Taken. That’s what I should have been named. I was everyone’s alibi and no one’s friend. I was used, abused, and thrown out like an empty milk carton. My face was the picture on the side, black and white and fake smiling.

I slid to the floor, my back against the peeling wallpaper, breathing in the dust and mildew. This was the last place I had felt safe. Three years ago my Grandmother had been hospitalized and my childhood ripped from me. Foster? It meant beaten, starvation, fear, guilt, anger.

I had not found myself at the bottom of the pill canister. I wasn’t at the bottom of the bottle, nor in the sheets of a strange man who called me Susie Q. I wasn’t in the songs in my ipod, nor the student in the corner asleep in class. I searched far and wide.

Perhaps I was left here, in the flowered wallpaper, claw footed furniture, lace doilies, and knitted afghan draped over the couch.

But those things were gone. Taken. The carpet was dotted with dusty shapes, well worn paths between. Deserted. Condemned.

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