It was Saturday night and the orphanage’s having a birthday party in the living room. One of my friends was adopted and decided to throw a farewell party that night. Their rich parents also joined, giving cakes and hundreds of presents for the orphans. While the party was going great and fun, I was sitting on the backyard, looking at the stars and counting them again. Every time one of my friends leaves the orphanage, one of the stars faded out of the sky.
The night wasn’t as pretty as usual. It started to rain and made me lost counting. I started to wait on the rain but it didn’t stop. I was beginning to feel an urge to cry. And yes, I cried. Cried heavily seeing all of my friends come and go and have a suitable loving home. When will I be adopted?
And suddenly he came. Under the heavy rain, he just stood there watching me cry. He didn’t do anything, he was only watching.
When I choked myself in my tears, he approached me and gave me a sunflower that he picked. “Are you crying because of the rain?”
I shook my head and tried to speak, “Why do you stand in the rain?”
He sat next to me and pointed the sunflower, “The sunflower will stop the rain. That’s why I picked it up. The rain will stop soon.”
And then we watched the rain falling from the night sky. I was still sobbing but then I felt sleepy. In a moment, I fell asleep with the sounds of the rain and the warmth of him by my side.
The next morning, he sat next to me when I woke up. He was eating an apple and just stared as I stretched my body and yawn heavily.
“Why are you here?” he blinked his eyes once as I looked at him closely.
He lends me his bitten apple, “Eat the apple. I picked it last night when you were lifted to the room.”
“It’s bitten. Are you new here?”
He nodded quickly and took another apple from the table, “I was found by Ms. Rue. I’m the one who used to bring papers every morning. I wasn’t accepted at the streets again so she brought me here.”
“You lived on the streets?” I took the apple and bite
He nodded again, “It’s quite cool actually. The wet rain, the cold nights, the black alleys, it’s pretty good.”
I watched him smiling as like he’s remembering all his nights back. I know what it’s so good of the streets: the feeling of knowing you have someone. I’ve been in the orphanage since I was a baby. No one knows my parents, I was found crying under a mailbox by the mailman and he brought him to this orphanage. Then I know one sure thing, my parents don’t want me. I have no one.
The next five years I grew along with him by my side. His name was Christopher, I called him Chris. Five years ago he was this skinny muddy boy. His freckled face will blush when he show me some apples he picked. His hazel hair always falls elegantly whenever he jumped off an apple tree. His eyes were as green as the meadow and his lips never stop smiling. Now, he’s still the same Chris. Only taller and more fit.
It’s his twelve birthday today, 31st October 2000. Since he doesn’t know when he was born, we decided the day we first met is his birthday. Ms. Rue said that he’s three years older than me which makes him twelve since I’m nine years old now. We never liked birthday parties. The only time we met Ms. Rue, Ms. Janet, and the other orphans are on breakfast time. After breakfast, the whole day is mine and his.
We decided to go to the waterfall on the nearest hill. We race through the hills and dance all we want. He whistled some tunes while I danced in the meadows. The sun scans our skin making us tired so fast. I fell down and lied on the oats. Chris then showed up and lied next to me.
“What does it feels to be twelve?” I asked him as he started to play with my hair.
“Age is just a number, Belle. I’m still going to pick you apples and work to Farmer Jim.”
I smirked a little, “I know. It’s just; don’t you want to do something else?”
“Why? You’re bored with apples? What do you want?”
“No,” I looked him in the eyes, “It’s just we’re the oldest now in the orphanage. I’ve been thinking, will someone ever want us? Will I find someone who wants me? Someone who tucks me in the bed like Ms. Janet does every night, which protect me when someone hates me, who knows that I love him as much as they love me. Don’t you want a parent, Chris?”
He looked at the sky and asked, “Aren’t we too old for parents, Belle?”
“I don’t think so. We’re still kids, we need parents.”
“Well, I only need you,” he started to play with my hair again, “You always tuck me in the bed after we sneak out to feed the horses. You always protect me when Ms. Rue finds out our secret apple storage. Why do I need a parent who’ll tell me what I should do?”
“We need someone who loves us!” I shouted out loud as I said those words, “Ms. Rue and Ms. Janet love everyone. I want a special love, someone who loves me for me.”
He stood up from where he lied and continue walking to the waterfall. I ran towards him shouting his names repetitively, hoping he will stop acting weird. What did I said wrong? He doesn’t love me, right? Why would he act so weird like that?
He stood in front of the waterfall and just stopped there. As I reach next to him, he just stares at the waterfall and doesn’t bat an eye to me.
“Chris! What are you doing? Why are you acting so weird?”
He grabbed both of my hands and didn’t say any word. My heart begins to beats fast as he stared through my eyes, looking for some calmness from all that shouting. I looked away to control the situation. I must not freak out as he hugged me tight like he didn’t want to let me go. We often hugged each other but this one was different. His warm body felt warmer. His arms around my body made me felt safer. He just won’t let me go. I don’t want to sound creepy but I don’t want him to let me go either.
The next day, I woke up finding Ms. Janet by my bed. She told me that a couple’s searching for me yesterday. She said that they’ll be coming in a couple of hours. This couple said they knew me on the market when I sell pies for our orphanage. I couldn’t remember which one are them since I met a lot of couple.
When they came, I remember them so much. They’re the one who gives me an extra dollar for the pie. I was so happy I delivered the pie into their car. Their names are William Cliff and Florence Cliff. I dressed in my best clothes I had: a short blue dress and black shoes with a black ribbon tying my hair. I was surprised they just hugged me when we met and confirmed that I’m the one. I’m so happy, now I have a family.
I packed my things as quick as possible. Chris then barge into my room and sleeps on my bed. I forget to tell him, I was so excited.
“Chris, I’m moving out. I have a family now,” I said as I sit next to him – ready to tell him the whole thing, “They are so nice. They’re caring and also loving me so fast. I have a parent now, Chris. Someone loves me now.”
He looked at me and said, “Good for you, Belle. I’m happy for you,” he half smiled to me and gave me another hug.
I felt something unusual, “You don’t seem happy. I’ll send letters to you, Chris. You won’t miss me! I’ll write everyday!”
He hugged me even tighter, “I don’t need your letters, I need you.”
I let off the hug and offer him my pinky, “I hereby pinky promise that you will always be by my side wherever you are.”
“Wait,” he laughs for a sec, “let me do the pinky promise. I hereby pinky promise that you will be the sunflower in the storm – you will be the odds when everything is even – you will be the rain, my favorite. I will know that you’re here, by my side, every time I smell the rain.”
I laugh out loud, “And I hereby pinky promise you the same thing, as long if it’s for us.”
I gave him another last hug, just to make him felt strong. He lifted my suitcase and put it in the garage of the car. I wave goodbye to Ms. Janet, Ms. Rue, the orphans, and him. He was just smiling to me. As I went further from the orphanage, I started to cry. I realized that I’m going to miss him more than he does.