An Orphan’s Wish: CHAPTER SIX

On the next day, the ride to the airport was a complete disaster. I woke up late with puffy eyes, with Madam Emily’s shouting in front of my room as an alarm clock. Apparently Rami poured some backing soda on her bathroom floor and mixed it with some vinegar, causing a stinky odor. After washing my face, and whipping out my plane outfit that composed of a white t-shirt that said American Authors and black skinny jeans paired with a button up black and red shirt tide on my waist, I put on my Vans that were hand-me-downs from some charity and tossed my hair in a messy bun. I ran out of the door after grabbing my backpack and my passport, dragging behind me my suitcase, as I rubbed Rami’s head on the way. He waved at me and shouted a goodbye. The rest of the kids glared at me from the kitchen as they were having snack time. I didn’t see them directly looking at me, I just felt their strong gaze. Madam Emily, however, didn’t say anything. It was as if i were a ghost that passed by her and she did not want to acknowledge it. I didn’t care, though. I finally managed to stop a taxi after waving my hands endlessly at so may that simply ignored my existence. I kept looking at the time through my phone, tapping my hands and feet nervously as Jinan and I texted back and fourth non-stop. I was apologizing for being late the whole time, while she kept on worrying about me not getting there on time. I finally reached my destination, and ran inside the glass doors of the airport after paying the taxi driver. I met up with Jinan and her parents at the gates minutes before the flight took off. Thankfully, we processed everything and checked our luggage safely . I wasn’t really paying attention to anything that was happening, my thoughts still lingered with my dead cat, and how surreal everything is at the moment. I won’t come back to Sliver when this trip is over; I will come back to an empty room. I bet the second I was out of the orphanage’s gates, Madam Emily was already disposing of his plates, toys, and snacks. I bet deep down, she was glad he was finally gone. Well, let us be real, my cat is old; I was surprised he had lived for more than 15 years in the first place. I guess deep down I hoped he was immortal, that he will stay till I die. Or at least till I found my parents and told them that I kept the cat all these years. The truth is that I don’t know if they left him there beside my basket, or if his own mommy abandoned him there. But one thing I knew for sure, and that is that we both were gotten rid of at the same day. I was poked on my shoulder lightly, so I turned from the cloudy view, to Jinan who was sat in the cocoon beside me, smiling sadly. We were in first class, and these seats were really comfy. Her parents sat right in front of us.

“what are you thinking about?” she said softly in a whisper. I forced a smile towards her, “nothing.” I whispered back carefully, not wanting our conversation to be audible to her parents.

“You mean you don’t wan’t to talk about it? Just say that Sofi, you don’t have to brush me off with a lie. I’m your best friend.” She elbowed me, and smiled with empathy. I liked how Jinjin was always honest; she would say what is always on my mind without hesitation. I nodded my head, and turned to the window again, looking down at the royal blue sea. I wished that I could jump, and dive in that mysterious place and swim with the fishes. Forget everything and everyone and just swim endlessly. But I shook off my sducidal thoughts; I’m headed to Spain after all. I should be happy and grateful for this opportunity. I have got to stop being such a depressing self-loathing soul. Jinan didn’t bring me along to make the atmosphere gloomy; she brought me to make me feel better. I’m being so selfish, Worrying her and her parents about my mental health and I. They came to have 3 weeks of fun in the sunny city of Madrid, and so should I. I turned to her and she immediately looked back at me with hopeful eyes, as if she was expecting something from me.

“Jinjin, I’m craving Ice cream. How do I get one on this plane?” I questioned, she looked at me with amused eyes, and started laughing while showing those cute dimples. “Oh god,” she said in between chuckles. I looked at her with confusion, as her parents turned around and looked at us. “What’s so funny, girls?” I shrugged while Jinan, “Sofi is being too adorable.” Her mother smiled at me, and turned around chatting once again with her husband. Jinan clicked a button beside her, soon enough a hostess appeared from behind the curtains and stood right beside her.”We would like some ice cream, please” Jinan said politely. The hostess smiled kindly, “and what flavor would you like it to be?”

Jinan glanced at me, “chocolate?” I nodded my head slowly. I wasn’t talkative by nature. I found that body language is my kind of language. “Chocolate please.” The hostess smile, “coming right up, ladies.” She quickly left afterwards, disappearing behind the curtains she came from. Jinan and I waited for the ice cream by playing a movie. We watched the first 5 minutes of The Fight club which was a classic, when the hostess came back with our our ice creams. We both grabbed them excitedly, and smiled as a thank you. We devoured the chocolate iced heaven and snuggled up in the blankets they offered us. Soon enough, I found myself drifting into sleep.

Flight 88877 to Madrid, Spain is preparing to land shortly. Please put on your seat belts and be safe. Thank you for flying on Etihad airways. We hope you have a pleasant stay in this wonderful country.

I woke up when the flight attendance announced our arrival, as the plane’s wheels screeched on the asphalt and stopped moving shortly afterwards. I rubbed my eyes lazily, and slid my backpack on my shoulders. Jinan walked in front of me, following her parents whom were right in front of her. We exited the plane and were quickly greeted by the gate in both Spanish and English. We then headed to claim our luggage, and exited the airport. It was night time here in Madrid, and the jet lag was kicking in as we entered a mini van. I sat beside Jinan and drifted into a short nap. I woke up hearing her mother’s voice waking us both up. I was laying on Jinan’s shoulder, as she rested her head on top of my head. We exited the mini van, stretching like cats, and grabbing our luggage. We dragged our suitcases inside a … house? Yes, we are apparently staying at a privet house. They’re rich, I keep reminding myself. I was too sleepy to stop and admire the breath taking interior inside and the huge walls surrounding the house from the outside. All I wanted to do was to reach my room, and complete my slumber. Jinan’s mother led me to room, which was downstairs and had a lovely view of the garden. I could easily go outside by just opening the huge curtains and the glassy windows behind them. Jinan’s room was connected to my room through a door, and we also shared a small living room in between. The interior was a mix of Indie and Victorian. The wallpaper was flourish and the bed had fresh white sheets. There was also a study table and an empty bookshelf for the few books I packed along. The closet was insanely huge, but I couldn’t bother to unpack just yet. The room was dimly lit, practically inviting me to a snooze. I squeezed out my pyjamas, tooth brush, and tooth paste and quickly ran into the bathroom, which by the way was huge and had both a bathtub and a shower place. After getting ready for bed, I styled my hair lazily into a soft fuzzy bride and tucked myself under the sheets. They oozed out a vanilla scent, which happens to be my favorite. I nuzzled my face into the soft pillows, thinking of nothing at all. For the first time in my life, I slept knowing that I will certainly have a good day tomorrow.

