Pursuit of Happiness {PunkPrince & Junk}



Original poster
Maxine Campbell ran her thin fingers along letters carved in the wood of her bed. 'M.L.C.', they read. She'd put them there on her first night at the children's home. Maxine had carved her initials at each place she'd been since being taken away from her mother. She felt that if she didn't leave some trace of herself behind, she'd be forgotten by the world. She already felt forgotten though. Four foster families had temporarily cared for her, and she knew she wouldn't be at this place any longer. It was just a brief holding place until another suitable foster family was found or until a miracle occurred. Maxine believed in miracles. She had to believe.

The laughter of the other children playing outside was a nice change from the crying and screaming. She knew why they were more cheerful than usual on this particular day. Some people who've already been approved for adoption were meeting with some of the children. It was a day of hope, even for Maxine. Maxine wanted the chance to have a better family, one that cared. Maxine doubted her siblings and her mother even missed her. She didn't blame them since she didn't miss them all that much either. She'd heard Alice and Nick had gotten adopted together, Jason was in a boys' home, and Bobby had aged out of the system. Maxine hadn't heard anything of her mother.

A notebook laid open next to Maxine on her bed. It displayed a story she'd been working and had not yet finished. Maxine liked writing. She liked escaping. Reality had been too harsh on her. It drove her to want to escape as often as she could. It wasn't always writing. Reading and video games worked just the same. Maxine had been offered other means of escaping by a few of the teenagers, but Maxine knew better.

Her room held no decorations on the walls, unlike the rooms occupied by the other children at this children's home. Maxine knew this was temporary. She didn't see the point in getting attached. Maxine didn't even unpack. She kept what little items she had in a suitcase tucked underneath her bed. Maxine did like this place though. It was a nice break from the chaos. It got a little crazy sometimes, but it was a vast improvement from what she was used to.

A knock on the door of her room brought Maxine out of a trance-like state. "Daydreaming, were you?" Miss Holly, the woman who ran the place, asked. "It's time. Are you ready?"

With a nod, Maxine closed her notebook and slid off the bed. She looked to Miss Holly, wondering if she was going to ask her to change her clothes. She didn't. Maxine preferred to dress much like a boy does. Miss Holly fussed about it sometimes, particularly when Maxine was to meet with potential adoptive parents. Maxine figured Miss Holly had just given up by now.

There was a small room which held only a table and some chairs. This is where the meetings between a child and their potential parents took place. Maxine had been in that room several times. It never went well in there. Maxine followed behind Miss Holly and went into the small meeting room as Miss Holly went to fetch the people she was supposed to meet. Miss Holly had said she felt Maxine and them would be a good match, and she also said Maxine would probably take their lifestyle better than some of the other children. Maxine had asked what the woman had meant, but she didn't receive an explanation.

Tapping her fingers on the wooden rectangular table and shifting in her seat, Maxine waited. Her nervousness was kicking in. She'd been so relaxed all day long, too relaxed maybe. Maxine wanted this to go well. No, she needed this to go well. Maxine didn't know many more chances she had before she just ended up in some horrible group home somewhere.
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Real life
"Andre? You should probably get up. You've been lying in bed doing nothing for like 20 minutes and we should probably get going."

Andre Joven sat up in bed and rolled over to look at his husband, who was standing with his back to the bathroom mirror shirtless, his shoulder length blonde hair still slightly damp from his recent shower. He bounced out of the bathroom and lightly nudged Andre before rummaging through his dresser drawer for a shirt. He pulled out a black tank top and pulled it over his head. Andre noticed that the more feminine man's clothing for the day seemed more masculine than usual, just black skinny jeans and a black american flag tank top, though he was still wearing heels. "You look nice," he commented, standing up and running his hands through his messy black hair before absently starting to pull his clothes on.

Jeffree smiled, but didn't say anything as he returned to the bathroom to put on his makeup. To see him without at least a bit of foundation was extremely rare, and he refused to venture from the house without it. Andre thought he looked nice no matter what, but it was impossible to convince him that he was just fine without it. He scrutinized his appearance, making a big deal out of tiny things. So much so that he preferred to avoid mirrors unless he had on his makeup, or was putting it on. If the makeup made him feel better, well then, he could have it. He was quite skilled in it too, there was no denying that. He would probably still wear it even if he didn't feel he had to.

Jeffree finished with blending his foundation and began with his usual light contouring. He wanted to look nice today. He liked to look nice every day, but today was particularly important. They had been trying to adopt a kid for a while now, and after repeatedly being turned away, a group home had finally given them a chance. Finishing up his eyeliner, he dropped the pencil back into his makeup pouch and glanced at himself in the mirror. He had left his hair straight. It reached his shoulders, and it was not unusual for him to curl it, but they were nearly late already, and his hair looked fine as it was.

He bounced from the bedroom, giving Andre a peck on the cheek as he passed before going downstairs. His sister Alyssa was sitting on the couch drinking a cup of coffee. She was irritable in the mornings– she liked her sleep– so he only waved.
"Hey," she greeted. "Switch and Evelyn are out with Alesana, I got donuts, they're on the counter, you're welcome." It was obvious that she was still tired and didn't want to be bothered, so he nodded and took a vanilla frosted donut from the box.

"Where did they go?" Jeffree asked. He heard a loud sigh, his sister obviously displeased by having to answer his questions.
"To get guitar strings," she answered. "Or something like that."
"No wonder Evelyn went with them," Jeffree said. "You're terrible in the mornings. I hope you've finished being mean by the time I get back."
"I'm only mean because I have to listen to you talk." She got up to pour herself another cup of coffee.

"Besides, I'm nice to Alesana. I'm just mean to you. You know I'm kidding. If you pick the kid I'm sure I'll like them." She gave him a small smile as she refilled the cup. Andre walked into the kitchen and greeted them both quietly before taking a donut. Once he had finished, the two left the house, Alyssa wishing them good luck as the door shut behind them.

For a few minutes, the car was quiet, silent except for the Nirvana song playing on the radio, until Andre spoke. "Are you nervous? I'm nervous."

"No," Jeffree said quickly. Andre looked at him with a raised eyebrow. Andre knew he was lying. "Okay...yeah, I'm nervous. I don't want them to turn us away once we get there. I don't want Maxine to not like us."
"They won't kick us out. At least I hope not. It shouldn't be this hard for a place to at least give us a chance. There are horrible straight parents everywhere, and they can have kids whenever they want. If we were straight it wouldn't be anywhere near this hard."

The only response from Jeffree was a soft sigh. Andre knew how upset he got each time they were turned away. Andre got upset too, but Jeffree always seemed to be worse. He loved kids, and the inability to have his own or adopt any always left him upset. He'd been jealous when Alesana was born. He'd helped raise the girl, and the two were close, but it didn't quite fill the void for him. Andre gently squeezed his hand. "If it doesn't work, we can try other places. We can't get turned down forever."

Andre parked the car, and the two got out. Andre knocked at the door and after a moment, a aan answered it. "You must be here for Maxine," she said, and Jeffree could feel her eyes scrutinizing every inch of them. Did she do this to everyone? Or just them? "Come in." She led them inside and to the meeting room. The girl they had seen whilst thumbing through the binder of photos sat at the table, clearly nervous. "This is Maxine," the woman said before looking back at them. "Have a seat. Maxine, this is Andre and this is Jeffree."

They both smiled at her, but Jeffree was the first to speak. Maybe that was best. Andre never did like to be the first to talk. "Hello," Jeffree greeted. "It's nice to meet you."