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Ariel's collections of short stories

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1Ariel's collections of short stories Empty Ariel's collections of short stories 6th November 2013, 23:48

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

I have so often odd dreams and sometimes I dream stories so here we go this story got made. Who knows if this is real or fiction I will never say so just enjoy a good story while it lasts.

Any thoughts, comments or suggestions either post it here or send me a PM Smile

Last edited by Ariel Buttercup on 15th December 2019, 20:18; edited 2 times in total

2Ariel's collections of short stories Empty Incomplete - Part 1 6th November 2013, 23:49

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

All my life I knew something was missing but for a long time I didn’t know what it was. When I was fifteen I thought it would be nice additional to your own, biological kids to adopt one or two. Just because there are so many children that are in need of a home, a family and then when I left home -a home I was often not happy in. My father was a drinker, not the violent kind but the kind that slept all day and spent all money on more booze; a mother that rather spend her days at work then at home and a brother that was too spoilt to see my pain. I did try to fill the emptiness in my heart with my extended family but my aunt, grandmother and grandfather lived too far away and I was just too scared to tell them how alone I felt. I understood. I was missing a family, the warmth of this perfect Christmas morning. So I decided that I will adopt a child, no not I but my future husband and I will adopt a child. But the time passed and I started to understand that… there is no husband coming at least not in time to wait for him to adopt a child. 
I am twenty six now turning twenty seven this year and you might think I am still young and there are ages for children and a future but I was alone, I was hurting, I was cold… no I felt cold. Yes I was considering seeing a psychologist but then would this really help? I was happy in my life, I had lovely girl friends (not the sexual way just as in female friends), a lovely apartment, and an adorable cat but still I could not stop about the thought of a child. A child I could love so much, all I wanted was to share the love in my heart. I felt that all my life I just wanted to love someone who loved me back but there was no one. 
In the oddest moments I realised what I was missing. When I bought a tiny t-shirt for my cat to calm her down at night I thought I die on the inside. When I washed this t-shirt and took it out of the washing machine I wanted to curl up on the floor and weep my eyes out. And the hardest part was, I couldn’t tell anyone what I truly felt.
I’m not sure why but applied for a job down south. It was just autumn before my twenty seven’s birthday and I didn’t thought I would get it but then the scientist called, he was German just like me and just like me he had no support through his time at university. He had managed it, he was a success but he understood why I failed at least academically. I made a live. I had a plan to pay back my student loan before the calculated last payment. He saw me as success and wanted me to see this too. He didn’t know me other than my application and the covering letter I wrote for it where I explained myself. So there he was calling me just after Halloween telling me that he needs a personal assistant not the job I applied for but still well paid. I first wasn’t sure but then he said he needs someone that speaks German his family just came into the UK and he wanted his wife to have someone that would really understand her. I thought about it a while longer and then after a few days he called me again telling me that he looked at the available money and said that he would pay my student loan off all at once rather than giving me more money at least for a few months possibly a year or two not that I needed a pay raise when I got already a very good pay and he would pay my moving expenses. It was hard to say no so I talked to my flatmate and we both knew that I would be leaving before Christmas. It would mean I have to get my mother a different plane ticket. It was not a refundable or changeable ticket but managed to change it anyway, Lilly ’s father gave her some miles for tickets to London. So all that was left was to find a new flatmate for Lilly. And luck stayed on my side, a calm theological student was in need of a flat and she was nice and clean and Lilly was okay with her. Well the goodbye of me and Lilly was actually tearful. All my things were packed Yvaine was strapped into her car harness and was sitting on the passenger seat of the moving van I was prepared with music on my iPod and had an re-charger for my phone so that I had a working navigation system and friendly female voice telling me which way to go.
I’m not sure why but applied for a job down south. It was just autumn before my twenty seven’s birthday and I didn’t thought I would get it but then the scientist called, he was German just like me and just like me he had no support through his time at university. He had managed it, he was a success but he understood why I failed at least academically. I made a live. I had a plan to pay back my student loan before the calculated last payment. He saw me as success and wanted me to see this too. He didn’t know me other than my application and the covering letter I wrote for it where I explained myself. So there he was calling me just after Halloween telling me that he needs a personal assistant not the job I applied for but still well paid. I first wasn’t sure but then he said he needs someone that speaks German his family just came into the UK and he wanted his wife to have someone that would really understand her. I thought about it a while longer and then after a few days he called me again telling me that he looked at the available money and said that he would pay my student loan off all at once rather than giving me more money at least for a few months possibly a year or two not that I needed a pay raise when I got already a very good pay and he would pay my moving expenses. It was hard to say no so I talked to my flatmate and we both knew that I would be leaving before Christmas. It would mean I have to get my mother a different plane ticket. It was not a refundable or changeable ticket but managed to change it anyway, Lilly ’s father gave her some miles for tickets to London. So all that was left was to find a new flatmate for Lilly. And luck stayed on my side, a calm theological student was in need of a flat and she was nice and clean and Lilly was okay with her. Well the goodbye of me and Lilly was actually tearful. All my things were packed Yvaine was strapped into her car harness and was sitting on the passenger seat of the moving van I was prepared with music on my iPod and had an re-charger for my phone so that I had a working navigation system and friendly female voice telling me which way to go. 
“I’ll call you as every time I take a break. I’ll be fine.”
“I know you will be. And still I will miss you. With whom am I going to the cinema?”
“We will go together with headsets and we go at the same time. And you see if there is a university close by you are interested to study at. Yvaine needs her auntie. And I need my pink monster.”
We hugged a last time and then I got into my van, the car would bring me to my new life, my new adventure. It might sounded crazy to some people but I had sent in my applications for adoption. I had an appointment with my support social so that she could visit my home. I found a flat, no… not a flat but a house. It had two bedrooms on the second floor, a large attic, a living room with a fireplace, a large kitchen, a laundry room, a small pantry, and mostly important the garden. The landlord was a nice older Lady and her husband Mr and Mrs Miller they lived next door. It was six in the morning when I left Aberdeen I had a coffee and more to refill me, some driver breakfast and some treats for Yvaine including her toilet in the foot space. She had got something to calm her nerves and she was quite calm, luckily I had the idea to use a used sheet to cover the seat. So it smelled more like home.
I called Lilly as promised every break I took. Once she talked for a while on the phone while I drove. We talked about many things, as so often we talked about the book series we were writing together. I always loved writing but I started to see that that I might not was a novelist, maybe I was just made to write short stories. But it didn’t matter with Lilly I have written three books so far and it didn’t look like we were done soon. Yvaine was sleeping again on the seat next to me. 
Some people never thought of driving from one end to the other of the UK as annoying and stupid but I thought it was amazing. I calmed down. I had one week to move, well I decided I will drive down in one day and then have six days to unpack all my things.
Maybe I should explain more about myself about the life I had before the life I deserved. I am from German but feel more at home speaking and writing English, my English is not perfect but it feels natural. I left Germany and home when I was nineteen, I went to Canada to work on a ranch in the middle of nowhere British Columbia and I just loved it and I knew I would work very hard to come back after I left. I work three months on that ranch it was the hardest work I’ve ever done but at the same time it were really amazing months. After that I went to Vancouver to work as nanny. I was so worried that I might had to leave earlier that I took any job and ended up with one lovely family but I had to leave them for about seven week in the middle of my stay. That family in those seven weeks, they were nice people but rich like stinky rich and unfortunately they acted like that but I made a lot of money and got a free trip to Maui. I loved my second family in Vancouver, I felt like a part of the family. I have many fond memories of Gretchen and Adam and their two daughters Lilac and Susie. And seeing them now being young ladies makes me feel old. I wonder if they remember me the way I remember them.
After my time in Canada I spend some month home, well it weren’t the best months. I was very glad when I left for college in Brunswick the town my maternal grandparents are coming from. Those two years at college turned into a time I will look back forever dearly. I made good friend some I call sister, I found to god with a community that loved me and last but not least this two years made me want to leave Germany for good. It started after a year the summer when I went to work as nanny in England. It was a weird job. I was nanny for a fifteen year old and the day I left they weren’t even home or ever said goodbye. But I got paid to clean a little, do a little housework, sometimes cook and watch TV. And it made my decision to go to Britain. 
Finding Aberdeen as place to study was sort of easy, ‘A’ comes first in the alphabet so I applied here and I got accepted and I thought Aberdeen is cheaper living as in Edinburgh were I also got accepted. My first year I stayed in halls and I met some of my best friends there. Some friends I see as my sisters. I worked during my time at university at a famous fast food restaurant and let’s say it like this I saw one corner of hell. But I grew everyday a little bit more. And the longer I lived here the more I knew I want more than just an okay life, I wanted a family.
So now four years later I am at the point to leave and explore a new city. Oxford here I come.
I had sent in my applications for adoption two weeks before I left and have the meeting with the social worker that is assigned to my case. I will meet her the first day after I arrived. But Ellie knew that and she said that was fine. I was looking forward to this meeting. 
The last two hours of driving I drove alone, no phone conversations just me and my phone telling me what way to go. And then at six in the evening I stopped in front of my new house. It was a lovely double house, my landlord the Millers were living next door. I spoke with Mrs Miller several times at the phone, I paid my rent and deposit, and I knew this house she had shown me pictures and even made a video tour for me. Yvaine woke up and looked expecting at me. “I’ll get you in a minute.”
I sat her in her basket and got out of my van and stretched a little. I was pretty much sitting in this van for twelve hours, with a few breaks but still I was sitting and now I was glad I arrived.
“I’m home.” A small smiled appeared on my face as I walked to the Miller’s front door but it flew open before I reached it.
“Oh child come on in, I’ve got your keys here and the contract. I made stake pies for dinner would you like some?” Mrs Miller was a small, a little heavy old English Lady unfortunately childless.
“Hello. Do you mind if I just sign and go in my house? I maybe just order some pizza. I had a long drive and would to just relax.” I smiled tired at her.
“Of course. Okay let’s see. This is the front and backdoor key. There are keys in every door but you said you would like to change that right. My husband will come around when you are settled and exchange the locks for just cover plates. And this is the key for the garden shed and this one here for the bike shed here at the side. You can park your car on this parking spot it still belongs to the property. I think that is all. Oh and this is the contract did you manage to read it?”
“Yes I read it and I agree with all of it. I’m sorry I don’t want to be rude.”
“Oh child you are not rude just had a long day I understand.” Mrs Miller handed me a pen and I signed her and my copy and took the keys. “Child may I make a suggestion?”
“You will want to remember this moment go get Yvaine and let me take a picture of you two.” Mrs Miller was a very warm old Lady and I liked that, she had something grandmotherly like. I got Yvaine on her leash from the car, held her on my arm and smiled from my front door into the camera. Mrs Miller was right I did want to remember this moment.
“Oh I forgot the internet you ordered arrived. My husband installed it all and I well I tried it to see if it is working. I’m sorry I know I shouldn’t have opened the letter but I wanted to make sure that it works when it got switched on this morning and it works fine.”
“Thank you. Do you mind holding Yvaine for a moment so that I can get her litter tray?”
“No problem, it is a little odd that she walks on a leash.”
I laughed as I got the litter tray from the van. “I know many people are confused but I don’t want her to be unsupervised outside. She is very curious and at the same time very scared. Mrs Miller please let me know before your husband comes around to change the door locks because Yvaine is afraid of men.”
“Oh dear. I will tell him not to approach her.”
“Thanks.” I took Yvaine’s leash, unlocked the door and went in the house.
“I’ll see you around. As soon you are settled in you can come over for a chat and a cup of tea and you can bring Yvaine along, my Poochy will like her.” Mrs Miller padded my hand and left. I went in the living room it was a large room with many possible ways to get hurt so I took Yvaine and brought her into the small bathroom including her small little tray and her blanket. “It won’t be long I promise. I just get all stuff in and then you can come out and explore the house as soon there are more little trays in the house.” I left the front door open and carried one box after the other inside I piled them in the hallway at one side against the wall. Luckily I didn’t have to carry the boxes two floors up again, so it took me just about an hour and then I closed the front door. I turned on my laptop and some music. “Okay let’s do this.” I took two hair ties and tied my hair into two ponytails and then got the corner little tray to put it in the living room and the other one in the hall upstairs. Yvaine’s food bowls I put in the hallway and put in water and some dry food in the two bowls. And then I let her out of the bathroom. “Welcome in our new home Yvaine.”
I smiled this was good. Dadub the sound my laptop made when someone wrote on my Facebook wall. I went to the box where my laptop was standing on, I started giggling. “Hello Lilly.” I said while I typed ‘Skype?’ as a comment on her question if I’m okay. Just a minute later Lilly called me. 
“Hey how were the last hours of the drive?”
“It was good, how is good old Aberdeen?”
“Who cares how is the new house?” Lilly grinned.
“It is fine. I just got all my boxes in and will now start unpacking and then ASDA should come between eight and nine. So you want to watch me unpack my kitchen?” I joked.
“Yes, Sonja is… well she is quiet, nice, polite and clean but she is not so much into movies she prefers books which I normally like but she is also not very keen on music. I hope you know that you are evil because you going to Oxford makes me have to apply at Oxford University and then I will get crushed because I am not getting accepted and I have to work this year even harder then ever before.”
“I’m sorry to tickle more out of you.” Yvaine came in the kitchen and jumped on the chair behind me. 
“Aw my little Oreo Cookie. She looks perfect.” Lilly squeaked which made me laugh.
“I know she didn’t mind the long drive at all I think she liked to get to go outside every few hours. Okay honeybun listen as much as I like talking to you it is a little bit weird that you watch me unpack and rearrange my kitchen. Shall we talk in the next few days?”
Lilly sighed but nodded. “Okay, just don’t find a new pink monster.”
I laughed. “Okay I just find a monster in a new colour. Love you.”
“Love you too.”
I switched off Skype and went back to unpacking and then I opened the cupboard next to the fridge and was surprised to find tea and sugar in it. It made me curious so I opened other cupboards and then the bread box and there was some bread and it didn’t look old. A smile crossed my face. I had a hunch and opened the fridge where I found, cheese, milk, some butter spread and a dish with a vegetable bake with a note attached. Just heat it in the oven and you have a nice but light dinner for your first night.
“I can get used to having a landlord so well looking after me.” I turned around and put the dish in the oven, and also put on a kettle to make some tea. I worked hard and managed to unpack my kitchen in a little over an hour. And Yvaine explored so far just the ground floor, at the moment she didn’t go up the stairs which I thought was hilarious. 
“Okay Yvaine let’s move on into the living room.” I started taking boxes labelled with Books and DVDs and started unpacking those including the boxes with blankets, pillows and other living room objects. The living room was quickly unpacked, I didn’t sort yet the book and DVDs I just put them in the shelves. It was a shame that my DVD collection had shrunk immensely. It was by then nearly eight but I didn’t feel like just waiting for ASDA so I started taking boxes upstairs. I first got out my bed stuff, pillows, duvets and bed linen and started making my bed. I heard Yvaine meow at the bottom of the stairs. “Oh Yvaine it is just some stairs.”
I went back downstairs and got some treats and put on each step one. And then went back upstairs. “It’s okay Yvaine they are just stairs you can jump and I know you can walk up stairs so just get over it and join me upstairs. I’m not carrying you.” 
