Chapter Thirteen: It Scares me
“No, you can’t.” I cried out, watching in horror, as my older sister gets dragged away.
“Then make up for what she did, if you don’t want your sister to be sold off to the underground,” His dark eyes pierced at me. I wanted to hit him, to punch him. I lower my head, as my sixteen-year-old sister rushes to my side, wrapping her arms around me.
“No, please Ciel. I’ll do it,” My sister brown eyes water, while her hands held me. I look up at him.
“Fine, I’ll do it, but you will not touch my sister,” I said darkly, pushing my sister behind me. My uncle, that sat on the chair watching everything, stood up.
“Good job Dusty. Then nephew is a deal. I’ll take you if you try to run away, your sister, let just say they’re things far worse than death. Luckily Stanly doesn’t care what happens to you. That brother of mine is just a drunk bastard.” Paul smirks darkly, as he turns around to leave. I turned to face my sister. Her long curly brown locks are a mess, as her green dress is ripped due to the struggles.
“Ciel, don’t do this. I..” But I shook my head.
“I promise to look for you. I promise to be a proper boy, so you will be proud of me when we reunite. Just be safe and marry a good man that will love you and protect you. Then when I return, I’ll protect you..” I promise her.
“You’re only thirteen Ciel.” She cries out. I wrap my arms around her.
“I love you, Joan.”
“There you go,” I smiled gently at Daniel, as he adjusts his black shoe. I dusted his shirt, while he looks up at me.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, noticing that he looks bother with something. He takes a hold of my hand.
“Ciel, why does mama love us? I’m not healthy,” he said sadly. I frowned, placing my hands on his small shoulders.
“She loves you because she has a big heart that can love anyone, and she’s kind and patient. If you don’t mind me asking, what is it that you have?” I asked, now curious. Daniel thins his lips out.
“I don’t know. The um. Doctor said I have to grow short. I won’t be big as you.” He started to cry. I was surprised by this.
“Short? Oh.. Well, so far you are tall for a boy of four years old.” I said trying to console him. His eyes widen.
“Really?” he asks, wiping his eyes. I nodded, as I picked him up, and look at him.
“Of course, you’re growing normally at least in my eyes.” I tried to encourage him. Zara enters the girl’s dorm, with fresh, clean clothes at hand.
“Is it true, he’ll stop growing soon?” I asked her, as she reaches us placing the clothes on her bed. She stops for a long minute, surprised by what I just said, then she slumps her shoulders.
“That’s what a doctor told his mother. His great grandfather was very short, from what I heard. The doctor said that Daniel has chances to inherit it. His real parents just left him in the orphanage. Saying that it will be too much to handle So I just took him and adopted him before I could adopt him, I did ask the parents for permission. They agreed only the condition that can come once a year to see him. It’s been three years since they saw Daniel and I last seen them. I wouldn’t mind if they come and see him, after all that’s his parents.” She said, going up to us.
“That’s just ridiculous and stupid reason,” I said darkly. Zara frowns and nods.
“If his parents were poor, I would understand it better, but his parents are filthy rich.” she frowns, noticing the sadness in her eyes. Daniel looks at us lost.
“My real mama said, that I won’t grow?” Daniel said out of nowhere. Zara shook her head.
“Yes, but I have faith that God will make you grow as a big tree.” she rubs Daniel back.
“A big tree. Big Tree,” he said, laughing hard. Zara laughs as well.
‘She has a gift to make anyone laugh. She really is a special person. I wonder why no one has courted her? Any man will be a lucky bastard to have her as a wife. Hell, he has to treasure, protect her and love her with her children attach. I doubt she’ll give up her kids for a man. She really is a blessing to have around.’
“Hey, don’t overgrow either, Daniel. Then I won’t able to hug you.” I said, chuckling a little. His eyes widen.
“I want to be big as you Ciel. So I can protect mama too.” he nods. I rub the back of his small back.
