Today I am sixteen.
"Tara dear come downstairs." I hear my mum call, I’m in the middle of putting on my makeup.
"I’ll be right down." I call, I finish applying my lipgloss and I run downstairs and into the lounge room.
"Morning mum, morning dad." I say, happy as ever nothing could ruin my day. I didn’t look like my mother or my father or anyone in my family who I have met. I have really red hair, green eyes and pale skin.
"Happy birthday dear," my mother says and then she nudges my father.
"Oh yes, happy birthday sweet pea." He says.
"Before we give you your presents I want you to know something and I think you’re old enough now to understand," my stomach dropped to my feet and I had a rotten feeling.
"When I was younger I had trouble baring a child, I would conceive and then a few months later I would lose the child. And so your father and I decided to adopt. I went to the orphanage and asked them to show me the little kids. Not of them were what I wanted and I was just about to give up, when I saw you sitting near the window looking sad and lonely. You turned and looked at me and smiled, then you got up and walked up to me and asked if I’d be your mummy and I asked you what your name was and you said Tara Marie. I filled out the paperwork and brought you home..."
"STOP IT PLEASE." I cried, I couldn’t believe this my whole life I wondered why I looked different and why I couldn’t fit in and now I know why I was adopted.
"Please dear I was desperate, I needed someone other than your father to love. I had a whole lot of love to give and no one to give it to. I was in my twenties, I’m now thirty-seven nearly forty and I love you so much." I was still doing the Math that meant that she adopted me when I was six.
"Who are my real parents?" I ask.
"Claire and Michael summers," my mother tells me.
"Where are they?" I ask.
"I don’t know." She says. I walked away from them and went upstairs, I grabbed the house phone on the way to my room I shut and locked my door.
"Hello is Bree Samuels there? Ok thanks, hey Bree, thanks, you’ll never guess what happened, no, mum told me that I was adopted, I’m not kidding Bree, yeah I know on one day I’m supposed to celebrate who I am and now it’s ruined forever, you're still coming to my party? Screw him what’s more important me or Daniel, fine then oh and I’ll be deleting you out of my phone, so don’t ring here and also don’t come over or complain when you have a little brat growing inside you." I hung up and deleted her out of my contacts, someone knocked on my door.
"What?" I called.
"It’s mum, do you want to come down and open your presents or wait until your party?" She asks, I get up and unlock the door.
"You can come in." I call, she opens the door and closes it and sits beside me.
"Are you mad at me Tara?" She asks, I hate it when she asks me this.
"A tiny bit." I say, I have never lied to my mother, I always tell her the truth.
"Who did you ring? If you don’t mind me asking," she says.
"Bridgett." I answer.
"Is she still coming?" Mum asks.
"No, she rather have her boyfriend if you get what I mean." I say.
"Oh ok, so is there anyone else who’s coming?" She asks me, I roll onto my back and stare at the roof of my bedroom instead of answering her question I say this.
"I’m sorry for getting mad, now that I think about it I think I would rather live here than wait until. I was old enough for foster care, I love you so much too, even if you’re not my real mum." I get off my bed and walk around to her and hug her and kiss her cheek.
"Make sure you find someone to come ok," she tells me getting off my bed.
"Sure thing mum." I say and she shuts the door. I grabbed a piece of paper and pen and wrote down who I thought would be able to come.
Then I called them to see if they could come, I crossed off the people who couldn’t come.
A few hours later I was heading downstairs to greet the following people... Mum, dad, Amy and Tyler. Some party huh I thought to myself.
"Hey happy birthday girl." Amy said.
"Thanks." I replied with a fake smile placed on my face, but they bought it.
"Happy birthday." Tyler said softly.
"Thanks Ty." I replied.
We went into the lounge room where mum and dad were.
They each were holding envelopes and boxes wrapped in wrapping paper.
"Open mine first!" Amy called from her seat, I reached for her present. I read the card first and opened my gift, it was the book that I had been after and a friendship charm. I picked up the charm, looked at her and said.
"Did you make this?"
"Yeah, I did, took me a few goes but I eventually got the hang of it, did you like them?"
"No…" her face fell, "I love them." I said and she smiled. The next present was from Ty, I read the card and then opened his present, inside was a necklace that said sweet 16 a pair of 16 earrings and a bracelet, I added Amy’s to it and put it on as well as the necklace, I saved the earrings till later.
"Thanks Ty." I said, he nodded and seemed nervous like he wanted to tell me something, but not in front of everyone else. The last present was from mum and dad, they gave me $100 and said their surprise was out in the garage. So Amy, Ty and I walked out into the garage and saw a blanket chucked over a car, the sheet read to Tara happy 16th birthday, love mum and dad. I pulled off the blanket and saw a yellow convertible. Mum came out when she heard Amy and I screamed and handed me a box, I opened the box and inside was a set of keys.
