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Genesis
Author: Seven Rue


Fifteen years ago

 

 

She was finally mine.

After almost three months of coming to the courthouse at least once a week, the little girl I looked after for almost half a year was finally in my custody.

It wasn’t her fault it all turned out this way.

There was no way around it.

Her mother went to prison at only twenty-three years old.

I wasn’t much older.

I was twenty-five, and now taking care of this toddler.

Fuck.

She was just three, and her big, expressive eyes looked scared and confused.

She hadn’t seen her mother in almost a year, and after her grandparents died, I was the only one who would take her in.

We were sitting on the steps in front of the courthouse, me smoking a cigarette while little Genesis was holding her rabbit close to her body, with her eyes fixated on the McDonald’s on the other side of the road.

“You hungry?” I asked, taking one more drag of the cigarette before throwing it to the ground and stepping on it.

She nodded her head and kept her eyes up front.

“Ever had McDonald’s?”

Shaking her head, she lifted her gaze to me and pushed her bottom lip out while sniffing deeply, trying to keep her little nose from running.

It was cold out, but she had three layers of clothes on.

The beanie she was wearing was mine, and the second pair of socks on her feet were out of my closet as well.

Now that she’d live with me, I definitely needed to shop for more clothes that actually fit her.

“Thought so,” I mumbled, standing up from the steps and holding out my hand to her.

“Let’s go eat something. You’ll love it, and there’s even a little toy in every kids’ meal,” I told her.

Her eyes didn’t light up, but I didn’t expect them to anyway.

Since she was born, her life had been so much different.

She didn’t have a nursery she could take her naps in, but was always on her mother’s couch.

Always in a dirty diaper and often without any clothes on.

She looked up at me and didn’t move.

She was hungry, but she wasn’t eager to fill her little stomach.

“Genesis,” she said, her voice small and shaky.

I sighed and nodded.

“Yes. Genesis. That’s your new name. Do you like it?”

She shrugged.

During the process of making me her guardian, I decided that if she were mine, I’d change her name to Genesis.

Beginning.

That’s the meaning of her name.

I squatted down in front of her and pushed her beanie back to uncover her eyes.

It moved over them often, but she didn’t seem to mind.

But then, there wasn’t much that bothered her, and every day I learned new things that didn’t.

The cold and the snow here in Roberval, Quebec were two things she didn’t mind either.

“Would you have chosen a different name?” I asked.

She shrugged again, keeping her insanely light blue, almost white eyes on mine.

After she was born, her mother called me and complained about her newborn daughter being an albino.

Turned out Genesis didn’t have albinism, which of course shouldn’t have been something her mother was grossed out by.

Her daughter was human, no matter the color of her skin.

Genesis just had little pigment in her iris, which made her eyes incredibly pale, just like her skin.

I wondered if she had vitiligo, but doctors never mentioned anything.

She was healthy.

That’s all that mattered.

Her hair, on the other hand, was a deeply dark brown.

She looked like a doll, so unreal and beautiful.

“What’s a name you like?” I asked.

She shrugged again.

Gestures were what she communicated with most of the time.

“Genesis,” she whispered.

“So you do like it. Come on, let’s get something to eat.”

I got back up and held my hand out to her, but instead of taking it, she reached both arms out with the bunny in one hand, silently telling me to carry her.

I had no choice other than to pick her up into my arms.

She did walk a lot, but when she wanted to be carried, there was no way I could tell her no without her throwing a fit.

A silent one at that.

She’d just stand there and wait until I picked her up.

She knew exactly how to make me give in.

“Are you tired?” I asked, as she clung to my coat.

She nodded and looked back at the McDonald’s we were about to walk in.

“We’ll eat some food and then head home, okay?”

As I entered with her in my arms, she relaxed after feeling the warmth hitting her face.

She curiously looked around, and as she spotted the indoor playground, her eyes widened.

“Cool, huh? After you have your dinner, you can go play a little bit before we go.”

Genesis nodded and pointed toward the playground.

“Swide,” she whispered.

“Yes, that’s a slide.” I stepped closer to the counter where a worker was waiting.

It was late already, almost nine p.m., and there weren’t many people around.

“Good evening. What can I get you?” she asked, not particularly interested in her new customers.

“Hey. A happy meal with chicken nuggets for her and I’ll have a double cheeseburger with fries.”

“And what would you like to drink?” she asked, punching something into the screen in front of her.

“Uh, we’ll both have Coke.”

After paying, she got our order ready and I looked at Genesis, who was watching the woman closely.

“You like chicken nuggets, right? You can also try some of my burger.”

She didn’t react to that, fascinated by everything that went on behind the scenes at a fast food restaurant.

I pressed a kiss to her temple, and after the woman placed our items onto the tray, I picked it up with one hand and carried it to one of the tables.

Genesis sat still next to me as I opened the box and picked out the nuggets and fries, and after putting a little ketchup on a napkin, she reached up and started to eat.

“Do you want me to take off your beanie and jacket?” I asked.

She shook her head, but then grabbed her beanie and pulled it off.

The jacket stayed on though.

“All right.”

I started eating too, and while I bit into the burger, my eyes moved to the courthouse we spent hours in today.

The judge had a heart for children, which helped with our situation.

I hated thinking about Genesis being put in foster care.

She was safer with me.

Although I didn’t have much, I would do whatever it took to make her happy.

She deserved to grow up in a safe home, and I would be the one to give that to her.

She was my new beginning.

My Genesis.

While she played on the playground all alone and quiet, I pulled my phone out of my pocket and unlocked it to check if any messages had come in.

I didn’t have many people to talk to, not after everything that happened this year.

The only person I had to talk to was a friend I had since high school, but even he was distancing himself from me.

Not because I was a bad friend, but because he had just gotten married and moved into a new, big house with his pregnant wife.

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