Eventually, Karen pulls up to a typical suburban house with a freshly cut green front yard and a white picket fence that mirrored the other homes along this street, the better part of Sacramento, California. But the thunder continues to howl, the wind leaves the tree almost bare and the rain paints the walkway with scattered leaves up to the door.
“I will be walking you up there and I will stay until I feel you are comfortable enough.”, Karen assured as she grabs Cecilia’s hand.
Cecilia nods and deeply inhales before stepping out of the car. The pounding of Cecilia’s heart isolated any other sound around her as it pulsated through her ear drums. Her body stiffened at the doorway, her chest tightens as flashes of her meeting the Clarks race through her mind. She freezes starring at the white metal door, and as her hand shakily inches to knock, someone already answered.
“Hi! We have been looking forward to meeting you all day!”, A young woman dressed in sky colored scrubs answered.
“Hello, I am Karen, and this is Cecilia Barajas, I am her social worker, we’ve spoke on the phone earlier. “, Karen greeted extending her hand. Cecilia stepped awkwardly to the side folding her arms across her chest.
“Ah, yes, I remember… well, please come in, I am in a slight hurry. But Mr. Rodriguez will be here before I need to head out. “, Mrs. Rodriguez explained.
“Oh, so you work the night shift then?”, Karen asked.
“Yes, I work twelve hours each shift sometimes, more if it is needed at the hospital. But I have a couple days off after tonight’s shift so we should be able to get to know each other much better by then. “, Mrs. Rodriguez smiled warmly at Cecilia.
“Wouldn’t that be nice Cil?”, Karen nudged Cecilia.
“Huh? Oh…yea… can’t wait.”, Cecilia timidly smiled.
“What a sweet smile you have! I bet you steal the room with that smile. “, Mrs. Rodriguez placed her hand on Cecilia’s shoulder.
“Um… no.”, Cecilia shrugged her hand off and walked towards the living room.
Cecilia gazes at their home from the light hardwood floors, white couches and the white countertops to match the white cabinets.
“Let me introduce you to our children, kids come down please!”, Mrs. Rodriguez shouted at the stairway by the living room entrance.
“Coming!”, a young female voice shouted back.
Two children came rushing downstairs giggling, one boy, one girl. The boy was the youngest, around eight years-old with slick black hair, tan complexion, and dressed up as if it was a church day. The girl was the oldest, around fifteen years-old, long slick black hair, clear tan complexion unlike Cecilia, and a slim physique. She dressed in a skin tight loungewear outfit.
“This is my son, Carlos, and this is my daughter Estella. They will be here to keep you company and help you with anything you need, right?, Mrs. Rodriguez sternly asked with her hands placed on her hips.
“Of course mom”. Estella scoffed as she approaches Cecilia extending her hand.