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Thirty - Acceptance Letter

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Things have never been more peaceful in my life.

Although losing mom hurts, maybe it was my ticket for freedom. Because I'm free. Free from all the abuse. All the pain. All the thoughts of wishing I was anywhere but where I was.

Being with Haley is as easy as breathing. Being in her house, even with her father there, is more comfortable than anything I have ever experienced.

Elias goes to work every day, leaving Haley and I at home. I've talked to them about wanting to go back to work too, but Elias doesn't think that's a good idea. If child services are actually looking for me, the first place they'll check is the factory where I work.

Not to mention my stepdad showing up uninvited and turning everything upside down again.

"I'll take care of everything," Elias always comforts me, a fatherly smile set on his face.

Haley reaches for my hand, as usual, giving it a gentle squeeze as her face glimmers hopefully. 

And everything seems perfect.

I spend the days with Haley in her house, listening to her talk all day, every day. She talks about everything, from TV shows to music, to her favorite nail-color. It's black. 

Sometimes we watch movies, other times just talk -- I listen -- about anything that comes into Haley's mind. We hold hands, hug, kiss, and make love sometimes. What can I say? We can't help it.

I helped Haley clean up the guest room, but the place doesn't feel as nice as the living-room couch. Mostly because it's out of Haley's immediate access. She sleeps downstairs these days, on a mattress next to the couch. I had insisted she sleep on the couch instead, but she didn't want her dad to complain. 

We fall asleep holding hands, and though it seems cheesy to be doing that, I would do anything for Haley.

"Xavier? Can you come here a minute?"

Elias's voice calls me to the kitchen, and I glance towards the stairs before getting up and walking towards it. Haley went to her room to take a bath, and my mind has been preoccupied with her since then. I've tried to distract myself from the fact that she's up there in the shower, but my thoughts keep going back to her every few minutes.

When I enter the kitchen, I see Elias standing by the table. He smiles when he sees me, extending an envelope towards me.

"Have you seen this?" he asks softly.

"No, sir," I answer, frowning at the envelope.

"Have a look," he says, dropping it onto the table.

I reach out for it, half-afraid of what it might be. My fingers take hold of the slightly crumpled envelope and I take out the wrinkled letter. My heart beats fast and I don't know what to expect.

Stanford University Montag Hall 355 Galvez Street Stanford, CA

14th July, 2018

Haley Marie-Ann Rosamond

Texas. 1234 San Felipe. Houston, Texas 77057

Dear Haley

Congratulations! You have received this letter to inform you regarding your acceptance to the Stanford UG program. Due to your high grades, test scores, outstanding essay and application, our staff is convinced that you will become a great addition to our student body.

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