I woke up with a cold hand shaking my shoulder, “wake up sleepy head.” I shrugged off the hand that was placed on my shoulder”just a few minutes,” I said through a crooked morning voice. Jinan Chuckled, “breakfast is ready though, we have to eat and unpack.”

“Can’t we just do that tomorrow,” I said, my eyes still closed. Jinan chuckled again, and I heard her footsteps fading away. I relaxed in my sleep once again, thinking that Jinan is gone for good. But only for a few minutes, as I received droplets of water on my face. I jumped, and sat up sluggishly, “You’re going to pay for this, Jinan.”I groaned, rubbing my face. She through her head back, laughing. “Come on, breakfast is ready in our mini living room. My parents are already out, walking the streets of Madrid while you and I are stuck here. That’s what we get for sleeping in.”

I flipped the mattress open, and got off of the bed. I headed to the bathroom to freshen up. I didn’t even bother to style my hair. No one was home to witness this horrible view anyway. I walked into the mini beige living room, and sat on the wooden Victorian like table. The curtains were open, and I could finally view the sun and the lovely guardian, protected by those high golden walls. I guess Jinan’s parents valued their privacy a lot. I shifted my attention to the food that was in front of us both. Breakfast smelled amazing. It consisted of pancakes, both chocolate and Maple Syrup, Strawberries, Bananas, scrambled eggs, freshly squeezed orange juice and Milk tea on the side. the table wear was a bit fancy than what I’m used to, but it’s still beautiful. Jinan was on her phone, taking pictures of the food. She snapped her head up as I cleared my throat.

“So, what do you wan’t to do after breakfast and unpacking?” she said excitedly.

“Let us chill in the garden today, ” I said with a genuine smile, ” it is beautiful.”

Jinan smiled a toothy smile, and looked relived. ” Good, because I really wanted to relax today. I’ll tan near the pool.”

“And I’ll read in the garden,” I chirped. I never chirp. I’ve been in Spain for half a day, and it’s changing me already. Jinan nodded her head with a grin, “such a
nerd.” We started digging in on the feast before us and chatted lightly in between bites. This was a good start, I thought.

An Orphan’s Wish: CHAPTER FIVE

I woke up the next morning with the a sound of soft knocks on my door. I batted my eyelashes lazily as the golden sun rays teased my eyes, causing me to get a bit irritated. I shuffled my feet under the covers and sighed in relief when I located silver. This was my way if knowing that he was near. I sat up, and looked at him. He was asleep, which was a bit weird since he’s always up before me. Is it still early? I questioned myself as I fumbled for my phone between the pillows. I gasped at the number of missed calls I’ve received. They were all from Jinan. The door suddenly flew open, as the person behind it grew impatient. Speak of the devil, in came Jinan. She paused mid way, and frowned at the sight of me while I blinked a few times in response.

“Why are you still in bed?” she walked towards the curtains and pulled on them, allowing more sunlight in. I winced at the sudden exposure light. “No, why would you do that?” I groaned, stuffing a pillow into my face. She chuckled. “And why would you laugh? it’s morning time, it should be illegal.” She sighed and approached me, ” still not a morning person I see. Well, we have to go shopping. Our flight leaves tomorrow, remember?”
“give me five minutes, I just woke up. I promise,” I mumbled, trying to adjust to the sunlight. She turned around, ” I will be waiting down stairs then, five minutes only!”
“Close the door behind you!” I shouted behind her, she giggled as she made a quick turn and closed the door. I eyed my small closet. I jumped out of bed and walked towards and opened it with my two hands. You know when girls say that they have nothing to wear because either they have a problem with their sights and cant see the pile of clothes in front of them, or the fact that they are actually spoiled? well, I literally have nothing to wear. And I’m also short on money for this shopping trip. I began to question this whole idea, but then shock the thoughts out of my head. No, I’m doing this. I grabbed a slightly wrinkled T-shirt that said The Rolling Stones and had a tongue stuck out, and matched a pair of black skinny jeans with it. I quickly changed in to my outfit, and brushed my hair. I braided it messily, and tucked my long bangs upwards with a black hairband. I quickly ran to the bathroom and washed my face. I brushed my teeth while making funny faces to the mirror. typical. I then made a stop to my room to grab my wallet and put on my Converse. Silver was Still asleep. That lazy fat cat. I ignored him and rushed down stairs. I saw Jinan chatting with Madam Emily. She spotted me and waved. I waved back awkwardly as I approached them both.

