Chapter Eleven: Adult Stuff
’Elizabeth. This is our new member of our family. Ceil, You would like him. He’s very funny and a sweet man.” Zara introduces me. While we stood in a graveyard, not far from the orphanage. Each one of us wears black. We stood in front of Elizabeth grave.
I bow respectfully, feeling my cheek warm up at Zara words. Isabella sat in front of it, while Zara places a white flower on top of the grave. I held Sophy in my arms, with a heavy quilt around her, so she won’t get worse. This morning the doctor told us that she’s doing better, but to not take her outside, nor expose her to the autumn cold. She’s very weak. So for now, we are here for a brief visit.
“We’ll come back in a few months to visit,” Isabella said, throwing a kiss to the grave. Issac frown at that.
“Polio, horrid disease. I watch many die because of that.” I said while Issac turns to face me.
“I know.” Issac’s eyes turn hurt at the mention. I pat his back, while every kid turns to head toward the cab. Passing by many headstones. Zara stood behind, giving the grave one more look. Isabella takes a hold of her hand.
“Elizabeth must be happy that we visited her. Right?”
“Of course she is. Come, we can’t expose Sophy to much with the cold. She just got out of the clinic. Next time we can stay longer.” she assures her. Isabella nods and she lets go of her mother’s hand to run towards the other kids. I turn to face her.
“Must have been hard to lose her.” I simply said. Zara looks up at me, noticing unshed tears.
“I lost a piece of me when she died in my arms. I know she’s with God in heaven but is not easy. She was an angel. I wish you would have met her. She’s like Isabella, but very quiet and calm child.” she smiles, while tears finally leak out. I move closer to her as she wipes them away.
“She must be happy to see you all here,” I told her. She gave me a soft smile.
“Yeah, also she got to see you. Our new member of our family.” She said I cleared my throat, looking back at the grave. A strange sensation filled me.
‘I want to know more about the children, to know them more. Not only them, I want to know more about Zara.’
Two weeks have passed since the incident. I’m not sure how, but somehow the orphanage became more like a home to me. Each day has been the same routine, nothing change, but keeping Sophy as healthy as possible. I have healed mostly back to normal.
Each day that passes, the children would come to me either to play or takes me to their classes. I do I have to admit. The teacher is quite a sight to see.
“I wish I can remember,” I thought loudly, looking at the window, watching the moonlight rays enter the kitchen. I place my lamp down on top of the table. The phantom thing hasn’t shown itself either, since the time it appeared.
“I wonder how’s the old man? I should go and visit him.” I frowned, leaning my arm on top of the table. Getting lost in my thoughts, staring blankly at the window.
“You know, is not polite to be wandering in the kitchen at midnight.” I heard on my right. I turned my head and jump in fright to see Zara looking at me with a strange scary look.
“Oi woman, are you trying to scare me?” I hissed, Zara blinks, but then smiles.
“Yes, finally, I got you. So you do get scared,” she giggles with glee. I blinked, confused by this.
“Last time I check, I’m human,” I stated seriously. Zara rolled her eyes at me.
“I didn’t know that. Here I thought you were a real wolf. Ah, dark wolf.” She toothy smirks at me, sitting next to me. I rub the back of my neck and cleared my throat.
“Funny,” I said dryly.
“I know it was. Why are you up at this late hour?” she asks. I shrugged.
“Can’t sleep, and you?” I asked her. She nods the same.
“Same. I am so excited, so happy, that I can’t sleep.” she said. I frowned, turning to face her.
“Why are you so excited?” I asked her. She turns her body towards me.
“For everything. I can't stop thanking God. My daughter is healthy once more, and you are with us. What else can I ask for?” she claps happily.
“I can see why you should be happy.” I agreed. She pouts, and place her chin on her palm.
“You know, I have never seen you laugh or smile. Well, you did smile once, just once. It was very warm.” she said, smiling at me. I arched a brow.
“I have no reason to do so,” I admit.
“Oh? Why? Are all men like that? I can’t say, since I barely go out, and the only man I ever met is Pops, and Mr. Don, Pop is usually quiet, and Mr. Don is sour. I don’t like him. Oh, your uncle. He laughs, he has a hardy laugh.” she nods. I shrug.
“Yes, men laugh, we have feelings, we just aren’t as expressive as a woman,” I told her the truth. Last time I laugh, the true laugh was when I was about Issac age. Since then, I have forgotten to be freed.
“Oh, okay, um can you tell me a little?” she asks, her expression changing a little.
“Of?” I asked. She slides her chair closer to me.
“Anything. I barely know you, and you have been living with us for a month now. Do you have parents?” she asked. I turned to face her.
