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They all leave someday
I sat on the broken downswing admiring the woods ahead of me. Remembering the words people had spoken to me since I can remember life is a book so treat it that way life is a book so write your own pages create your own story. Yet I have never been in control of my life, not once. I longed to be able to go into the forest to really see them, but the big wire fence prevented me from any dreams I might have. I looked around at my swing seeing the mossy handles and molding supports. With every swing, it was that much closer to breaking so I just sat on the swing admiring the life I could have had just beyond the forest. In a small little town where everyone knows everyone and music sings throughout the street and mother would ask me to get on my bike and get some fresh bread from the bakery. But that is not me nor will it ever be. The sudden sound of Mrs. Rupert’s voice initiates my fight-or-flight instincts. Remembering all the times I attempted to flee from this place.
¨ Time for lunch remember everyone goes into the dining hall get your buddies before you come in!¨ Kids scurry around the playground looking for their older buddies and soon a short little girl runs over to me.
¨ Come on Amanda it’s time for lunch, I'm hungry!!¨ she stomps her foot in an attempt to intimidate me. I roll my eyes and respond with a cold voice making no attempt to talk nicely to her like all the others do. Everyone here is nice to the children they say to do it because they lost everything so young. I dont agree with that. I dont mean that as a jerk like they say every rhyme has a reason and mine is simply a fact. The truth is they won’t remember the life they had they won’t remember their mother’s touch or how their father brought them to their first baseball game. But I do because I was reminded constantly of things I did things that happened to me when I was younger till it was engraved into my mind. I lost everything at an age where I can remember what I dont have where I can recall the life I should be living and that’s a far worse fate. I sink back into reality and respond to the little girl as she stares at me impatiently.
¨ You children are so needy¨ She tugs onto my arm and I give in. It’s not like I have anything better to do with my time and even if I did it wouldn’t be allowed anyway. I walk into the big department store-like building leading her through the halls with the flickering lights into the dining hall. I let go of her hand and she scurries off to her table along with all the other younger kids. I drag myself to my table with the older kids. Plopping down in an open seat. The lunch ladies walk around the room putting brown mush onto our plates and then it starts.
¨ Everyone, please bow your heads ¨ The noise softens as everyone obeys Mrs. Brown's request bowing their heads.
¨ Let us say our grace...God is great God is good and we thank him for our food amen¨ The crowd of kids says it along with here but they somehow manage to say one thing in unsin.¨Amen¨ They all stare anxiously awaiting
¨ Let’s eat!¨ The loudness picks up and the kids begin making conversation and eating. My mother always made us pray before we ate we were Christians but since their death, I can’t help but not believe why would he do that too, such good people, they didn’t deserve it. I didn’t deserve it. Since I was 10 no one has ever cared about me not once. I am now way past the age of adoption being 16 in an orphanage only gets you responsibility. No one ever likes teenagers. They have already developed personalities. They are almost codependent and adults don't like what they can’t control. They want to be able to shape something, not save the people who have already been shaped. That’s
why I envy those kids who will get adopted soon. They still have young minds, they have yet to be bruised, they don't know pain yet and that’s just perfect for adults.
¨ Hello¨ A soft husky voice speaks. I turn around to face a tall boy with brown curly hair and soft light blue eyes.
. Um...hello?´ I don't recognize his face but I never quite notice anyone anyway.
¨ Is this seat taken?¨ He points to the chair next to me and I shrug rolling my eyes. Everyone always takes the chairs next to me to go off and sit next to their friends. Honestly, I can’t be mad at it. I like being alone.
¨ Nope it’s not¨ I answer abruptly he nods his head but instead of taking the chair and running off, he sits in it and smiles. That...that I was not expecting. I turn away from him pretending this is what I knew he was implying all along. He laughs abruptly and I face him.
¨ What are you laughing at?¨ He smiles jokingly and answers.
¨ You are lacking your people skills...¨ he notices my name tag meant for the kids so they can know who I am, he continues.
¨ Amanda¨ I rolled my eyes. Who does he think he is?
¨ I'm lacking in people skills?! You were just very rude to a stranger.¨ I scoff, I
make some great points sometimes. He shrugs and holds out his hand.
¨ My name is River ¨ He smiles softly as if we didn’t just argue. I turn away from him and huff under my breath.