“So you decided to go?” Said Madam Emily to me, clearly examining my outfit. “Uh, yeah. I figured why not, you know, go and explore the outside world.” I shifted my legs uncomfortably. I hated her tone when she said that. She shook her head, and smiled. She then shifted her attention to Jinan. ” I’m so happy you’re doing this for her. You and your parents are being too kind, paying for everything.” I flinched; Jinan must have felt it because she responded with a nervous laughter. ” not really, I just wanted my best friend to come along. they were supportive of the idea that’s all.” Jinan smiled her perfect smile as she said that, showing her dimples. She then looked at me with apologetic eyes, which I rolled my eyes in response to. Jinan shifted her gaze back to Madam Emily, ” It’s been nice catching up with you Madam Emily. But we better go now.” She stood up, cause the chair to screech. Madam Emily’s face fell a bit. “So soon? I really enjoy your company dear.” Jinan nodded with smile” I do too, but we must go now I’m sorry.” Madam Emily told her not to worry about it, and to have a safe flight and that she will miss her visits, and a lot of crap. I wasn’t listening really, all I wanted was for this conversation to end. Madam Emily looked at me now, so I had to listen. “be a good girl, you,” she spat politely. “Oh I will be,” I tugged on Jinan’s arm, “let’s go.” Jinan Smiled a quick smile towards Madam Emily, who shouted after us to not be late. I could feel my face heat up with anger. But i ignored it. So what? This happens all the time. No big deal.

The car ride was silent first, but then Jinan had to talk about what happend back at the orphanage. “Doe she still do that?” Jinan began, a look of concern painted on her face. “Do what?” I replied blankly. I knew exactly what she meant, but I was simply trying to delay the conversation. “You know, make you feel like crap.” i looked at her for a few seconds, deciding in that short time span what to say without hurting her feelings by sounding so rude. Because let’s face it, I always do that. “Can we drop it please?” is what I ended up saying. She looked at me with an understanding look, ” of course.” This is what I love about Jinan, when you ask her to do something she does it with no hesitation. It might be the reason why everyone else adores her as well. She’s just a good kid. I smiled at her with gratitude.
“so, I think it is about time I tell you where we’re going. I was going to keep it as a surprise but nope, not anymore.” She said, happily changing the subject. My eyes widened, ” where?” She smiled at me and threw her hands in the air ” Spain baby!” she shouted. Yup, I’m apparently going to Spain tomorrow. We talked so much about the places that we could go there, and how much fun we are going to have until the car stopped in front of the mall.

“Spain would be awesome,” I said as I opened the car handle, “I can’t wait.” Jinan giggled as she got out, “same here, now let’s go crazy and shop till we drop.” and we shopped alright, I kept asking her not to pay for my things half of the time. She was not having it, and kept on picking up matching outfits, accessories, sunglasses and shoes for both of us. It was cute, until it got too girly for my taste. I hated pink, It’s such an annoying color. She knew it but continued enjoying teasing me anyway. Jinan ended up buying lots of colorful summer dresses and flip flops, while I stuck with green, blue, maroon, grey and black clothes and sandals. I think this is where the saying ” Opposite attracts” comes from, because other than the fact that we are both orphans and share the same taste in music, me and Jinan are very different human beings. I don’t mind it though. After hours of shopping, our stomachs grumbled so we decided to grab a bite. We sat at MacDonald’s and order food. Jinan and I spent most of the time chatting about meaningless things and laughing at strangers who did ridicules stuff while waiting for their turns to order, like picking their noses, laughing weirdly, having an accent, or shouting at kids. In the midst of it all, I realised how much I’ve missed spending time with JinJin. I’ve missed laughing and talking like this with her, and I was so glad that I was spending time with her right now. After we were done eating, Jinan suggested going to a movie.

“But what about all these bags we are carrying?” I questioned as we walked towards the ticket booth. ” I’ll just call the driver, he’ll pick them up and take them and take them back to the car.” Right, of cours. I mentally slapped myself at the dumb question; I forgot how easy it was for her. A rich family adopted her after all. she swiftly slipped out her phone, and dialed the number. She spoke quickly, and soon their driver approached us, took the bags in one go, and left. We bought the tickets shortly afterwards, and got a huge bucket of popcorn to share and some soft drinks. The movie was quiet good; a combination of funny and sad events really. I did’t cry, though Jinan was a mass of emotion sat right beside me. I made fun of her the whole time she was crying, she elbowed me me countless of times, cause my arm to bruise.

When the movie ended, we quickly existed the theater and climbed into Jinan’s car. We spoke for a bit, and listened to some American Authors while chanting the lyrics. this day couldn’t have been any better, but soon I frowned at the sight of the orphanage as we approached its gates. The car parked shortly afterwards opposite of the main door. “Don’t forget your passport tomorrow, the flight leaves at 5:00 pm sharp so you better be there at least half an hour early. Got it?” chirped Jinan excitedly, as she leaned in for a hug.I’m not that big on hugs, but I hugged her back while nodding on her shoulder, thanking her for the day as well. We broke the hug and we exchanged smiles once more before I exited the car, carrying my bags.
It was 9:00 pm, but the orphanage was quieter than usual. I tip toed my way inside, not wanting Madam Emily to notice me. I climbed the stairs steadily. As I approached my room, I heard small faint sibs. I froze for a moment. Some one was crying inside my room. My heart started beating fast, as goosebumps started to form on my legs and arms. I had a really bad feeling. I turned the doorknob hesitantly, and enterd. No, this can’t be happening.

“Sof-Sofi…S-Sil-ve-er.” Rami said between sobs, holding my fat cat on his lap. “He- he’s de-de-ad.” No. No. No. I kept repeating no to myself mentally as I approached Rami with shaky legs, I could barely hold myself up. I dropped the bags I was holding, and my eye sight started to get blurry as I reached a shaky hand to touch my baby’s head that rested on peacefully on Rami’s tiny chest. This can’t be real, I must be dreaming. This is an absolute nightmare. Silver can’t leave me, he just can’t. Not now, not when I finally started to be happy. If there is one thing that I can never tolerate losing, it is my Silver. I stroked his lifeless head, and my heart shattered into pieces. I broke down into tears. I took Him from Rami’s lap and hugged him tightly to my chest, I cried and soaked him with my warm tears. I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t bare the pain. Rami scooted beside me and laid his head on my shoulder, as we both sobbed continuously. I lost the only thing that was close to my heart, I lost the only family that I had. I lost Silver for good.

