I followed Mr. Duncan's lead and also got out of the car, grabbing my backpack. He confidently led the way to the door and knocked on it. I stood a couple feet back, making sure to keep my distance.
The door opened to reveal a woman. She was taller than Mr. Duncan, light blonde hair to her shoulders, and had really bright eyes. She smiled at Mr. Duncan. "Doug, hello, it's nice to finally meet you in person." I twitched; he doesn't even know these people personally? She turned to me next. "And you must be Jake! It's great to have you here. My name is Mary Atkins, but you can just call me Mary. Come in guys, come in!" She held the front door open and waved us in.
I looked at Mr. Duncan, unsure about this. She was just too happy, too welcoming, and too different than what I'm use to. She was well-put together in a three-piece business suit and heels, looking more like a lawyer in my opinion.
Mr. Duncan smiled at me and then at her. "Yes, yes, thank you for your hospitality." He walked in and gestured for me to follow. "Jake, this is your new home so no need to be shy."
I tried to keep my poker face as I walked in.
Mary closed the door behind me and then led us through the first floor, pointing out the living room, office, kitchen, and then sat us in the dining room, where a plate of cookies were placed on the table. She sat at the head of the table, Mr. Duncan sat on her left, and I sat on the other side of him.
They made small talk about the drive, the weather, and other mundane things. The conversation was light until Mr. Duncan brought out a file from his briefcase. "So as we discussed before, Jake is a special case." He gave me a light smile before turning back to her. "He can communicate, no problem, but he doesn't like to talk."
She gave me a sympathetic smile. "Yes, I saw that in his psych evaluation. I've already talked to the whole family so we'll try to make you as comfortable as possible."
I nodded. Sure. I, at least, believe that she wouldn't kill me. I'd make sure of that.
"Mom, you can't even tell that you guys are making him uncomfortable right this moment." A voice said behind me.
I jumped a little, caught off guard. I glanced at the boy that stood behind me. He definitely belongs to Mary with his light hair and bright eyes. He looked to be almost the same height as Mr. Duncan, but skinny.
"See how tense he is?" The boy rolled his eyes. "He jumped a mile high just at the sound of my voice."
I frowned at him. It definitely wasn't that high. What an exaggeration.
He laughed at the sight of my face. "Okay he didn't jump that much." He turned to his mom. "Let me go show him to his room and get him settled in. You guys can continue the adult stuff."
I looked at Mary to see what she would say. She looked at me, then back at the boy. "Alright, make sure to help him unpack. Take the cookies with you. He hasn't even tried them yet."
"Yea, yea." The boy grabbed the plate of cookies. "Let's go, Jake. I'll show you the room. We're bunking together so I hope you don't have too much stuff."
I stood up and grabbed my backpack. Mr. Duncan coughed a little nervously. "Jake only has a backpack worth of personal items and clothes. I'm actually leaving a check with your mom to help him buy some more."
The boy glanced at my bag, then looked me in the eyes. "New clothes plus new stuff equals new start. Simple math." He nodded at me. "Let's go on up."
I gave a look to Mr. Duncan and raise my hand to give a small wave. He nodded. "I'll be back Sunday night when the rest of the Atkins get back so I'll see you then."