by Joanna Emily
A young girl's story that will take you on an unbelievable journey.
|Prologue: The Beginning
How does one start a tale such as this? Should I tell you about now, or should I start from the beginning? Beginning you say. Ah, wise choice. We’ll go all the way back to when I was born, how’s that sound? All right, here goes. One cold, dreary day in December of ’91 I was born. From the stories my foster mother told me I was premature and lucky to be alive. The cord was wrapped around my neck when I was born, and I was blue as can be. From what I’ve been told, I was put in NICU for over a month because I was so little. Oh! You caught the part about having a foster mother? Well, turns out my real mother was barely fifteen when she had me. Shocking? In today’s time, that’s a little old to some. Anyway, back to where I was in the story.
I guess I should tell you my name now before we continue on any further in the story, huh? I was born Jillian LeAnn Summers, but most people just call me Jill. From the time I arrived in this world everyone knew I was a fighter. You’d think that after living when you’re born premature, the rest of your life would be a piece of cake…you’d be wrong, dead wrong. If anything, my life has been worse for wear. I’m still standing strong though, and I am writing this to let all of y’all know that life IS possible.
Oh, listen to me…I’m off track again. Now where were we? Ah, after being born and spending over a month in the NICU, I was finally released to go hom…well, what I thought was going to be home. My ‘home’ turned out to be an orphanage filled with thousands of screaming, bratty children. Alas, I’m getting ahead of myself here. I’m still a mere babe aren’t I? The next few years were fairly uneventful. Life went on every day. Eat, sleep, grow, play, eat, sleep, grow, play…it was a never ending cycle…except I always seemed to play alone. None of the other kids, or grownups, would take time to read or play games with me. Silly really, but from then on I remained independent.
Years at the orphanage were uneventful until I got to be the age of, oh I’d say, twelve or so. That’s when it happened. I started my period. Mind you, I was just a young girl whom no one ever spoke to unless giving chores or commands. I had no idea what this blood was from, so I did the most natural thing any child would do. I hide my discomfort. To my surprise, the bleeding didn’t go away. In fact, it started seeping through my clothing and I began to worry. Finally, I broke down in tears one day thinking ‘This is it. I’m dying’. Silly isn’t it? It just so happened that an old lady was touring the orphanage that day. You know the type. “Just want to help the young souls.” This lady saw me crying in the corner and came over to me. “Little girl, are you alright?” Stunned, I looked up and quietly mumbled…”I..I think I’m dying. I’m leaking blood.” The old lady seemed to know exactly what I was referring to and she quietly chuckled. “My dear, you are most certainly not dying. Your body is just trying to tell you it’s growing up.” She reached for my hand then and helped me to stand. “Let’s take you and get you all cleaned up.” And she did. She walked me to the restroom, and told me everything. I was shocked. Who knew girls did that? She then looked me in the eye and asked, “Child, do you want to come live with me?” My mouth dropped open, “Of course!” So, that was that. The paperwork was signed. The i’s were dotted and the t’s crossed. I was excited! I had a real home now! Or so I thought…
Chapter 1: The Almost Good Life
Well, I had a new ‘mother’ and according to her I had a new father as well…hmmm. I wonder what these people were really like. The lady seemed nice enough; I mean she did help me with my ‘problem’. I secretly hoped that maybe I had finally found my forever home. Don’t criticize! I was twelve for Pete’s sake. I didn’t know any better. The life I’d had up until now had been anything but pleasant. Do you know how often I, a young child, wondered why I was even alive? Sad isn’t it? Anyway, my new home was better than I could have imagined. I mean I got my own room! I’d never had my own room before so I was pretty stoked. When we got ‘home’ my new mother (whom I was to call Mimsy) showed me around. It was a small house really, but to me it was a mansion. Mimsy told me Papa (her husband) would be home soon so she had to get dinner started. I was free to do as I pleased. What is a twelve year old supposed to do in a mansion? Well, explore of course!
Where to start, where to start? Well, my twelve year old self decided to start at the top and work my way to the bottom. Makes sense right? You’d think that an elderly couple wouldn’t have much to find in their home, but you’d be wrong in this case. As I made my way to the attic, I started wondering about what things I could possibly find. Were there hidden treasures somewhere? What if I found something I wasn’t supposed to find? I contemplated this the little bit of time it took to climb the attic stairs. Before I knew it I was standing in the attic. The first thing I thought was that I needed to be really quiet or I’d most likely get in trouble. Therefore, I tiptoed my way across the attic. Nothing really caught my eye until…what was that in the corner? I walked over to it. “It’s something covered in a cloth.” I muttered to myself. It looked to be some sort of box looking thing.
I wasn’t quite sure if I should mess with it, but you know, being curious and well…nosy, I just had to. I picked up the cloth carefully and beneath was an old hope chest. I was slightly creeped out by this because, well, who keeps an old hope chest? Were there body parts in it or something?! What? Don’t judge me!