Life's Revised Expectations

Chapter 1 - Starting Over Again

This is a retelling of Kuragari129's first story he wrote. If you are interested in the original you can read it here:


Shane Hearing – Age 11

“Where are we gonna go?” I asked my older brother, Noah. We had spent the last couple days in a group home with several other boys. I hadn't left his side in all that time.


My name is Shane by the way. I am 11 years old and an orphan. My mother passed away a couple of years ago, and my father was imprisoned for hopefully life. I took after my father, with his tan colored skin and amber eyes.


Noah was very much the same as me. Tanned skin and amber eyes, he was just taller than me, and four years older. Our hair colors are pretty much the same took. My own hair was a tad brighter than his though.


“We're gonna go to a home. It's a little bit of a drive there, but not far.” Noah held me tight as we took our things from our room.


“Afternoon boys.” Our social worker, Kelly Finch, met us at the foot of the stairs. “Are you both ready to meet your new foster family?” Noah nodded, I didn't say anything.


It was almost an hour drive to get to our new home. It was going to be our third placement since dad was arrested. Each one decided that we would be too much to handle, and then we were taken out.


This one wouldn't be any different. I would wake them up in the middle of the night, and we would be asked to leave. Kelly would come get us, and we would be placed in another home yet again.


Noah keeps telling me we will find a forever home, but I don't know...



Once we arrived at the new home, Kelly looked at us from the driver's seat. “Okay boys, here it is. This is the home of Paula and Scott Abriel. Be good like always, sound good?”


“Yep!” Noah replied, I just nodded. We got out of the vehicle but left our stuff in the trunk. “Do they have any kids?”


Kelly walked in front of us. “Two, one is off in college, the other just graduated.” Both much older than me, which sucks. “You'll have one of their kids here for a bit.” Oh great.


She knocked on the door, and we waited for an answer. When the door opened an older lady stood in the doorway. “You much be Noah and Shane, welcome! Come on in Kelly.”


“Good afternoon, Mrs. Abriel.” Kelly led us inside.


Paula Abriel looked to be a middle-aged woman. Her shoulder length hair was obviously dyed blonde; the roots were in need of a touch-up. Her blue eyes were covered by a pair of thick glasses. She looked like a nice enough lady.


“Oh please.” Mrs. Abriel waved her off. “Call me Paula. Scott should be over in his chair watching the game.”


“What kind of game?” Noah asked.


“Football, naturally.” Noah turned to me. I knew he liked watching football, so I just nodded, and we were on our way to the living room. Kelly and Mrs. Abriel stayed in the kitchen talking to each other.


“WHERE ARE YOU LOOKING!?” A gruff voice yelled at the TV. “These Refs need to get their eyes checked.” He was shaking his head as we walked into the room.

Scott Abriel also appeared middle-aged. His hair was more grey than black and short, almost balding. Brown eyes were focused on the television; I was surprised that he didn't have glasses.


“Who's playing?” Noah asked.


The man chuckled. “Like football, do ya? Come join, find out.” Noah and I sat down on the couch, and they started watching the game.


My eyes wandered around the room gathering information. I saw graduation photos of a boy and a girl; I couldn't tell which one was older. There were other photos though, and it looked like the boy was the older sibling.


“You two will meet Larissa later. Connor will be home in a couple of weeks for a bit, and you'll meet him then.” Mr. Abriel spoke between football talk. “GET YOUR HEAD OUT YOUR ASS!!” He yelled at the TV again.


I clung tightly to Noah as he yelled. “Ow!” I squeezed Noah to tight I guess. He didn't mind though, he held onto me and helped me relax a bit.


“Watch your language, Scott!” Mrs. Abriel came into the room. “You've frightened Shane here. Are you okay?”


I just stared at her. “Shane is the shy one; he won't say much to you at first. He needs to warm up to you first.”


Mrs. Abriel just smiled. “Well take all the time you need. I hope it's not long though; you must have a beautiful voice.” That's a weird statement to make, how can someone have a beautiful voice?


