A short story about an orphaned boys relationship with an unusual woman.
|A short story from a group of short stories in a book I am writing. Be prepared because it is sappy and because I wanted it to be made for all ages it may sound briskly written. Everything in parenthesis is a footnote for a picture that should be there.
…I Always Wanted…
Everyday I come home from school on my bike by the cliff side road. I go this way instead of going through town because I like watching the sunset after school in the spring and summer. On cloudless days I’d still watch it during the other seasons. It’s fall right now, the morning fog is thick and it’s raining often. But, even on days that I can see the sun I don’t sit at the edge.
There’s a woman who sits there, she’s been there for a week and a half. I’ve seen her at our orphanage since she came. I think her name’s Sienna. She’s a black husky and I only reach her knees because she has giant’s blood in her.
(Sienna sitting at the edge of the cliff)
I just ride past her when I see her sitting at the cliff. I try not to be disrespectful, but it makes me sick seeing people coming to the orphanage trying to adopt one of us. They examine us like we’re animals until they separate us from our friends. But there’s something especially strange about her that makes me uneasy, something about her eyes.
Instead I just ride past her and try not to look at her. I know she knows that I ride past her, I see her ears twitch when she hears me riding around the bend. She seems like a nice person, but they all do when they look at us. When I get back I’ll spend time with my friends and go to sleep.
Something strange happened yesterday. That woman wasn’t there. She’d usually walk by and watch us while we played. It’s after school now and I don’t see her at the cliff either. Maybe she finally left. I guess that means I can sit in my spot again. But, that might mean one of us will not be there when I get back. I hope she didn’t adopt one of us.
Today’s Friday so I’m not going home until the sun goes down. The sky is blue since it’s still four in the afternoon. I hope no one comes and tells me that one of us is gone like the last time.
(Faenel sitting at the edge of the cliff)
That’s odd, I hear footsteps from the trail…it’s her. Why is she still here? I can’t leave, but I don’t want to talk to… “hello…you don’t mind if I sit here do you?” She had a light voice, it was calm and soothing.
“Thank you, I know you from the orphanage but I don’t know your name.”
“It’s nice to meet you Faenel. I’m Sienna.”
“I know, they told me your name.”
“Oh , you knew.”
“My friends asked the department…”
“You…look a little sad. Are, you okay?”
“Mmmhh…I’m sorry for bothering you. Maybe I should leave,” she was about to get up.
“…why weren’t you at the playground yesterday…”
“Huh? I was meeting with a house salesman. I’m moving into town.”
It was hard to keep my temper, “Why are you moving here and trying to adopt one of us?”
“You could have just moved to another town, bought a house there and got a kid of your own.”
“I came here because…my husband died last month” A chill went down my spine, “we’d been eyeing a house here that was on sale for a long
time. I used part of his insurance to buy it.”
“…I-I’m sorry…” I feel like an idiot.
“It’s alright, you didn’t know. I could never remarry now that he’s gone and we never had any children. Besides that, we both believed that there were too many children in the world who didn’t have parents. It would be too selfish to have one of our own.”
“The way you make it sound, is kind of comforting.”
“Uh, I didn’t mean to say that out loud.”
“Then I’ll pretend I didn’t hear a thing. Besides that belief we shared, there’s also the fact that I was an orphan.”
“Yes, no one ever adopted me. I don’t want to see children grow up like I did; forced to handle problems with no help…Maybe I’ve talked to
much. I should probably go.”
“It’s alright, and I’m sorry again for being rude. I didn’t know.”
“It’s fine. Is it alright if we can talk again sometime?”
“I don’t mind.” It was nice to talk to her after that day. I felt like a horrible person after the things I said to her.
At first, I just met her because I felt bad about what I said. After a few weeks went by I began meeting her for a different reason. She was a
good person, a bit scatterbrained at times, and after a while she began to act more like me and my friends did. She wasn’t proper and stony like the parents who came to adopt us. The others got to like her too.
Sienna’s actually very young; she’s only twenty-three. She lived in another country at her old orphanage until she came to ours after she turned eighteen. She moved into a college dorm and married a senior there when she was a sophomore. After she graduated Sienna moved in with her husband, but he died of an illness that he didn’t realize he had.
December is here now and the snow will be coming soon. Even though I don’t like coming to the cliff when it’s cloudy I’d still come to see her. The sunset has become my second reason. Even today when the clouds are beginning to gather for our first big snow I’m here to see her. “Faenel, I have something to tell you.”
