Would she talk to me about it right now? "Everything is fine, just thinking about how my mother would have been happy to have new people coming to live with us." She smiles, "Your mother really would have, don't feel sad. She would want you to be happy and with spirits. Now, take these and put these sides in the front. People are arriving in just an hour."
Turning around, the Stemtress goes back into the hall. I go back into the main room. I still need to find Star, tell her about what was going on and what they are planning to do.
I head to the alter and see flowers, tea lights, vines, branches, and a white cloth. It was beautiful, it was precisely the same when I arrived here. I stand there admiring the alter and watch as a chair gets brought down under the cloth. I walk to the table and place the seeds down. A set of hands slam down on my shoulders.
I shriek loud and turn around. It was Star, "Don't do that. You scared the spirits out of me!" She laughs, patting my back. She soon realized something was wrong.
"What's the matter. You look like you've seen a spirit." I pull her to the side where no one can hear us speaking. "I went to go pick up the seeds from Stemtress, and I overheard the council discuss Joaquin," I stare at her, "They are going to punish Joaquin for his flower. He hasn't been taking care of his soul. They think if they punish him and replace the flowers, it will help his life." I stare into Star's eyes and see nothing. Waiting for a response, she shook her head.
"I don't think we should worry about it right now. Let's talk about this later. There might be something going on with Joaquin. They have to care for him. They can't allow anyone to find out because they might now want anyone to find out. " I didn't know what to say. Star has a stern look on her face. I just breathed and pushed it down, "I won't worry about it anymore. It just sounded strange."
She smiles and puts her forehead against mine, "This is going to a fun night. Be happy and blissful." Going back, we all start to finish up the decorating and getting ready for the arrivals. No one knows how many people are coming. It shouldn't belong.
An hour passed, standing patient, the doors open. I turn around and find our humble Guru. She is wearing the most extraordinary outfit, a dark Fuschia Blouse and a pair of dark blue pants, covered with flowers and leaves. The veil she wears, made of the most elegant lace drapes behind her as she walks. When she began to walk, everyone took a knee.
We all bowed our heads down as she walks towards her seat. I thought about how one of us would take over when she passed on. I wanted to be the one to take over someday, wear the dresses, lead the ceremonies, celebrations, and more. Her life was happy and full of bliss.
"Good spirits. Petals, you are looking excellent and outmost the most blooming community." We stand, "Tonight, we celebrate new beginnings and new arrivals. Arriving in just moments, we must show them a great time and to welcome them in our opening hearts." Smiling, we raise our hands for our prayers, "We ask our seeds to grow in the light, to take care of us, and show us the truthful light. Don't feel fear and don't feel shame, or we are not born the same." We hum in tune and put our arms down. I look at Star and see that she is smiling, "This is going to be a very blessed night."
The Stemtress walks up beside her holding up her hands, opening her mouth, showing pride and excitement. "Tonight petals, we bring home people like us, children, women, and men who get no love. Treated differently by the people around them. We welcome them to Indigofellow now." The doors to the hall slowly open, the silence in the room was peaceful, then as the silence came, an eruption of talking filled the room. Seeing them was like a dream.
There had only been fifty people. The people had different kinds of clothes on and were of different shapes and sizes. When they walked in, they had no bags, no boxes, nothing. Just what they had on their backs.
"Hello everyone, welcome to Indigofeelow. Before you start to explore new friends and begin a new journey, you must come up and reveal the seed you chose as your new life. With it, you must take care of your life and your soul." Everyone in the room began to clap. As one person went up to the table to grab their seed, the Stemtress held up her hand and said out the flower.
When the last one got picked, the fifty people stood in front of the alter. "Now that our blooming petals have chosen their seeds, we must now give out our arranged house-mates. Since there is a shortage of houses, our new petals will be placed with our group of houses. This petal either volunteered or someone we picked who fits the criteria and fine example of a petal."
Names got called, one after another. The only household left was mine. My hands began to sweat as I saw only one person up there. I couldn't see who it was, but as soon as I tried to get a better view. My name got called. I snap towards the front, feeling every single eye on me.
A chill went through me, "Dream, aren't you going up?" I nod. I see the Stemtress waving to me with a smile on her face. "Step right here, meet your new roommate." I start to walk up, not knowing what to expect if it was an older man or woman, then I could handle that. A child then, maybe I could take them in as a sibling or child. But would I be ready to take that responsibility on?
My dress sticks to my legs as I walk out in front of everyone. Staring at a boy, he looks like he could be my age. He was tall. He had the prettiest eyes, one blue and the other brown. His skin was sandy beside the freckles that scattered all over his cheeks.
