ok, so this is the first official chapter of my first story. please be nice and leave a comment and/or review. it makes me happy to know that people enjoy what i write. constructive criticism is always welcome but please be nice. also since this is as previously stated this is my first story so I might experiment a little bit (example it might be first person one chapter and 3rd person the next so just heads up.
once again I don't know how constant the chapters will be cause my inspiration is always swinging. ill shut up now and let you enjoy the first chapter.
(can someone give me the aaaaswner to my praaeaeayer, wheres my soul)~ slap~ "Son of a bitch. It's too early for this." A tanned hand shot out of the tiger-striped comforter to hit the snooze button on the phones alarm app.
Sighing our main lady rolled over on her side, trying to sleep after being so rudely awoken by her phone only for it to go off again, but by a different ringtone.
( love bites but so do i so do iiiii) "God damn it. What now?" Shooting from the blankets with a glare to scare the devil directed at the phone, I relaxed when I saw that A. it was 9:17 and B. Mom was calling me.
Pressing the answer while putting it on speaker, I greeted with a rather groggy voice "G'morning, Mom."
"Good morning Rhianna. Did I wake you?" Mom questioned in an ungodly cheery voice for it being this early as I rubbed the leftover gunk from my eyes.
Yawning what mom would call a ' jungle cat yawn' I replied." No. Not you anyway. What's up? You don't usually call this early."
"What? I can't be the first one to wish my daughter a happy birthday?"
Pausing my stretches, I looked at my phone with a raised eyebrow.
"It's not my birthday, Mom. That's next week." I argued.
"Look at the calendar, sweetheart. It'll say August 20th."
"I'm telling you, it's not my bir-" Stopping midsentence when I saw she was right. "Oh, your right. It's the 20th. Happy birthday to me. Sorry, Mom ."
She busted out laughing. " HaHaHaHaHa, It's ok Rhianna, don't worry. Do you have any plans?" I could still hear the amusement in her voice even though she stopped laughing.
When she asked me that a wave of memories came to me about what was happening today. Old lady Willow was having a garage sale that she invited me to today. She has a lot of junk and wanted to get rid of it and Mom was supposed to come home today from a business trip.
"No, I hadn't really made any plans other than cleaning the house for when you get home and maybe visiting Lian. Speaking of home, when does your plane land?" I asked.
It was faint but I could hear her sigh over the phone. Oh no, I knew that sigh. It was the 'oh god, I have to tell her the bad news.' sigh. "I'm sorry, Rhianna but something came up at work and I have to extend my trip."
Disappointment flooded through me but I stilled tried to keep it out of my voice. One of the perks of cellphones it that the people can't see your face. So she couldn't see the tear that managed to escape. "That's ok, Mom. I understand."
"I truly am sorry that I couldn't come home to celebrate your birthday with you. Especially your sweet sixteen." She replied.
I wiped the tear from my face as I answered "Really Mom, its ok. Old lady Willow invited me to her garage sale that she's having today. Knowing her, she remembered and made me a cupcake or something. I'll celebrate with her today and when you get back we can go to Jasmines or something and have our own party." Hopefully, I sounded convincing enough when I replied.
" Heh, your such a little fighter, Rhianna. I don't know where you got it from." She commented
"Must be from you cause I sure as hell didn't get it from Dad ." I chortled.
"Amen to that. Well, I'll let you go so you can enjoy your birthday. Tell Willow I said hi for me, won't you?"
"Sure thing Mom. I love you. Thanks for calling."
"Of courseHun. I love you too and have a good birthday."
"Bye Mom." "Bye." (beep)
Sitting on my bed just staring at my phone as my room was engulfed in silence except for the thoughts running through my head about the conversation I just had with my mom while my eyes burned with unshed tears that I refused to let fall.
"Come on Rhianna. It's not like its anything new. This always happens, so buck up." I thought out loud.
Standing up while reaching my arms over my head, stretching my spine until I heard several pops. I wobbled over to my closet to pick out my clothes for today while I thought about the dad comment and started to compare me to what I knew about him.
Mom and Dad were college sweethearts. They had dated for five years until Dad forgot to use protection one night and four weeks later mom found out she was pregnant with me. When she told him, he, according to my mom, was ecstatic to be having a kid. But in reality, he was less than thrilled. He vanished sometime in the middle of the night, leaving her to take care of me, with a note saying he didn't want me and that he had been cheating on her with not one but two other girls and said that she should see an abortion doctor. Instead of getting an abortion like he oh so nicely suggested, she rolled up her sleeves and took the wheel.