¨ Read the room¨ He chuckles again but he doesn’t speak to me for the rest of lunch.
As lunch ends people scurry outside for recess. I make my way back to the broken downswing counting my steps as I walk. As I lift my eyes from the ground the sight in front of me puts me in utter shock. There he sits on my swing.
¨ River this is my swing!¨ He turns around to face me and raises a brow.
¨ Oh I'm sorry, Amanda, I didn’t see your name written on it.¨ He fires back with a playful look in his eyes. Who does he think he is I fire back with what I thought would be a quick and witty response.
¨ Oh, okay well next time I don't see your name on some food or some of your clothes or your bed I will just steal it all!!¨ I notice the apple in his hand.
¨ You know what I will just take this because your name is not on it” I grab the apple from his hand glaring at him.
¨ Actually It is¨ I look down at the apple noticing his name carved in neat writing.
¨ Ugh you are so annoying!¨ he shrugs standing up and taking the apple back from my hand. Why would he even take time to do that it not like he could have predicted I would do this he must have been waiting for this moment his whole life!
¨ Nice fighting with you we should do it again sometime.¨ He winks and walks off taking a bite out of the apple.
¨” River!¨ He turns to face me
¨ Amanda!¨ I roll my eyes
¨ How did you even get here first?, I left the dining hall before you did.¨ He smiles with a smug smirk on his face.
¨ Oh well that’s easy I have super speed¨ I roll my eyes again I swear he will be the reason my eyes get stuck in the back of my head. Funny. I say with heavy sarcasm in my voice he shrugs again and stooks off. I sit back onto the swing intertwining my fingers with the locket on my neck. I hum a soft tune that is only a faint memory. I don't even remember where I know it from, I just know that I like the way it goes. I feel a warm breath hovering above me and I turn abruptly smacking whatever was lurking. My eyes come into focus seeing River standing there not reacting to my hit. It was rude enough for him to watch me let alone, not even pretend that it hurt.
¨ You have got a nice hit I will tell you that.¨ He rubs his jaw once before smiling at me. How does this guy not get the hint?
¨ It's rude to just lurk around River how did you even get here? I never even heard you approaching, Also I told you to leave me alone.¨ he shrugs before answering.
¨ If I told you, you would never believe me.¨ my glare hardens.
¨ Try me¨ I say my voice cold.
¨ Okay…, well I have been alive since the beginning of time and that’s a lot of ot time to master the art of approaching someone without being noticed...you could call me a ninja¨ I roll my eyes once again attempting to punch him in the shoulder but before my arm can even make contact with his shoulder his arm grips around my wrist.
¨ Don't even try. You will lose¨ I gulp slightly and his grip loosens freeing my arm.
¨ Why are you here¨ He grins a playful smirk and he pulls a chocolate pudding cup and a spoon from his pocket and my eyes widen.
¨ Where did you even get that they don't have these here. My mother always used to get me those¨ He smiles shrugging as he places the pudding cup in my hand. I speak once again.
¨ Actually, don’t tell me I would never believe you anyway¨ He laughs
¨ You're catching on¨ I nod, smiling as I open the pudding cup and place a heaping spoonful into my mouth.
¨ Thank you River¨ he nods, taking a seat next to me on the swing.
¨” Don't worry about it Mandy¨
¨ Don't call me that¨ I fire at him he laughs at my annoyance As I finish the pudding cup in one fell swop and does it again
¨” Mandy Mandy Mandy¨ I lost my patience with him and push him with all my strength. He falls off the swing with a loud thump and I can’t help but burst out into laughter. He bounces back almost instantly and before another thought can cross my mind I’m flung over his shoulder.
¨ Put me down! Put me down now!¨ He laughs and walks over to the pond and then it hits me he is going to throw me into it I kick and squirm with everything I’ve got but I’m too late he throws me into the pond with an incredible force I splash into the water my hair soaking wet. I brush my wet hair out of my eyes to get a good look at my soaking clothes and grab his leg pulling him in with me. He falls into the water and glares playfully at me we spend a few minutes staring at each other before going into a frenzy of uncontrollable laughter flinging extra water at each other.This is definitely the most fun and free I have felt in years. He grabs a polaroid camera from out of his pocket and I dont even question how it got there.‘Say cheese” he smiles and me laughing I laugh as well and obliged
“Cheese!” he puts his arm around me and kisses my cheek as he snaps a photo then hands it to me you can put it in your locket to remember me when im went.
