Sister Claire, one of the nicer nuns, assured me that I was actually going to like the woman who had offered to sponsor me. She had met her a few weeks ago and had been shown around the school a good many years ago. But that doesn't matter to me now does it? I've never been there.
The car stops and Sister Claire gives me a smile. I try to smile back but it seems forced even to me. We gather up my book bag and suitcase with all my belongings in it, and make our way to the door.
She knocks and I decide to examine my now muddy shoes. I hear a man usher us in from the rain and I feel Claire’s hand pushing me through the doorway. The man introduced himself as the caretaker; I think he said his name was Charles, such a common name; I was startled that they even had that name here. I was sure it would be completely different. That’s when it hit me. I’m in a whole new world, and my earlier anxieties returned full force.
I freeze in fear when I felt a cool finger lift my chin to stare into warm, brown eyes. “Hello.” A voice whispered from the young lady standing before me. She is thin and has long, wavy brown hair to match her eyes. She has a loving face with rosy cheeks. Her smile lights up her face more than any lighting in the hall. Her accent is rough but I understood her perfectly. I guess years of translating my mother’s French accent had helped after all. “You must be Andrew. My name is Susan Green. I’m going to be your sponsor.”
I whisper a hello in return and Claire mentions that she had to leave. A cold hand clutches at my heart and I realize that I am going to be truly separated from everything that I know and thrust into this startling now world by myself. There would be no Claire to hold my hand this time.
I let Claire hug me one last time and she whispered in my ear that she was just a phone call away. She told me to write and behave myself. I cling to her a little tighter before releasing her from my grasp. I wave solemnly as she slips out of the front door and drives away into the gray of rainwater.
Susan grabs my small duffle bag and gives me a bright smile. She leads me through twisting corridors and up stairs talking the whole time. I tune out most of what she says as I studied my surroundings. Large tapestries cover the walls and shields sit at the bases of a few suits of medieval armor looking armour. I glance through an open door and are awestricken to see a room entirely devoted to instruments and music.
I quickly tune back into what Susan is saying. She is talking about herself now, and the school we are in. Finally she stops in front of an oaken door. She tells me that this is the west wing of the house and that this is where everyone’s sleeping quarters are. I would be sharing a common room and bath with two other boys around my own age, but I would have a bedroom all to myself! Everyone is in classes at the moment so I wouldn’t meet them until later that night
She opens the door and nudges me in. I look around and she says, teasingly, that formal introductions to everyone else would be at dinner. She has to get something done before then so I would have until dinner to settle in. She was about to leave when I stopped her to ask how I was supposed to get to dinner in the first place.
She giggles, and tells me that I should always turn right and I would end up in the kitchen. She gives me a hug and a kiss on the cheek before softly padding out of the room, leaving me alone.
Right… Time for an exploration of my new living quarters. I study the room I ams currently standing in. It was obviously a sitting room that holds a nice cozy feeling to it. Is it the fireplace or the rusty-colored throw rug that covered part of the wooden floor? Perhaps. There is a large comfy looking couch just across from the fireplace and another, matching chair, sitting next to the many bookcases that line the walls. Next to the chair is an ornate end table and a tall lamp to read by. There is a large single-paned window that looks over the land if the image were not obscured by sheets of rain.
I looked at the four doors that led off of the room and chose the one on the far left. It turned out to be the bathroom. It has a bathtub half sunken into the floor with a showerhead coming out of the adjourning wall. A scarlet curtain hangs limply to one side. White tile floors with a plush red mat are there as well. A gray marble counter with a big mirror is to the right. The loo is in the corner to the left. I quietly place my toiletries on the counter next to the other boy’s stuff before going back into the other room once again.
I didn’t open the two doors in the middle because they have things on them seemingly marking them as someone else’s bedroom. I won’t go in their room unless they ask me too.
I slip back and open another door on the far right. This is my new bedroom? I’m shocked… It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Tapestries hang from the walls detailing the story of Robin of the Hood and Will Scarlet in medieval style embroidering. On the far side of the room a stained cherry wardrobe stood next to another large window.
But at this window there is a cushioned window seat, on the right there is a large four-poster bed. The white sheets and soft looking down quilt of blue and gold looked tempting and I gave into the urge to leap into their comforts marveling at the alien feeling of something so soft and warm.
Maybe being somewhere new wasn’t so bad at all.