Kelly ended up staying for dinner; she even got the chance to meet Larissa. Larissa kept asking me yes or no questions to get to know me. I would nod or shake my head accordingly. She was very patient with me; I like her.


After we got our things out of Kelly's car, we were shown to our room. Noah and I were to share a room for now until they get the other room cleaned and set up for Noah. Kelly made sure we had her number and told us that we could call her anytime. She does that every time she leaves us at a house.


Noah let me choose my bed of the two bunks. I chose the lower bunk, didn't want to fall off and hurt myself. I didn't last long though; I was asleep in no time. New home, please don't screw this up.



Isaac Adams – Age 10

“Everyone is going to make fun of me!” I complained to my mother. “I'm ugly now.” I was tearing up looking at my arms.


Oh, I'm Isaac, Isaac Adams. I'm only ten years old, but I'm smart. Best grades in my class. My red hair was on the longer side, usually covering my face. People say I should cut it a little shorter, so it doesn't cover my hazel eyes. I like it long though.


Back to my arms now. A couple of weeks ago I was attacked by a dog while walking mine. Cocoa and I were just walking by, and we were attacked. Cocoa didn't make it; I ended up getting quite chewed up on my arms.


Today was the day the bandages were taken off, and the scars were very huge. The doctor said that surgery wouldn't do much for me and it would be better to live with the way they are.


The kids were already making fun of me, saying I hurt myself. That I'm an 'emo kid' that just wants attention. Even some of my friends were doing it now. It made me feel very alone.


“I'm sorry Isaac; there isn't much we can do. We can pick up some long sleeved shirts for you.” Mom tried her best to make a solution for me.


I shook my head. “No, they'll just pull them up to see them.” I held onto my arms as if to hide them. Mom remained quiet for most of the car ride home.


I rushed inside when we got back, not wanting anyone else to see my arms. The afternoon was spent in my blanket drawing. People say I'm a good artist too, maybe one day I'll draw for a living.


Around dinner time, Dad came into the room. “Dinner will be ready in a couple of minutes. How are you doing buddy?”


“I'm ugly now,” I told him. “No one will like me now.”


“Eh, buddy, it won't be like that. Your friends will still be your friends.” I shook my head. “Have you thought of a way you could hide them a bit?”


I took a look at my arms. “No...”


Dad smiled. “I think I have an idea. Come with me.” I followed dad out of the room and across the trailer. Oh, we live in a trailer court by the way. He grabbed something from his room and brought them to me. “Give me your arm.” I did.


After a couple of minutes both my arms were covered by one of my dad's bandanas. They perfectly hid the scars on my arms and looked cool on me. I gave them a look over and pulled on them to see if they could reveal anything.


“Wow, they hide everything.” I smiled from ear to ear.


“Ya but they look stupid.” Jennifer, my sister, said from the living room. I puffed up my cheeks and glared at her. “Oh, so scary.”


“Jennifer that's enough,” Mom yelled at her. “Have some sympathy for your brother.”


She just rolled her eyes. “Hard to have sympathy for the leech.” Jennifer is always mean to me; she's not very nice.



At school, the next day dad explained the bandanas to my teacher and Principle. Both of them agreed and that a memo would be sent to all the teachers and noon hour supervisors about them.


The kids weren't as understanding. “Why are you hiding your hands?” One kid asked me. “Got something you wanna hide?”


Another laughed as he spoke. “Does Isaac have issues he needs to work out?”


I ended up running away from the kids I once called my friends and spending the outside brakes away from them. In class, they would whisper to themselves and look over at me. I started keeping to myself more and more from then on... It was just me in this big world.



Gage Bells – Age 12

My name is Gage Bells, and I'm into boys. I don't know if I'm gay or bi, but I am definitely into guys. My black hair was cut perfectly to stay out of my face. Have to show off my eyes. People say they look like electricity sparks, they call it electric blue.