“Good, mama will love that,” I said tenderly. Daniel nods. Zara couldn’t help but smile at that, and gave me a tender look, while she kept rubbing Daniel back.
“Good, then smooth the cement,” I said, watching Issac smooth the cement with the shovel. I hand him over the brick. He takes it, and slide it in with the rest of the bricks. I pat his back.
“Good job, now you can piece anything together, tomorrow I’ll show you how to saw,” I said. Issac turns and smiles at me.
“Thank you. Now mom doesn’t have to worry too much about things breaking down,” he said, while he dusted his hands. I nodded, but then frowned at him.
“About last time, did you really mean those words? I don’t know what happen to your real mother, but your words were too harsh to Zara.” I said while we walk back towards the back door. Issac stops and looks down in shame.
“Our real mother, she died trying to protect Lilly and Zara. I wasn’t there, though. I was with Mrs. Morris at the time. I remember that Lilly’s leg got badly burnt and our mom was dead. I wasn’t told what really happen. I know that Zara was out four months before returning to the orphanage. Mrs. Morris told me that she was on a long vacation. So that made me so mad. I wish she was the one that died.” He went silent.
‘Vacation? That doesn’t seem like Zara’
“My sister came back a month later from the hospital, but with one leg. They had to amputate her leg. She wouldn’t speak for a few years, though.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know, Lilly has one leg. She’s good at hiding that.” I felt sad by that. Such a young lady.
“She hides it pretty well. Either way, if it wasn’t for Zara, my sister would be still isolated and we wouldn’t be together. You see, I’m actually normal. Um. When Zara came back, I begged her, that I shouldn’t be adopted. I would not leave my sister alone. Did you know what she said to me?” he asks. I shook my head.
“If I knew, I wouldn’t be asking boy,” I smirked, crossing my arms. He chuckles.
“Right. She simply told me. ‘A family should never be separated or our mom would be very sad if Lilly and I separated.’ So she lied that I had something terrible, so no one will adopt me. I think I started to see Zara as a mother as the years went by. She always placed us first. She never asked anything in return. That’s why I want to help her and protect her. I regret saying that to her, or thinking it myself.” His eyes turn watery but don’t cry.
“Sometimes is good to cry,”
“But I’m a man, men don’t cry,” he said, wiping his eyes, since his tears started to fall. I actually chuckled at him.
“Who told you that lie? We aren’t inhuman. Sometimes men do cry, but we cry for the right reasons.” I simply said, as I wrap my arms around him and pat his back. I felt him nod.
“Go and apologize to her, don’t make it worse than it is. She doesn’t deserve what you told her, you don’t know the real story behind. She doesn’t hate you, but she was broken when you told her that yesterday.” I told him. We separated, while he sighs, wiping his eyes once again.
“Thank you.” with that he turns around to head in. I rub the back of my neck.
‘What the hell are you doing? I feel like those doctors that like to talk about everything.’ I shook my head when I turned and look in front of me. The dark shadow thing appears in front of me. I went still, but then disappears and slams the door in front of me. I sigh.
‘What exactly do you want from me?’
I walk down the path, kicking some rocks out of the way, watching twilight setting in.
“Ciel!” I heard my name being called out. I turned around to see Zara, running towards me, with that big smile of hers.
“Hey?” I asked while she huffs out.
“Why are you so happy about?” I asked. Zara suddenly starts to jump in the happiest manner. Her smile spread deeply. She takes a hold of my arm.
“Issac apologized to me. Well, that’s not what I’m happy about, but oh yes, I am. I don’t know. I feel so happy. Issac and Lilly finally told me what they felt, and the best part, that it feels much better.” she says.
“You’re an odd one.” I simply said. She pouts at me, but then jumps again, like a child.
“I don’t care, I″m so happy,” she said. I actually chuckled.
‘That kid listens well.’ I moved away from her. Zara clears her throat, walking next to me.