I just finished setting my bed when ASDA rang. I smiled, my doorbell was quite a nice melody. 
“Hello ASDA.”
“So there are some substitutes if you can have a look please.”
“Yes they are all fine.” 
“This is quite a large shopping today.”
“Well I just moved.” I started to sound defensive.
“I see.” 
I took all bags in, quickly signed and then locked my door as soon the deliverer left. “Okay so let’s get this put away.” Yvaine was just sitting at the door to the entrance hall. “Why am I not surprised that you are staring at me through the door.”
I had so much food now, but I also had the pantry to fill with food including my large freezer. I opened the bottle of red wine I also ordered and poured myself a glass and then when all food was put away I planned to get back upstairs when suddenly the phone rang.
“Hello Emily , I’m sorry I don’t mean to disturb you. Listen in my garden is this old tree, it is not dead just not carrying any cherries anymore. My husband said he could turn it into a scratch pole for your cat.”
“Oh that would be amazing thank you. But the base of it has to be heavy, heavier as you might expect.”
“He says that is fine. He will get to it tomorrow. Also I forgot to mention the house has an alarm system. The manual should be in the kitchen.” Mrs Miller said. “I would feel saver if you activate it, the cost for it is inclusive in the rent.”
“Oh okay I will look into it. Thanks.” I smiled and we hung up. Setting up the alarm system was quite easy I called the local security system company and about fifteen minutes later I had an alarm system that was alive. 
I went back upstairs and finished unpacking my clothes until all boxes for my bedroom were empty. By then it was midnight, Yvaine had found her way upstairs and her blanket in my bed. She had had her dinner and was now snuggled on her blanket. I smiled had my first shower in the master’s bedroom bath and then snuggled into my bed next to Yvaine myself. All in all it was a very successful moving day. 
It was Saturday morning just after eight when I woke up. I had about two hours before Ellie would be coming. I gave Yvaine her breakfast and tidied the house. The meeting with Ellie went very well, she met Yvaine -and noticed what a cute, funny little cat she was-, she looked at the house and the two spare bedrooms, and the garden. Not to mention the chat we had about me. All in all it was very informative and nice to meet Ellie. I knew she would help me as much as she could. She knew that I was one of the strongest adoption candidates recently applied for adoption. 
My moving week passed and I started to work, me and Yvaine settled in well in Oxford. Time passed and no real news from the adoption front. But I was also not rejected. So I stayed hopeful. 
Nothing really happened that autumn I did enjoy to work for Professor Eppelstein. He was a biologist, a zoologist to be precise his speciality was molluscs, octopus. An area I was very interested as well. Professor Eppelstein was a very nice older man; he was working for a while now for the University of Oxford but since this September he had moved his studies permanently to Oxford and with him his wife and two older sons, they were nearly teenager and were more out then at home. His wife Doris was a house wife but she was also very busy in charity work. They invited me every other week for dinner. I found a nice church community, once a week I went a little later to work and helped in the morning with the Toddler Group of my church and on Thursdays I went to a bible study group for young parents. And additionally I had my parenting course a requirement to be considered as adoption mother.
My mother came to Christmas with the help of Lilly’s father and his collected miles, it was a nice to have her in Oxford and for her to see the life I built for me. It was a good life. Lilly came at the twenty-seventh, so I had for three days two guest and it was lovely. We had a very good time my mother left early in the morning, insanely early her train left before six. Lilly was so kind to bring her with me to the train station and then we found a pub that was open already or still we weren’t sure. Both of us were so tired, we were half asleep when my phone rang. Lilly and I nearly jumped off our chairs but I answered it.
“Good morning Emily, it’s Ellie did I wake you?”
“Oh no my mom just left so Lilly and I are having breakfast. Not that it is very good and the pub is a little… doggy too. What did I do that you call at barely six in the morning?”
“I’ve got one for you.” Ellie said calmly but with this weird undertone.
“What?” Yeah I’m not the quickest in the morning.
“Okay easy and slowly to take notes. Seven days ago a young mother gave birth to a child and well she was an orphan herself and last night she passed away. I don’t know how but your profile ended up in the index that you normally get put after a year of waiting. Anyway you were in it. And the young girl she picked you, her doctor worked as witness she signed all parental rights to you which makes you the mother of the infant in the hospital waiting. The file I got is very incomplete I can’t even tell you if it is a boy or girl. But the hospital is aware of the situation and I will meet you there how fast can you be at the hospital?”
I stared into space for several moments. “Um about thirty minutes.”
“Okay so get going. I’ll meet you at St John Radcliffe maternity ward.” Ellie giggled and hung up.
“Oh my gosh Lilly, that was Ellie a mother picked me to adopt her child if I remember right she said the mother just passed away. I need to go to St John Radcliffe hospital. I understand if you say no but do you want to come with me to meet my baby?”
Lilly looked at me for a while. “Are you kidding me? Of course I want to meet your baby! Come on get moving this food is shit anyway.” Lilly got her wallet out threw some money on the table and pushed me out of the door. We got dressed on the way to the bus stop and just arrived with the next bus. We were both too nervous to talk. We just stared out of the window hoped the bus would go faster. Finally after an eternity -or you know about twenty five minutes- we arrived at the hospital bus stop both of us were running to the maternity leave and there was Ellie.
“Is this really true?” I was out of breath and sweaty and too over the moon to grasp any of this.
“Yes. Emily come with me and meet your child.” Ellie smiled widely. Lilly and I followed her into the nursery there were so many babies and then there she was the most adorable little girl with black hair and dark blue eyes. “Emily may I introduce you to your daughter. She has no name yet her biological mother got very sick after the delivery and everyone knew it was just a matter of time. She didn’t even want to see her or hold her. But she did assign you as her adoptive mother all papers are legal and right. A judge will make the decision binding after a period of transition but it looks as if your dream of being a mommy came true.” Ellie stepped aside and let me meet the little girl. She was so perfect. She started crying seeing all those people around her bed.
“Hello my little Munchkin. I’m your new mommy.” I picked her up and held her close to my heart, quietly humming a song I knew from a children’s TV show I used to watch when I was younger. For some time I forgot the people around me and just had eyes for my daughter. I was sitting in the rocking chair and fed her the bottle a nurse had given me. When I suddenly looked up and found Ellie’s face. “Nanami Elenna Alexandra Wagner.”
“That sounds beautiful, does Nanami have a meaning?” Ellie smiled warmly at me.
“Yes it depends what kanji characters you use but the version I will use means seven sea1.” I looked around the room and found Lilly. “Hey. Don’t be scared come here and hold your goddaughter.”
Lilly looked at me. “Seriously? Me?”
“Who else then my pink monster?” I smiled when the nurse pushed another chair closer to me and Lilly sat down. “Okay Hannah was older when you first met her, so you make sure you hold Nanami’s head, and other then that it is hard to do anything wrong.”
I carefully put Nanami in Lilly’s arm and I saw the miracle happen Lilly fell in love with her goddaughter. “She is gorgeous.”
“You okay holding her for a minute and while I talk to the doctors?”
“Sure just don’t go too far.” Lilly seemed a little scared to be alone with the little girl.
“Okay so when can I take her home?” I looked at the paediatrician.
“Right away. There is just some paperwork to be filled out. And since this was rather sudden we have some things you can take. Many parents that lose their children do not want the clothes, nappies, even buggies and carriers. This is the girl’s, what did you say her name is again?”
“Nanami Elenna Alexandra.” I smiled I knew people would think of the name as weird and too long but I liked it and thought it was a nice name.
“Yes, this is Nanami’s medical history. Her birth went normal for her, just her biological mother had complications which caused her to pass away during last night. The agency will provide you with the suitable information about the mother. Nanami is born on the twenty second at quarter past twelve at night. She weight seven pounds and ten ounces and is completely healthy, she has a health visitor assigned to her who will contact you well properly after the New Year. Feel free to call here if there are any problems. Many mothers here were so nice and donated some of their mother milk so she is good to go to be fed formula and still got her first important anti-bodies.”
I read through the papers and report of her birth and had a stack of photographs of her since she was born.
“Miss Wagner?” The paediatrician looked at me seriously. “Nanami’s biological mother had decided before she knew that she was dying to give her up for adoption, she never wanted children and got pregnant through a fluke but she couldn’t decide to whom she want to give it and then last night she looked at the profiles again and found you. At first she wasn’t convinced but then read your letter why you want to adopt and then she knew, that you are the right woman to raise Nanami.”
“Thank you.” I smiled signed and filled in all paperwork and then a few minutes later one of the nurses had packed me a care package. An hour after we arrived at the hospital we left with a bag of clothes, nappies, wipes, bottles, formula and a swing, a maxi cosy that I can also use as car seat and also a strap on carrier in which Nanami was now sleeping tightly against my chest. We took the bus back home.
I unlocked the door and looked at my house, my home and suddenly my lovely home turned into the most wonderful place.
“You think I’m crazy?” I giggled, while we took off our coats.
“A little bit, but I understand it. Okay I need to call my mother is it okay if I quickly do that while you settle Nanami? I mean I help you with anything you need to.”
“Sure go ahead call her. I’ll put her to bed in the swing in the kitchen and then I make some proper breakfast while I post my happy news.” I took the food bag and the swing and went in the kitchen. “Yvaine we’ve got a new family member.” Yvaine came curious in the kitchen where I put the swing on the floor so that Yvaine could have a look at the baby. I put Nanami in the swing and put on a kettle for some coffee and tea. Yvaine was sniffing at the baby and I crouched down. “That is our new family member her name is Nanami. Nanami this is our kitten Yvaine. You two will be good friends okay?”
Nanami looked with her big dark blue eyes at Yvaine it was funny but it felt as if the two are having a conversation without words. I got my phone and took a picture of my two girls and used it to add my new family member. It was fascinating how quickly people comments on a photo. A little while later Lilly came in the kitchen.
“Okay I talked to my mom and thought about it I am honoured that you picked me to as her godmother and as my first act as godmother you and me will do some shopping for my little goddaughter.” Lilly smiled. “Should we not put her on the table than the floor? I mean just in case.” But Lilly had just finished her sentence when Yvaine lay down below her and started purring.
“I guess that answers your question, but you are right we should. I hope you know I don’t expect you to buy anything for her.”
“I know but she is just too cute.” Lilly grinned and put her on the table while I went in the pantry and got some of the home premade waffles that I froze.
“We just need to heat those up and then I have homemade chocolate almond spread. Do you want a coffee or tea or a hot chocolate?”
“Tea sounds good, let me help you.” Lilly said but didn’t get up, well she had taken the notepad I kept in the kitchen to write shopping lists and now Lilly wrote one.
“Okay so my mother said Nanami needs a cot, and a changing table, clothes, and cloths. Oh and a buggy…”
A phone ringing interrupted her. “Just a second.” I picked up my German mobile and answered it. “Hello mom.”
“Is your aunt right? Did you just post that you got a daughter? I thought this whole adoption thing takes two years? I mean I just got off the plane and Anja greets me with. ‘Welcome back, what is going on with your daughter she got a child?’”
“It happened very sudden this morning. I’ve got a call from my social worker while Lilly and I had breakfast. Nanami is five days old and completely healthy.”
“This is the most hideous idea you ever had!” And with that my mother hung up I knew I wouldn’t hear from her for a while because she thought I’m ruining my life. Weird I just paid back my student loan, and had a very good paid job with amazing times. “Oh job I need to call Professor Eppelstein.”
“Wait did your mother just hung up?”
“Are you surprised?”
Lilly shook her had looked at Nanami and decided it was not worth to spoin this happy moment of sad thoughts. “Okay they have quite some nice things at ASDA. Oh my gosh those waffles are amazing.” Lilly looked at me curious and amazed.
“Okay we’ll ask Mrs Miller if we can borrow her car, she properly says yes. Let’s see we need to take some nappies and wipes another vest and top in case she throws up. I don’t have a jacket yet so we need to put some layers on her and take a blanket. Also just in case a bottle of boiled water so that we can make another bottle of formula in case she gets hungry. Let me call Mrs Miller.” I had a constant happy smile plaster on my face and it felt so good.
Just a few minutes later I came back with the car keys for Mrs Millers' small Ford, and I was on the phone again. “Professor Eppelstein, I’m so sorry to disturb you at home during your holidays but something very important came up.” I waved the car keys to show Lilly that we could go as soon as I was done with this phone call.
“Are you okay Emily?”
“Yes I’m fine, better then fine, I’ve told you that I applied for adoption?”
“Yes I forgot to tell you, your social worker asked if I could write a reference for you. I sent it like a month ago.”
“I’ve got a phone call this morning and they found a child for me, well sort of the biological mother chose me as the adoptive mother. I am the mother of a seven day old girl.” I looked at Nanami she seemed calm nevertheless that two strangers just took her away from the only place she knew.
“Oh dear Lord, that is wonderful. I didn’t want to pressure you or anything but I was adopted when I was six and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. What is her name?”
“Nanami it means seven sea.”
“That is beautiful. Okay so you are on holidays until the fifth and then form the sixth you are on maternity leave. Just a moment my wife asks me something.” For a while I heard muffled sounds and then Professor Eppelstein was back. “Okay Emily, my wife says you have to come around church. There are things you might need and they are there for families in need. And it is silly to buy clothes she will outgrow properly in a week.”
“Okay any chance we can come right away before we go to ASDA?”
Another silence followed and then. “Yes Tara is going over right away.”
“Oh thanks so much. I’ll see that I come around when you are back in the office to talk about the conditions of the maternity leave.”
Barely fifteen minutes later I parked the car outside my church, Tara had sent me a text that she was already inside. “She is in the community house, that’s where all the charity objects are kept.” 
I picked up Nanami with the Maxi Cosy and went followed by Lilly in the community house.
Tara gave me a big hug and was delighted to meet Nanami. We didn’t spend that long with Tara but I did find some clothes and toys I liked and took with me. It was good though to see Tara, I might not showed it but I was rather nervous of being a mom overnight and she calmed me down a little. “Call me whenever you need something.”
We were quite a long time in ASDA so long that we ended up having lunch at the retail park we spend some more hours at the retail park and then drove home with one full car. The rest of the day we childproof the house to a certain degree and placed baby monitors, took down the single bed and turned it into a nursery. It was six when I took Nanami in the second bathroom which I rearranged to a children’s bathroom with toys and funny decorations, a stool to reach the toilet and the sink and some fun towels. Well and for now a second changing table. “Hey I quickly bath Nanami, you can watch TV or don’t know what to do or you can come with me.”
“I would like to come with you.” Lilly smiled shy.
“Sure. You bought her so much stuff you can join me any time.”
Nanami seemed to like bathing and getting so much attention.
“You make it look so easy.” Lilly looked impressed at me.
“I’ve just done this before. It is not that difficult.” I gently rinsed her little body with the soft Ramer sponge. “Okay Munchkin let’s get you dried.” I took the soft towel and wrapped her in it.
“I still can’t believe you are using real nappies.” Lilly watched me put on the nappy and the prepared pyjama. “Okay Nanami time for your bottle and then it is bedtime for you missy.”
Nanami was sleepy but still alert. Not long after her bath I put her into bed, Lilly was in the living room and let me bring my daughter alone to bed for the first time.
“Okay Nanami this is the big one. ‘I'm tired, now I rest, I close both my little eyes, Father, let your eyes be over my bed. Have I done wrong today, You see it not, beloved God. Your mercy and Christ's blood forgive all sins. Everyone I care about, God let them rest in your hand! All people, both little and tall. Should be followers of you. Send rest to sick hearts, let teary eyes be closed; Let the moon stand in the heavens, and shine upon the peaceful world!’ And the little one goes like this. ‘I am little my heart is pure, that no one dwell within but Jesus alone.’” Nanami was wearing her sleeping back and was all snuggled up. I switched on the night light, made sure the camera was pointed on Nanami and then I went out and closed the door behind me. Lilly was in the kitchen making a cup of tea.
“Is she sleeping?” Lilly looked up surprised.
“Nearly.” I showed her the monitor. Nanami was lying in the bed still awake but looking sleepy up at the mobile that was slowly spinning above her bed.
“It is so weird. Hannah never goes on her own to sleep.” Lilly looked so surprised at me that I couldn’t help it but laugh.
“Well I don’t want Nanami to be a difficult child. I’m a single mom no way in hell I make her a crier. I need an independent child, she and I need to be a team.”

