Tuesday, March 29, 2011

After the meal Star glanced at Laila then at Ramji. She could see the indecision and pain in his eyes. Sighing she stands and hands Mera to Stoney.

“Can you lay her with Gracie, please?”

Stoney smiles and nods, admiring Keons little girl.

Reaching for Lailas hand Star pulls her to her feet. “Come with me. I need to tell you something, its important..”

Confused, thinking that maybe she had upset Star in some way, Laila silently follows her friend to a small herb garden. Mya is fluttering around, smelling the sweet herbs and flowers. Star leads Laila to a bench that is placed behind a trellis full of Clematis blooms.

“I am very sorry to be the one to tell you this, but I think everyone else is so afraid to hurt you in any way. Please know that I love you and I dont mean to hurt you either..”

Laila is instantly scared, “Have I done something to offend someone? What have I done Star? Please tell me.”

Star pulls Laila close and puts an arm around her. “You havent done anything wrong. Alise and Jack...well....they see spirits. And they see them around you...”

“Oh...” For a moment Laila does not know what to say. She had heard of such things, but had never spoken to anyone who actually had the gift. “But who are they seeing? Do they know?”

Star nods slowly. “Jack spoke with them. He says they are... your parents.”

Laila is stunned into silence at first. She shakes her head, “But that cant be... it cant be them. Star... please tell me this is some kind of joke... its not funny....”

“I am so sorry. Jack and Alise are sure or they would never have let me tell you.”

Laila stands, tears starting to flow, “But how? When?”

Star shakes her head, “I am not sure...”

“I wanted to tell my father about Ramji, and I have so many things to ask my mother now....” Laila lowers her face into her hands and sobs.

As Star stands to go to her, Laila sinks to the grass. From the picnic table the rest of the group hears her anguished, “No, please... no....”

Ramji is on his feet and at Lailas side in seconds. He wraps his arms around her, sobs wracking her small frame. He looks up at Star, her eyes turned gray with sadness, tears slipping down her cheeks.

“Shhh, malo janje*... shhh... I will take care of you... it will be all right....” Ramji rocks her and lets her cry.

Laila looks up, eyes red and pleading with Star. “Maybe they are wrong. Maybe it was someone else they spoke to. Maybe Alise is lying... it cant be true.”

Alise had slowly approached and heard the comment. She kneels in the grass and takes Lailas tear-streaked face in her hands. “I would not lie about such a thing. Not to you, not to anyone. I would never take pleasure in causing anyone such pain, especially not someone I am growing to care about very much.”

Gazing into her soft purple eyes Laila knew Alise spoke the truth. She nods slowly, “I am sorry..”

“Its fine. I understand. I have lost my parents too. Would you like to speak to yours? They are right here with you. But we should get Jack, he has more experience at this than I do.”

Laila nods and wipes her eyes. Ramji helps her stand and walks with her to the bench, handing her a handkerchief as Alise goes to get Jack.

*little lamb

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