She worked hard while she got support from family, friends and oddly enough the two girls Dad was cheating on with. Yeah, they found out and didn't take it well. Eventually, Mom raised enough money and bought a three-bedroom house with a huge backyard in a good neighborhood. Mom got a high ranking job once I hit the fifth grade that paid insanely well. The only problem was that the job needed her to be away 3/4ths of the year, so I kinda had to learn how to take care of myself and that caused me to grow up faster than other kids my age which labeled me as a freak in their eyes. So I never really had any friends, but its fine. If you don't like me, that's your issue.
If there was anything I needed help with growing up, the designated neighborhood grandma was always the first to offer. In a lot of ways and as mean as this sounds she's more of a mom than my own mom has been. Lian Rosewood is probably the sweetest person I have ever met. Just don't get on her bad side. She's got a sharp tongue and wit to match and ain't afraid to use it. She also makes a mean peach bun.
The thought of food sending my stomach growling like a wolf. "Alright alright. I'll feed ya. Just let me get showered and dressed." Brushing a hand through my hair as I grabbed a blue tank top with a moon and a bird with the words ' To the moon and back' along with a pair of jean shorts, cause it was going to be in the high 90's today, a pair of underwear and a bra, and headed to the bathroom to wash up.
Setting my clothes on the counter, I took a quick look at my reflection and winced. My hair looks like it had been dragged through a briar patch.
"Oye ve. don't I look sexy." Chuckling at my sarcasm, I started attacking my hair with my brush while I observed my other features.
Personally, I think I looked average. The girl in the mirror had a bisque tanned oval-shaped face that had a few acne scars that were barely noticeable with a small straight-edged nose, a pair of full watermelon pink lips that were dry, and a head of wavey shoulder-length copper hair attached to a rather thick 5'4 figure with a c sized chest.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not fat but I'm not anorexic skinny either. I have some meat on my bones, but most of it is muscle from all the walking and yoga I do.
My favorite thing about me were my eyes as cheesy as it is. Some people would call them hazel, but I prefer the term agate eyes. Sounds cooler right? They're a lake blue with a, I guess, a honey color around the pupil. Usually, you don't notice the honey color unless you're really close, I'm pissed, wearing orange or red, or there's a lot of those colors in the background.
After showering and getting dressed, I just grabbed some granola bars and a bottle of water, figuring that Willow would have some leftover breakfast and if not, oh well, and was out the door by 10:13. Willow's house was about 10 to 15 minutes on foot but with the way I walk, I got there in 7 minutes. I know, fast walker. So it didn't take long for me to see the explosion of junk on the front lawn with a few people looking at said junk or the little old lady watching them before spotting me and waving me over.
"Xiao Jinyu, come sit beside me. Are you hungry? I have some freshly made congee. You sit tight. I'll bring a bowl for you." I heard Willow bellowed at me from her chair on the porch, startling some of the people roaming as she got up to get the bowl of congee.
"Really Lian, your gonna kill these people of a heart attack before you drop dead." I mumbled under my breath while shaking my head smiling as I walked to the porch to take my seat when something caught my eye.
Lian always had more jewelry than she wanted so it didn't surprise me when I walked over and saw a large amount of jewelry for sale. One of which was a jade pendant that caught my eye. I grabbed it and brought it closer to my face so I could see the details more.
It was a beautiful yet simple white jade pendant in the shape of an oval with the word for rebirth carved into it and painted with what looks like black ink dangling from a leather cord with 3 white beads that I recognized as moonstone-that shone slightly blue in the sun. I don't know why Lian would want to sell it.
"Xiao Jinyu, what are you doing over there?" Shaken out of my thoughts I turned to see my favorite crazy little old woman holding a bowl.
"Sorry Willow. Lost in thought." I said, taking the bowl from her hands after walking over and sitting down.
"Lost in thought or something catch your eye, Xiao Jinyu?" I shook my head at the nickname.
'Xiao Jinyu' literally translates to 'little golden fish' due to the fact that I always loved the water and swam like a fish whenever I was taken to a large body of water. The name stuck with me, much to my dismay.
" I guess the later one. I noticed a rather pretty jade pendant with moonstone beads on a leather cord in the jewelry section." I answered while taking the bowl and started eating.
"Hmm, interesting. Anyway, how has your morning been so far, Xiao Jinyu?" I looked up from my bowl when she asked that.
Lian looks really good for being 92 years old. Her narrow dark chocolate eyes are sharp which are surrounded by wrinkles followed sharp cheekbones, broad nose, and thin lips. Her silver-colored hair, which is in a loose braid right now, looks even whiter when against her cinnamon skin from all the years out in the sun.
"It's been good so far," I replied while continuing to eat.
I don't think she believed me by the look she gave me when I said this.
"Well, that's good. Your mother comes home today, yes? What time will she be getting off the plane?"