I recalled all the memories I had with him, he was the only thing that witnessed every crappy thing I went through in my life. He was like the diary that knew all of my deepest dark secrets; he was more than just an ordinary cat. And now he’s gone. He is gone. I gained a light push From Rami as we stood outside in the dark garden, lighted only by a few lights and the moon itself. I realised that it was time to lay him inside the ground; it was time to let Silver go. I whimpered at his lost, and placed him gently on the ground. We closed the small hole on the ground, watching his body disappear under the layers of sand. the sight was too cruel. Rami placed a brick on top of it.

He them hugged my waste, he seems to have developed a habit of doing so. We both stood there, staring down at the freshly made grave. ” I will take care of him while you’re gone. I promise, I will even write his name on that brick.” Tears streamed down my eyes as he spoke those words, and I hugged him closer. “I know you will,” I looked down at him with a faint smile, ” You loved him so much to not to.” We stayed like that for a while; just looking at the small grave and remembering the ball of fur that once was a happy lazy fat cat. Rest In peace buddy, I will miss you forever.

An Orphan’s Wish: CHAPTER FOUR

The smell of the mouth-watering hot dogs hit us both at once, as we steadily approached the food stand where Old man Malik worked. Well not exactly steadily, since Rami got too excited that he ran pass me and started greeting Malik with many Hi’s and hellos. Kids get excited for the simplest things; I wish I were that kind of kid. As soon as the old man spotted me, he greeted me with a smile and a head nod. “ Sofia, “ he began, “ the usual I presume?” I smiled back, “ yeah, extra ketchup, no mayo and defiantly no mustard.”
“I want all of those!” Rami chirped, “ more of everything!”
Malik chuckled, and ruffled the young boy’s hair “ sure little one, coming right up!”
We both then, sat on small wooden chairs that squeaked as soon as our backs hit them. We didn’t mind, though. Old man Malik started preparing our food, whistling a tune in between that he always whistles. I remember him telling me that it is from his homeland, which I still don’t know where. I just know that he’s from somewhere in Africa. Rami stared making a tune with his mouth too. He was humming something familiar. And then he turned to me, “ sing a long, Sofi,” he demanded. I shrugged, “ what should I sing?”
“The boy is right,” said Malik over the vender, “ sing!”
“I don’t really-“ I started, when Rami interrupted “she has a great voice, “he blurted happily, “ I hear her all the time singing to Silver the cat back at the orphanage.”
I could feel my face’s skin flush with embarrassment, I didn’t know someone heard me while doing that. I always made sure that my singing sessions were privet. Between the old fury ball and me only. How come this little prankster has heard? This is ridiculous. I was busted, and I couldn’t say anything smart in return. So I said, “ I sound awful, I bet. You’re just being too nice today which is so weird.”
“Of course I’ll be nice, hey old man Malik! It’s Sofi’s birthday today.” He turned to the old man happily. Rami is just too excited for his own good. I nudged him, giving him a warning look. He needed to stop talking now. The boy got the message, since he looked away from me and continued humming, what I presume Back Street Boy’s I Want it that Way. The boy is cliché as fudge. “Well that’s the best reason to sing. Celebrate, child.” Malik wrapped our hot dogs in white papers, and came over to hand them out to us both. We thanked him, “so how much?” I asked. He shook his head, “ on the house, it’s not every day that we get to celibate our birthdays. In my country, it is a huge deal when a girl turns…how old are you again?” He furrowed his eyebrows in confusion.
I laughed, and it was actually genuine. I knew coming here was a good choice. “17, today I get to say that I’ve lived through 17 crappy years.”
He throw his head back into a laughter, and walked away saying,” you are a funny gal, you know that right?” his accent was spot on to be honest, I’ve always found it amusing. “now sing something funny gal.” he sat on his chair, grabbing a soda.
“Yes, sing sing sing!” Rami said repeatedly, and Malik followed. Soon they were both chanting my name, which was embarrassing. I shushed them, and said “ alright! But what should I sing?”
“find your sound, “ Malik said, “ just like us earlier.”
“okay,” So I need to think of a song that isn’t native to my homeland, wherever that is, and a song that doesn’t belong to a 90’s boy band. I can do that. I got it. But, I’ve never sang in front of anyone before. This is so weird. I stood up from my chair, and closed my eyes for a moment. I heard some faint giggles, and shafting. That twat. I opened my eyes, feeling a bit nervous. But I somehow shook it off, and started singing.
“We grow a-apart, “ I stuttered, and cleared my throat. “It’s okay Sofia, try again.’ Said Malik, while Rami nodded encouragingly. The audience was cool. So I relaxed more, and opened my mouth again to sing.
We grow a part,

Just to be on our own,

And we walk next to all that we have known,

Give me your hand,

We can climb further up,

And we climb the trees,

And the forests seem to be bigger now,

Oh we had so much more.