“Parents? My mother died giving birth to me. My father hated me for it, so he barely cared about me.” I told her. She stares at me, then hurt pass, her eyes.
“Oh, I’m sorry. You know is not your fault,” she tells me. I shrug at her.
“Might as well, I took my mother’s life,” I mumbled, turning my gaze away. Zara takes a hold of my arm.
“She wanted to give birth to you. What mother does not love their own child? I would have done the same.” she told me. Trying to console me. I turn to meet her eyes.
“What about you?” I asked, changing the subject. She went rigid, but clears her throat.
“My mom and dad left me in the orphanage. I wasn’t good enough to run the family business, because the doctors told my parents that I wouldn’t last until I’m twenty.” she frowns, pain rush in her eyes. I went still at this.
“Are they still alive?” For a reason, my heart clenched at this. How would they leave this person alone? Don’t they know how wonderful and loving this woman is? She gives it her all, plus she’s stronger than ever.
“Yes, but never come to visit me.” she shakes her head.
“I’m sorry,” I told her with remorse. I shouldn’t have asked.
“Well, you probably right, not all parents love their children, but I want to believe they do, at least a little bit.” she went silent. I licked my lips.
“It can happen. Hell, you adopted eight children that aren’t even yours. I think that says a lot.” I said truthfully. Her eyes shined with disbelief.
“Ciel..” her voice drops. Something in her tone causes my heart to thumb hard.
“Yes?” I turn my gaze towards her. She looks down shyly.
“Since we are awake in the middle of the night. I wanted to ask you for a favor,” she said. I arched a brow.
“What favor?” My voice stretched. She clears her throat.
“How much can you move your leg?” She asks. I look down at my leg.
“Pretty much normal, unless I do something over the limit to hurt it. Is on and off.” I told her.
“How about now?” she asks.
“It doesn’t bother me,” I assured her. She stood up, making the chair slide behind her. I blinked, looking up at her.
“So, can you do the favor I ask of you?” she asks. Now getting nervous, I stood up.
“Depends on the favor,” I asked. She smiles at me and takes a hold of my hand.
“Trust me, is not that bad,” she said, and for a reason. I didn’t like it.
We are in the back of the orphanage. An open room, that normally the children will come just to play when is raining outside. The room isn’t as big but is suitable. There’s no furniture or anything, just a small stage with a record player on the front.
“Why are we doing here?” I asked. She doesn’t answer me, but turns around and runs towards the stage, to grab a brown bag, that sits on top. Then she runs up to me, holding the bag in front of my chest.
“Here!” she said shyly. I blinked bewildered while I look down at the bag.
“I want to give you a big thank you, so I asked Mrs. Morris to buy me this. I had to tell a little white lie. I hope you like it.” She blushed hard. I took the bag and look inside to see a champagne bottle. A very high-quality one at that.
“This is..” I was surprised, as she smiles at me.
“Last time you said you wanted alcohol. I wasn’t sure which one, so I got you this one. Also, look inside, the children got you something else.” She peaks down. I look inside, to take out a picture hand drawn. Each drew each other, holding hands, and I was the red stick guy next to what it seems Zara, the blue stick figure. It’s signed by each child and as well with the older kids. I frowned, wishing I can read it, though.
“I’m guessing is the children’s name?” I asked. Zara nods.
“Yes. Also, in the bottom, it says, we love you,” she blushed. I felt my heart swell, warmly at this.
“This is the first time, someone gave me a present,” I admitted, looking down at the paper.
“Really? Um, I’m glad, but that’s sad.” she wraps her arms around me, closing her eyes. I went still once again.
“I don’t know how to thank you, but we want you to feel happy, I promise to give you more in the future. Sorry if this isn’t enough,” she whispers into my ear. She held me tight, and move her face, to brush against mine. Her caramel eyes become heavy.
‘Isn’t enough? I think you gave me the world, by this. I didn’t expect this.’ I wanted to tell her.
“Thank me for what? I didn’t do anything.” I assured her. She shook her head.
“You saved us.” she only said, as I move to look at her.
“Did Paul say something?” I felt irritated by that. She smiles at me and shakes her head.
“Drink now, enjoy yourself. A midnight party if you will,” she says changing the subject.
“Err, okay?” I place the bag down and look at the champagne. Zara rushes towards the stage.
“What party do you plan on?” I asked as I start to wiggle the cork.
“An adult party, since you know more.” as soon as she said that, my eyes widen, as I pop the top of the champagne letting the fizz come out. I look at her with wide eyes. An upbeat song starts to echo in the room.