I winced when she asked this. "Mom won't be coming home tonight. Unfortunately, something came up at her job and has to extend her trip."
She merely smiled, reached over and enveloped me in a hug. "I'm sorry, Xiao Jinyu ."
I hugged her back while taking in her scent. Tea leaves and herbs.
"It's ok. I'm used to it." 'No matter how much I wish I wasn't.' I quickly thought. It was weak but I gave her a smile.
The day surprisingly went by fast. Probably because I was doing a lot of storytelling for Willow. She always loved the stories I told and asked me to tell her one whenever she could so I always read new and different stories so I wouldn't run out of material. I mostly read children's stories, folk tales, and legends from many cultures. My favorite being Chinese in honor of Willow.
Willow got up several times to answer questions some of the people had and went inside the house a few times to get some cold tea to cool us down from the heat or something, leaving me to watch over the yard sale. Before I knew it, it was sunset and the items in the yard were all packed up and ready to be put in the same places as they were in tomorrow.
"Xiao Jinyu, come inside the house with me for a bit. I have a few birthday surprises for you." She got up and gestured me inside. I followed her inside the house and into the kitchen.
Willows home looked like a typical Japanese home which i always found weird with her being Chinese, but whatever. not my place to judge.
" Please sit at the table while I go get your gifts."She gestured to the table as she disappeared down the hallway while I sat my but down and waited. I didn't have to wait long before she emerged carrying two packages. One shapes like a movie case but a bit thicker and the other one was about as long as my forearm and just as thick.
She put them on the table before wagging a thin finger at me while heading into the kitchen. "Now don't you touch those yet, young lady. I have to get something from the kitchen."
I saw her rustling in the fridge before pulling out another box and a steam bowl from the microwave and putting it out on the table. She sat down on the opposite side of the table before opening the box to reveal the gorgeous vanilla ice cream cake with 16 candles already inside.
"Oh my god, that looks divine." I sighed in delight before taking a look at the steam cooker and sending her a curious look, asking, " But what's in the steam cooker?"
She gave me a mischievous look before taking the lid off to reveal 4 peach buns, which sent my mouth watering.
"AAAAHHH peach buns and ice cream!" Willow quickly covered her ears when I squealed in delight at the sight.
"Yes yes, I made your favorite but before you start digging in, how about I light those candles and you can make your wish then open your presents. And then we can eat." Pouting because I have to open presents before eating, I sat waiting as she pulled a matchbox out of nowhere and lit the candles.
" <>Haappy birthday to you, Haappy birthday to you." She gave a wicked smirk when I whined and I'm sure started to blush as she started to sing. "Haaappy birthday dear Rhianna, Haappy birthday to youuuuu and many more."
Hiding my pomegranate colored cheeks in my hands, I spoke, hands muffling my voice." You're so evil."
Cackling she retorted "oh I know I am. Now hurry up and blow out the candles before it melts the ice cream cake."
Lifting my head from my hands, I looked at the fire on top of the candles thinking about my wish. Several thoughts flew through my head until I landed on the memory of the phone call this morning. Deciding on my wish, I kept it at the forefront of my mind and I blew all the candles at once. Hopefully, I'll get my wish.
"What did you wish for?" Mildly startled, I looked over at Willow.
She was looking at me with a soft look on her wrinkled face, almost like she knew what I wished for and was just waiting for me to speak it. "Now Willow, you know it I tell you, it won't come true." Smirking at her I dodged the question. she caught on by the mischievous look on her face.
"Oh fine then, Xiao Jinyu. Keep your secrets. Now, why don't you open your presents." She teased me before pushing the longer box towards me.
I tore the wrapping paper and opened the box. Inside was a beautiful Chinese looking dagger. The handle was made out of cherry wood with gold-colored steel that made the pommel and the guard. The pommel had what looked like cherry or peach branches decorating it and the sheath was made out of the same wood as the handle but near the top of the sheath had bamboo stalks and leaves and the bottom had chrysanthemum decorating it.
My hands shook as I took it out of the box and unsheathed it. The blade was made of beautiful stainless steel. I gazed at it for a few seconds before turning to Willow with another curious look but with a smile on my face this time. "It's beautiful, Lian. Thank you so much, but why give this to me? I don't even know how to use this."
She shrugged with a lazy but pleased smile on her face. "I don't know, honestly. I found it with my husband's things in the attic and for some reason thought I should give it to you. Hopefully, you'll never have to use it but you never know. Now here. Open this one"
Smiling at her, I once again tore the wrapping paper and opened the box, only to see the jade necklace I saw earlier this morning sitting on what looked like red silk lining the inside of the box.
Both astonished and delighted at the sight of the necklace, I looked up and gave Lian a bright smile. "How?" I started to say before she cut me off again.