Today was my first day back to school after my surgery. My ears get infected easily, and they apparently got so infected they needed to go inside. It turns out I'm missing one of the bones in my inner ear. But now I'm able to hear a little better!!


Turns out while I've been away they have been picking on Nick a little more than usual. Mostly this Jake kid, who just doesn't like my little brother. I don't like him even more.


Nick is like me in appearance. He's got black hair, which is a little longer than mine. More often than not his hair was in his face. His blue eyes are a lighter shade than mine; people thought they were just as nice though. The only difference is the two years age difference between us.


I came around the corner of the school, and there was Jake pointing towards Nick and his friend Tanis. Tanis was yelling back, but Nick was just taking the heat.


“Why doesn't this looser stand up for himself?” I could hear Jake from 20 feet away.


Tanis yelled back at him. “Why doesn't THIS looser just leave us alone?” That seemed to just frustrate Jake even more.


“Oh FUCK...” Jake noticed me and stopped talking. He backed off slightly as I stood between him and my brother. “What do you want?” He tried to keep his bravado up.


“Leave my brother alone Jake. Or do I have to tell your brother what you're STILL doing?” Jake's older brother is our babysitter's best friend. So I had some connections.


Jake let out an angry breath. “You always use that, and never do it.”


“But when I have, you've gotten in trouble. I wonder what would happen if you got another detention for bullying.” He was on the third strike. Next strike and he'd be facing detention for the rest of the year.

Jake stuck up his middle finger and left with his small group of friends.


“Thanks, Gage.” Tanis smiled. “You're the best.”


Tanis looked like he could be family, but he wasn't. His dark hair was just off from matching Nick's and mine. It was also wavy as it grew longer, making for quite the mop head at long lengths. His eyes were a pale blue, almost grey.


“No problem Tanis.” I looked past Tanis at Nick. “How are you holding up Nick?”


“Jake is an ass.” I couldn't agree more. “I wish he would just leave me alone.” I wish there were something that could be done to make him stop forever. But I doubt that will ever happen.


Nick looked up at me, probably looking for answers. “I'm here for you whenever you need me, promise.” He managed to give off a small smile before the bell went off. “Time to get back to class. Where's your brother today Tanis?”


Matt was one of my best friends. Think Tanis but two years older and glasses. “He's sick, should be back tomorrow if all goes well.”


“Ok cool.” I ruffled Nick's hair. “You two stay out of trouble now, okay?”


I rushed off to my class with Nick yelling from behind me. “STOP MESSING UP MY HAIR!!” He's back to his normal self, even if he's mad at me now.



After school, I told Colby all about what had happened at Lunch. He told me that he'd talk to his friend Trevor about it. Colby is the best babysitter ever. He really cares about Nick and me.


As cool as he is, I was looking forward to Sam coming over! Today was a Friday and Sam was going to stay the night. Sam was the boy that let me know I was into other boys. He was adorable from head to toe.


Sam, Matt and I have been friends since we were born basically. Our parents have been friends for years when we came around. Unfortunately, all three of us had black hair and similar eyes.


In Sam's case, he had poofy black hair and grey eyes. On the top of his head, Sam's hair was always tame, but as it grew out, it would curl. He never liked it long, but it always had a little curl somewhere. His eyes almost always made him look tired, but he never was, just really chill.


He didn't even knock on the door. Sam just walked right in. “I'm here!” He called out to the house.


I rushed downstairs to greet my friend. “SAMMY!!” Sam and I didn't go to the same school. He lived in a different neighborhood and closer to another school. We only really saw each other on weekends and events.


Sam giggled. “Hey, Gage. How's the ear?” Oh, and since I have been recovering from surgery, we haven't seen each other much.


“Much better! I just can't get water in it.”


Sam tilted his head. “So how do you bathe?”


I blushed. “Gotta take baths for now. Mom was washing my hair, but I've insisted on doing myself.” It made for some awkward baths.