“Excuse me?” I asked, my throat going dry, not noticing the mess I was making.
“Warning, I don’t know how to dance. So this is my other gift to you. Have fun. While the children are asleep.” she said. I shook my head and suddenly breathed out, as her words dawn on me.
‘Oh, thank God.’ I breathed out.
“Dance?” I asked. Zara nods.
“I always wanted to dance, but I don’t like the fancy ones, I see at the parties. ” She paused, and shyly looked down at her hands.
“So, um, in the underground, how did you dance?” She asks.
‘Dancing with her doesn’t seem like a bad idea.’ I shrugged and took a gulp out of the champagne for encouragement.
“So you want to know?” I asked, covering the champagne and place it on the floor. She looks determined and nervous at the same time.
“Yes. I want to have some fun, doing adult stuff.” she chimes. I mentally chuckled. I rolled up my sleeves, as the beat of the song kept getting thicker. I speed my walk, as she looks confused. I finally reached her, but stop.
“Are you sure? The way I’m going to dance isn’t proper for a lady that was raised in the above world.” I simply told her. She looks determined.
“Well, I’m open minded, and I want some fun. Plus, it’s my dream to dance a bit wild. Also, I don't care.” she admits with a blush. I wrap my arm around her waist and pin her against me. For some odd reason, I couldn’t help but smile at this. She gasps, looking up at me.
“Hell, that's my dream girl. Then don’t say I didn’t warn you.” I bulk my hips forward, somehow manage to rub against her. She gasps again, grasping my arm. I took her hand and twirl her around, then pinned her against me again. She looks at me with wide eyes.
“Just follow the rhythm of the beat, don’t be fancy at all. Yet don’t over do yourself either, since you have asthma.” I simply told her. She nods rapidly and the drums on the song start to pick up. We separated, but held hands and starts to dance. She was a bit awkward, but about a few minutes, she mimicked my style. Not perfect, but somewhat better. I don’t know why, but I enjoy wrapping my arm around her waist, pinning her against me. She laughs, when we separated, she raised her gown and danced around. Her laughter echoed in the room. I was limited to doing more, but I took her arm and she gasps when I wrap my arm around her waist and held her right hand. We started to dance to the side, going in circles. Then I twirled her around, and she somehow ends up facing her back to my front. I place my hand on her waist, and pushed her gently down, matching the beat of the song. She looks up at me, while I look down at her. I couldn’t help but to smile and laugh with her and she does the same. I lift her up and continue to dance around. Enjoying this a little too much. Without thinking, I grab the hems of her nightgown, and hitched it up, to feel her bare leg. She gasps, but smiles at me. Something dark stirs in me at her reaction. Yet, I pushed it down, and continue to dance as wild as possible.
‘I like this side of her as well. She looks so free without a care.’ my heart raced oddly.
As the music came to an end, I wrap my arm around her back and tilt her back. Lifting her back up. Our faces became inches away.
She is breathing hard, as I am. She moves her hand and cups my cheek.
“Finally, you smiled again, and you laughed.” she said breathlessly, while she caresses my cheek, her eyes are soft.
‘I laughed? Oh yes, I did. I didn’t even take notice.’ I was surprised by this. Here I was saying that I haven’t laughed for so long. Yet, this made me laugh, but in a good way. I was actually having fun.
“Are you okay?” I asked, remembering her condition. She nods.
“I manage to not overdo it,” she smiles. I nodded, breathing out a relief.
I licked my lips, as my eyes landed on her red lips. An ache reaches me deep in my core. My heart felt as though it was on fire.
I pinned her closer to me. She blushes again, but nods.
“Thank you for letting me have this chance, it was so much fun. I hope in the future we can do this more often. I hope you like the present that the children and I got you. Even though is not much.” She leans closer, my heart felt as though is racing harder than the normal.
“I did, is enough,” I told her, getting closer to her.
“Ciel,” she whispers my name, I move closer to her, our lips almost touching. I flutter my eyes close, she does the same. Yet, before I could claim her lips for the first time. She moves her arms and encircles it around me, giving me another hug. I open my eyes, feeling my cheeks turning warm.
“Ciel, please smile and laugh more. I love your smile, it makes my heart race and makes me so happy.” She said with such honesty, holding me tighter. I think my heart left me, as a strange new feeling rushes into me.
‘What has this woman done to me?’ yet, I couldn’t fight her off.
“Didn’t I say one more hug, and I get used to it,” I mumbled, so she won’t hear me.
‘Just this once? I’ll be greedy,’ I closed my eyes, in circles my arms around her, letting myself get sucked into her warmth.