This post is a part of the Flash Fiction Chain #5 hosted at PhoTrablogger. It is inspired by the photo below. You can check out his blog for some amazing photography and also the complete version of this story which I have the honour of beginning. I am new to this, so please be kind. 😀
The characters are:
1. Rick – a not so ordinary ten year old.
2. Jenna – a social service employee.
3. Mrs.Montgomery – the foster mom
4. Jake – Mrs. Montgomery’s only son.
A child’s life is a lot more complicated than we take it to be. There are all these hopes and dreams but never any means of reaching up to them. Kind of like shooting stars you can only wish over but never really catch, feel in the palm of your hand. At ten years of age, Rick had gone through a lot more than any average kid. Spending a significant part of your life being juggled between foster families can give you a pretty good idea about what the world has to offer. The expectations are much lower and the hope begins to waver. Little Rick, however, was hard headed and quite proud of that. The determination and resolve he possessed for his age set him apart from the rest of kids. A bit too far apart.
His list of allies comprised of one to zero people. A kind hearted social service worker, Jenna, had a soft corner for him and made sure he had a roof over his head when things didn’t work out with his new foster family. And that, was a bit too often. Now, Rick was no brat who brought on complications for himself. His personality did it for him. He was not much of a people person. Not that he disliked them but that he was so…. unlike them. Whilst any boy of ten would love to play out in the rain or roll around in mud, Rick would much rather spend the day reading. Conversations weren’t meant for him. People were just too ordinary to be amusing. Getting sucked into a whole new dimension through paper and printing ink was all he lived for.
Naturally the world chews up and spits out anything that stands out. Every family he was assigned to described him as cold and distant and simply wanted him gone. Things were getting out of hand. Jenna spent what felt like forever explaining to Rick, the effect he had on people. He needed a home and for that he had to behave. Rick who never really let many people get to him, felt bad for Jenna. She believed in him. He understood how self destructive faith could be. But to let his actions affect Jenna was not something he wanted. Jenna wasn’t so bad. She was nice. Pretty. Always had a brilliant smile for him. He didn’t quite understand what a mother could be like but he imagined someone in the likes of Jenna.
A few fake smiles and friendly gestures, just like that Rick was in. A Mrs.Montgomery was thrilled to have him. She was a serious philanthropist. So serious that she had about 12 foster kids in addition to her only son Jake. Jake was not a big fan of his mother’s work. In his home that was meant for him and his mom ran around 12 screaming, annoying children. You can see why he has as a problem with that. So, he was constantly irritated with them and was something of a bully. The thing about fresh meat is that it does not go unnoticed.
Rick easily made into Jake’s hit list and for some reason never got off it. Jake had some sort of aversion to him and as a result of that he was a victim of constant bullying. He often had his books snatched away or simply laughed at and ridiculed. It made the other kids keep their distance from him out of fear of being targeted for association. It was usual for him. He grew up in loneliness. But it was a whole new thing to feel completely alone in the middle of a mob. To be avoided like that, stings. It’s tough being a kid. He couldn’t help but let it get to him. As always, he shrugged it off and tried to make it on his own.
One winter morning he woke up to the sound of a mockingbird. It was one of the less terrible ways to begin a day. He felt as though the bird’s song was a reminder. He had to keep up his charade to go unnoticed. The last thing he wanted was to disappoint Jenna. She worried too much….. It was a beautiful day, he noticed as he went out to the porch. He liked the quiet. Loved it actually. The world seemed less threatening without all the jarring noises. It was a blessing to be aloof from all that hassle. The moist air soothed his nerves. He was hardly ever at peace. Unfortunately, with peace came thoughts and they brought along sorrow. It starts small and then just drags you down, emotions spiralling out of control. He blinked away tears and stood there in the cold.