Lilly was pretty much every day surprised how relaxed and easy it seemed for me to take care of Nanami. We just had a small New Years Eve, well as small as a trip to Piccadilly including an infant in her buggy and carrier was. Nanami was super interested in seeing so many new people and things. It was a lot of fun we took the first train back to Oxford and luckily Nanami had not slept a lot during the night either so she didn’t mind having a slow day.
“Did your mom answer your phone calls yet?”

3Ariel's collections of short stories Empty Incomplete - Part 2 15th December 2019, 21:01

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

“No she didn’t which annoys me a lot. I mean come on so many people answered and Anja even send a small package. But my own mother refuses to talk to me because I heaven forbid adopted a child.” I looked angry away from Nanami, Lilly crouched over and hugged me tightly.
“At least you have me.” Lilly kissed me amicable on the cheek. I was sad when Lilly left me and Nanami a few days after New Years Eve.
I managed to establish a daily routine with Nanami. And it was a good one. On Monday mornings we went swimming, on Tuesdays we had breakfast with Mrs Miller, on Wednesday we went to the Toddler group at church, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday it was just me and Nanami or at least we had no set in stone things. On Sundays we went to church and Nanami settled in the crèche group right away. It was weird my own mother did not talk to me or knew anything about my life, or my daughter or my life with my daughter while so many other people knew exactly how we were. I had created an email account for Nanami and ever so often I send pictures, videos and emails to this account.
It was the first week of February, I was rather tired and felt weird for a while now but I had a newborn to take care of so I assumed that was the reason why I was tired but I still went to the doctors and the results were terrifying. “… Miss Wagner… I’m sorry to tell you… you are having breast cancer…” For a long time I was just sitting in the doctor’s office and didn’t know what to say and then suddenly when the sun shone through the window getting reflected from the clock at the wall.
“So how do we fight this? I am not dying!” I looked determined at my oncologist.
Later that evening I called Lilly I was going to call her anyway but then after some conversation I said it. “Lilly? I have bad news.”
“What is wrong? Are you okay?” Lilly looked worried at me and I knew it was wrong to tell her like this but I had no chance, my mother was still refusing to talk to me and I didn’t know how to tell anyone else.
“No I’m not okay and so far no one knows and I don’t know how to tell people. Okay there is no way of sugar coating it so I just say it. I have breast cancer.”
For a while Lilly just stared into the camera. “Is this is a really bad joke?”
“No. I wish it would be. My doctor and I have a treatment plan. I will have a mastectomy of both of my breast, the created opening will be injected with chemo and then I will get a smaller implant for reconstruction.”
“Oh my God Em. What the hell! You have a baby.” Lilly looked now angry at me.
“I didn’t choose to get cancer.” I tried to defend myself.
Lilly sighed. “Okay so you have a plan?”
“Yes I do. I just need to figure out who can help me with Nanami. I will be two days at the hospital and then for about a week I will be very tired. But I will work something out. My doctor and I are very optimistic and so far it looks good, that cancer does not seem to have spread. It will be fine.”
This conversation was four days old and it was the afternoon before my operation Nanami and Yvaine would spend the night at Mrs Miller’s and when I came home she would help me. I had packed my bag and was playing with Nanami when suddenly the doorbell rang. I didn’t expect anyone, or anything.
“Oh my God Lilly what are you doing here?” I pulled Lilly into the small entrance hall.
“I couldn’t let you do this on your own. I’m here the next two weeks and I will help you. I’ve got some simple recipes I can cook, I practiced them and I will take care of Nanami and Yvaine and you.” Lilly pushed me into the hall while she took off her coat. “I also took the liberty of ordering some ASDA it will come in two hours so that I have soup and stuff for you.”
“I can’t believe you are here.” I stared at her and was in an awe state.
“I would never let you go through this alone!” Lilly hugged me tightly again, Lilly wasn’t a hugging person but right now she was. I put my arms around her. “Thank you.”
That night Lilly and I spend in the living room watching TV and talking about the times we had together.
And then the morning came, Lilly went with me. I put on a brave face told her I would be fine but she saw that this time it was fake but she played along. We both needed this lie.
“You go back to Nanami, right?”
“Yes. I don’t like to leave you but I’m taking the next bus and I will be back this afternoon.” She kissed me on the top of my head. “I forbid it that you die!”
“Miss it is time.” One of the nurses said, I nodded and then they wheeled my bed into the elevator and I watched Lilly until the doors were closed. I didn’t know that on the other side Lilly actually cried but very quickly pulled herself together. She had a task on hand. So she went to be with my daughter, while I was having the operation that would decide over my life, that would change my life. When I woke up I was lying on my back, and I hated it. I felt how my back started to hurt but then I realised something else I didn’t like to lie on my back because I felt like my… my big boobs pressuring onto my chest. But now I only felt well it was lighter and sore, I moaned in pain.
“Em are you okay? Is the pain bearable?”
“Lilly?” I mumbled without opening my eyes.
“Yes, I’m here and… so is Nanami. I know I promised not to bring her but she was crying and missing you so much. I’m sorry.” I felt Lilly take my hand and heard Nanami gurgle. “Can I do anything for you?”
“My throat is so dry.” I still wasn’t able to open my eyes.
“I can help with that, open your mouth.” I felt some ice chips slide into my mouth and they tasted like heaven. “Better?”
“Thanks.” I whispered and finally opened my eyes. Nanami looked sleepy at me, I saw that she has been crying quite a fair lot. “Hey baby girl.” I tried to lift my hand but it didn’t work. “Do I look different?”
“Yes. Tired.”
I had to stay one night at the hospital and then Lilly picked me up. I was so tired and felt very nauseous even though my chemotherapy was not as broad but it stilled tired me. For six days Lilly made soup and heated up the dishes my friends from church brought along. I knew I was difficult and making it very hard for Lilly but I was so much in pain and I was barely able to keep anything down or take care for my baby and I started to let out my frustration on Lilly.
I went downstairs after I had napped all afternoon. “Hey.”
“Oh hey. Sorry just talking to my sister. Eva, Em woke up and I will see if she eats something.”
“Oh my goodness Lilly the baby is choking!” Eva shouted totally ignoring that her sister just tried to say goodbye. Lilly looked down at Nanami. “What do you mean she is fine. Eating a cookie.”
“What do you mean eating a cookie, she is what? Three months old?” Eva looked chocked at Lilly and Nanami while she not surprisingly got out her boob to breastfeed her eighteen months old daughter.
“Eva!” Lilly looked shocked at Eva and then at me. It wasn’t that it upset me that Eva was able to breastfeed her daughter, it was the fact that she still breastfed her daughter and freaked out that my daughter ate a well a baby cookie or biscuit as you say in England.
“What the fuck! No one wants to see your bloody tit! Your daughter is old enough, to learn to piss and shit on the toilet and you baby her so much it is sickening! My daughter is three months old, eats biscuits, and even normal food such as pasta, rice and vegetable. And your poor daughter is more baby than my infant daughter. I feel sorry for Hannah! What the fuck is wrong with you that you need her to be difficult! I feel already sick but the disgusting leaking of your daughter’s nappy and the way you treat her makes me have to go throw up which is a shame because I had Macaroni with Cheese for lunch and I kept it down for four hours. So please excuse me I need to go and throw up now.” I stalked away in the small guest bathroom and threw up.
“Hey I put the macaroni in the oven.” Lilly whispered while she was rubbing my back and gently wiped my face with a wet cloth.
“Lilly, I’m sorry I was a bitch and you were the last I should bitch against. Thanks for all your help! I will be better from now on. Maybe we can go for a walk tomorrow.”
Lilly turned me around to smile at me. “You really think that after you yelled so angry at my sister that I take you for a walk?”
“I just said what you were thinking.” I tried to look innocent at her.
“I hate you!”
“I know you do. Come on help me up. I want to get my food and then I will shower. The doctor said I can take of the bandages by now for short times and a shower sounds like a good reason. I must be smelly.”
Lilly helped me up carefully. “Just a little bit, but I simply imagine Shrek is visiting.”
“Thanks.” I was laughing while we went into the kitchen. “Oh this smells good. And I hope you know how much in the past days we look like a couple.”
“I know, this worries me a little bit though.” Lilly said as she peeked through the glass in the oven.
“No worries I’m very much in love with men and not you. I love you but more like the sister I never had.”
“I love you too.” Lilly smiled as she went to get Nanami who was still in the living room.
The next day I did go with Lilly, Nanami and Yvaine for a walk. It was just a short one but still so nice and it felt good to be outside. The last days together I ate better and Lilly and had some fun again. And I was so sad when she left me.
The week after Lilly left Tara came around every day, and of course Mrs Miller, even Mr Miller came around once. The time passed and it looked good. My body hasn’t rejected neither the chemo nor the implants. And I was feeling better, a lot better.
It was end February nearly my mother’s birthday when I went with Yvaine and Nanami out for a walk as I did every day, by now Yvaine was really used to walk next to the buggy. She was now expecting to go for a walk around five in the afternoon every day but today she was rather nervous in the park. It started snowing again and I just wanted to get home but Yvaine had other plans and decided a dirty wet box under a bench was more interesting than going home.
“Come on Yvaine I want to get home, it is just a box properly filled with shit.” I went to pick her up and put her in the basket underneath the buggy but something made me stop and pulled out the box from under the bench, was pretty much falling apart in my hands.
“Oh God!”  The box was filled with puppies, dead puppies. “Oh Yvaine, they are all dead.”
Yvaine was meowing and trying to push the puppies aside, she was very persistent. I still don’t know why but I moved some puppies aside until at the very bottom there was one still warm. “Yvaine!” I put the box in the basket under the buggy put the little puppy in my jacket and ran to the vet. It was weird, Yvaine was actually running by my side as if she knew that it was important.
“I’m sorry I know you are nearly closing but I need your help. I found this box full of puppies I think this one is still alive I don’t know about the others. Please I need your help.”
“Oh dear Lord, come on in I get the vet.” The assistant quickly hurried away with the box and Yvaine jumped on my lap as I sat down and lay around the puppy that was still warm.
“Hello Miss Wagner right?”
“Yes?” I was a little bit confused how they knew me. I only was once at the vet when he called me and said he would like to do a health check on Yvaine to get to know her, it was free which was nice and it was funny I said she never had a proper one because he gets very feisty nearly aggressive when she is at the vet. And to my surprise when I arrive back then at the vet I was greeted in the waiting room and Yvaine got a small amount of oral sedative and just ten minutes later I had a very calm kitten. But at the same time it was nice that he recognised me.
“I looked at all the puppies and unfortunately they are all dead. Would you like me to check the last puppy?” I nodded and the vet took the little puppy from my lap and examined it for a while and then. “Well he is alive at the moment. I can take care of him.”
“No!” I looked at Nanami in the buggy and then Yvaine on my lap. “I’ll take him with me! It is a boy right?”
“Yes it is.” The vet looked at me for a while and then nodded. “I’ll get you some formula powder and other things you need and then you can go home.”
So here I was with an infant daughter, in recovery of a live changing operation and now I had to look after an about four to five weeks old puppy that was badly neglected.
Luckily I was on maternity leave so I was home all day and easily could take care for a puppy and Yvaine actually loved the little one. She took him under her wing and showed him what I expected her not to do and what to do. I named him Thor, are we surprised about that?
