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The Forgotten Land
Two people who have never crossed paths; two people whose fates hunger each other; two people, and their story is born.
The sky outside of Myra Eaton’s tiny window was gray, like the dust-layered floor on which she placed her feet. The apartment she called home was eerily quiet, where no trace of life was to be observed.
Vividly Myra recalled the third day of September, 1996, her sixth birthday, when she found her miracle. Until then, she belonged to the gloomy neighbourhood she lived, a place crowded with homeless wanderers, fried drug addicts, and many who believed themselves to be waiting for their epiphanies, but nobody who prayed. Downtown Eastside Vancouver was the forgotten land, a mess everybody shielded their eyes from.
She grew up, listening to her mother’s soft, wistful whispering. When she questioned why nobody was helping the destitute people on the street, her mother always say, “honey, the mayor will remember them tomorrow.”
She cried herself to sleep countless nights when her mother never came home as promised, to save her from the monster that popped out of the closet. Again and again, Myra tried to have faith in her mother. Again and again, her mother disappointed her.
Sandra, her mother, was nowhere to be seen this morning, like most other ones. Myra slammed the door on her way out and pretended that it was the last time she would repeat the action. She still clang on to the little miracle she discovered ten years ago, when her hands touched her pressed white shirt and warm green dress, when her jaw dropped at the sight of her second home, and when she first saw people smile.
Unlike other girls in the green plaid skirts, Myra could be seen at five every morning, the sheer light of the sunrise glazing over her frizzy blond hair, with stacks of newspaper in her arms.
At six o’clock sharp, she entered her newly assigned area, the trendy Yaletown. When she came to the last apartment building of the day, the Yaletown Vision, her heart was overcome with unspeakable desire. The beige exterior teamed with modern metallic black was the ideal mixture of creativity and elegance. She looked at the address spreadsheet, Yaletown Vision 1787 Davies Street, delivered to the penthouse door for Ms. Auldene. Her mind instantly ascended the stairway to heaven, to the mighty position of the penthouse where it faced the horizon that gleamed with unknown treasure. She then stared at her old Mary Jane, the same ones she had had for three years.
From the electronic identifying system at the door to the smooth operation of the elevator, perfection reminded Myra of her own despair.
While she stood in front of Ms. Auldene’s penthouse, the elevator bell rang ever so quietly and the door disappeared in halves. Startled, Myra whizzed around. A woman who looked twenty emerged from the elevator like Aphrodite. The stunning-looking woman wore a flattering ensemble of Nike’s jogging-wear, complete with iPod earphones dangling from her shoulders.
The beautiful woman was no less astonished than Myra, but the former recovered much sooner than the latter.
“Good morning,” the woman said naturally. Having noticed Myra’s uniform, she added, “I used to go to Glenholme House myself, a billion years ago.”
Myra smiled, amazed at the ease the woman seemed to be in. When she remembered her purpose there, she abruptly handed the last roll of newspaper to the woman.
“Oh, my newspaper!” The woman laughed like she had forgotten about her subscription. “I’m Stacey, Stacey Auldene.”
“Em..Myra …Myra. Eaton.” Myra stuttered, her eyes on the ground. She was shocked to meet somebody who was as gorgeous as she was friendly. The seamless smile and the natural poise made Myra afraid, afraid that she would cross the line or make a mistake, so afraid that she could not wait to leave the place she longed to be.
As the cheerfulness and ease were suddenly drained from the atmosphere, concern clouded Ms. Auldene’s flawless face. “Do you want to come in?”
When she questioned her impulsive invitation later, after a horribly awkward meeting and extending another invitation for the following week, she knew her reason. She sensed something extraordinary about the younger girl, like a long-lost daughter she did not know of having. She wanted to help, to reach out to Myra, who was either really, extremely, and unbelievably shy or in a truck load of trouble.