Monday, December 26, 2016

Not so old Acquaintances

The moment her foster parents stepped out Amanda almost didn't recognize them. Their clothing alone took Amanda by surprise.

She was sent to their home as an emergency placement at first.  She social worker told her that they were conservative Christians and she didn't have to stay there. The social worker never said anything outright, but Amanda had a sense of disdain and contempt.

Her foster mother dressed in long neutral-colored dresses and a head-covering which usually consists of a doily or handkerchief. She would insist on Bible study several times a day. It was always on verses of future destruction, punishment, and revenge in the old Testament.

Her foster father was always downcast, seemingly burdened with the weight of the world. He always wore slacks and a button up shirt, even when he was splitting firewood for the winter. They refused to have any other form of heat since, according to both of them, it may allow them to become lazy.

They were friendly enough, though their smiles seemed forced. As time passed, Amanda had come to realize that her foster parents didn't deserve criticism. They did that enough themselves. Her foster mother was always criticizing herself and her husband, but never to his face. He was passive aggressive and would occasionally insert a cutting remark under his breath. However, Amanda had heard him cut himself down even worse when he thought no one was listening.

They hated themselves, and they hated their lives. 

Now, she seemed lighter on her feet as she embraced Amanda. He stood aside beaming.

“Wow,” Amanda said finally after introducing Trisha, “You seem well, mom and dad.”

“Well, there has been a few changes here,” her mother said, “Why don't you two come inside. Dad and I had just finished making an apple cobbler.”

“Oh,” Trisha said, “I'm Gluten free.”

“Since when?” Amanda scoffed.

“Since last week!” Trisha sounded indignant.

Amanda was about to respond, but mom stopped her. “Oh, it's okay,” She said, “We are too. It's oatmeal and almond flour.”

“Oh good,” Trisha who sounded a little too happy to be still able to have her sweets.

Amanda sighed and followed her foster parents in, Trisha followed behind.

“You should be gluten free, too,” she hissed at Amanda's back. Amanda chose to ignore it, for now, thinking that the sugar in the cobbler probably isn't any better. She heard Trisha hesitate behind her, causing Amanda glance back to see Trisha looking thoughtfully at her.
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