“And she's no longer bathing you?” I shook my head. “You're mom saw you naked.” He giggled again. God, his giggle is amazing.

“She's changed mine and your diapers. Both of us have been naked in front of her.” Sam stopped his laughter, realizing I was right. “Now it's no longer funny is it?”


“Meh, whatever. What're our plans for the the night?”


“Video games and movies! What else do we do on the weekend?”


Sam shrugged. “Sometimes its pool or games with Nick.”


“Not tonight! It's just Sam and Gage time!” Our grins grew as we got even more excited. Sam and I barely get bored. By that time we found something else to do. We were a perfect match!



Shane Hearing – Age 11

A voice echoed through the house, it sounded distorted, like a demon. “SHANE!” I was breathing heavily, looking around the room from a corner. It screamed causing me to quiver in fear. “SHHHHHHHHHHAAAANE!!”


“NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!” I shook my head, yelling back at the voice. Something grabbed my leg, and I kicked instantly. Pressure was placed on both legs, attempting to prevent more kicking. “NO! LEAVE ME ALONE!” I screamed and squirmed in an attempt to free myself.


I fell from my corner onto my bed. The voice became a man, holding me down. “Good, boy.” It spoke in the same distorted tone. “Now just be quiet.” It whispered.



“Shane!” I was shaken awake by Noah. I was soaked in sweat and breathing heavy. “Hey, you're fine. I've got you.”


I crawled over to Noah and grabbed him. My body shook uncontrollably as I held back tears. “Noah... he was gonna... he was there.”


“No he wasn't, it was a nightmare. I'm here; I'll protect you now.” Shane held me tight and kept telling me how safe I was.


The door to our room opened. “What's going on in here?” An angry voice entered the room. I dug my head into Noah's chest. “Why aren't you two in bed?”


“Shane had a nightmare,” Noah explained bitterly. “And you're not helping by yelling at us.”


“I will...” He started in the same angry tone.


The sound of a smack went throughout the room. “That's enough; he clearly has had a nightmare. By now you think you'd understand these kids we foster have issues.” I felt hands flow through my hair; they weren't Noah's. “Everything okay honey?”


I said nothing. Noah spoke for me. “He'll be fine; his bedding will need to be washed though.”


“They are covered in sweat. I'll get you some new bedding and take these away.”


“Thank you, Mrs. Abriel.”


“Please, call me Paula.”


Noah spent the night beside me. It made me feel safe having him there. This is how the last two homes we were placed in ended, I had a nightmare, and we were kicked out. It's always my fault we are forced to move. We'll never have a place to stay.

The next day I woke up and heard Kelly's voice. We were going back to the group house. I came out to the living room after taking my morning pee. “Morning.”


“Feeling better?” Kelly asked. I nodded. “We were all worried about you, especially Scott.”


Mrs. Abriel smiled. “He may be a hardass on the outside, but he cares deeply for people. You had him concerned last night. I don't think he got a good night's sleep.”


“I'm sorry.”


“Don't be Shane.” Mrs. Abriel handed me a plate of pancakes. “Eat up; there's more if you want some.”


I turned to Kelly. “We're not going back to the group home?”


She shook her head. “No, you're not.”


I looked at Mrs. Abriel. “But I caused you and your husband to wake in the middle of the night. There will be more times that happens; I can't stop it.”


“Well, I'll happily wake up every time to tell you you're okay. That's what a mother does.” I lowered my head. “Sweaty, as far as I'm concerned every kid who comes through those doors is my kid. It doesn't matter if they are foster kids or friends of Larissa's or Connor's. They are all mine to take care of.


“I have no reason to send you back because you wake us up. That would be ignorant. You are welcome in my home Shane and Noah Hearing for as long as you need. You need a place to heal if I can provide that for you I will.”


Tears were trickling down my cheeks. “Thank you, Mrs. Abriel.”


“Call me Paula.” She wiped away my tears. “You've got yourself a home, Shane.”


“Thank you,” I repeated.

Chapter End.


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