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A Place To Call Home

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Cailen has only one wish. To have a family he could belong to and a home to call his. ***** At thirteen, Cailen had been to different foster homes, each of them returning him for one reason or another. His heart had already taken so much rejection that hopelessness had set in, giving up on himself and shutting down, that even when a family does welcome him and love him, he still has his doubts. When Cailen returns from University to visit his family, he finds himself struggling to keep a secret that he knows will make him lose the only home and family that he has. Will Cailen lose himself? Or will he lose his family?

Prologue

Arabella hurried down the sidewalk, her bag strap digging into her neck, the crying newborn baby a heavy weight in her arms.

She herself was crying, silent tears that ran down her cheeks and froze there. Her feet were sore, her body exhausted, her head ached and she really just wanted to lay down right there in the middle of the sidewalk.

She didn't care that it was the middle of the night, she didn't care if it was snowing, she was tired and she wanted to sleep, but she couldn't.

She had responsibilities to take care of.

She was almost there, to the orphanage. Once that was taken care of, then she could sleep. She didn't really have a place she could sleep, but she didn't care.

She would find the closest dumpster and sleep there.

Arabella stumbled a bit when her foot hit a crack in the ground. She held the baby tighter so as not to drop him and continued on her way.

She didn't want to do what she was about to do.

She had already become attached to the little blue-eyed bundle of joy that was wrapped snugly in her arms. She had spent less than a day with him and she already loved him, but she wouldn't even allow herself to think about why she loved him.

That's what got her crying in the first place.

If she started thinking about that, she wouldn't go through with this, she wouldn't be able to leave him on the steps, but she had to.

She was barely sixteen years old. She could barely take care of herself, never mind a newborn baby.

A perfect example is the fact that she planned to sleep in a dumpster on Christmas Eve.

She knew leaving her own son on the steps of an orphanage was pretty low but she didn't have an option.

She had no way to feed him, nothing but this blanket to keep him warm and covered and even though he was tucked inside her jacket, it couldn't be that warm for a newborn baby.

She couldn't guarantee her own survival so she definitely couldn't guarantee his. She was not responsible enough to take care of a kid. The fact that she was even in this mess proved that.

So she really had no option. It was what was best for him, whether he knew it or not and whether he would hate her for it when he got older, she had to do this.

Arabella came to the front of the orphanage. She looked up at it.

The lights were off and the tall building looming above her was intimidating but either way, she put her foot on the first step and climbed her way up.

When she reached the top, she kneeled down, pulling the crying boy from her jacket.

The baby cried louder when a few snowflakes landed on his face. She could tell he wanted to squirm and thrash his arms but he was too tightly wrapped to do so.

"Ssh, it's okay," she whispered.

She glanced back at the building to make sure no lights had turn on from the sudden noise. She looked down again at the boy, more tears spilling over her eyes as she pulled him into a quick hug, not wanting to let go.

"I love you," she whispered, placing a quick kiss to his forehead, then gently setting him on the steps in plain sight so no one could miss him.

With shaking legs, she stood up listening to the crying baby. It was as if he knew what was happening and he didn't want her to go.

She knew that was silly to think. He had no clue what was going on but it still caused a sharp pain stinging her chest.

With one last look at the boy, she banged on the door, nice and loud so someone would hear and come running.

As soon as her hand left the door, she started having doubts.

Maybe she could take care of him? She didn't know how, but she wanted to.

She didn't want to leave him here with these strangers. How did she know these were good people? That they would take care of her baby?

She didn't.

But she couldn't really take care of him either.

A light turning on pulled her from her thoughts. She had to go.

She glanced down at the baby as she made her way down the steps, stifling a sob with the back of her hand. This was what's best for him, she kept telling herself.

She shuffled down the street, ducking behind a snow-covered bush and turned around to see the door opening.

A tall, thin figure stepped out.

Arabella could tell it was a girl by her slim figure and long loose hair. The figure immediately looked to the ground where her baby was crying. The girl's hands came up to cover her mouth in shock. The girl dropped down to pick up the baby gently.

She held him to her chest, rocking him back and forth while she looked out into the snow. She was probably looking for the guardian of the child but Arabella ducked down even further into the bushes, remaining out of sight.

Eventually, the girl backed inside, shutting the door behind her. Arabella waited five seconds before breaking out in another sob.

That would be the last time she saw her baby boy.

Arabella held her face in her hands and allowed herself to cry for a good five minutes. She was just so alone, so scared and so helpless she didn't know what to do.

She had no family to turn to, no friends to call, not that she had a phone to do so with anyway. The only person she really had, had just been taken into an orphanage where she would never see him again.

Even with the note she tucked away in the boy's blanket explaining her situation and who she was, she doubted the boy would ever want to see her again and she wouldn't blame him.

In the note, she asked that they save the letter and show it to him when he was old enough. Whether they would or not, she had no clue but she had to try. He could decide then if he wanted anything to do with her after what she did to him.

Arabella finally picked herself up from the bush and turned around heading in the direction she came from.

She saw a dumpster on the way here that she could hopefully use somehow. It was only a couple minutes before she saw the dumpster in the alley she had passed.

She sniffled and wiped at her face, looking the overflowing dumpster over. It smelled horrible, like rotten piss but she was feeling too numb to care at the moment.

Using what little strength she had, she pushed the dumpster away from the brick wall a bit and flipped open the lid of it so it leaned against the wall providing a haphazard roof.

Inside the dumpster was a bundle of cardboard that she pulled out and placed under her so-called shelter so she could sit about a foot off the ground and not have to sit in the snow.

Finally, Arabella sunk down, an exhausted and miserable sigh leaving her mouth.

Arabella was cold, wet, lonely, scared, miserable and just all around hopeless.

But her baby was safe, and that's what mattered at this point. Her carelessness brought that little boy into this world and she'd be damned if her carelessness was the cause of his leaving this world.

He was safe now, and that's all that mattered.

Chapter 1 - The Orphan Boy

Cailen sat on the hard chair that is outside Ms. Willow’s office, his little legs hanging off the edge, not even coming close to the floor.

His arms were crossed over his chest, his face pointed at the ground in a scowl. He was listening to the words that were currently being shared between the adults inside the office because the walls of this place were very thin.

"He's too much to handle," the familiar voice of his current foster mother said.

Cailen huffed, he was not.

Everyone who was interested in adopting a child first went through the phase of being a foster parent, mostly to test how well they could take care of a child so the child wouldn't be left to an unsuitable home, but also to see how well they meshed together.

So far, he wasn't very good at that part.

"He's always getting into trouble at school and I can't afford to leave work every day to go and get him."

It wasn't everyd

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