"I've been meaning to give this to you for years but somehow it ended up in the garage sale. I'm glad I got it out before someone else tried to buy it. It has been passed down in my family for generations and now I pass it to you."
As she spoke, she had a far off look on her face as if she was remembering something for the first time in a long while.
Curiosity spiked I asked. "Are you sure you want to pass it onto me? Wouldn't you rather pass it on to one of your grandkids?"
"No. They don't need it. But you need it more than anyone I can think of." She spoke with a tone that held the hint that she knew more than what she was letting on.
"What do you mean, Willow, ' I need it more'?" I asked while tilting my head in confusion.
She smiled a sad smile, took the necklace and gestured me to lean forward. "My dear, beautiful Rhianna. You have hidden it very well, but you never could fool me. Ever since your mom got that new job and started traveling, you have been lonely. You hate the house you live in. You hate the silence, the emptiness of it. And because of her leaving, you grew up too fast which made the other people your age shun you, leaving you with little to no friends, so you come here in hopes of getting rid of the feeling but never could. This necklace has given my ancestors and myself a new beginning. Hopefully, it will do the same for you." She tied the necklace around my neck and let it drop where the pendent landed right in the middle of my chest onto my heart.
Picking it up I studied the rebirth kanji engraving, rubbing my thumb over the design before looking up at Willow and gave her a watery smile "Thank you so much, Lian. I love them."
She got up and walked to the other side of the table where I was sitting and gave me a bear hug while I clutched onto her clothing and tried to hold in my tears. However, I failed and a few tears slipped through my shut eyelids as my shoulders shook with the sobs I was holding in.
Willow pulled away after I calmed down from a few minutes of her stroking my head as she held me. She gave me a gentle smile as she wiped my tear-stained cheeks with her calloused hand and said. "Now how about we slice up that cake, grab the tea and peach buns and move to the back porch to enjoy them."
Giving a wet chuckling at her suggestion, we did just that. As we ate, the sun further descended from the sky and slowly the moon rose to take its place. By this time, we ate the peach buns and half the ice cream cake and I decided to start heading home holding the dagger and the jade necklace hanging from my neck front and center.
Entering the house and closing and locking the door behind me. I climbed the stairs to my bedroom. looking around while getting changed into a tank top and some loose yoga pants, I thought about Willow said about me being lonely.
Her word hit a little to close to home. In fact, she hit the nail on the head. I really hated my life. It was so empty. Even when mom was home the house felt empty and lifeless. Probably because she spends so much time away, it feels like I'm in the presence of a stranger so I spent more time with Lian. Spending time with Lian only did so much to keep the feelings away. Thinking about this and the words Lian said to me and how true they really were made the tears rise again, only this time I didn't try to stop them. I just curled up on my bed and let them flow.
In truth what I really wanted was a proper family. One where I didn't have to walk a few minutes just to get a good morning. One where I could laugh and enjoy a meal with the people i love the most. I didn't care if they're blood or not, I just wanted to have a family where I could let my guard down and just be myself.
I cried and cried, holding the dagger in one hand and the precious jade the other. I lost track of time but by the time I stopped with the waterworks and the sniffles took over, the moon was high in the sky and the stars were brighter than ever.
Looking at them, I thought about the day and spoke my birthday wish out loud. "I wish I had a real family. One where I was loved for who I really am."
A faint green flash of light came from my hand, causing me to look down and open it. The jade flashed twice this time, almost like a heartbeat. "What the hell?" I whispered, a little freaked out.
It flashed again, but brighter this time. It kept doing this for a few minutes and each minute that passed I got more and more scared. It flashed faster and faster while each time it flashed, it got brighter until it was blinding. I covered my eyes to protect them while clutching the dagger in my hand as the light was almost constant not realizing that my body was becoming transparent now.
"WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING?!! SOMEONE HELP!!" I screamed out in terror. The green light was so intense that even with my eyes closed and my arms covering my face, I felt like I was staring into the sun. The sudden feeling of free-falling sent my stomach flying to my throat before hitting the ground. Black spots dotted my eyesight and a feeling of lightheadedness swept over my body. Making me just lay there, enjoying the cool floor.
I opened my eyes slightly, just enough to see if the jade pendant had stopped glowing. Unfortunately, that just made me get a splitting headache. fortunately, it had, however, I couldn't see anything else. I'm not sure if it was because my eyes were still sensitive or because it was too dark to see. It was faint but I also heard sounds that didn't belong in my bedroom like the sound of rushing water, bullfrogs, and crickets. The sounds of the night
Too tired to think of anything else, I closed my eyes and let myself be sung to sleep by the night's lullaby and the feeling of a cool breeze.