“Ha I would never miss you” I respond laughing
“You would be surprised” we laugh some more enjoying each other’s company as much. As much as I hate to admit it I loved every minute of our time together but our fun soon ends with the sound of footsteps approaching. He quickly removes his arm from me and whispers.
“Dont take it personally it’s not for me it’s for you, you wouldn’t want to be caught dead caring about little old me”
I punch his arm and laugh before remembering our approaching doom and I pray that it's Mrs. Barnes. I wonder for a moment who it will be but the searing glare the seeps into my skin answers my question. Mrs.Ruperts.
¨ You kids are in so much trouble I will be reporting you to the headmistress and you will have consequences. How dare you...¨ I glance at River sitting next to me in the pond of water and she continues her lecture and just as I blink he is already right in front of her. He glares into her eyes with sudden intensity.
¨ You did not see us here..you went looking for us outside but we were not here you had miscounted at roll call¨ what does he think he is doing she just saw us I walk up to him but before I can smack him across his face for being a complete idiot she speaks again.
¨ I did not see you here I went looking for you outside but you were not here I must have miscounted at roll call¨” she stares at us like she is in a trance and walks off back into the building. I stare in utter disbelief.
¨ w-what was that? What are you?¨ My voice is shaky and I am scared. I close my eyes trying to fathom what just happened and with a cold wind breeze I'm standing in the middle of the dining hall, my hair dry but my clothes still wet. I look around trying to find River but he is not there. He said he had super speed but that was a joke...right? I feel a hot breath on my shoulder again and I turn but this time I don't react. River
¨ Your clothes are soaking wet you should probably go change.¨ I watch him.
¨ You're right I should.¨ I search for the locket on my neck trying to cope with the anxiety im facing but there’s nothing there, it’s just my bare skin.
¨ My locket. I lost my locket¨ I start to panic searching my neck.
¨ I will find it.¨ but this time I dont blink I dont give him time to do some crazy unexplainable thing he will find my locket and he is going to do it impossibly and I will see it. I stare my eyes wide open. He doesn’t speak but he edges away from me so I just say what I know he will do I might sound crazy but that’s all I have got to work with right now.
¨ Can’t you just use your superspeed and get it¨ His face looks surprised.
¨ I dont know what you are talking about Amanda¨ wow so this is how it’s going to be he will just pretend to have no idea what I’m talking about now that I am starting to believe his crazy words. He won’t find my locket then to hide the fact that he is not human. Not until I close my eyes. So that’s what I do losing faith in River I close my eyes tightly. That's crazy talk. He is human and either way, he will never find it. And accepting this fate I begin to cry. I can’t believe I lost it. I eventually manage to peel my eyes open going to clutch my once again bare neck. But it’s not bare my lockets there as if it never left and a small smile creeps onto my lips. River you sneaky b*stard. I hold onto the locket and open it to see the picture of my mom and dad smiling. I close the locket tightly as I see the little girl approaching me again.
¨ Amanda, why are you all wet?¨ She questions me just like every child. Right, I was going to change, I recall. Instead of embarrassing myself, I decided to go with what River does when he doesn’t want to answer a question
¨ I was helping a mermaid and she got me all wet¨ I smiled gesturing to my wet clothes.
¨ Wow really! That’s so cool!!¨ She giggles, obviously ecstatic.
¨ Well I better get dressed, I need to hide the evidence¨ I pat her head and she smiles at me before running off. I smile to myself.
¨ Aww are you thinking of me?¨ I look up to see River passing by me. He must be referring to the fact that i'm smiling so he thinks I could only be smiling if I was thinking about him. I stop him in his tracks remembering the locket.
¨ River¨ He looks at me a bit surprised
¨ What… you're not going to accuse me of teleportation now are you beca-¨ Before he can finish his sentence I wrap my arms around him tightly. He fumbles back but hugs me back.
¨” What is this for?¨ he questions.
¨ Thanks for finding my locket for me.¨
¨ I have no idea what you are talking about.¨ He says his heart is picking up pace. I roll my eyes.