“What are you up to?” she asks, placing her hands behind her back.
“Thinking,” I told her. She pouts, then goes in front of me, stopping me from walking.
“Thinking about your uncle? Or the underground? Oh, the shadow thing that almost attacked Armando? We need to speak about that.” she guesses.
“All of the above.” I thin out my lips.
“What should we do about the shadow thing? I thought it was a man living in our orphanage, but is a ghost. I did pray for it, but is not doing anything. So I think it has unfinished business.” she frowns.
“Well, aren’t you afraid?” I said with sarcasm.
“I’m afraid of the living than the dead. I actually pity that soul. I want to help it pass on.” she said. I actually laugh at that. She crosses her arms, as I walk closer to her.
“What’s so funny? Also, you’re laughing. Thank you,” she whispers shyly. I cleared my throat.
“You aren’t afraid of a ghost, but pity it, and want to help it. I’m not sure if you’re too kind or naive,” I told her. She pouts even more, like a child, but moves closer.
“I don’t know either. I just am afraid of my children’s safety. I place holy pictures in the dorm. It helps not enter again if it’s a demon, but won’t get rid of it. I’ll try to communicate or something.” she said. I nodded.
“How do you know this?” I asked. She giggles.
“I use to help a local priest when I was younger when he went to do an exorcism. I use to help carry his things around. So I picked up some good information. Never thought It would come in handy. I need holy water, I have already placed holy oil around.” she explains.
“You are very equipped with knowledge. Its a good thing. Then why did you come out here for?” I asked. She turns shy, lowering her head.
“I made an appointment to go to the doctors for Lilly in two days, I was wondering if you want to join us? Maybe you have some things to take care?” she says.
“Actually, I was planning to go tomorrow, I do have some things to attend to.” I agreed.
“Oh.. Okay.” she looks disappointed. I tilted my head to the side.
“Why are you disappointed?” I asked. She nods.
“Yes, I wanted you to come.” I got closer to her.
“Why will you miss me?” somehow, I wanted to tease her. Not sure why
“N..no. Um, Lilly will.” she nervously said. I felt the corners of my lips twitch up.
“No? Why do I doubt that?” I asked, getting closer. Her cheeks turn into a lovely red.
“Is the truth. She’ll miss you,” she said. I couldn’t help but enjoy her shyness.
“You’re a terrible liar, you know that? Didn’t I tell you before.” I teased in a deep whisper. She licks her lips.
“I..” She went mute, as I got closer.
“I what?” I pushed. She looks anywhere, but my eyes. I actually smiled at this.
“Is okay. You don’t have to come,” she changes her mind. That makes me frown.
‘Not what I wanted to hear.’
“I’ll go with you, don’t worry,” I assured her. I watch her chest rise, as my heartfelt uncomfortable once again. Finally, we lock eyes.
“Really?” She stares at me with big eyes. I nodded, moving my hand to brush her short red hair behind her ear.
“I’ve gotten used to going with you everywhere, might as well continue on,” I assured her. Relief washes over her caramel eyes.
Sun had already sat, as darkness started to fill around our areas.
“Good, me too. I love going with you anywhere. It feels nice, and it makes me feel safe.” she said. My heart tightens.
“Safe? Lady, I never made anyone feel safe before. Stop with the nonsense.” I backed away, going around her.
She turns around and runs up to me. She spins me around and cups my cheeks with both of her hands. I blinked, surprised by this. Her cheeks are redder than before, she gets on her tiptoes and my eyes widen when she closed her eyes and places her soft lips on my forehead giving me a kiss. Lowering herself down, she looks at me with that strange same look as before. Her eyes are filled with a strange emotion that I can’t name.
That same emotion from last time came to me, but harder than before.
“Then you started. My children and I feel safe around you Ciel. Is something I never felt before, but it scares me. Ciel, it scares me that you make me feel so safe, but I don’t want it to end, what should I do?”