Chapter Three: Orphan?
His words still haunt me, it’s been two days since Ciel has entered our home.
‘I wonder what he meant by that?’
I watch as the children play outside of the orphanage. I held Lilly pink dress, ready to hang it up so it can dry. I shook my head and look down at the pink dress.
‘He hasn’t harmed anyone, at least not yet. Mrs. Morris, please come soon.’
“If you keep staring at the dress, you’ll burn a hole in it,” I heard a deep but gentle voice, which causes me to jump in fright.
“Ah,” I yelled, turning around, to see Ciel looking amused by me, as he has a log over his shoulder. I place my hand on my chest, trying to calm my heart. When I lifted my gaze, I’m not sure if it was from the fright or what, but my breath caught. Ciel’s hair is cut very short, his front hair nicely combed to the side. He actually very handsome than ever. His eyes are rounder than the normal. He wears Pop’s white shirt, and he wears his clean pair of pants he wore the first night he appear in front of the orphanage. (I washed it while he was sleeping.)
“I won’t burn a hole, who cut your hair?” I asked, while I place Lilly dress on the hanger with the rest of the clothes, and turned around to face him, to amaze by his cut. He blinks and looks up as to look at his own hair, but frowns since he couldn’t.
“Your eldest daughter lend me some scissors, but does it look bad?” He asks, I cleared my throat and shook my head. While he turns his head, so I can see the back.
“Oh? Lilly? Um, no, just has to be trimmed in the back, is all. Some parts are longer than the other.” I said, rubbing the back of my neck.
“At least it came out okay.” he mumbles the last part to himself.
“Why do you have a log?” I asked, he just stares at me.
“Because I’m bored so I thought it would be amusing to carry this around,” he said in a sarcastic voice. I blink blankly at him, as Daniel runs towards us.
“You should be taught some manner, you know that,” I hiss, as he suddenly took a step closer, and eyed me, not sure why, but something in his gaze causes me to feel uncomfortable.
“Why are you offering?” he said in a dry manner. I was about to say something, but Daniel’s voice catches my attention.
“Mama,” he shouts, I turned to see Daniel reaching us. I was about to bend down, but Daniel grabs Ciel pants and pulls it. Ciel bends down and looks at him.
“Yes kid?” he asks. Daniel stares at him with his profound dark eyes.
“Not leaving?” he asks Ciel.
“Not yet kid, your mom doesn’t want me to leave,” he answers, Daniel suddenly smiles at him and then looks up at me.
“Cil not going.” He claps, mispronouncing his name. I giggled, while I bend to pick him up. Ciel watches as I wipe some dirt away from Daniel’s chubby light cheek.
“Do you like Ciel already?” I asked him. Daniel nods, looking at Ciel. Ciel straightens up and clears his throat.
“Don’t get to attach to me kid,” he said, stretching his hand, and rubs his small head, instead of Daniel getting scared, a smile passes his lips and nods. Something in Ciel’s eyes brightens but for a brief second. He clears his throat.
“Now if you excuse me, lady. I have to go and be bored another place. You should really stock up on wood, winter is coming soon.” he mumbles, turning his body to head towards the building. I watch as he is limping less now, almost as normal.
‘He’s getting better, that’s a relief. Wait, store up for winter?’ then it dawns on me.
“Is Ciel stacking wood for us?” I asked particularly to no one. Daniel nods at me.
“He is mama. He was cold this morning,” he tells me. I gave Daniel a long look, then back at Ciel.
‘Well, isn’t he kind.’ I felt strange, not sure how to feel by this. I look at our home. Is a simple house, two stories high, with only five rooms. One cell room on the outside, just in case when a twister pass by. The house is painted red and blue since my kids choose those colors.
(Also, we are surrounded by trees and a small pond on the front of the building, near the only pathway to go to the city.)
When I lifted my gaze up to the second floor, my eye caught what it looks like a person looking down at us, from the second-floor boy’s dorm. My heart stops, as the person disappears. I look down, to take notice Ceil was looking at the same direction as me. His body is stiff, and he looks down and shakes his head.
‘What was that? There’s no one in,’ now fear to crawl in my heart. I licked my lips and hold Daniel closer.
“Mister, can I have a word with you?” I yelled, making Ciel stop in his tracks. He turns, as I turned my head to look at my children.
“Lilly, Issac, take the others and follow me!” I yell as I look at Daniel. His eyes are a bit wide, as he held my blouse.
“Daniel?” I asked, now getting worried. Daniel shook his head, and lower his head, burying his face in the crook of my neck. I rub his small back.
“You saw it too?” I asked him, and I felt him nod.
“What’s wrong mama? Class won’t start until two.” Lilly asks.
Issac held Sophy. I grabbed Evelyn by her small hand and gave Lilly a stern look.
“Mrs. Morris will come soon, and I need you to help clean her office.” I lied, not wanting to worry the kids. Lilly didn’t seem to convince.