He didn't look different from any of us. He didn't look so different. Why was he here? I didn't want to seem rude, "Hi, I'm Dream, what's your name?" he looked down at me, "I'm Henry, my new name is Keifer." His voice was bold and deep. I took his hand and walk to the rest of the people. Our Guru stood up, "Now that everyone has found their new spirits and are now members of our community. Let the celebration begin!" Everyone cheered and clapped, looking over, I see Star smiling and hugging the other petals.
I was excited for the moment, and then I saw the look on one of the council-persons faces. It was stern.
I look back and see the Stemtress as everyone continued to celebrate. The Stemtress yells, "Everyone, we are going to be celebrating until we can't no more. Food and drinks in the communal table for everyone, the celebration will be moving outside!"
Everybody starts to move. I turn to see where the council and Joaquin are. I can't see them. Then Kiefer grabs my hand, "Can I speak with you for a moment?" Turning, I look up and see him smile, "Sure, what's up?" His face showed exhaustion but excitement. "Would you be willing to explain the history of this place? I want to get a feel of the place."
I didn't know how to explain it, "Well, this place is for people who didn't feel like themselves where they used to live. Most of us are from backgrounds that treated us horribly. This community is for people to love themselves and feel beautiful about themselves. It's a lot to explain..." Was it that hard? "Maybe I can give you a lesson on the community tomorrow. Would you like to by the house, get freshened up?"
I didn't want to begin the history now, especially since I needed to see where they are taking Joaquin. "Sure, will I have new clothes to wear? I don't feel comfortable with these on." I look at his clothes and see that they don't fit his tall stature. It looked as if someone made him wear children's clothing.
I smile, "Of course, we will stop by the laundry area. It's close to my place. You will probably have to wear a Kaftan until they get you measurements."
I try to keep my eye out for the council while we walk. They Joaquin with them now. They must have snuck him out quickly. Kiefer must have noticed me looking around, "You looking for someone? You look worried." Snapping back. I nod, "I'm fine. I was just looking around. So how come you joined us?" He looks away. A bit of pain and anger showed on his face, "You don't have to tell me now. Some people don't reveal why they live here until they're comfortable. I didn't tell people why I arrived here. The only person that knows is my mother."
I never really told them. If I did, people would've told me it was all in my head and that I imagined it. When they took me from that place, they told me they were sent there because I was meant to live and share life.
His eyes burned into me. Cheers of people filled the silence between us. We continued to walk in silence until the laundry area came to view. "This is the laundry area. We get all over clothes, blankets, and curtains here. We can recycle clothing from here and sell old clothes." We approach the building and see one of the workers posted.
"Good spirits and a happy evening. How can I be of assistant?" Bringing Keifer forward. "Hi, this our new member of Indigofellow. He needs new clothes for the celebration. Also, could we possibly come by tomorrow to get the measurement done for him?"
Kiefer looked down at his clothes. I smiled. "Of course, be here at noon. We will be able to get him fitted and make his clothing." I felt a little lighter knowing that he would have something new to wear. We got to get him a Kaftan that fit his stature and sandals. Once we finished, we set out to our house.
"This is your new home. I'll show you where the bathroom is. And your new room." Keifer was overwhelmed. I guess he's never seen anything like this, "This is enormous. Do you have a tv or radio?" It's cute how he's so happy, time to crush his dreams now, "Our community doesn't believe in technology from the outside. We don't want chaos, negative influence, and other things." He nods, looking around, "The seems to sound right. I've never had a tv. I guess I won't be missing much."
I wonder what kind of life he lived. I gave him a small smile. Once I show him the works of the house. I showed him where we pump the water and if he wanted to take a hot bath to boil the water. Taking the water, Kiefer heads into the bathroom.
I go into my bedroom and wait. Keifer seems really sweet, someone who could possibly help me with my depression. Kiefer's eyes are so beautiful they look like gems. My mind moves on to what I'm going to wear at the celebration, knowing I can't ruin this one.
I take the dress off carefully and place it in one of the trunks. I go into my wardrobe and shuffle through my clothes. I pick out a simple dress and let my hair down. Curly and bouncy, I switch my sandals to my light. Before I leave the room, I turn around and stare at the bed.
I moved into my mother's room once she passed, just couldn't let it stay empty. I didn't change the room, only moved my clothes to her room, keeping only a handful of hers she wore. Her room is my safe space and comfort. It was as if she was still with me when I sleep at night. I never slept in my bed the first year I arrived. She was and will always be my mother.