I stopped, and looked at their wide eyes. I must’ve made them deaf. They both glanced at each other, and right back at me. What have I done?, I questioned myself as I shifted my legs uncomfortably. Their blank expressions suddenly changed, wide smiles were drawn into their faces in exchange. They started clapping too, “WOW,” Malik cheered, “ you have a great voice kiddo!” dragging the D every time with his accent.
“I told you she could sing,” laughed Rami, grabbing his chair with his tiny arms after he stopped clapping. Are they serious? I immediately turned my face around, I felt really weird. I had goosbumps all over my arms, as I sat back down. “ You guys don’t need to do that, I’m no Witney Huston.” I murmured.
“Who the heck is she?” questioned Rami, turning his head to Malik, and I. He was already laughing again. “ Of course, no one can replace or be compared to her. But you still have a nice sound, I’m happy you found your voice.” It was Trouble, by my favourite band. Technically, it is their sound. I just borrowed it. But still, I was happy that they helped bring it out of me. We finshed our food, and were starting to leave when Malik pulled me on the corner for advice, “ Sofia, since it’s your birthday, before you leave I want to tell you something. You could either take it from me, or you can toss in that blue garbage ben over there. I don’t care, as long as I gave it to you I’m a happy old man.”
I looked at him with a confused look, but decided to listen. He was way better at giving advice than Madam Emily anyways. I nodded my head, and waited for him to talk. She coughed, clearing his throat, and began. “ Child, I see great sadness in your eyes whenever you come over here, so I get really happy when you leave smiling at a joke this old man made or a story he told” I slimed, as he continued, “I know that life is hard now, but believe me you never know what is out there. I grew up with nothing, and I still have nothing. We both have nothing, but the biggest difference between us is that I’m happy with my life choices. I’m a happy simple old man. Sure, I had my dreams, I had my falls, but I never said no to any chance. I live free of regrets. I want you to grab them too, your chances I mean. I want you to love life, and chase your dreams. You don’t want to be sitting here until you grow old, are you? You don’t want to stay in this plain town. I see big things when I see you, don’t doubt yourself. And go for it, no matter what. Okay?”

By the time he finished his speech, a sneaky tear fell from my eyes; this old man summed everything that I was doing wrong to myself. He understood, somehow. My chest felt pain, and my throat was soar. I wanted to cry more, but I stopped myself. I wiped the tear quickly, faking a yawn. “ thank you,” I smiled, “ I promise I’d keep that in mind.”
“good,” he smiled back, “ now off to your home.” He then turned to Rami who was trailing after a grasshopper on the sidewalk, “ Both of you” Malik said louder. Rami turned to us with a sheepish smile on his face, and jogged toward us. “are we going home now?” he asked innocently.
“yes we are,” I said, “ let’s go. Thank you again for the free meal Malik!” I said as I waved. “Yeah thanks old man Malik, I really enjoyed my hot dog.” Rami said, giving Malik a thumbs up. “Stay safe, kids! Bye.”
Home, I thought with a pathetic smile as I walked beside a skipping Rami. That’s not my home I’m headed to. That’s just a stop; my home is still far away from here, and I have no idea when I will get there.
That night, I stayed awake in my bed, tossing and turning every now and then and thinking about Malik’s words. It hit me hard, because he was right.
I want you to grab them too, your chances I mean
My chances? Well I do have a chance to travel.
You don’t want to be sitting here until you grow old, are you? You don’t want to stay in this plain town.
I really don’t. I want to go away, find my true home. A home where I truly belong.
I see big things when I see you, don’t doubt yourself. And go for it, no matter what. Okay?
“Okay” I chocked out in the middle of the ghostly silence my room had, except for the purring noises Silver had. Good thing I fed him, I don’t want him waking up now. I turned to my side and opened my phone. The light hit my face hard; I groaned in discomfort as a quickly lowered the lighting. I opened the messages and typed,

“ Sofia: That traveling offer, is it still on?”

Jinan replied almost immediately,

“JinJin: of course! Does this mean you’re coming?”

I swallowed the limp that was caught in my throat. I’m actually doing this, there is no going back now. I looked over at silver purring, his eyes twitching from a bad dream probably. I then glanced at the window, witnessing the night sky and the moon glow. I was trying to distract myself from this decision I am currently making. And-

“Sofia: Count me in.”