Not surprisingly my mother still didn’t talk to me on her birthday but I refuse to let her beat me. So I called her on Skype and left her a video message.
“Hey mom, it’s me Emily, Nanami and Yvaine, and this little one is our newest addition to the family. This is Thor. Yvaine found him last week and the little one is doing great. So here we are from the historic town of Oxford we wish you a wonderful birthday. We hope you like the card we sent you and the ticket is usable within a year and we hope you come to visit us soon. Nanami would love to meet her Oma. Okay I just wanted to say happy birthday and I miss you. I love you mom.” It was so hard for me to hang up, but I did it. I missed her, I missed talking to her and yes I missed the care packages I used to get but not because of the content but because of what everything in them meant it was her odd way of saying ‘Emily I love you’ and not it was gone. Since two months now. I sighed took a sip of my sweet milky tea and had some more chocolate cake. I could not make her talk to me, but I would certainly make sure she knew that I didn’t give up on her.
The funny thing was when I posted a picture of Thor, Nanami, Yvaine and me well everyone told me I was crazy but at the same time I was just too happy to really let it get to me. A long hoped dream came true and I was the mommy of a little black Newfoundland dog.
And then suddenly in the first week of April -Ellie had called me three days ago that she was for three weeks on holidays- one dark Thursday afternoon the phone rang it was my substitute support worker Stephanie.
“Hello Emily. I have wonderful news. We found you well not a child but a sibling pair, twins. They had to be removed from their foster family I sent you this morning an email with their documents so that you could read over them and get to know their background story.”
“Wait a second, first of all I have not received an email and secondly I adopted a child in December I was meant to be taken out of the index.”
For several seconds I only heard the noise of the driving car. “But, I’m in the car with them, they had to be removed from their parents well no not parent but mother and stepfather. The mother is a drunk and addict and the stepfather abused them.”
“You are what?” I looked at the baby monitor, Nanami was still sleeping in her cot. I couldn’t even process the circumstances in which the two girls have lived.
“I’m so sorry, I thought you read the email.”
“For crying out loud I have not received any emails.” I was looking around the kitchen. This was not possible how could I be at the edge of another adoption. “I have to call Frank.”
Frank was the supervisor of Ellie and Stephanie. “Yes, I am literally outside your door.”
“Okay you may come in and bring in the twins. But we have to sort this.” I went to the door and there she was a woman I never met and two little girls, brunette and cute.
“Hello, I’m Stephanie.”
“Hello. Come on in, the girls can play in the living room while we talk.” I tried to stay distant from the girls, I was scared I would fall in love with them and I wasn’t sure I should.
Stephanie was already on the phone to Frank, apologising and trying to sort this out and then she handed me the phone. “I don’t want to sound rude Frank but what the hell? I said after I adopted Nanami rather sudden that I need time to adjust before I consider a second child not to mention two. I am in remission. I got both of my breast amputated. Frank what were you thinking?”
“I am so sorry. If you could just have them for a little bit while Stephanie finds a temporary foster carer, just for an hour or two. Please.”
“Fine but find them a home.” I handed Stephanie the phone back and went in the living room. The two girls were standing in the middle of the room, not even wearing coats. “Do you want to sit down and play a game while Stephanie finds you a new home?” I said calmly.
One of the twins was about a centimetre taller. “Why are we here?”
“Stephanie needed to pee and… make a phone call.”
“She said we have to stay here.” The little girl looked at me as cocky as a toddler could. In that moment Yvaine and Thor came in, the other shy twin was hiding behind her sister and watched Yvaine.
“This is Yvaine the little black cat and Thor the little puppy and I am Emily, and you two are?” I looked at the girls in front of me.
“I’m Alexandra and this is Josephine.” So Alexandra was the confident one while Josephine was the shy one. “Is this your house?” Alexandra’s speech was quite advanced.
“Well yes this is my home, mine and Yvaine’s, Thor’s and my daughter Nanami’s.”
“You have a girl?” Alexandra looked disappointed.
“I do. She is just a baby and sleeping right now. Do you like the house?” I looked from Alexandra to Josephine. “Here.” I handed Josephine the small ribbon with the bell at the end and showed the shy girl how to attract Yvaine. And Josephine smiled.
“We do like it.” Alexandra said watching her sister play with Yvaine and suddenly Josephine looked at me. “It is a pretty house it looks like a home.”
How could I not fall in love with those two brown hairs and brown eyed girls? I got up and hurried in the kitchen. “I will keep them! Don’t you dare to take my daughters away from me!” I said it loud enough that Frank heard it at the phone. Stephanie switched on the speaker and then I heard Frank say. “I am glad you are saying this. I will personally see that you get their files and hear their story. I can tell you that they are turning four in September… nineteenth.”
“Any chance I get a bonus to dress them, in this tiny suitcase they can barely have any clothes. I mean they arrived without coats.” I said looking at Stephanie, she didn’t look as happy as I thought she would looked, properly because she was still in trouble she should have talked to me before loading a child not to mention two in the car.
“I’ll see what I can do for you.” Frank said calmly. “Stephanie I think it is time that you leave Emily alone now.”
“Yes Sir.” Stephanie nodded to me and left my house. I looked at the baby monitor Nanami had woken up.
Within second two scared looking girls where standing in the kitchen. “Yes Ma’am?”
“Oh dear, please just call me Emily but not Ma’am. Are you hungry? I can make some snacks. I will also need to measure you so that I can get some clothes for you. And some food.” I looked friendly at the two little girls they seem so lost, hurt and scared. I crouched down and smiled at them. “Would you like to meet my baby daughter?”
“Okay.” Alexandra said, she seemed to keep her distant.
“Okay you just wait here and I go upstairs and get her. I also need to call Mrs Miller regarding your bedroom. So much to do and so little time.” I was humming when I hurried up the stairs. I knew that the twins could hear me through the monitor. “Hey my little girl, we’ve got new members of the family. Two lovely little girls Alexandra and Josephine it will be confusing for a little bit they are twins so they look alike. But I’m sure they are very good little girls and good big sisters.”
I changed Nanami’s nappy and then went with a clean and nice smelling girl downstairs. “Nanami this are Alexandra and Josephine. They are now part of our family. Alexandra, Josephine this Nanami.”
Every time I looked at the twins it hurt me. They were dirty, their hair was streaky, and I saw bruises on their little bodies. Not to mention the badly kept clothes. I hardly kept it together but the thought that I would go tomorrow morning shopping with them made it better.
The twins looked shy at Nanami. And Nanami starred back at them. I put Nanami on the blanket under the baby gym and then sat down on the couch. “Girls come here let’s take a picture all together and then I can put it online so that everyone knows about my two new daughters.”
We took a picture together and I added it as life event to my Facebook. It didn’t take long for people to comment and tell me that I am crazy. I also send Lilly a text just like Gabby and my aunt. They did say that it is crazy but still supported me.
“Okay it is nearly dinner time so shall we make something to eat? And then it is time for a bath.” I said calmly. “Do you want to help me or watch a little TV?”
Both girls looked at me with big eyes. “We get dinner?” Alexandra said sounding so shocked.
“Of course. You get every day breakfast, lunch and dinner and in between snacks. Here in my house which is now your home I want you to be happy, healthy little girls and one day you will look back at this time and think it was good.”
“I see.” Alexandra nodded.
“Can I help?” Josephine whispered sitting next to Nanami with Yvaine on the other side. Yvaine and Josephine have bonded from the first moment.
“Sure come on.”
It was a nice evening. We had cheese pizza and some broccoli. Both girls ate everything only because they didn’t know any of it and they were afraid to get into trouble for not eating everything.
Both girls and Nanami went nicely to bed. Nanami had her routine while I would establish one for Josephine and Alexandra during the next days or weeks. To my surprise I found out that both Josephine and Alexandra can read fluently. A fact that I had to keep in mind and consider for their education.
As soon all my girls were in bed I sat down and wrote a list well more several shopping lists, one for food, one for clothes, one for toys and a list of things I needed to do in the next days. Facebook was going crazy people were commenting on my picture like maniacs, shooting their mouths off. I wasn’t surprised that my mother did not react to my Skype message that I was now mother of three girls. 
The twins were sleeping in the third bedroom of my house, at the moment it had just a double bed but I would speak to Mrs Miller and see what she said also about decorating the room. She didn’t mind that I decorated Nanami’s room in light yellow. It was still early in the evening so I decided to call her right away and as expected she was delighted to hear that my family had grown. She had a second single bed and the one that has been in Nanami’s room Mr Miller would come around and put them up tomorrow and about the decoration she never liked the simply beige walls in the first place. So that was decided. I would take the girls tomorrow to get clothes and ordered food to come in the evening. Luckily Mrs Miller didn’t mind if I took the car. I didn’t like that I had to drive at first without children seats but I would get them right away. And I called Tara and she said that there are toys and clothes for the age of the girls so I could get some when we came on Sunday to church. She sent an email to everyone and within minutes I got several emails congratulating me and offering help.
Many people from church said they had some stuff they could send me and I appreciated all those donations including the formal email from Frank saying that I get a bonus because of the mistake made. I replied again that it was also my fault for not double checking that I was taking out of the system, which I now hoped I was since the lack of further bedrooms made it impossible to adopt more. It was late when I went up to go to bed myself, I was standing in the door frame of the twins’ room and looked at the two little brunettes. It was crazy but I knew they belong to me, I was their family as much as they were mine. Nanami was peaceful sleeping under her animal mobile, Thor was lying in his basket in the corridor and Yvaine was sitting on my bed waiting for me to join her.
I woke up very early and I knew something wasn’t quite right. Yvaine wasn’t there and that worried me. I had closed the nursery doors properly and for that reason I was very sure she could not accidently hurt any of my girls. So I was rather surprised to find the twins room open and Thor with Alexandra -at least I was about 50% sure it was Alexandra, Alexandra had fallen asleep on the right side-.
“Okay one child is here and one pet.” I mumbled sleepy while I checked on Nanami, her room door was proper closed and she was sleeping. I was just missing a cat and one child. I was about to walk downstairs when I heard crying in the baby bathroom. I opened the door very slowly and found one of the twins -I thought it was Josephine unless the girls had swapped sides in the bed- on the floor and even more surprising Yvaine was rolled up at her knees and purred very, very gentle it was such a weird picture.
“Hey sweetie. What happened?” I kneeled down and Yvaine greeted me as if she would say. ‘Finally I was running out of ideas it calm her down please help me.’
“So sorry!” The little girl was heavily breathing and sobbing.
“Josephine?” The little brunet nodded. “Josephine for what are you sorry?”
“I made pee in bed.”
“Oh dear that is okay. How about we shower you and then make breakfast?”
“No shower please.” Josephine mumbled barely audible.
“Okay no shower but we need to clean you up a little bit. We need also to figure out what you can wear today the clothes you girls brought along are not clean and suitable.” I brushed some hair out of her face.