I wonder what happened to my mother's body after she passed? They never told me if they buried her or even burned her body. When we had the ceremony for her, we had her flowers and a picture of her when she was young. They didn't tell me if she said any last words or if there had been a message for me. It was like she got sick and just left without any words to say.
"Hey," his voice snapped me out of my heavy thoughts, "I'm finished and ready to go. How do I look?" He turns, his arm spread out. The Kaftan fit him well. "You look great. The kaftan suits you. You ready to leave?" He looked down at me, "Yeah, also, the tub is small." I giggle, making a mental note to myself to get a new tub. "I will ask for a new one tomorrow while we get you items." I close the door and take hold of his arm, "I hope you're ready for the celebration. You are going to love it."
Keifer and I talked about our dislikes and likes, the activities and jobs in the community that he could sign up for, and the benefits of the duties.
We talked about Star and that she was the only person I communicated with within the community and that I hope he would be my new friend. The music is loud, the people are dancing as we arrive. I wanted to show him the food and give him this cake they serve. I hadn't had that cake in years. I still remember it. When I first arrived, my mother tried her best to feed me and give me a drink. I wouldn't eat for the life of me. The only thing that made me eat anything was this little cake.
She held it in front of me and told me that I needed to eat something or that I would get very sick. I could smell the cinnamon, vanilla, and hazelnut, my mouth salivating from the warm smell of the cake. It has small chocolate chips and powdered sugar covering it.
It was something I couldn't figure out. I could never figure out the proper recipe and get it correct. It always ended up being the consistency of pancakes. "Keifer, there's this cake here you should try out. I think you will enjoy it." He looks at me as he swayed to the rhythm of the drums. We walk over to find no one other than Star drinking with the rest of the teens and eating dinner. "Hey, Dream. What's up? Join us. We're drinking some homemade wine and grilled vegetables."
That sounded so good. "Star, before we drink and eat, this is Kiefer. You might have seen him at the beginning of the ceremony." She swallows her wine, "Yes, hi Keifer. As you know, I'm Star, her best friend in the flesh. Definitely like an older sister for her." Laughing, she motions for us to take a seat. "So, what have you been up to since you've arrived?" I took a plate and grabbed some food for the both of us handed him a plate.
"Well, Dream took me to get this for the ceremony, took a nice bath. Now we are here." Star nods her head, "That's nice to hear. The community is nothing but blessed to have you and the rest here. I hope that you enjoy life here and that you feel welcomed. We here the same in the eyes of Zennia." I smile, hearing that was a comfort, knowing that our differences are welcome and accepted here. My thoughts of Joaquin and the councilmen are behind me. Tonight is a celebration. I get up and look for the cake.
I spot a plate-full sitting on a table. The cake is yellow, soft, and moist, with a single strawberry sits in the center on top. Grabbing just two, I head back to Kiefer. He smiles and waves, "Found them. Here, you're going to love these." I pass one to him. He seems curious.
He takes his first bite, then chews. It was silent where we sat. Then he took another bite, "This is amazing." Everyone laughed, "Told you, they are my favorite. I haven't had one of these in years. Now I am sharing them with you." Kiefer slowly chews and stares me in the eyes. I don't he ever had anyone to share food with or anything like this. We danced and ate food for hours.
Most of the teens shared their stories of why they came here and the reason they felt different out there in their old lives. One of the teens waves their hands, "Kiefer, don't take this as an offense. How and why are you so tall?" Kiefer looked uncomfortable.
I didn't think he was that tall. He looked average height for me. I was only 5'7. "I guess I just ate all my vegetables. I actually don't feel comfortable discussing that. It's something I don't like to talk about." The teens stared, not knowing what to do, "That's respectable. It's hard to open up. Sorry friend." I stare at Kiefer, wondering what must have happened to him out there.
I didn't want to seem odd staring at him, so I look away. The party starts to die down, everyone is beginning to go home. "Hey, you going home soon, Star?" She's dancing slowly with one of the new women. I don't want to intrude on her. I head over to see Kiefer sitting on the ground staring at the sky. "The stars are amazing tonight." The stars are bright and shining. "I haven't seen anything so bright."
It's an exciting night, a very late night. I knew I had to leave soon, got to wake up early to get the house situated. "I'm going to head home. If you want to stay, you can." Keifer stands, "Are you sure? I don't want you walking by yourself, especially in the dark like this." Laughing, "This community is completely safe. Nothing will happen in this community." I wave him goodbye and start to walk.
I was almost near my house when from a distance, I see someone in the field. They're digging up his flowers. The council planned to do with him and his flowers. Are they going to replace them now? While everyone celebrated? I need to see where they are taking his flowers and why?