It was at least thirty years ago when I found her. A small,blonde cripple at that large,gray stone orphanage. She was there since birth,her parents couldn't keep her and didn't want her to be aborted, so they sent her there. She couldn't use her legs, and being unable to run, she was a sort of “outcast”, if you'd say, among the other kids. Her name was Opal, and it really did fit. Her eyes were beautifully heterochromic, so much going on in them... so much emotion. I had been brought to the orphanage at the same age as her, us both 6. I always would push her around in her chair. Opal would laugh when I tried with all my strength to push her chair, her delicate feet bouncing over bumps in the hallways. Her e
yes seemed to bounce along as well. Of course, this was all thirty years ago. I'm older now, and I'm a mother to two sons. Most people,such as you,would expect Opal to be a woman now, right? Well, as I said, this was thirty years ago. The fire... all I could remember was Opal screaming as the orange flames crawled to her bedsheets. I could remember me carrying her, running down the hallways to every other child there, but it was too late. The flames had tore through all the rooms, leaving it to be just me and dearest Opal. Running back towards a window, Opal stopped me. She smiled sadly, and looked at the window. Pushing me away, she crawled her way near the roaring flames. “Well
, we'll meet again one day, I promise!” She cheerily sung, and that's all I could remember before everything shone orange and red.
Now, it has been at least two weeks of my sons waking up saying that there was a little girl at the foot of my bed if they looked hard enough. I tried to tell them that it was the dark messing with them, but both of their descriptions were the same: “A short blonde girl with dark red skin that looked burned” and sometimes they said she was in a chair on wheels. I told them it was okay, and they could sleep in my bed if they wanted. They accepted quickly, and slipped in with me. The first night with me, I saw nothing. I decided to call it a night and sleep. The next morning was school for my sons, I had to be up. I heard a sound coming from the hallway. It sounded like young laughter and happy footsteps. I assumed I was just starting a dream and ignored it.
The next morning, after my sons had gone off with their dad for the week, I turned on the news. They claimed it to be dry season, because two houses had burst into flames last night. I found it strange, but kept listening. My heart sank when I heard “524 Oakling Dr.”... for that was my ex-husband's house. It had burned down, killing him and my eldest son and my youngest son was badly injured. I got in my car and drove to the hospital... But by the time I was there... it was too late. He was so young, his heart couldn't handle surgery and it collapsed. I fell to my knees in shock. I couldn't comprehend anymore. Just the other day my sons were in my bed, sleeping peacefully... now I had nothing. I just sobbe
d.“Therapy” they said. Like it would help saying what happened. The night driving home from the hospital was quiet. Nobody was in the car, and for once I left the radio alone. The droning sound of static mixed with a game of basketball was the only thing playing, and me being so deep in thought, didn't even care. Smoke rose into the sky from yet another house... Ugh, it was everywhere. A small carpet burn on my elbow from walking my son throbbed,reminding me of the day and night before. A small girl with blonde hair and burns on half her face. It suddenly reminded me of someone. Someone I knew. A specific girl at the age of six. Who died thirty years ago. My heart had sunk completely when I realized this, that she was who they had seen. They had seen my Opal Dearest.
I had been at therapy to get over the losses for about two months by then. I was just another thing I had to do every week. Well, twice every week to be honest. I was on my driveway on one of those afternoons, the sky hung over me like a blanket. The rainy season was starting up again. I was feeling happier, although my house was awfully quiet. I messily shuffled through keys and unlocked my door, scared to open it. What if someone was in there? I couldn't help but wonder anymore. I slowly opened my door, to find someone WAS there. I nearly screamed, and dropped my bags. A girl, half burnt with brown and blue eyes, sitting in a wheelchair all the way down the hall. I could feel her stare as she faded away. The door suddenly slammed behind me, the door hanger falling of and cracking. “You left me, Ruby... You left me...” A shy, cracking voice came from behind me. I turned my head around fast, Staring eye to eye with a blonde cripple.I put a hand over my mouth. She came to hug me and a collapsed to my knees. “It's okay, little Ruby.. I forgive you...” She shakily remarked. I was frozen;I couldn't speak. “But Ruby... Remember Opal Dearest forever... because..” She stopped. A grin spread so wide across her face even I was horrified. “This is MY house now.” she sputtered, a charred piece of flesh fell from off her arm.