An Orphan’s Wish: CHAPTER THREE

I wasn’t keen on the idea of traveling with Jinan, but I wasn’t that happy with the way I handle it either. Why was I so bugged about it? It was my choice after all. I stared at my breakfast, which probably is ice cold by now, as Silver jumped on the table, making me jump back to reality. “Silver, get down” I picked him up. He kept on scrambling between my light handgrip, and swiftly jumped, escaping my hands. “Boy, you silly cat” Said Madam Emily, as she passed by the fury ball who ran through the door. She narrowed her eyes at me, and frowned” why haven’t you touched your breakfast yet? It’s the birthday special! You eat it every year” Madam Emily always cooks me this special breakfast of hers whenever my birthday is around, she says that it is made with love, but I bet it is cheaper than cake and balloons. I don’t mind not having a proper birthday, I don’t think of my birth as a holy day to be celebrated anyway. I looked at her, and sigh shifting my gaze to my intertwined fingers “ I’m just not very hungry”. “That’s nonsense,” she began, taking a seat in front of me,” what happened?” I really didn’t want to talk, but she was the only person I could share this with. She hasn’t been exactly like a mother to me, but she is older, and that makes her wiser. This conversation could go either way, and that is why I hate talking to adults. They don’t really understand regular teenagers, let alone an orphan one. But it is worth a shot. “I talked to Jinan yesterday,” I shrugged, and looked at her. She nodded, giving me permission to continue, so I did” she’s traveling in a few days, and asked me to go with her and her family, but I refused.”
“That’s very nice of her to ask,” she smiled, “ how was she? And how are her parents doing? Where are they going?” Well great, I knew this was going to happen. The conversation always turns to Jinan whenever I mention her to Madam Emily. She was always likable, and I was always the outcast. Not that I hate her for it, she cant help being who she is. I just wish for once that I could be like that. I placed my hands in my hoodie’s pocket, and jerked my shoulders, “ she seems fine. I don’t know about her parents though, and where they’re traveling.”
Madam Emily looked at me for a second, and said in a bored tone “very well,” she got up and said “ will you be eating that delicious plate of scrambled eggs and sausages or should I just toss it down the bin?” I shook my head, “ no I’m not feeling it, thanks anyways.” I got up, and walked slowly to the door. I heard her snitch it from the table and toss it while mumbling “ what a waste”. I ran to my room as soon as I exited the kitchen, and locked the door behind me. I quickly grabbed my phone, placed my headphones on and started listening to American authors. I flopped on my bed, and starred at the empty creamy sealing. I seriously like this band, their lyrics are genius, and the music just sails me to other places. I wanted to cry, I wanted to shout, but nothing was coming out of me. I was completely numbed by the music. I was an empty shell, with no fillings of feelings at all. Madam Emily was clearly not listening to what I said, all she cared about was knowing more about the foster parents of other people. I hated this place, I hated my life, and I hated myself. No one will ever come here and claim me, no one is going to love me. The thought of it sends shivers down my spine. It is both scary and sad. I guess I just wanted Madam Emily to tell me to go, to encourage me to do something new. I was disappointed, not that I expected her to actually say that, I just hoped and look where hoping got me to. Nothing. I am pathetic. I felt a warm tear slide down my cheeks, as I quickly wiped it with my sleeve. I took off my headphones, and sat up, crossing my legs as I looked out the window. The sea was a few miles away but I could still see it. I trailed off, but not for long as I heard scratching noises on my door. Silver, that old twat. I got up and opened the door, as he rushed inside, and kept twirling between my legs. What a suck up. I closed the door and bent down looking under my bed for his treats. As soon as I found them, I grabbed two biscuits that were shaped like fishes, and gave it to him one at time. I clapped my hands to slide away the crumbs, and stroked his back. I flopped back on my bed, and Silver jumped on too, curling up on my lap. “ I only have you buddy,” I said as I scratched his head. He purred right to into sleep.
I woke up from my slumber at 6:00pm; I slept for so long for some reason and skipped lunch. Typical, and what is even more typical is the fact that I wasn’t woken up for it. I sigh as I move my legs slowly, not wanting to wake up my lazy fat cat. I jumped out of bed and went out of my room. The bathroom was in the far left, so I had to walk in front of the other’s rooms. I don’t usually interact with the kids, but few tend to want to be close to me for some unknown reason. As I attempted to open the bathroom door, a little boy suddenly jumped in front of me with a scream mask, making me jump back and fall right on my bum. “RAWR! I AM A GHOST!” he shouted, I cursed under my breath in a low tone and looked back up at him. He flipped the tip of his mask up and looked at me with an amused smile “ oh hi Sofi,” he laughed. It was Rami, the house prankster. I huffed and got right up on my feet, swaying a bit and rubbing my eyes in annoyance, “ Rami, what did I tell you about jumping people like that?”
“Sorry,” he raised his two hands in defence; “ it is fun,” he laughed again. I looked down at him with warning eyes, “ it is not fun to me buddy, now move away so I can use the bathroom.” I held the back of his t-shirt, and dragged him side ways, making way for me to enter the bathroom. He chuckled as I did that. I shut the door, and head immediately to the sink to wash my face.
I re-entered my bedroom, only to see him curled up next to Silver. I sigh and head to my bed “Rami,” I poke him with my finger, “ get up, now!” He looks at me with his innocent brown eyes, and sits up “ I want to stay with you” I roll my eyes, “ Why? Go play with the others” I say steadily. He looked sad, and shook his head. I bet he misses his mom. I sat next to him, and patted his head as he leaned in for a sudden hug. I don’t really mind, I’ve been there once. But Unlike Rami, I had no waste to hold, and no shoulder to rest my head on. I had a bed, a soaked pillow, and a cat. “ Happy birthday” he said, his voice muffled through my hoodie. “ Thanks,” I shrug. The kid is sweet, but only when he’s defenseless like this.
We stayed like that for a few minutes, when I sudden idea hit my head “Rami, you want to go out and get some hot dogs?” he broke the hug and looked up at me with sparkling eyes, “ yes!”
“Go grab your shoes, and wait for me outside near the entrance. I will get my backpack and meet you there. Don’t let Madam Emily catch you, okay?” He nodded his head excitedly, “peace of cake, I can do that” and ran out the door. I smiled a weak smile, as Silver stretched and tossed himself on the ground. The old man who sells the hot dogs around the corner always has good stories to say. Maybe he will make my birthday better. I could use the company. I get up and slide in my short boots, I place my messy hair into a bun, and quickly toss my bag on both of my shoulder. I sneaked out, and met up with a curled up Rami on the entrance. “ready?” I whisper, “you bet” he answers enthusiastically. I smile at him, and as we start walking away from the orphanage.