“Is there something wrong?”
“Nothing too bad, I just won’t be here a lot from next week till Beloved Eve.”
“I have some business to do with my job. I have a book I just released and it sold a lot of copies. I’ve been invited to a seminar of young writers for an award. Then they want me to be around to inspire younger writers.”
“It sounds like you don’t want to go.”
“I do, but I never really wanted to be a writer. I always wanted to be a…singer…” it was a bit surprising to hear that from her. I never imagine she’d want to be a singer.
“You have a good voice, I think you can.”
“Ha ha, thanks…sorry I won’t be here a lot though. Thankfully it’s being held in the next town over so I can come back. Instead of it being miles away and having to stay at a hotel.”
“Um, Sienna I have a question…”
“You don’t have to get me anything.”
“I know you don’t have much to give, so don’t. You’ll need it more than me.”
“But Sienna I want to give you something. I’ve done a little work and earned enough for a small gift.”
“Alright, then I’ll get you something too.”
“What? But, I don’t need anything.”
“Then I’ll just get you something you want.”
“Sienna, please don’t buy anything for me. I know it’s a gift for Beloved Day, but I’ll feel terrible.”
“Perfect, then you’ll do the same for me.”
“You mean, not to buy you a gift?”
“Mm-hmm, we both have to make each other something.”
“Uh, okay, but I’m not good at making things. What do you want me to make?”
“Let’s make it a surprise, for both of us.”
“Agreed.” Then she did something that I never expected from anyone. She curled around me and hugged me. It was strange because no one
ever hugged me before, none of my friends or the department members. But it felt…good…warm. I didn’t even notice that I was holding her back.
There were three weeks left until Beloved Day and I didn’t know what to make for her. I didn’t have anything special I could do…except paint. I’m not very good though. Everyone else seems to think I am, but I don’t think so. Although, it is the only thing I can think of to do for her. Now that I’m planning it I think I have an idea of what to paint. I wonder what she’s going to make for me?
We barely saw each other for the next two weeks. But after those weeks passed she was back home for good. We met three days before Beloved Day at the cliff. The clouds were thick with incoming snow and I shivered in the cold waiting for her. Then she came and it was a little warmer after she sat down. “Faenel I have a serious question for you, you don’t have to answer now. But I want you to tell me by Beloved Day.”
“Why, what’s the matter?” she was very nervous.
“Can I…adopt you?” …I couldn’t think while I looked up at her…I didn’t realize what I was doing…Before I knew it I jumped on my bike and sped off. I rode as fast as I could. When I got to the orphanage I locked myself in my room and wouldn’t speak to anyone…
I didn’t go outside for the next two days. Then on Beloved Day I got out of bed late in the evening and took a blue package from my desk. I slowly peddled to the cliff and as I turned around the bend I saw her under the light falling snow. Her tail was usually wagging and she always looked forward. But today she sulked.
As I walked up to her, her ears twitched, but she did not look back to me. I sat next to her and neither of us said a word as we looked at each other. After a few moments I took the wide blue package from my side and handed it to her. She carefully unwrapped it and set the paper aside. Her mouth dropped and tears started streaming from her eyes. She looked down at me while she cried.
She reached to her side and pulled out a large red wrapped box and handed it to me. Inside were a pair of hand knit red wool gloves and a Red scarf with gold tassels and my name spelling into the stitching. Underneath these was another gift. A leather bound book titled ‘What I Always Wanted’. “I quit the seminar early…I told them I had something important to write for someone very special to me.”
“I’m sorry I ran *sniff*.”
“It’s okay, I hoped you wouldn’t hate me because of what I said. I shouldn’t have…”
“Sienna, I could never hate you and I didn’t run because of that. I ran because I was afraid.”
“Afraid..? Of what?”
“Of saying…yes…Sienna, I love you…and I really want…you to adopt me.” She was speechless. “I hated how badly I used to think of you before. I didn’t think I was good enough.”
“I didn’t think I was good enough either..!” She pulled me into her arms and we held each other as the snow fell around us. Our gifts tightly held to our chests. And for a brief moment at the edge of the mountains far across the horizon we both saw the sun set below its golden line.
(Picture of Faenel’s painting of them sitting in front of a sunset with Sienna’s gifts lying on top of it)