I quickly peeled off the clothes and washed her to make sure she would not get a pee rash.
“So what shall we have for breakfast? How about pancakes?”
“What are pancakes? Oh the baby.” Josephine looked at me, by now she was wearing one of my t-shirts and knickers I had in one of the clothes bags I got for Nanami.
“That is right, Nanami is very sensitive when it comes to people being up.” I took Josephine with me in Nanami’s room. “Hey little lassie.”
Nanami blinked at me and then at Josephine. The two girls looked for a while at each other and then my little baby daughter blinked again and went back to sleep. “I guess she doesn’t think getting up before six is something for her.”
“It is early.” Josephine whispered pulled at the tail of the t-shirt.
“It is but that is okay. Come on let’s make you some pancakes and then we wake Alexandra and Nanami when it’s all done.”
“Okay.” Josephine was suddenly very shaken up again.
“Oh Munchkin, I wish I could pick you up. Come here.” I pulled Josephine down and sat with her on the top of the stairs.
“My name is not Munchkin.”
“Oh I know. Munchkin is just a pet name I have for the little girls living with me.”
Josephine nodded but she still looked so upset.
“Okay, let’s see listen to me. Not too long ago I was very, very ill. I had to go to the doctor and he had to fix my chest and now I can’t lift anything heavier than Nanami. I can hug you but not pick you up.”
“I see. Can I hold your hand?” Josephine was very shy.
“Oh yes Josephine, you can hold my hand and snuggle with me and things like that, you just will not sleep in my bed. We all sleep in our own beds.” I smiled at the little girl in my arm and was glad she smiled back at me. We made pancakes and had some before we woke the other two and had more breakfast together. It was funny to watch how Thor was attached to Alexandra while Yvaine was attached to Josephine. All my children were eating pancakes while I picked up the phone.
“Good morning I’m Emily Wagner, my daughter Nanami is already registered and on the waiting list for a place in four years, but I‘m calling regarding my two newly adopted daughters. They are still very young not even four yet, but I discovered last night when they arrived that they can read fluently. And I was wondering what kind of programmes you have to supported possible gifted children and also what financial support you offer.”
“Oh yes I remember you Ms Wagner, good morning. We do have some programmes. Would you like to arrange a test date to see how far along they are and we can see what we can do regarding places for them? I’m very sure they will not have a place before September.”
“Yes please. I’m not sure if it would be better to let them settle in or do the test right away.”
“I think we can do the test right away, I’m just seeing that you could come around eleven today? And we will repeat the test when they got accepted.”
“Yes that sounds good. Thank you. Shall we just report in the office?”
“Do you mind that I bring along my infant daughter it will be her nap time so she will be sleeping but I don’t want to interrupt the test.”
“Oh that is not a problem at all. Oh what are your daughters’ names?” The nice sounding secretary said.
“Thank you. Oh yes, Alexandra and Josephine they are monozygotic twins. See you later.” I smiled at my daughters.
“Wonderful. See you later Miss Wagner.”
We hung up, this would be a very productive day the first thing we would do is go to ASDA get a few clean and nice clothes and two car seats. “I guess it is time that we get dressed. We’ve got lots to do.”
“What are we going to do today?” Josephine got excited, she didn’t seem to have done a lot in her life and this seemed so exciting. Alexandra looked sceptical at me, she hadn’t eaten a lot but I was not forcing her to eat and would just monitor it.
“We are going shopping and later talk to a few people, no need to worry they just want to know what you can do. Then we go get some lunch and then we get some more shopping done.” I smiled at her as we went followed by Yvaine up the stairs. I watched them as they climbed the stairs, I wanted to make sure that they were walking safely up and down I didn’t feel like installing a stair gate.  “Okay Josephine, Alexandra you two wash your hands and faces and then can see if there are toys in Nanami’s room you like to play with.
“Okay.” Josephine whispered, she had moments when she was suddenly very subdued and Alexandra had this very cocky look as if she didn’t care what I said. I knew that it was their way of coping with unfairness.
“Hey Tara? I’m sorry to call so early I just have a lot on my plate. You said yesterday that there are clothes, things and toys for the twins?”
“CONGRATULATIONS!” Tara yelled so loud in the phone that I had to hold it away from my ear.
I laughed. “Yes thank you.”
“Okay the things are all in the church. I can come around any time you want, but they must have some things? How old are the girls again?” It still sounded like Tara was jumping up and down like a teenager.
“They are not yet four yet but they are surprisingly intelligent. No they have nothing, it is freaky they looked so neglected. And I have nothing for children their age either.”
“I see. I hope you made sure that they are for the moment the last additions to your family.” Tara laughed on the other side.
“Yes I did.”
“Good. Whenever you can make it you can come around to look through the things.”
“Oh that is perfect. Let’s see I have an appointment at eleven with the girls’ school or at least their possible school. And before that I need to go to ASDA and get some nice clothes and also car seats.”
“No problem how about after lunch? Just give me a call when you ate and we meet in the church?”
“Oh thanks. Tara you are a star.”
“No just helpful.” I knew that Tara was smiling and so was I. “I’ll see you later.”
“Thanks, see you.” I hung up just when Josephine knocked at my door.
“Hello? Um… are you there?” Josephine asked sounding so scared.
“Yes I’m here come one in.” I was shocked how scared the little girl sounded I was not sure which one it was.
“Oh we can come in?” The two girls opened shy well no I knew right away who was Josephine -the shy girl- and Alexandra -the cocky looking girl-.
“Of course you can come in, thanks for knocking.” I smiled as I put the phone aside and looked at the girls. They both looked dreadful. Josephine’s clothes looked newer but not the right size for her since it was an old t-shirt of mine and knickers a size too large and just like Alexandra who was still just wearing the t-shirt I had put on her last night. “Okay Alexandra we need to find you some trousers for you. And then Nanami and I get dressed.” Before we left the house I quickly washed the girls’ faces and tied their hair together so you could not see too much how dirty it was. I knew I had to wash it but Josephine seemed not particular fond of the idea to take a bath.
It didn’t take us long to get ready, Mrs Miller was very excited to hear again that I got an addition to the family, though it did worry her just as much as me that I drove with them in the car but had no car seats. I didn’t like it either but it had to work. I cut Mrs Miller short since I had a lot to do. 
We drove to ASDA and it was nice I got the car seats first and put them in the car and then I went back in and got five outfits for both girls. I assistant them but I allowed them to pick out whatever they want and I was surprised to see how much they communicated with each other. They did though pick all the same outfits and I did not intervene. I got them a snack and changed the twins and then we drove to the all girls’ school Hamilton2 I would like the twins and later Nanami to attend. I was nervous, of course the girls would tell them that they just got those clothes and that they just arrived. I was glad that I hadn’t told them what this meeting was about. So they were quite relaxed. I knew I was more nervous while I waited with Nanami.
“Miss Wagner.” The head of administration came to me after I waited a while.
“Hello.” I smiled and shook her hand.
“The girls are still in the playroom I told them you will come in a minute to pick them up. They did figure that this is about a school admission. You are right they are at least one year ahead their age.”
I nodded. “Okay so what do we do now?”
“I will put their names on the waiting list and will also mention that they need the place now even though they are technically too young. And also I will send you all the paperwork you need to fill out to apply for financial support, which you should get. It should all work out fine. I’m very delighted that you chose Hamilton.” The head of administration smiled and shook my hand again. “I mean you know that they still have a long way socially and emotionally to go before they are ready for school but I’m sure they will adapt fine. Josephine is very delighted to live with you, while Alexandra is rather angry but she will come around. We will have another test for them in August to make sure we are on the right track and hopefully by then I have two places for you.”
“Thank you so much.” We shook hands and I went to the playroom. Both girls were sitting on the little chairs looking scared around waiting for whatever horrors would happen now. I sighed, we had a long way to go.
“Hey girls, shall we go and get some lunch?”
“We get lunch?” Josephine looked so surprised at me.
“Yes you will get lunch every day.” I knew that they might ask the same questions over and over again. I found online this small tea room and it sounded really nice but when I walked in I fell in love with it. The Tea Pot was actually not so small as it looked online.
“Good afternoon, Ladies. Do you have a reservation?” The nice looking waitress in an old fashioned looking uniform.
“Oh no, did we need one.”  I looked at Alexandra and Josephine they seemed hungry but then they seemed hungry all the time.
“No not at all we have some free tables. Table for three?”
“Yes please. Is it possible to sit somewhere where I have space for the pram?”
“Oh yes of course.” The waitress showed us to a table in a small window corner. It looked all so cute. “Is this table suitable?”
“Oh yes that is fine. Thank you so much.”
“You’re very welcome. This is the menu but may I make a suggestion?”
“You may but I also have an idea of what I would like to have.” I smiled while I helped Alexandra and Josephine on the couch.
“We have an excellent Afternoon Tea.”
“Perfect, that was what I wanted. I would like a pot of your house blend for me and also a pot tea suitable for my daughters. The same for the food, if it is possible can you keep the chocolate side light.” I smiled at the young waitress. “Sorry I sound very demanding.”
“Oh don’t worry we are serving a wonderful afternoon tea for children. Do you need anything for your infant daughter?”
“Oh no thank you.”
“You’re welcome, my name is Annie if there is anything you need let me know.” Annie smiled and went away.
“So what do you think?” I smiled at the two girls next to me.
“It looks weird. And why are we having tea for lunch? Are we not getting food?” Alexandra snarled in her charming snappy way.
I looked at Alexandra. “Afternoon Tea does not mean we just get tea, we also get sandwiches, scones and some small cakes. It is very elegant.
“Ooooh!” Josephine’s eyes lit up as the two pretty tea pots got brought. “Those are pretty.”
I smiled at Josephine.
“So this is a brown herbal tea, the girls can drink it with milk like you if they want to. And this is your tea.” The waitress smiled and put down the two tea pots, milk and sugar bowls. “And I bring your tea tray in a minute it is getting freshly prepared.
“Thank you.” I smiled. “Do you like it Josephine?”
“Oh yes.” Josephine beamed back at me while Alexandra looked gloom again. I was so worried about her, I was worried I could not fix what was broken in her.
“That is good, because I really like having Afternoon Tea and I would like to have it with my girls.” I looked at Alexandra. “Alexandra do you want milk and sugar in your tea?”
Alexandra shrugged her shoulders. Just when our waitress came with the three layer tier stand filled with so many goods that Josephine, Alexandra and I were impressed. Our waitress explained us what we had on what layer and then told us if we need anything just to call her.
It were really good sandwiches and I really liked the thought they put into the girls meals. The sandwiches were shaped in stars and hearts, while the scones were mice and still warm.
“Was everything to your satisfaction?”
“Oh yes it was perfect and the tea experience I hoped for my girls. Oh and is that the prize?”
“Yes Ma’am. Is that alright?”
“Oh yes it is.” I smiled paid and didn’t mind giving a tip. “Okay come on let’s go. A friend of mine is waiting for us, she has some things for you some toys and clothes. And this afternoon Mr Miller is coming over to change the beds in your room and we need to start decorating your room. Did you like the tea and the food?”
I caught Alexandra to nod but she stopped right when she saw that I watched her and her gloomy face came back, I sighed we had a long road ahead of us. But Josephine smiled. “Yes I liked it very much. Can we do it again?”
“Of course Munchkin. We do it again.”