An Orphan’s Wish: CHAPTER TWO

“Silver!” I whispered, as my cat approached the wooden kitchen door and started scratching on it. My cat was acting strange, so something must be up. I approached the door with shaky legs, and prayed that it was a silly bug or something. But my heart was telling me something else; I knew it wasn’t a bug. That thud was of something heavy being dropped. I managed to carry my fat cat in one arm, and opened the door with the other, steadily. No one was there. I looked to my right, and the garage was dark and quiet. I looked to my left, and I could almost hear nothing but the far away waves. It was said in the old folk stories around here that houses which are built near the sea are the biggest targets for ghosts, and that is exactly what came into my mind at that moment. I sighed for a moment, and jumped the next when I felt a hand resting on my shoulder. I let go of my cat real quick and turned to face the stranger when all of a sudden it spoke the words “Wow wow, easy there Sofia! It is me, Jinan”. It was Jinan, standing there laughing at my embarrassing reaction. “Are you crazy?! I almost had a heart attack! Silver too!” is what I managed to say between my laughs. I was so glad to see her, but I wondered what she was doing here in the middle of the night, holding a small pink box. “I am sorry I scared you, you should’ve seen the look on your face it was priceless!” she said cheerfully, “Oh, so you noticed what’s in my hands” she winked. I smiled back, and asked her what was on my mind. “I came because it is your birthday, like in half an hour from now! I wanted to be with you Sofi. Here take this” she handed me the box. I looked at her with a smile, and opened it. HAPPY 17th BIRTHDAY SOFIA is what the small round strawberry cheesecake read. I shifted my gaze from it to her, she smiled at me sheepishly “I know it is not much, and it is kind of not organized. I dropped it by mistake.” “No, it is wonderful. Thanks Jinan” and I really meant it. “How did you know I was in the kitchen, though?” I asked as we walked towards the sea shore. “I saw you heading there with Silver, this cat still eats at midnight huh?” she said, pointing with her eyes at Silver, who was walking right beside me. “Yeah, he still does.” I don’t know why, but I felt that there was more to Jinan’s visit than celebrating my birthday. She wasn’t the type of girl who would leave home at night for just this. We walked in silence until we reached a palm tree close to the waters, and sat down under it, slightly teased by the wet sand. I held Silver in my hands, and it purred as I stroke its head. I looked at Jinan “so?” I asked. “So … what?” she replied. “You’re not here just because it’s my bloody 17th birthday Jin-Jin. Tell me, what is up?” she smiled an uncomfortable smile, her dimples showing. Jinan was the girl that all the boys would fall for; she had big brown eyes, long eyelashes resting on them. Her face was round, her nose small, and under it was a pair of thin pink lips. Her hair was short, dark as the night sky and silky. “I am leaving tomorrow” she began, “I am travailing in a few days” I did not respond, so she continued “since its summer you know. My foster parents suggested it, so I said I’d go.” I froze, this was unexpected. She held my hands “I… I want you to come with us Sofia” Come with you? Are you insane? I looked at her, and my face said it all. “What will you do this whole summer? Pleas just come with us. They are okay with it” she insisted. “Now I know you’re out of your mind, Jinan. London? Me? Do you know how expensive that is? I know I recently got my passport, but come on now” I argued. She looked at me, her eyes filled with seriousness “ Sofi, they are paying. It is okay. Just come!”, “of course it’s okay with you, but they aren’t my foster parents!” I shouted, which made Silver wince. Jinan looked at me with sad eyes, and then tuned to face the shore “happy birthday” she uttered, “It is twelve o’clock.” I played with the sand, as I gave her my thank you. Jinan was upset, I can feel it. But she should understand that I can’t simply leave. She lit up a candle, and placed it on top of the cake “ here, make a wish” she said calmly. And I did, I wished from the bottom of my heart to leave. We split up the cake, and ate most of it quietly wile admiring the sea, the waters were so wonderful, sparkling under the moonlight. It was accompanied by the sound of the waves, and Silver’s purrs. We said our goodbyes, and I headed upstairs to my room. I took a small green bucket that I hid under my bed for so many years; it contained all of my wishes. I looked for the card that read “traveling”, and thought to myself “what if?”

BORN TO RULE

It was November again and the rain had seized completely. Farm yields were poor throughout and our tribe starved with the devastating drought that had announced. Farms were abandoned and homes were deserted. The lad looked drier than it was supposed to and while some of us sought to make a change, there were others who didn’t require anything for a change.

I was a farmer with a slow tongue, though keen to understand what they always wanted. I only saw the possibilities in everything I did; I had deleted all the negative thoughts of how my family and I were going to die in this forsaken part of the world. We had gathered a few cups of corn and some stalks of vegetable. My mother had been without food in days and when the gang of rebels bagged in our home, they decided to take away all the food left.

The few cups of corn and the little bunch of the vegetable was not even going to carry us to the next day, so I stood up to them and we resolved the matter in a challenge, which was at the same time, a test to how much hope I could have in all I did. I was asked to sow those seeds and to plant the stalks to grow in a week. Essentially, it was a good idea but the time they gave me was unrealistic. I took up the challenge, set out to plant with my mother, and kid sister.

From the little agricultural techniques I had learnt, I managed to apply them for the first three day and while hoping at nothing, I never gave up. Every day, they passed by in mockery but on the seventh day when they came, they met an ever so green patch of land in those dry lands. The corn, vegetable sprouted, and everyone sought to know what we did for such miracle to occur.

I gave the hooligans my formula of more water and manure during the night and when they tried it for one week and it worked, our villagers returned home and everyone started the practice until the dried lands were all green again.

THE POST MAN

There are several ways to die in the east from where the greatest men are born. We were forged with iron and blood to stand for a just cause but by Captain Zumunda’s command, the city was quick to go to ruins. I was able among the many that went down to uphold my integrity to the king.

He was not only my friend; he had saved my life from the deadly dragon when I got integrated into the force. He was my mentor and after the coup to bring him down, I watched my master and friend drop dead to the dust before my own eyes.

An Uproar broke in the city and Zumunda took over. I hated the fact that I was a coward who feared to face the tyrant. I was a small god but I never really considered it. If not of my king, the dragon would have slain me to death. I had spent days without food and my sword had become a burden to my tired arms.

I found a small oasis in the wilderness and I did not hesitate to plunge in. While I drank from it, I felt the bottom on the surface of my feet roughened. Then the same dragon popped out of the water with wings on its back. It spoke to me and did not hurt me. It urged me to return to the city and fight with Zumunda. I first thought I was hallucinating but when it scratched me, I came to my senses and courageously, I forged another weapon of its claws and teeth.

I needed a stand with Zumunda when I got back and the crowd accorded us a duel at the great square of the city. Bold and confident, I defeated Zumunda and when he fell to the dust, I felt even with my master and friend. It was a favor returned in some way and I was made king of the city.

LONG AFTER NOW

Twenty five years old Tim has the special ability to flip in time at his will and discretion between the future, past and in the present. He started getting seizures at the age of ten and he had wraned his dad on a contract he so much wanted to take at his company. Being just a kid, his dad ignored him and when he got the contract, he was robbed of the funds just as Tim had warned. This kept his father wondering over Tim. He was not a natural kid and his search to discover Tim’s secret only led to his early death.

