GENRE: Contemporary YA
My ears tingled from the biting wind and the swirling snow, but I stayed outside to smoke. The caseworker thought I was nuts, but I liked the cold. It numbed me… relaxed me. Besides, I couldn’t smoke inside—those were the rules.
After finishing a second cigarette, my nerves were calm. Jim pulled up in a dark Mercedes. Cool—none of my former foster families were wealthy. I met him and Lana a week ago, but not their daughter Brooke. This time the caseworker suggested placing me in a family with a teenage girl. As if me and Brooke would be close friends and my senior year would be the best ever. I was smart enough to know that would never happen. I just needed to get through these last six months with the Claytons and I’d be on my own.
The light spilled out of Jim’s car and he opened his mouth to say something. Instead, he shook his head and laid his hand on my shoulder, guiding me inside.
“Good evening, Sydney,” he said once we reached the door.
Um, not really, Jim. Kind of crappy outside. Didn’t you notice the blizzard?
We sat down to do some paperwork and Jim wrinkled up his nose. He must not be a smoker. I checked out the bare gray room while the caseworker shuffled through a stack of papers. Why did these meetings always take place in dark and dreary rooms?