“Alright?” Lilly said, giving me a strange look, and started to walk away, while I rush my steps to Ciel, which he started to sneak away.
“Oh no mister, you won’t leave my sight. We are going to talk and now. Follow me.′ Ciel rolled his eyes, and turn his gaze towards me, and gave me a cold look, yet he doesn’t say anything.
“So what do you want to talk about, lady?” Ciel asks, while I leaned against the wall, peeking out through my window, to see if I can spot Mrs. Morris’ car through the pathway on the far right, that leads to the city. I frowned, no such luck, then I turned, only to bump into Ciel’s chest. I gasped out surprised, as my hands land on his broad chest.
Ciel arched a brow, looking unaffected by this.
I felt my cheeks warm up and I jump back, clearing my throat, trying to act unaffected as well.
‘That was odd,’
“Err, it’s been two days since you arrived. The reason I didn’t want you to leave last night is because you had a fever the night before, so I was afraid that it would return. The point is..” I was now getting nervous, while Ciel kept staring at me. I place my hands behind my back and took in a breath.
“Point is?” Ciel questions, so I can continue to talk.
“What you said last night, why would I regret it?” I finally asked. He suddenly placed his right forearm against the wall, leaning closer to me, his dark eyes searching mine, a dim invisible smile almost plays on his lips. I felt myself lean back.
“Why? I am a man, and you are a single woman, with lots of kids. So I thought, I don’t know, one more man in your bed?” he said out of the blue. I suddenly hiccup and use my hand to push his shoulder. He jumps back, giving me a surprised look of my action.
I gave him a death glare.
“What are you talking about? What another man in my bed? Do you want me to get Issac to bring me the bat? I don’t mind smashing your head. No, that would be too bloody, well, I think of a way. How can you accuse me of something that you have no idea? You’re the first man I ever even encounter this close,” I was furious at this man. How can he think that of me? He doesn’t know me, he doesn’t know my past...
“Wow lady, violence is a thing for you. Wait, first man?” He asks now confused, while angry tears gather my eyes.
“Yes, you’re the first man to sleep in this orphanage. The children don’t count. I have never been insulted like this, I never had my first dance with a man before, let alone bed one.” I shout at him, not sure why, but it affected me greatly, that he thought I was that easy.
“I was assuming, since you have eight children, and I can assure you, they don’t look alike, so I thought they came from different men, and you don’t wear a wedding ring. Sorry.” he turns his gaze dropping his eyes to the floor, and frowning as though he felt ashamed of himself, while I blinked at him.
“Didn’t you read the front of this building?” I asked. He turns his head and shakes his head.
“Those words that are made out of silver?” he asks. I nodded.
“Yes. Don’t you know how to read?” I asked, his eyes tighten at my words.
“If you need to know, no, I don’t know how to read.” His voice tightens. That somehow stops my anger.
“You can’t? Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” I whispered, as he somehow traps me in his gaze. I can see is sadness and anger in his eyes. Somehow, somewhere in me wants to wrap my arms around him and tell him is okay.
“Not your fault.” he said in a low tone.
‘Why does he look like a child right now? I want to hug him.’ my heart starts to race, and his sadness reaches me. I shook my head, to clear my thoughts off.
“Look let me start over, those children, are mine in every sense of the word, but they are adopted. I adopted them last year. It wasn’t easy to do, but thanks to the good Lord, he helped me get custody of each of those precious children. I don’t need to bed a man to be a mother. All they need is my love and be there for them in the good and the bad.” I whispered the last part as my eyes sadness.
Ciel went quiet for a long time. I can hear the others making noise at Mrs. Morris office since her office is next to mine also the brown walls are thin. While Sophy and Daniel slept on top of a mattress near my desk that lies on the side.
“Err, I hope that clears up any misunderstanding you had with me. Mister, I’m sorry if you can’t read, you should have asked, plus, I think you landed in the right place to stay. Trust me, no one will judge you for that.” I told him, trying to show him hope, that we won’t see him any less. My eyes soften.
He seems to be in deep thought, but he snaps out of it and lifts his gaze towards me.
“How so?” he asks. I cleared my throat.
“This orphanage is special. Why do you think we are in the middle of nowhere?” I asked him. He frowns as the doors of my office slams open. My children enter and Ciel turns to stare at them.
“What’s so special about this orphanage?” he asks me. I smiled gently at my children, then back at Ciel, not dropping my smile. Ciel turns to face me.
“Each one of us is a reject of society. The imperfect. You’ll see what I mean when you stay longer.” I told him. Ciel looks at me, then at my children once more.
“Have you ever consider, that maybe, I have somewhere to go?” he suddenly asks. I move closer to him and shook my head.
“No, because if you did, you would have told me earlier, and plus your eyes tells me that you just one of us. You don’t have anyone to go to. Ciel, are you an orphan like us?”