1 七海
In the case that there is an all girls school called Hamilton in Oxford, this school is just a made up school sort of the Utopia of schools well my Utopia of schools. Any similarities with existing schools are pure coincident.
Unfortunately did I run out of inspiration for this story. Back to the drawing board, a dear friend write about what you know so I guess there is just one story for me worth writing.

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

A New Girl

She looked in the mirror and hated what she saw, her big round face and the even more round body of hers. She was deeply unhappy. She hated her job - a nurse assistant, she hated the place she lived in - a tiny flat with barely no windows and utterly lonely. Her best friend Jacqueline was on the verge of telling her to fuck off because she was acting like a real bitch.

“I don’t know what it is but you either get your act together or I am done.” Jacqueline said annoyed and one hand on the door handle. Remy looked at her best friend, those bushy super curly red hair that framed her face made her look so small even though Jacqueline wasn’t a tall girl to begin with.

“Okay you really… you really want me to tell you?” Remy looked at her best friend unsure what to say, she never spoke this out loud. She never even allowed herself to finish this thought.

“I am a disgusted by my own body, I am more than unhappy in my job, I hate my flat and I like boys and girls!” Remy shouted angry at her friend and then burst into tears not sure what scared her the most of all the things she just admitted to Jacqueline.

“Oh wow. Okay. So, one thing at a time. Your body is isn’t that bad sure you got a bit chubby but we can fix that. I help you. We make a packed I start exercising again and so do you and we track each other on one of those fitness apps. Yeah I have no idea why you are in that kind of job, ill people make you sad and you work with terminal ill patients. We find you a new job, you always wanted to go into teaching we will do everything to get you into university. Your flat-“ Jacqueline looked around the shabby little room. “-yeah we got to do something about this. We look for a little house.” Remy was hugging herself still crying and by now had turned away from Jacqueline. She was surprised that her best friend kept saying we she was pretty sure the door would slam any second.

“Are you attracted to me?” Remy spun around and stared at her best friend.

“What? No! I…” Remy burst out in tears again and this time Jacqueline didn’t hesitate and pulled her best friend into a very tight hug.

“Okay so you like boys and girls, you know when I think about it I think I knew. You always had your actress crushes. I just thought… you never meant it for real. Is there a girl you like?”

Remy was still in Jacqueline’s arm, starting to breathe slowly in and out, feeling…

“What was that sounds?” Remy looked up rather alarmed. “Somebody is trying to break in.”

“No, Remy nobody is breaking in but-“ Jacqueline smiled at her best friend. “It was the chain from your heart that was in great pain when you denied yourself when you did not allow yourself to be who you truly are.”

“Are you quoting The Frog Prince to me?”

“Maybe?” Jacqueline grinned. “But honestly, everything will be fine. Now let’s check those pizzas.”

Remy grinned and kissed Jacqueline on the cheek. “I wish I could love you even though I know you would not love me back in that way. And no there is no girl, I did recently allow myself to think of girls as pretty and attractive though sometimes I did not allow myself to feel it. I see how much Dobby must have had struggled.”

A little bit later the two girls were sitting in front of the TV watching trashy reality shows their guilty pleasure.

“So which of these girls do you like?”

“What?” Remy looked up and realised what Jacqueline was doing. “Whoa! Wait a second you can’t do that.”

“Oh yeah I can, I already book several viewings for small houses, I signed you up for a course to prep you for university and I also applied to a few learning support assistant jobs in the area. And now the last thing I did was sign you up for online dating. There are loads of girls that wrote you and no worries I made clear you are not into threesome and weird experimenting.”

“Oh great! Jacqueline, come on I can barely say out loud that I… you know how am I supposed to date anyone.”

“Well you can start making friends that feel like you. You need friends that can relate and you can talk about girls. She what about her?”

“Oh gosh! She is… I am… look at me how am I supposed to date her?” Remy was deeply blushing.

Six months later…

Ariel's collections of short stories Annota10
“I am coming Puma wait for me!” Remy was running along the path.

“That is a beautiful dog of yours.” A guy suddenly said next to her.

“Holy Shit!”

Puma was within an instance next to Remy, growling dangerously.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.” The guy said backing up a little bit, but not scared more respectful.

“You just startled me. Puma, heel.” Remy was slightly distrustful, he looked like military but anyone could look like that today.

“Commander Chris Ryan, Royal Navy. I am on leave right now… special leave. I lost my partner, he saved my life.”

“I am sorry for your loss and thank you for your service.” Remy tried to think of something meaningful to say but she had no idea what.

“Belgian Malinois, right?” Commander Ryan said.

“Yes?” Remy looked curious at the Commander now.

“My partner was a Belgian Malinois. His name was Rufus.”

“Wow, I am so sorry. Puma, sit. Salute.” Remy’s dog sat down and nodded respectful at Commander Ryan.

“Hey that is a neat trick. Is Puma a service dog?”

“He used to be yes, police. But he broke his leg and couldn’t be in the force anymore. And I… six months ago… I was… I was... I was living in this shitty area of town, in this shitty flat and one night there was this … I called the police but… they came too late. I was in the hospital next to the injured police officer, the partner of Puma. He promised me that when Puma pulls through he does everything for me to have him. Inspector Thomas Dylan, didn’t make it. When I found out I… I begged them to let me die but the nurse said that Puma needs me; dealing with PTSD ever since, the two of us. I lost nearly 4 stone, started running and exercising. I was on an online dating site for a while but I couldn’t handle it. I am starting uni in September to be a PE teacher and until them I am working in a school. I have no idea why I am telling you all of that.”

“Because I understand.” Commander Ryan knelt down and looked seriously at Puma. “I would never hurt her! I’ll be her friend and help her to get fit. Your job is to protect her and my job is to get her fit. What do you think?” Commander Christ Ryan looked up at Remy.

“Are you sure you want to do that? I am bi!”

“And I am not trying to…” Commander Ryan looked at Remy, a slightly pale Remy. “And I am just looking for a friend. Chris.” He offered her his hand.

Remy thought for a moment and then smiled. “You really gonna train us?”

“Only if you tell me your name.”

“Oh, duh yes. Remy. We got to be careful with Puma. He is not meant to exercise intensely.”

“Remy, nice is that short for anything?”

“Yeah but if I tell you I got to kill you.”

“Fair enough. And I will personally make sure that Puma will be exercising safely.” Chris looked at her. “So you were running? Try not to bounce so much. Keep your arms loose. I want you to run to that tree as fast as you can.”

“Are you kidding me that tree that is like… like a quarter mile.”

