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.