There was a strange noise. He felt like he was being watched. You know.. that eery sensation? He looked up to find a monkey hanging upside down from the overhead cables. It was like he could see him looking at him. The monkey peered at him with curious eyes. Rick darted back into the house partly terrified and excited at the same time. He came back out with a ripe Banana in his hands. He’d read about monkeys liking Bananas. It was time to test that theory. He waved it frantically in the air hoping he could catch its attention… was he going to make a friend? It was a new day…
Well, I’ve been going about this whole throwback week thing for a while now and getting all my old poems read. I, for one, think the Internet has seen enough of the kid I used to be. Anyone who has missed this older version of me, fear not for I am back and here to stay. 😀
Man! I am in a really good mood right now. Must be all the new music I decided to download. It’s funny how my whole perspective on life changes when I have the company of good music. All it took was a bunch of good grades to get me grinning ear to ear today. I have to admit, I like this. Oh, I really do. This happiness is one welcome guest after all the melancholy for absolutely nothing. It is infact these few happy moments that make all the hard work I’ve been putting in at school, worthwhile.
People. There are a lot of them lately. I’ve been connecting with some amazing people with kick-ass blogs and in school too. Well, yes, I admit, at school I was always that popular kid. But now, things are different. Better even! They’re more friends than a possy. I guess I’ve understood how to make friends rather than just getting people to like me. (if you know what I mean) and the fellow bloggers, man I am extremely greatful to be given this platform. You’ve all become a huge part of my life now. It’s been around 8 months since I started out here and I actively blogged for 4. This period of time has been life changing. I’ve grown as a person and who do I owe it all to? The people.
I talk about how epic life is but I failed to notice how the people in mine are responsible for all the epicness of it. My not-so-ordinary family, and my what-you’d-call-geeky friends are the best this world has to offer. At plain sight what seems ordinary will certainly surprise you when you look close enough. I’ve seen greater wisdom in my teachers than renowned scholars. My fellow bloggers have taught me more than any religion ever could. So, a big thank you is in order. (I’ll get to it soon enough, just a little more rambling! :D)
I’m sure you have some interesting people in your lives too. Never fail to appreciate them because, well, they kind of ARE your lives. Never fail to see the magic in their eyes. There’s more to everything than what meets the eye. Show some respect because everyone’s fighting a battle you don’t know of. Just be nice. It’s not so hard. (Even with the stupid people. Hey! They’re giving you a good laugh! Be grateful. :P)
Now to the thanking,
THANK YOU all for being the way you are and being a part of my life which you have indeed made what I would call legend -wait-for-it- dary. Thank you for everything you’ve taught and shown me, helping me become who I am and sometimes just being there at the right times.
Early mornings, late nights and busy days is my whole life lately. Despite the hectic schedule I go on building castles in the air and dealing with every aspect of life as I used to, before. I was wrong to think this year would be all about school. Life is the same.. just a little faster. Things have gotten more serious. Life, school, people… relationships. Everyone cares lately. Even those wannabe hipsters. Human companionships seem more tolerable now. I guess this is why they call it growing UP.. everything’s getting well, deeper.
Friends, I’ve always had ’em. I even have the best one in the whole world. However, not at school. It used to be just fake relationships. People I just had occasional fun with and gossipped to. I never really got along with girls. I never fit in as another small town girl. But lately there’s been a lot of bonding. Perhaps its the affection of having been together for so long or maybe it’s all the common ground we have. Regardless, people I never thought much of turned out to be my friends for real. I always liked life better when I had my “people” with me. Now that I know that a few are really MY people it’s actually even better. The fake people are still here. The bubble around me is still intact. I’m just not worried about it poppin’ no more.
I find myself handling things so much easier. Control is like second nature to me lately. I’m no longer that impulsive little girl who was hell bent on making a point. But I’m still me. I still get furious enough to want to kill when enraged. I wake up from the same side of my bed. I still let my music decide my mood for the day. I still write my heart out. I still believe, hope, dream. In fact, with time, I just become a little more me. Perhaps with a little touch of diplomacy here and there. 😀
When I remember all that people, obviously older people, and what they said about Growing up and how it complicates life and I think, what did they even mean? So far, growing up, for me has been legendary in every way. What’s anything without a challenge or a few complications? Through it all, I’m still standing, aren’t I? well, that’s as good as it gets!