Tim grew up extraordinarily from the other kids and at twenty five, he was able to help people in his neighborhood with their personal problems. One day, an old man walked up to him and stared at him in silence for a long while. “Do you know where you are getting these powers from?” The old man asked

“No and I don’t care old man,” Tim responded with every confidence that he was born that way.

There’s something I will love to show you if you want,” the old man said calmly. Tim followed him to the gate and when they reached a bend, the old man stopped and turned around. He was everything like Tim and his name was Tim. Tim was shocked the moment he saw himself transformed by the old guy.

“Funny trick,” he blushed and tried as hard as he could to go back in time to find out if he actually was this old man but he instead skipped and went to the far future. He saw the old guy talking to a young man and when he turned to look at the young guy, it was the same scenario that just took place a while ago. When he came back to the present, he saw the old man starring at him.

“You can change all of that if you want, it’s a continuous circle and only you can cut the chain.” The old man said and before Tim could realize, he had disappeared.

An Orphan’s Wish: CHAPTER 1

Like any orphan story, you’d think that i was like the famous musical star Anny, living in a squeaky small  house full  of girls, and then suddenly everything turns out right when a rich man comes and sweeps her off her feet and asks her to be his daughter. Or maybe, I would be like The Little Princess, where young Sara Crew leaves her mansion in the magical spices kingdom, and inters a boarding school where an evil principal tells her that she no longer is a  Princess, but then all works well as she  gets her happy ending. But that’s the thing about these fairy tales; they try too hard to satisfy your desires by creating these perfect happy ever afters. Back to reality, some endings aren’t so fancy,  and mine? Well, see for yourself.

I was brought up to this orphanage when I was a few months old, nothing was left behind but a kitty. That’s right, near my small picnic basket, a kitty which I named Silver was guarding me. I wasn’t born in Europe or America, no. I was  located in the middle east, where the hot weather can cook you alive. the orphanage, which goes by the name ‘Hope’,  took me in. And I was given the name Sofia, Sofi for short. I wasn’t sure why I was named like that, maybe because I didn’t look local enough? I stood out mainly because I had green hazel eyes, and my hair was burning brown. It was long, and kinda curly so I just assumed that I had African roots. My skin is kinda pale, and I am quiet normal as a person. But not for long.

I was still pretty much moving on with my life as an orphan, and the fact that I wasn’t adopted. This made me miserable.  I felt unwanted and lonely. Today was my last  day as a 16 year old, and yeah I wasn’t feeling the excitement. In the orphan world, you don’t really like your birthday, because other than the fact that you were born in it, it marks the day you were abandoned as well. Its like an anniversary  that reminds you once again that you were a big mistake, that you weren’t welcome when you opened your eyes to this world. I was shaken awake from my sleepless but closed eyes at the sound of Silver mewing at me, demanding his meal. “okay, buddy” I said with a tired tone “I am up”. I put on my Hoodie , placed my hair in a bun, and headed downstairs with my old fat cat following behind.

I headed to the small kitchen outside.  It was probably one hour before I turned 17. Silver was the kind of cats that had unusual timings to eat, its like he was jet lagged all his life when it came to his eating habits. But I don’t mind, its not like I had better things to do let alone sleep, at that hour.  The kitchen was small, but tidy. Madam Emily always keeps it clean and cosy, for us that live her. The orphanage wasn’t that big, and so were the kids  in number. I was the eldest around here, and there were eight more kids between the age of 6 and 12.

As I poured some cat food and water in two small yellow plates, Silver started jumping with joy. I shushed him with putting the food right in front of him at once.  The old ball of fur munched down his meal, as  I gazed at the window and realized how the moon glow was. It looked so bright  and flawless, as I wished my life would have been. I really missed Jinan, my only human friend. “what do you spouse she is doing right now, silver?” I asked with a low voice “Soundly asleep, I hope” I completed.  Jinan was adopted when we were 8. Although I was happy for her, I was pretty sad that she was leaving me behind. My thoughts scattered away when I heard a sudden movement outside. Silver lifted his head, pointed out his ears, and we both starred at the door with wide eyes, in silence.

THE RETURN

I was in my office sipping coffee with Diane, my secretary and talking about the new marketing project we had won for the company when I suddenly went into a deep trance that seemed so real. It was actually real and I was never the same person after that moment. I can recall the last thing I said to Diane was that she looked so lovely in her new dress. The rest came in twinkling flashes even as I fought hard to disagree what was happening to me.

I found myself in a vast field and the place looked quite familiar. It was my primary school at the football field and everything looked just so real but when the bell was rung, I couldn’t make out the faces of the pupils who ran outside towards me. “C’mon Eric,” one of them called out to me. I made the first step and stopped. I had lost more than eighty pounds in a flash and when I looked down at my feet, I couldn’t believe my eyes what I was seeing.

I had turned to a nine years old kid with a thirty-five years old mentality. I could recognize Elizabeth, I had worked with her at the Wall Mark Firm for two years. She had not changed much and we were separated for seventeen years after primary school. She had died a terrible death a year after I had quit the job.

She took me by the hand and walked me down to the road with the childish stories I wasn’t paying attention to. I thought of telling her where I was coming from but I quickly presumed she was never going to understand anything. When we got home, I was most thrilled when I saw my mother again. I never told her how much I loved her before she passed away and now maybe, I could get a chance to right the many wrongs I had done in my present past.

She was baking cup cakes and when she saw me, she tried a cute smile but then, I saw a lot of fear in her watery beady eyes as though I would reject her food as I always did. Things had to change and it was time for me to correct my life with this unique and bizarre circumstance.