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Ivy: The Angel of Life (Preview)

There were three hard knocks on the door. Mrs. Wyatt, the orphanage caretaker, opened the door and peered out at the visitor. She was surprised to see who it was.
“Hello, Charlie,” she said, smiling. “I must admit I’m surprised to see you here.” Charlie wouldn’t look at her. “Can I help you with something?”
“I’m…uh…” Charlie coughed, obviously uncomfortable in the situation. “I’m looking for a girl.”
“A girl?” Mrs. Wyatt raised her eyebrows. “What kind of girl?”
“I met her a few days ago…well, actually, it was more like she found me…” Charlie stuffed one hand into the pocket of his black jeans and used the other to measure out the height of the girl he was looking for. “She’s about this high, with brown hair and blue eyes. She was wearing a pink dress yesterday.”
Mrs. Wyatt smiled. “I think I know who you’re talking about.” She stepped aside and motioned inside. “Would you like to come in?”
“Yeah, sure,” Charlie shrugged as he stepped over the threshold and into the orphanage. He noticed how bright it was inside. It smelled like strawberries.
“Why don’t you take a seat and I’ll find her for you, all right?” Mrs. Wyatt gestured to the chairs in the lobby, and then with a smile disappeared around the corner.
Charlie sunk into a seat away from the windows. He didn’t want anyone to see him in here. And, frankly, he didn’t even know if he should be doing this. He’d only met the kid a few days before, when she’d come to him telling him that he’d killed her parents, and then dragging him to their graves.
But ever since then she was all he could seem to think about. He had no idea why. He didn’t even know her name, but he supposed he’d be learning that soon enough.
“Charlie?” A little girl’s voice came from somewhere in front of him. He looked up and saw her – the very same girl – with her bright eyes watching him carefully. She wasn’t wearing a dress any more. Today she had normal clothes; a green tank-top and bright blue shorts. Her hair was back in a ponytail.
Charlie stood up and took in a deep breath. “Hello.”
“What are you doing here?” she asked. He tried to smile, but he knew it came across as a smirk – it was all he could seem to do.
“I wanted to see you.”
“Why?”
This was it. Another deep breath. “I…I feel bad about…what I did to your family. I know I can never make it up to you, but I’d like to get to know you more.”
“Really?” Her eyes lit up, a smile crossed her face. He nodded. “Cool.”
He knelt in front of her and held out his hand. “Let’s start with names. I’m Charlie.”
“I’m Ivy,” the girl replied, taking his hand with a smile. Her entire hand fit into his palm. She was so tiny. He studied her closely. She couldn’t be more than eight years old.
“Nice to meet you, Ivy,” he said. She smiled at him.
“You too, Charlie.”
From her place behind the counter in the lobby, Mrs. Wyatt watched the two and smiled. Charlie was a mysterious young man – full of secrets and hidden scars, she was sure. She’d heard about what he was capable of, but he was being so gentle, even though he was clearly not used to kids.
Ivy was the sweetest little girl. She never had anything bad to say about anyone. She always saw the good in things, never the bad. And she had her special gift.
Maybe she could bring out the Charlie she saw inside.



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