¨ Thank you¨
¨ Always and forever.¨ he says defeated and accepts that I know it was him. I attempt to lighten the mood while ending our hug.
¨ Well, you can’t really say always because always doesn’t exist either does forever everything comes to an end someday.¨ That definitely would not help to talk about how nothing is permanent definitely a bad move. he smiles as if he knows something I don't.
¨ Always and forever¨ He responds again. I roll my eyes though believing him.
¨ River, do you want to go to the swing with me?¨
¨ I can do you one better he smiles hold on tight.¨
¨ Wha-¨ Before I can finish my sentence the air around me grows cold and my eyes automatically close as I feel the blistering heat of his skin and when I open my eyes once the coldness has stopped im not at the orphanage but I’m in a forest. II’mlease myself out of his grip.
¨ Is this¨ he nods before I can finish.
¨” It seems you already figured out that I wasn’t lying.¨ I nod my head slowly in response.
¨ What are you?¨ I ask again though i'm not scared this time.
¨ Somethings you are just destined to know¨ He responds.
¨ Immortal¨ I question
¨Álways and forever¨ he alters back nod. For some reason with all the bad in my life, a chance at the impossible is thrilling rather than scary. For what feels like hours we just sit there talking before he stands.
¨ We have to head back¨ I responded quickly with sadness in my voice for once I felt normal.
ü Okay¨ he grabs onto me again and the coldness returns and then the what and then everything fades back to normal and I'm back in the orphanage and he is nowhere to be seen.
1 week later
I sit at my table. River the first person who cared, the impossible, the one who abandoned me the first chance he got. I force a pile of mush into my mouth. That's what I get for trusting people. Lesson learned. I open the locket again glancing at the picture me and River took by the water. A loud voice sends the dining hall completely silent.
¨ Children the johnsons are here to finally adopt a child¨ she says a wide smile on her face with hope for the new children. As everyone hears the announcement their eyes light up. The johnsons are the richest most mysterious people in town. Even in an orphanage, you know this. Slowly the johnsons walk in on cue one is a slim young woman her hair is slick black and she wears a floral pink shirt black jeans and heels on her arm are tall and fit Mr johnson. Mr.Jhonsen is a doctor and Mrs johnson is a lawyer. People would kill to be adopted by them it would be a complete and utter upgrade. The
only people who stand a chance are the kids 4 and under. Everyone’s eyes stare at them as they glance around the room.
¨ No, need for walking around we have already chosen our newest addition to the family¨ Everyone’s eyes go wide as they wait for them to announce the name.
¨ Amanda Anderson¨ The woman announces ¨Will be our new daughter¨ My mouth practically falls onto the floor. Me...they have chosen me.
¨We have to say there was quite the influence from our son¨ And as if my life is a movie River walks into the dining hall by his mother’s arms. River is a Wilson. The river has saved me again. In what seems like minutes im in the car leaving the borders of this stupid orphanage. I decide to speak first. He stares at me blankly and I decide to speak first I have so many questions.
“How?” I question he looks at me with a glum look on his face.
“Remember by the water when the lady saw us but suddenly she thought she didn’t see us” I nod remembering the incident.
“Mind control?” I question with ease. He nods his head giving in to hiding it.
“ What are you...who are you?” I question again
“ Im someone who loves you and what I am can’t explain” a tear rolls down my cheek and he quickly wipes it away.
“Why are you crying Amanda?” he looks confused and I choke out a few words.
“Because in all the books I have read this is the part where they say goodbye” He looks at me a tear falling down his cheek.
“Everything comes to an end someday it’s the way it is you know. the drip finally drops.” I look away from him not wanting to hear him say goodbye.
“ I love you,” he says staring at me waiting for me to look him in the eye.
“Always and forever,” I say respond back using the only courage I have left to face him
“Close your eyes” he responds and for the first time, I obey selfishly I can’t watch him leave I can’t handle it and with a kiss, on my head, the presence is gone. And I know he has left. But this is not the end of my story and I know that now he has taught me that. He has reminded me of what I once knew. I had always believed that if my life was a book then I was stuck on a never-ending page but now Im starting to believe that the orphanage was only book 1 of the series. And this is only the first chapter I clutch onto the locket once more saying goodbye to the ones I loved what I once believed was true welcoming my new life with open arms.