December 4, 2020 / Leave a Comment
“Being too nice? It may be worth thinking twice”
December 4, 2020 / Leave a Comment
Please note, this text belongs to my book I intended to write but never finished because this first section was borrowed and never returned to me…M.) Content is suitable more for women.
…It was still very dark when she opened her eyes, waking up from long, exhausted sleep on a cold, hard floor.
She shivered; trying to cover a little more of her sparsely dressed tiny body, but her short thin dress couldn’t provide enough warmth reaching only to her knees.
So she hugged her knees tucking them firmly towards her chest and pulled the dress over as far as it could be stretched while being twisted like a little child.
She was scared, not just of the dark place which she couldn’t recognize, but also from her thoughts that she couldn’t understand. They were scattered and frightening, almost evil.
With a first, still weak ray of sunlight coming through from somewhere very highly placed window, all around seemed just a show of deeper darkness of corners as if something mysterious and surely dangerous would be hiding behind. And those strange sounds… oh, these must be mice. But she wasn’t scared of those. They were often her little companions when she was shut in for days in a cellar. Still, she thought; but those you knew well, perhaps all are just as good and would not bite.
After all, they were scared of her first. No, she wasn’t afraid of mice, she was afraid of something bigger, something with big hands and a harsh angry voice, she was afraid of a man.
She tried to reassure herself that she is really alone and that way safer, at least for a while. Rambling in her stomach reminded her about being hungry, but that also she was used to.
The light increased and then she remembered. She was in a church. Big columns and statues and paintings on walls confirmed that. She felt sudden relief and gained confidence that all would be all right. Whoever would discover her here wouldn’t harm her, possibly even help her. Help; yes, that was what she needed. Perhaps tomorrow?
She squeezed her bony knees even tighter, looked up where the sun was pushing its light more and more through a narrow window’s slit, and started thinking more clearly forcing her brain to remember how did she get into this place.
She somehow knew that she ran and that it was dark then also. She knew instinctively that she ran for her life and was so very frightened… She always asked in her prayers not to be frightened so, but she had yet to discover goodness and love.
They told her that her name was Jenny, but who knows? They named her that way and she liked it, although she remembered also other names. Jenny, yes, she was Jenny! She wished to be called by that name. Still, the damn brat was often the name they called her by.
At that moment she recalled that man, as he would be standing by her side, alive. He was so huge, she often thought about him as being an elephant, with his heavy walk, his loudness, coarseness, and strength. But she has never seen any live elephant, only one in a picture and that with its baby elephant, so it perhaps wouldn’t hurt her, at least not that much as that bad man did. She shivered again and heard that stomach rumbling again, thinking; when someone would come in? But I suppose it is still very early in the morning and not many are about. I must only wait and hope…
She changed her stiff position, but again into a firm twist to keep her scarce warmth, closed her eyes, and prepared herself to wait…
“Jenny, get up! Sun is already high, school is waiting!”
She opened her eyes and it took her a while to realize where she was because her dream had been so real, again! Well, of course, it was real, it was a piece of her life, still returning after so many years. Actually, many such dreams were chasing her quite often and didn’t allow her to forget.
Then it flashed through her head what happened after she felled asleep again in that church…and she jumped from her bed, making ready for her day.
She was fifteen now, her almost blond hair had changed into a light brown, rich and shiny, nicely complimenting her large brown eyes that never lost their mysterious sadness. She was slim, but well built with a promise of future beauty. But she wasn’t aware of that…yet…
She loved going to school and in a way was even happy if that was possible living with yet another strange family, what number was it? She lost track… They were always one too many for her good. Over and over, new environment, new people, families with children who didn’t like her and often hurt her, as children could, sometimes even unintentionally. Oh, better forget those.
She usually became a servant and a whipping boy, but she learned to accept, knowing well by now that roof above one’s head was imperative. She wasn’t sure about this family still so very new to judge well, but so far they treated her rather fairly. And that was good. She did her part of the household work, making sure all was always in the best way to avoid any criticism or complaints. Especially nothing should be broken, family valued their porcelain collections highly and she remembered still very well a punishment for broken vase some time back in one of the previous families.
Yes, she already has her, although still rather hazy, still, well shaping up plans for her future when she would become a strong, independent woman and nobody ever would hurt her again. She even might become a great singer or something of that kind. She had a good voice and talent to move gracefully in that natural womanly way already.
She heard a world love but didn’t understand its meaning well, besides suspecting it must be something good. So this would be something she would surely include later in her life as well.
She was a sincere person, but rather shy, being strongly aware of her handicap… she was an orphan. What a badge!
She long to know who her parents were, how did they look, what did they think, why did they abandon her? Why? She was a tiny baby, she didn’t do anything wrong… they gave her life, and then… did they die?
Oh, Jenny here you go again… Just move on and go to school.
The school bus arrived and she got in looking around for her only friend Mary. They met not that long ago but became friends very fast. Mary was also an orphan and there is no one with a better understanding of another that one being in the same situation. They spent as much time together as possible, but both had a lot of household duties to take care of, so their meetings were scarce.
But when too much unhappiness settled in they look for each other immediately.
Several times they started to make preparation to run away, doesn’t matter where, just getaway, but in the end, common sense and realization of having at least some home changed their plans.
“We must finish the school, Mary,” said Jenny. “It would be easier, later on, you’ll see.”
And so they stayed.
Mary was a pale, slim girl with light hair and complexion and very timid. She happily subordinated herself to Jenny’s stronger character and all worked just well.
After all, Jenny’s mind has been very lively, always coming up with some ideas and with time, ideas might possibly change into reality. She decided for herself to stay a faithful friend to Jenny no matter what because it would be easier to survive in two.
