Once I woke up it took some time to realize where I was. A greenish color shone at the wall I faced and as I turned on my back the same color I noticed on the ceiling. Later she, the woman who brought me here, explained it is mother Nature, her color. I am not sure it was she who woke me up since I always wake up. I did underneath the cupboard bed where I spent my life so far.
I waited for what happened. Did I
fell asleep? It's possible. Time never played a role in my life. Besides those moments I spent thinking, ate while she wrapped her arms around me, the short moments I stayed in her bed day and night were equal to me. I never saw, met, or heard other children. I felt I was precious to her, her only reason to live. She had whispered those words in my ear many times, told me stories, and named everything during those short moments we spent together. She knew I understood her although she never heard my voice repeating anything or say a single word.
"I knew I would find you, " she said as we sat at the table and had a light breakfast of tea, biscuits, and a piece of what she called fruit. The biscuits smelled heavenly and it was what I smelled immediately as she entered my room and asked if I was awake.
"You can sleep more later on today if you feel the need to but let's go for a walk first. You haven't seen the garden yet."
She laughed as she saw my face.
"There's a huge world outside this house and it's for your own good to meet more of it, get comfortable with it because...."
She paused didn't continue her sentence. Instead, she sipped her tea and observed a bird outside the window.
Those herbs, they scented amazing, the whole garden did. I couldn't help inhaling deep with every step I took. It smelled so different from the village, the market, the place where I was born. This was the scent of freshness, hope, life. How fragile all those little green plants looked. We passed by and she told me their names. On my knees, I crawled and sniffed each species while I repeated the names. Strange, long words she called Latin but I would remember them together with their specific aroma and odor. The herbs garden was huge and all plants were seeded in a row. A lot of work for one single woman. How she managed to do all the work alone or did someone else care about the plants? Perhaps they grew by themselves?
"Love is the key, love for what you do, like, " she said and grinned. I am not alone, neither lonely.
It was as if this place entangled the entire world. She kept walking, spoke when she thought it was something worth sharing. I followed her, kneeled, and crawled between and around what she called 'human beings their highest need'.
For the first time, I smelled life and felt it. Was this how children played? For a short moment, I thought I saw eyes hidden behind a row of thyme, or was it rosemary but after I blinked they were gone.
She let me play in my way, enjoy and discover the beauty and power of Mother Nature in her garden. As I looked back to see the house it was gone. I pointed in its direction and wondered even felt a bit worried.
"No need to worry, it's there, " her voice sounded soft and she smiled, "a home is always there if you need one or long for it. It's here, she held her first against her chest, and here too, she tapped at the side of her head."
I frowned and wondered how a house like hers fitted in her chest or head but her answer was as good as any other. Why worry if she felt fine with it? I took a second look in the direction of the house but there was nothing except for the fields with herbs. I frowned, shrugged, and followed the woman who seemed to be able to walk on air endlessly. It was as if her feet never touched the ground.
"Do you like to have a name? Mine is Carmen. There's no shortcut for it. I need to warn you, many fear me. If they see me they think I am the reason for their bad luck. However, they will ask me for help if they are in need... The conflicting nature of the being."
I thought about her words. I mean, would a name make any difference and what did she mean by 'many fear me'? Was it what the man who sold her felt? Carmen hadn't scared me since I stayed with her. It felt good being with her. A name, what was the purpose of it? I could never tell anyone what mine was besides we seem to do fine without one. How could I ever call hers if I discovered something exciting, use my voice to warn her, or cry it out if I felt danger or feared? She waited and heard me. I didn't know it but she heard every thought of mine, each word I kept inside of me.
Back at the house, she asked, "How about trying it for a few days? If it doesn't work or you don't like it we give up on it."
It sounded like a good plan. No pressure. She was kind to me I could do the favor back and make it easier for her. She could speak there was no need to take words away from her. I nodded. She smiled and drew letters on a blackboard and shove it in front of me on the table.
"These are signs. Letters more specific. Tell me your name. Point at those letters you like. It can be once or twice even more."
I sounded like a game. All those strange figures on the board. Some seemed to look clearer and call me. I pointed at them without knowing what they meant. She wrote them down carefully. Why I didn't stop after two or three I can't tell but I pointed at them excitedly and kept pointing at the signs who asked me to pick them.
'Clarissa' is what the letters she wrote down on the paper said. Clarissa.
"Are you sure this is your name?"
How could I be sure? The letters told me to pick them and one more than once. I nodded it was fine like any other this is what the letters wanted and she would be happy with me having a name.
"Clarissa is a powerful name. I will call you Isa for now. It's as powerful, good for a young child. Let's celebrate your birth Isa, how about a cake. We can make one."
I nodded enthusiastically although I had no idea what a cake was and if you don't know it either I can tell you it's delicious, literally everything about it was. The time with her preparing it, tasting what she called dough, making the fire to bake it, waiting till it was ready, its smell, the three candles on top, and the taste.
"Happy birthday my dear Isa may good come over and with you. Blow the candles and make a wish. Don't worry the fire can't harm you."
She wrapped her arms around me and I couldn't help thinking of the only other person who had done this to me. My mother who had tried to protect me and cried her eyes of. She would be alone now while I... Tears ran over my face as I watched the three candles. All three good for a wish, a wish I didn't have but nevertheless made. If it was a good one I don't know. Mine became real, in some way it did which proves wishes do come true. Be careful. It's better not to make any unless you know the future or are willing to accept the consequences.
It was my third birthday and I felt something I never felt before. I felt home next to be wanted and loved. The house had shown up at the end of our walk and welcomed me. I had a name, celebrated my first birthday party, was in good company, and had a warm place I could call my own to think and sleep. It was a good day in a good world, the world she had introduced me to.
Amount of words: 2125
(The prompt was added after the story was finished)
Not the complete episode is posted.