"Your father and I know a friend who works at the RTA and he's willing to help you study, so you can go for your L’s." Mum said.
"Thank you, this is the best birthday ever." I told them with a group hug.
"Amy, can you come help me with something." Mum asked her.
"Sure Mrs. C," she answered as she followed my mother into the house leaving me alone with Ty.
"You're ok, you seem a bit quiet and nervous." I asked him.
"I want to ask you something," he said.
"Go ahead." I replied, my heart started beating really fast and my hands started sweating, no one knew that I had a crush on Ty.
"Will you go out with me?" He asked.
"Yes, yes." I said and he pulled me in for a hug, we were just about to share our first kiss when Amy walked back in if she suspected anything, she didn’t say.
"Ok, don’t attack me with your badass karate move, I’m putting a blindfold over your eyes like your mum asked," she said and then it was dark, I felt her take my hands.
"Ok Ty lift her up." I heard her instruct, then I felt his hands on my waist my feet left the ground, I felt the change from cold concrete to soft carpet, then I was sitting on a wooden chair the blindfold was removed. And I was staring into a big birthday cake with happy birthday Tara written in icing and a sweet 16 candle that was lit. They started singing happy birthday.
Ty was on my left, Amy on my right and my parents on the other side of the table, my father handed me the knife.
"Don’t touch the bottom or you got to kiss Ty," they said, I cut the cake and touched the bottom.
"Awe you got to kiss Ty," my mum said, I stood up and wrapped my arms around his neck as he brought his lips down on mine. After we broke apart it was really awkward.
"Um, I think I’ll go cut the cake," mum said, dad went back to the lounge room to read his newspaper. Amy, Ty and I were still standing around the table, Ty had his arm wrapped around my waist.
"Ok, what did I miss?" Amy asked.
"Nothing why?" I replied.
"You two seem a bit cozy and that kiss was not what I’d expect at a birthday that was more of a first kiss..." She faced palmed herself "he didn’t" she finished.
"He did, he asked me when you went to help my mum with the cake." I said.
"Ok buddy, if you hurt her I’ll go all badass on you ok, I also know karate and why you didn’t tell me you liked him," she said, she knew so well.
"Wait you liked me? Since when," he interrupted.
"Since you started at our school and joined our group." I said whilst blushing.
Mum came out with three slices of cake.
"Thanks mum." I said taking a plate.
"Hey Mrs. C?" Amy said.
"Yes Amy." Mum answered.
"Can I stay tonight?" Amy asked.
"Sure just ask your mum, you are welcome to use our phone," mum said. Amy went and grabbed the house phone and went into another room while Ty and I headed to the lounge room. We sat on the couch when we heard an engine.
"Who could that be?" My father said putting down his newspaper.
"It just the post person dad." I said. I put my plate on the coffee table and headed out to get the mail.
"Hey Tara, happy birthday," the post person said as he handed over the mail.
"Thanks Larry." I said, then I walked back inside, there was a letter for mum, dad and me. On the envelope was my name, I didn’t recognize the handwriting I opened it up it said:
Happy 16th birthday, were sorry we gave you up, but we had no choice. My mother and your father's mother wouldn’t let me keep you. We think about you everyday and I wonder what you look like, maybe we could meet up sometime and get to know you. We got contacted when your mother adopted you and we’ve read her files and we know you went to a good home.
Love Claire and Michael summers (Mum and Dad)
P.S there is a recent photo of us in the envelope.
I looked in the envelope and there was a picture. I pulled it out and looked at it, my father had tomato red hair and my mother had big green eyes, the more I looked at the picture I saw that I looked like them, bits of my mum and bits of my father. I was so busy looking at my parents that I hadn’t noticed two twins both red-headed and green eyes, they gave me up but kept these two cute twins, one boy and one girl.
On the back of the envelope was an address.
14 piccalilli streets, Rockhampton Queensland. I could hear footsteps, then I heard Tyler’s voice.
"Your mum wants to know if… Hey, are you ok." I handed him the card and the picture, he put it on the coffee table and wiped the tears from my face and pulled me into a hug.
"Is everything ok?" I heard Amy ask, I felt him shift so he could grab the picture and card to give to Amy.
"Awe, it’ll be ok Tara," she said and joined in the hug. We sat on the lounge, I laid on his lap and Amy was at my feet, he was stroking my thick wavish mess of red hair. I cried myself to sleep lying on Tyler’s lap.