“No it is not. Go run.” Chris grinned and started running, Remy shook her head and followed him…

Six months later

“Hey Jacqueline.” Remy knelt down, Puma next to her and Chris in his truck not far from her. “It’s been a year. You are gone since a year. They didn’t tell me in the hospital that you didn’t make it. I think the inspector knew I know he was not involved in the case but he knew. You and he brought Puma to me. Gosh I miss you so much! If you could just see me now. I am at Uni studying to become a PE teacher. I want pupils not just to follow the stupid curriculum, I want them to be able to look at themselves and like what they see no matter what shape they have. You loved me for who I am. I know one day I will find love but at the moment I can just tell you I got a friend. He is hurt like me, he wants to serve this country and you know what after six months he is doing exactly that. He got a new K-9 partner, he is going to be deployed tomorrow. It sounds weird but even though he is going away I feel whole, I feel like you are here with me.” Remy looked at the white marble headstone of her best friend. She bought white roses for her, Jacqueline’s favourite flowers. "Jacqueline, der Wagen bricht! Nein, meine Dame, der Wagen nicht, Es ist mein Herzen, Das da liegt in großen Schmerzen, Als du von mir gingst, Als der Herr Gott dich zu Ihm rief." Tears were running down her cheeks. “I signed up for online dating and I am talking to one girl a while now. I’ll be meeting her the day after tomorrow. I am so nervous, I told her… a lot not all but a lot. She knows I have PTSD and that Puma is going to come with me. I wish you could help me what to wear. Help me to think of things to say. I wish you would call me an hour in to see if I need rescuing. I just miss you so much girl.”

Remy stood up and looked over the cemetery into the distance and there she was her best friend safe in the arms of the Lord.

        “Remy I’ll stop him! Run!”
        “Jaccie I can’t just leave you.”
        “Of course you can, I am stronger and faster. I injure him and then I am right behind.         Go run! I need to know you are safe! And stop calling me Jaccie I am not a fucking         southern bell. Now go run!”

“I am safe Jaccie. I am safe!” Remy grinned blew her best friend a kiss and ran back to the big truck.

“I am ready to go, are you sure you don’t mind me driving your truck?”

“Are you kidding me, you car is… totalled hold together by chewing gum. My mum is gonna come down is you don’t call her every Sunday. I call and email and text as often as I can but I don’t know how often that it but I want you to email me all the time! I wanna know about your date!”

“It is not a date.”

“Hey you are talking for like two months, you tease each other like a couple in my mind you are basically together.”

“Still not a date. We are just going bowling, not even for dinner at a proper restaurant.”

“I know those shoes totally gonna ruin the date. You should be meeting her with your sexy heels in your sexy red dress.”

“Idiot!” Remy shoved Chris, but he just grabbed her and pulled her into a hug, like a big brother would do.

“Mum is gonna call an hour into your date and she is totally bail you out if you need to. And you know I checked out that girl. Olivia better treat you right and let you win, and still a date that includes no sexy dresses is a waste.” Chris kissed Remy on top of the head.

“Oh gosh what did you do?” Remy moaned.

“Just asked some people I know to check her background, and I totally Facebook stalked her a little.” Chris grinned.

The flat was empty without Chris but it was okay. Remy was working out after Chris went off and then worked on her essay.

“Okay, Puma! Now I am nervous, what do you think do I look okay?” Remy turned over to her dog that was lying on her bed. Puma hide his snout under his paw.

“What that horrible? I thought shorts and blouse look okay.” Remy looked in the mirror she felt like she was a dressed appropriately for a meeting or you know date at a bowling alley. Her long hair was tied together in two loose pig tales on each side, she looked stunning.  
“Whatever you think I will go like this. Come on time to go.”

Remy was waiting outside the bowling alley, rather nervously. “Hey Remy.”

“Oh hey Olivia.” Remy looked awkward at the other girl. The other girl was kind of breathtakingly beautiful, a kickass lawyer with dark brown hair.

“Come on I read they have amazing milkshakes.” Olivia grinned and led the way into the bowling alley.

Remy followed the other girl, Puma was stepping closer to his girl. “I’m sorry I told you I am awkward in person.”

“No worries.” Olivia smiled ordering milkshakes and bowling shoes. For a while the two girls did some chitchat and bowled.

“I really like your dog.” Olivia smiled she didn’t try to touch Puma she just smiled at him.
Remy looked at Olivia’s dark brown eyes for a while and then very quietly said. “A year ago I was raped, my best friend got killed and Puma is a retired police dog.”

“Oh shit. Did they get the pig that raped you and killed your friend?” Olivia showed real concern.

“We got attacked, we thought it is just one but it was two. Jacqueline distracted one but the other one was waiting in the car and… raped me.”

“Can I hug you?” Olivia asked calmly, Remy nodded shy. “I think so.”

Olivia hugged Remy not to tightly but enough to let the other girl know that she was really sorry.

“Do you think we can get out of here? I feel like the walls are closing in on me.” Remy whispered.

“Yes of course. Let’s get our shoes, we go down to the beach.” Olivia got another milkshake for Remy and herself and their shoes.

“Did they get them?”



The girls walked for a while in silence, Puma was running like a crazy puppy around chasing the waves.

“Remy can I take your hand?”

“Have you ever seen the video that explains consent with a cup of tea?” Remy asked looking down at the sand.

“Actually yes. I thought it is about consent to sex?”

“Well I think it should be about any consent.”

“Like holding you hand?” Olivia smiled.

“Yes. Is that okay?” Remy felt so stupid but every fibre in her told her she was in danger. Puma suddenly was right next to her.

“That is perfectly fine. Any time you change your mind you just let go.” Olivia very gentle took Remy’s hand. “You okay with that?”

Remy looked at her hand in Olivia’s. “Jacqueline would tease me for being so silly.”

“I don’t think you are silly, I mean you did say I am the first girl you went out with. So everything is very new to you. You take all the time you need and I am there if you want me to.”

“Thanks.” Remy smiled shy.

“I don’t want to freak you out but do you know that you are gorgeous and your hand is really soft and your lips look like lips that-“

Remy suddenly started running as fast as she could and Puma was running next to her.

“Shit!” Olivia let Remy run for a while and just followed her.

“Hey.” Olivia whispered as she sat down next to Remy. “I am so sorry I freaked you out.”

“Yeah you kind of did.” Remy was a little shaking and Olivia saw that she had been crying.

“I didn’t mean to.”

“I know.” Remy whispered. “Did you really mean what you said?”

“I don’t wanna freak you out again.”

“Please?” Remy looked up with green eyes at Olivia.

“Yes I did. Every word.” Olivia smiled.

“What if I am a rubbish kisser?” Remy mumbled.

“I am sure you are not.” Olivia whispered back.

“Can you kiss me?”

“No. You freaked out when I told you how pretty you are kissing you, I am sure Puma will eat me alive.” Olivia said calmly but serious.

“Please?” Remy leaned a little forward a little, Olivia sighed.

“Puma don’t kill me, Remy remember you asked for this cup of tea.” Olivia leaned very slowly forward and ever so gentle kissed Remy. Olivia was right Remy’s lips were super soft to kiss.

“Please stop crying Remy, I feel like I am doing something you do not want.” Olivia brushed away Remy’s tears.

“I promise it is not that, Jacqueline said one day I will kiss someone that will be like coming home… I just did.”

Olivia grinned from one ear to the other. “Good and when you are less freaked out I totally gonna tell you what I want to do with you.”

Remy blushed deep red. “I am so not read for that, maybe we can just hold hands?”

5Ariel's collections of short stories Empty The Lost Key 29th February 2020, 16:40

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

The little girl was sitting on the park bench, she had a teddy bear in her arm and her little suitcase next to her.  Quite a few people have passed her, some have ignored her, some reported her but it took nearly three hours for the police showed up; two nice police officers, a young man and a nice looking woman.

“Hey hun, it is quite late are your Mummy or Daddy coming to pick you up? I am Susi.” She smiled making sure her torch lit the surroundings, but not into the little girls eyes.

“No one will be coming.” The little girl whispered holding her Teddy slightly tighter.

“What a lovely bear you have, I am glad he kept you save. I am Sergeant Johnson, but you my darling can call me Tim. What is your name?” Tim smiled warmly at the little girl.

“No.” She whispered, she was shivering her coat wasn’t warm enough, her trainers looked pretty tatty. She smelled of urine and generally dirty.

“Do you see our uniforms? We are with the police, it is not safe here at night for a lovely girl like you. It would be saver if you would come with us, to the police station. It is warm there.” Susi held her hand out close enough for the little girl to take it, she just stared at her knees.
Susi and Tim looked at each other and had a silent conversation. They knew they could not leave her out here and she was young enough not to make the decision for her.

“Hun, I can see you planned took your suitcase with you. We cannot leave you here. You do understand that right?” Tim said calmly.

The little girl nodded. “I know.”

“Will you come with us?” Susi whispered now holding her hand out again. The little girl got up, but she didn’t take the hand of Susi. She held her Teddy even tighter and with her other hand she held on to her little suitcase. “Did you ever drive in a police car?”

The little girl shook her head. She was quiet, put her seatbelt, never letting go of her teddy. The police officers didn’t know what to do with her. Susi helped her to clean up but none of the few clothes in the girl’s suitcase were any cleaner. In the morning Susi and Tim left and the day shift took over, she wasn’t injured so there was no point for her to be in hospital. Midmorning social services finally showed up.

“So where is the girl?” A brusque woman  spoke to the desk officer.

“She is just over there, rather quiet.” The desk officer a middle aged woman felt warmly towards the little girl, as everyone at the police station.

24 hours later the little girl that still had no name was sitting in a foster house. She had two lovely foster mums, Annie and Kate. There was a dog, a little Beagle his name was Bailey. He seemed to like the little girl he was now lying at her feet, in her room. She was showered, had fresh pyjamas on and well fed as much as she could be fed, she barely ate anything. A knock interrupted the silence.

“Sweetheart, it is quite late. I think you should go to bed now. Do you need the loo before I tug you in?” Kate asked calmly. Kate smiled warmly at the little girl. The little girl just shook her head, turned around and lay down in bed. Kate tugged her in and then she bent down and picked up Bailey. “You know this little dude is very special. When I was a little girl, a little bit older than you I got a dog. She was my best friend and then eventually when I was not so little anymore Barbie went over the rainbow bridge. A few years later I was at university I found this dog, he was quite old but he did the same things my Barbie did, he slept lying right across me and when there were noises he placed his paw on my as he is said it is alright. Spencer, that’s what I called him I am quite sure was Barbie and then Spencer passed away he had a lovely rest of his life. And then I said I’d never avoid adoption events. Well this little dude was the puppy on a farm we stopped to buy eggs during a holiday. I just knew the way he walked straight to me that he was the same dog back in my life and he has been in your room with you since you walked into this house. I think it is time that he looks after another little girl. Bailey, Annie and I will make sure you have everything you need and everything you want. You are safe here.”

The little girl nodded and looked at Bailey, he wriggled his tail and lay down right across her placing both his front paws on her stomach nodding at the little girl. Kate brushed some loose hair out of her face.

“Sweet dreams my darling girl.” The little girl didn’t say anything she just looked with big green grey eyes at Kate. It took all of Kate’s strength not to burst into tears as she walked out.

“Don’t, please!” The little girl suddenly said, sounding so scared.  Kate looked from the door at the little girl.

“I leave the door a crack open so that it isn’t dark.” Kate smiled one last time and then left the little girl.

“Larissa.” Kate turned back to the door; Annie had hugged her tightly when the two heard the little girl speak. Silent tears were running down Kate’s face. But Annie being there kept her upright and gave her strength.

“Good night, Larissa.” The two women said loud enough for the little girl, Larissa to hear but they didn’t open the door. They knew that the little girl, Larissa only dared to say her name because they didn’t see her when she did.

Larissa was staying since a week since Annie and Kate, by now she stopped talking, it was painful to watch her not eat, and retreat into her own little world. They considered sending her to school but it was quickly visible that for the moment homeschooling was a more sensible option. Though Larissa barely completed any of her school work, most of the time she just stared into space.

“Annie we need help, we cannot give to her what she needs.” Kate said calmly, sitting in the living room. Both women knew something had to be done with Larissa. No one was able to find so far where she came from. The day after she moved in the little girl was thoroughly examined. She showed clear signs of physical and possible sexual abuse, neglect, malnutrition and possible self harm.