God only knows what would await them when they eventually start their lives on their own, having no more help from anywhere, being dependent only on each other.
She has sometimes-hazy thoughts that they could still be separated and was secretly afraid of it. Jenny was the first human who was good to her as a sister, she hugged her and calmed her when she cried and complained. Oh, how happy she was they have met.
Perhaps all be good down the road, perhaps they never lose each other in life, but… who knows? Anyway, she would try not to lose Jenny, ever.
The bus stopped in front of the school and so her thoughts.
However, Jenny’s thoughts were in a different direction. She dreamed a lot, read whenever the opportunity presented itself and planed even more. She heard older people saying how life flies and is so very short. That she somehow didn’t understand. Time has been dragging dreadfully for her, actually for her plans. She knew she is still too young to get out to the world alone and try her ideas, some of which were a bit too courageous, but… who knows?
Many dreamed and many were laughed at for their fantasies and later? Their ideas became fulfilled, even exceeded. Still, she didn’t plan anything wild and unrealistic. She planned a better life; she planned to apply all her abilities and talent to become somebody, to earn respect and independence in this world.
Sometimes she was almost scared of how boldly she dreamed and planned, but she has already gathered some wisdom. “Luck is with courageous.” After all, by being alone in the world, who would help her to achieve her dreams? Only she alone could do it. Then she thought of Mary and felt a warm wave of satisfaction. There is someone who loves me, already. How wonderful. I do have a good friend and at the time of despair, there be someone to share my unhappiness with. Dear Mary, I must make her a bit less timid; she must also win her life. Yes, we both will, against all odds. We would always help each other share our experiences, the success of our achievements, and surely our secrets. One must have someone trustworthy to confide in.
So much for my dreaming, the bus stopped already and I even didn’t talk to Mary, she thought. But we’ll catch up on everything later. Looks like she has something on her mind too, being so unusually silent. She grabbed Mary’s hand; they smiled at each other and entered a school building.
Just at that time, another conversation took place.
Jenny’s foster parents, Sarah and Jim were in a full swing of exchanging opinions.
“Jim,” said Sarah, “don’t you think that Jenny is a rather strange girl?” I can’t really complain about her school, she does very well there, neither about her homework, she is helpful, actually very initiative. But otherwise, she is unpredictable. Very silent, as she would be thinking all the time, or she stares to the distance as she would long to fly somewhere. She is not an easy girl that would be opened to deeper conversation. I sometimes feel she might be under some spell or hiding some great secret that she would not reveal no matter what. I don’t know really what to make out of this.”
“Oh, come on,” said Jim, she is just a teenager and you know how they are.” Living in their own world, already having their own opinions and ideas, maybe sometimes getting lost in a complication of things they still don’t understand, but trying hard to.
Important thing is that she has good habits and very nice, already ladylike manners and doesn’t create any problem for us. You know very well how these children could be. God prevent that for us.”
“Yes, but I wish she would be more sharing. I feel like I would really love to become closer to her. I never thought this could happen, she is after all a strange child, but I do have those feelings and would like to become a real mother to her.”
“You have a good heart, Sarah, I know,” said Jim, “but do realize that this takes time. You have to build up trust with her. God only knows what experiences she went through; after all, she supposed to have been found as a tiny baby, so many families were involved in her life already and you never know what burden she now holds inside. She even might never become fully trusting with anybody.”
“Oh no, I do hope that won’t happen Jim that would be so sad. But I’ll do my best with her, at least I’ll try.”
“I know you will, dear and I will support you,” said Jim and hugged Sarah, kissing her on the forehead.
But they were not the only ones talking about their charge.
Mary’s foster parents had a talk also…
Betsy, who still couldn’t believe she agreed to Bob’s idea of getting a foster child, wasn’t especially happy about it; in reality, she became more and more disgruntled. She complained about everything the girl did or said and her bitterness and animosity has been building up.
“Listen” she announced, I’m getting really fed up with this girl. She is a strange bird. Never speaks, barely answers me, looking as someone would have stolen her toys. She cries for no reason, she almost brings depression on me. I watch her and I am telling you she certainly is not happy here and who knows what she is plotting.
“You can’t be serious,” said Bob, “she really seems to be a nice, quiet, orderly girl. I like her manners and her delicacy; it is very hard to find such a trade. Would you rather have someone loud and slovenly and put all your energy to shape such a girl up? It could be sometimes even impossible. You have what many would wish to have. I thought you might be happy for a companion. She is here only a short time and didn’t adjust yet, just give her more time. Still, it is a new environment for her; she is shy and doesn’t have anyone else to talk to. But it looks as she has found a good friend in that Jenny. She is with a good family too, so all should work out well. Don’t worry dear, just give her more time.
“Well, all right” Betsy responded unwillingly. We’ll see who is right…
She left the room without another word, thinking; I’ll watch her and wait for her blunder. She’ll make one, I know…and then… Betsy’s malicious streak at work, we shall see. How dare he took her side…
How great it would have been if Jenny could be aware of her “new parents” love. She would open more to Sarah and her life would become happier, she could find help and understanding with her plans, with her dreams… But she couldn’t trust anyone yet… She didn’t know what the future holds, neither how very dangerous has becoming Mary’s situation. Mary, who would be hated and plotted against by her newly acquired mother.
But Jenny didn’t know and that was in a way good because she still needed more time to grow up, to learn about people and understand that in this world really exists goodness just as evil.
And she was destined to face both more and sooner than she would have expected…
Again…Please note, that the above is my writing, part of the book I intended to write. If you by any chance find this text somewhere published, it doesn’t belong there. It is mine! Still, I really would like to discover why it happened…