Abandoned and forgotten, that is what I was. Born like any other child, to two parents who I thought loved me, but as fate would have it, discarded me like old rubbish. Why you ask, because I was different, not to their liking, whatever that was. I had red hair, a tangle mess of curls, skinny, very pale and striking green eyes that would make the most expensive emerald shame. Sound intriguing? More pitiful if you ask me or better yet, ask them.
I lived in alleyways, abandoned buildings and sometimes in the fields under trees, which was my favorite place. There I could look up into their canopy and visual a world so beautiful. A world where unimaginable things lived, fairies, flowers of every make, trees with blossoms that perfumed the air so lusciously and people who loved me for who I was and not what I looked like. Then, at night, when the sky, black as ink, gave way to a host of diamonds that sparkled I would make wishes on as many as I could count, each one different and each one equally as important as the next. I still wait for one of them to come true and I knew that day would come, eventually.
It had started to snow and I being still young and in my youthful age of 12, caught myself running about, catching snowflakes on my tongue, smiling and not caring how cold I was or how hungry I had become. I lived for that moment only and it was glorious. Never have I been so happy. When it died down, so did I and then my stomach ached, ached for nourishment.
I was miles away from any town or city, and the thought of having to trek to find a place where food was discarded…I humored at what I had thought, discarded, so much like me and yet, it was worth more than I or was it? I walked, shivering, for all I wore was a torn woolen sweater, again, discarded in a dumpster and shoes that were also thrown out by someone. Someone whose parents bought them new ones surely, I wondered about my parents. Did they miss me? Did they ever think about me? I doubt it not, I was never loved. I wanted to be loved.
I walked for what seemed like miles and came upon a small farm town. People stared at me, their disgust shown in their faces, clutching their children and holding them close, as if I were a leper. I knew what that word meant. How you say? I really don’t remember, it seemed familiar to me. Anyway, lepers were people who were discarded, to live far away from everyone else. No one wanted them…just like me. I just looked at them and felt sorry for their stupidity and continued on.
Scouring garbage cans, dumpsters, I found little food, most of it spoiled and rank, but sometimes luck would hold out and I found something that wasn’t so bad and gobbled it up, only to throw it up later.
Did you know that churches were opened to anyone who wanted to come in and pray? There are, I’ve gone in them myself. They made me feel welcomed, like I belonged. I don’t how that could be, but something in the air just spoke to me. Quietly I’d walk to the very front and sit down and just feel a pray. I never knew what to say or ask for and I gathered it has to be like the wishes I make on the stars at night. So, looking at the poor man, on that tree, dead and wish away, but I didn’t see how someone, who was dead for all purposes, was going to help me, but just talking to someone, helped. He was like me I suppose, don’t know really, just a feeling, but he was luckier than me. People always came in here to talk to him; no one did that for me.
After having said what I wanted I would thank him and bow…I saw someone else do it, so I thought that was the proper thing, I felt silly. Then, back outside, where it was unfriendly and cold. As I went back out into the meadows, far from everyone, in search of a place to rest, I came across an old stone house. To anyone if would look scary, but to me it was shelter. So, I walked up to its windows, now broken, and peered in. Empty, as I thought, dirty and lonely, but I needed warmth or something to get me out of the elements, so I went in. It was strange, the musty smell of dust and mildew hung loftily in the air, but I saw the fireplace and for the first time in a long time, I smiled. There on the mantle were matches and wood on the hearth. One of my wishes had come true.
Within fifteen minutes a blazing fire was warming my very toes and I couldn’t help but sit there with a smile on my face and thought life was good now. Then a knock came on the door. Petrified, wondering who’d be knocking on a door, of a house that was abandoned? I sat there looking at the door, waited on baited breath. The knob, started to turn, slowly, cautiously then…click. My heart jumped at the sound. I wanted to hide, but where? I saw a closet and scampered quietly toward it and went inside. I sat down, there in the dark, and kept as still as I could, as footsteps came into the room.
I watched the light that was peeking underneath my closed door and waited for shadows of that person to show, but as the footsteps got closer, I saw nothing. I felt scared and I felt like I was not safe. Suddenly, the wall behind my back was no longer there, I gasped as hands, or so I assumed grabbed me and pulled me into the abyss, no more to be seen…nor heard.
“Welcome to my hiding place little one…” then silence.