“I know, but what will it do to her if she is passed on already. I know you cannot see it but she is settling in. I know she has so many signs that she is hurting. But please listen to me, she is starting to trust. She stopped trying to hide when she wet the bed; she doesn’t dare to look for you but she gets me. She is not eating when we watch her but she is eating the snacks I bring in her room. She brushed her hair before she went to bed and she is now feeding Bailey. I know you think she is broken beyond repair. But please give her more time.” Annie was crying she was the one staying at home with Larissa and before Larissa all the other foster children.

“Okay, we give her more time. I will be more patient with her.”

“No don’t change, you are doing everything right.” Annie quickly intercepted. Kate looked at Annie for a while and then nodded.

A month later, Larissa was standing in the kitchen. It was early but the little girl was up early most days. She didn’t seem to like sleeping when others were awake. Kate walked in the kitchen and was a little surprised to find bread in the toaster, beans in a small sauce pan, eggs in eggs cooker and coffee running.

“Oh, that is very nice of you. How about a hot chocolate for you?” Kate smiled, keeping her distance from Larissa she discovered that being close to her made the girl nervous. Larissa looked at everything she was making for Kate and Annie, and then with quick steps she closed the gap and hugged Kate tightly.

“You found the key.”Larissa mumbled into Kate. Anyone else would not understand her, but Kate did. This past month Larissa had been drawing and expressing her feelings as being behind walls, thick and high walls. Kate as promised didn’t do anything different but always talked with Larissa even when the girl wouldn’t answer, teaching her to cook even when the girl didn’t show any indication that she listened, changing her bedding without a word of judgment. She just was there, took her out for ice cream, defended her in front of social workers, and left her books to read. Larissa once drew her feelings, her walls and Kate saw the tiniest door, and an even smaller key hole. When Kate asked about it “Who has the key to the door?” Larissa just looked at her blankly.

Kate looked down at the little girl’s hair and started silently crying. “I would have never stopped looking for it, my sweet darling girl.”

Annie was standing in the door frame watching the scene, pulling out the papers they would have to sign to be Larissa’s permanent foster parents and eventually her adoptive parents. They found their missing puzzle piece.

6Ariel's collections of short stories Empty The Life The Way It Should Be 20th March 2020, 17:45

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

The Life The Way It Should Be
“Emma?” Her was went up a bit. “It has been a while. It is really good to see you.” Tali smiled as she saw her ex-girlfriend.

“Taliah? What are you doing here?” Emma looked surprised at the younger girl.

“Honestly? I was looking for you. It wasn’t easy to find you. I missed you.” Tali looked earnestly at Emma. She didn’t lie, she did miss the other girl but… a lot has changed.

“Oh gosh you are pregnant. It worked.” Emma looked unsure what to do or how to act around the girl she left.

“It did yeah, 7 months. Twins, surprisingly identical.” Tali grinned cradling her baby bump. “Here this is for you.” She handed Emma a heavy envelope. “You know when you broke up with me all the sudden and never spoke with me again I was pretty heartbroken but well it had a good thing. I went out of the house a lot more and through that I met this girl. She… you had torn down all my defences, you left me vulnerable. And she just picked me up and took me to safety. I never forgot what you did for me, I never forgot what you taught me without realising and I never forgot you. I said that before in messages you never read. I want to be your friend and as my friend I hope you are coming to my wedding.”

Emma kind of stared at Taliah. “You are… engaged?!”

Taliah smiled. “Yeah, it is kind of quick. My Aunt gave me hell but it feels right. When I think about the future I see Mina by my side whatever I do.”

“That… I…” Emma didn’t know what to say and then suddenly Demi showed up behind Taliah.

“Tali! Oh good you found her.” Demi grinned and took the shopping bags out of Taliah’s hand.

“Oh gosh I am so glad you are here, I need a pee. I got two babies pushing on bladder. I am right back.” Taliah kissed Demi on the cheek and quickly went into the centre.

“Hi Emma.”

“Hello Demi.” Emma looked a little uncomfortable around. “So Taliah is getting married.”

Demi looked for a while at the other girl and then shook her head, slightly. “You know she would have stayed with you, wedding and marriage or not. She was on the direct way to fall in love with you, but you… you were too scared to hurt a girl you love again. To leave another girl at the altar so you left her before it would get that far. She would have broken apart if she hadn’t met Mina, funny enough Tali didn’t call Mina back until the night before my wedding. Mina offered to come with her to be her plus one. Their first date was on the train ride to London, the second when we all had breakfast in my hotel room and the third at my wedding, at which at the end of it they were together. The two were gorgeous. But not just on the outside, they moulded into this unit. I knew there and then that on one of the Gift of Time dates Mina would propose. And she did they were camping in August in Afan Forest, in June they were stargazing in August they just spend two nights away from everything. Mina pulled out the ring, Howl’s ring telling Tali that with this ring she would always find her way home to her. Without Tali knowing it she actually filmed the whole thing. It was breathtaking. I thought it was crazy but insanely right. I saw the magic happen right in front my eyes every time I saw the two together. And you missed your chance. Be her friend she does miss you. You were the first girl she dared to like. You made her realise it is not just in her head, she truly does like girls and guys. Though apparently girls more.”

Emma looked past Demi to the centre into which Taliah had disappeared. “I know and I have been paying for it ever since.”

“What do you mean?” Demi asked curious.

“The moment I walked away because I thought it’d be kinder I realised how much I love her. I watched her live on Instagram and I realised I wanted to be the girl at her side.”

“Wait you followed her on Instagram? So you knew she is engaged and pregnant.”

“I did but I think I didn’t want to believe it.” Emma said quietly.

“She needs you to be her friend, she is not trying to rekindle anything. But she misses your friendship.”

Emma sighed deeply and nodded.

“Don’t you dare to ruin Tali’s life again. You broke her heart once, you can’t break it again.” Demi said sternly and then smiled at Tali who just came back.

“So have you finished talking about me?” Tali grinned cheeky.
Demi laughed.  “You got too cocky for your own good. And yes we have. Emma do you have time to have lunch with us?”

“Oh, yes sure. I was just running some errands. Where did you plan on having lunch? Do you need some help with that?” Emma pointed at the bag Tali had shown up with.

“Where did you get that from again, you went to the loo not shopping.” Demi laughed and let Emma take the shopping bag.

“Well I have been looking for Twister for ages and now I found one. I know I can’t play right now, but as soon as the munchkins are born I am challenging you all to a match.” Taliah grinned. “Frankie and Benny’s, I haven’t been in ages. Back in Aberdeen Demi and I used to go nearly once a week.” Emma looked a bit alarmed by the idea to play Twister with Taliah.

“You changed…” Emma said quietly as she walked next to Taliah across the car park, Demi was dropping off all the shopping in the car.

“I got my heart broken by a girl I… I really liked, the first girl I dared to like after all this time that I punished myself like Dobby when I just thought a girl was pretty. I thought the girl liked me back, just not the same way. But that was not the worst part, that was when she stopped talking to me as if I did something wrong, as if I broke up with her and not the other way around. I kept thinking about us saying starting work and school again after Christmas and New Years felt like cold turkey and then I said it is even worse it felt like frozen turkey… there wasn’t a saying what it felt like for her to disappear to disappear like that. I know the term to be ghosted but I never stopped missing my friend. If I had to chose between her letting me fall in love with her or just be her friend or nothing at all. I’d choose to be her friend.”

Emma looked into those green-grey eyes that she found breathtakingly beautiful. “I missed you too.”

“Good that means you are coming to my wedding, feel free to bring a plus one.”

“There isn’t anyone I would want to bring along. Are you going to wear the wedding dress you tried on with Demi?”

“Good, I like the idea that your eyes will only be on me. I start to enjoy being the centre or attention. No well kind of. My dress is made for me. It is Princess Serenity’s dress inspired. It will be fitting like the one I wore and have a train like it but have the slight sleeves and the pattern on it. I’d show it to you but I don’t have a picture of my phone so Mina can’t find it and I can’t put the dress on at the moment.” Taliah again cradled her baby bump…

It was early, Demi had slept with her in the room. She was still asleep. Usually Demi would be awake before Demi, but not this morning. Taliah had barely slept at all, she snug out and went in the gym. Since she started running exercising was her way of dealing, thinking, everything.

“It’s your wedding day, you should have like a long bath or something.” Emma grinned as she went on the cross trainer next to Taliah. Taliah was on the treadmill, running as if she was running from something. For a while she didn’t answer, she just ran.


“Do you know that not even once have I heard you say my name before? Never have you called me Tali.” Taliah continued running, without looking at Emma.

“Did I not?” Emma asked surprised but she felt that something was going on. It was more than her not saying her name.

“No you did not.” Taliah said out of breath. “What if she breaks my heart too?”

“She won’t, Demi is right. You and her… you are a Disney movie with the perfect ending. Mina adores you with all her heart. You are her greatest treasure and I am glad you found her, someone like her that can give you everything you deserve. Everything I couldn’t give you. She is the girl I always knew you deserve.”

“I am glad you are here.” Taliah said calmly as she ran off the treadmill elegantly without stopping it. “You and I were over so sudden that I never got to give you the kiss I said I would. I never got to kiss you goodbye.”

“Tali?” Emma stood right in front of the other girl now, mesmerised by those green-grey eyes. Tali smiled and then leaned into the kiss. Emma knew she shouldn’t but she kissed the younger girl back, Emma kissed her on Taliah’s wedding day.

Taliah broke the kiss first. “Goodbye.” Taliah whispered. “You did so much for me and smashed the wall around my heart and then you broke it and if that hadn’t happened I would have never let Mina in. But this is goodbye. I don’t expect you to stay but kissing you I realise how much I love Mina, she is the one. She went all out when she proposed, it was the perfect Howl’s Moving Castle moment. I don’t have an engagement ring because my wedding band is Howl’s ring.”

Taliah stepped away from Emma smiling kindly. “She is everything you were not or couldn’t be. I don’t know. I still have two versions of you in my head and so much time has gone by that I pictured a few times how it would be to meet you again… Goodbye Emma, farewell Emma, may life smile upon you and one day you have everything you wish for. I am not expecting you to stay for the wedding, or to call me again. We were a meteor, so fast and so beautiful but only there for a few seconds, only there for a short time. Nothing more than a shooting star, if you don’t see it you miss it.”

“I loved you so much, when I stood at the top of the train station it hit me like lightning… But then all the sudden I had this spell on me and it made me walk away from you. It took me some time to break it but by then I knew you had moved on, you found what you deserved. You looked so happy in the pictures. Your Instagram changed from food and dog pictures to life pictures and it is amazing to see that. I shouldn’t have left you the way I did. And if you let me I would like to be your friend at least I will try, just know that for a while maybe forever I will love you.”

Taliah smiled. “No funny business.”

“Me? Funny business? Never.” Emma grinned. “And just to make this clear, you kissed me.”
Taliah chuckled, picked up her water bottle and walked out smiling. “I better get ready it is my wedding day.”

Mina grinned from one ear to the other as Taliah walked out, she knew she was the luckiest girl in the entire world because she found her Sophie, she found her Princess Serenity and she love her out of all people. This gorgeous, breathtakingly beautiful girl loved her. When she found Taliah, she was broken. Taliah was so much like Sophie not knowing how amazing she actually is. She was so much like Usagi not realising that she is the moon princess.
In Mina’s eyes the best part when they had their first dance, it started out all romantic with a waltz. Mina grinned listening to Taliah repeating the steps over and over so wouldn’t trip and then it went over in this really amazing movie dance, they could totally join the cast of movies like Honey -one of Taliah’s all time favourite movies-. Mina held on to Taliah’s hip and then spun her around and unravelled her skirt so that she ended up with a dress that looked a lot like a sailor scout outfit, just in white -well nearly all white there was one turquoise underskirt. The guests were cheering and everyone started dancing.

This! Was everything Taliah had ever dreamed of. A family. A life. An adventure.

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