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Authors: Keisha Biddle

The Vanishing Stone

BOOK: The Vanishing Stone
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The

Vanishing

Stone

 

Keisha Biddle

 

 

 

copyright
©
2013 Keisha Biddle

Cover Photo by:
Belovodchenko Anton

 

 

 

 

 

To God, who has given me a passion for reading and writing.

My sons, who I would die for and who inspire me
everyday.

And to my family and friends who have supported me through this

adventure.

 

             

1

 

 

 

 

N
ikoleta was in the bathroom putting on her typical dark makeup and clothes: dark eye shadow, dark lipstick, black tank top, ripped jeans, and Converse shoes. She was seventeen, average height, blue eyes, and long, dark-brown, curly hair. Like any day of school, she wasn't excited to go. School for her was torture. It was just another place where she had to keep looking out for people—and herself.

She lived with twelve younger girls in the Tri-County Orphanage in
Ninshaw, Rhode Island. It was an all girls orphanage ran by Helga, Misty and Mary. They took good care of everyone, no doubt, but at the same token, weren’t very motherly. She had been mostly ignored by them all of her life, either that or bossed around. She snuck out of her window almost every night to go to the beach and they never noticed. She hated it, though. She wished they would spend more time with her and at least act like they cared. She longed for a real family. Nikoleta didn’t know what happened to her parents. For all she knew, they were dead. They, apparently, dropped her off one night and took off. All of her life she wondered about them and what her life would be like if she had been raised by them.

“Nikki! C'mon! I
gotta go!” yelled little Carlita, pounding on the bathroom door. She was ten. “I'll be out in a minute, Carli!” Nikoleta answered back. Finally, she came out of the bathroom. “I don’t know why you take so long to put on that ugly make-up. It makes you look like a witch!" said Carlita, with a snarl. Opening the door, Nikoleta scared Carlita, “Maybe I am a witch, and maybe I’m going to cast a spell on you!” She reached down and tickled her and Carlita screamed and went into the bathroom and closed the door. The other girls annoyed Nikoleta to no end but she had a soft spot for them. After all, they were her only family. Family is not something you can choose, so she had to make do.

   
              Nikoleta came down to the first floor where Misty and Mary were cooking breakfast. She went to the kitchen and asked if she could help. "Yes, Nikoleta, go on and get the little ones and set the table. And make sure Jena isn’t hiding under her bed, she can’t be late for school again," Mary told Nikoleta. Mary was the oldest of the women who took care of them. She was also the most demanding. Nikoleta thought she must have had a tough life being that she was so cold sometimes.

    
              Nikoleta ran upstairs to find Jena. Lo and behold, she was under the bed as Mary said. Jena was one of the three seven-year- old’s. “Jena, why are you hiding under your bed again?” Nikoleta asked with a smile. “Because I don’t want to go to school. I'm not good at anything. I just want to stay here,” Jena answered. “What are you not good at?”

  
              “I am not good at ANYTHING!” came a replied yell from under the bed.

              “I don’t think that’s true," Nikoleta said in a reassuring voice.

              “Yes it is! My teacher said I am not good at coloring. I colored the pig brown and she said it’s supposed to be pink.”

   
              Nikoleta looked befuddled. “Well, apparently, she has never seen a brown pig! C'mon I will walk you to school and I will talk to your teacher for you.”

  
              “Okay, but she isn’t going to change her mind," Jena said.

   
             
Oh yes she will
, thought Nikoleta.

   
              Jena and Nikoleta walked down stairs to get breakfast and all there was left was toast and juice. They each grabbed a piece of toast and drank a small glass of orange juice and out the door they went after collecting their bags. Nikoleta walked Jena to school as promised and met her teacher, Miss Bean, at the front gate.

  
              “Hi Nikki,” said Miss Bean. “How are you today?” Instead of answering her question, Nikoleta asked, “Have you ever seen a brown pig before?”

    
              “What? Um... I'm not sure what you mean?” 

    
              “You told my little sister that she isn’t good at coloring because she colored the pig brown instead of pink. Have you never seen a brown pig? There are plenty of pigs that are brown! Do I need to pull it up on the internet for you? It's the same concept as 'not-all-ducks-are-yellow-with-an-orange- beak'. You're being too stereo-typical, Miss Bean! Jena is great at coloring, and you being her teacher need to respect her creativity, not criticize it! Don’t let this happen again.”

   
              Miss Bean, completely taken aback, just gave a look of guilt to Jena and turned around and walked away. Nikoleta bent down and kissed Jena on the forehead and said goodbye and gave her a wink. Jena skipped towards the school entrance.

   
              Nikoleta, then, started walking towards her high school. Nikoleta was a senior and couldn’t wait for it all to be over with in a few months. The air was slightly cool as she walked down the side walk, when suddenly, on the street next to her came a Camaro and
Honk-Honk
. “Hey Nikki, where's your car? Oh that’s right! You don’t have one, do you?” roared a laughing Mandy Davidson as she sped away in her red, expensive car. Nikoleta just didn’t understand, Mandy wasn't a cheerleader, she wasn't the prettiest girl in school, her grades weren’t even that great and she certainly wasn't the nicest girl. Why on planet Earth did people like her so much? On top of that she was a bully. Nikoleta didn’t like bullies. She firmly believed that if you're going to pick a fight, you need to pick it with someone who offers a fair challenge, not with someone who you know is weaker than you. Mandy was someone who liked to cause trouble. Every “nerd” or introverted individual she saw--actually anyone different from her and her disturbed group of so-call friends--was a target. Mandy had been a long time rival of Nikoleta's. They had always fought and Mandy had always targeted Nikoleta. Mandy will get hers one day. That's for sure.

    
              Nikoleta arrived at the front gate of the high school and the bell was ringing. First period was her math class. She wasn't excited to have that particular subject shortly after she woke up but she made do.

She went through her typical school day the same as she did every day;
she minded her own business, went to her classes and always observed the idiots around her. Lunch time came and as always she got her tray of unappetizing food that smelled like moldy socks on most days and sat at a table by her self. She was reading her English assignment and eating some french fries when suddenly there was a stir in the cafeteria. There seemed to be a group of people messing with a short blonde girl, probably a freshman. With a closer look, Nikoleta realized it was Mandy and her crew: Jake, Cindy and Brian. It seemed the other three were standing back while Mandy did most of the “work”. Nikoleta wasn't going to stand for this anymore. Mandy needed to be stopped and to be stopped now!

   
              She got up from her chair, took her jacket off and threw it on the table and headed over to them. Mandy said to the girl in a malicious sort of voice, “Listen here, Goldilocks, You are seriously going to regret bumping into me! Did you think I wouldn't notice you?" Mandy pushed the girl against the wall, and she dropped her tray and got ketchup on her shoes and fries beneath her feet, while other idiots were yelling “Fight! Fight!” That was it! Nikoleta's chance was right there in front of her.

  
              She grabbed Mandy by hood of her sweater and pushed her head into the wall. “You just don’t quit do you? You know what, Mandy, you're done! You're done messing with people and getting away with it!” Mandy swung to punch her in the face and Nikoleta blocked it and punched her in the nose. Her head went flying back into the wall. Meanwhile, her friends, the three stooges, stood by watching. Before anyone could make another move, Mr. Brown, the principle, came to see what the commotion was and just so happened to catch the last punch Nikoleta threw. “Miss Soter! You need to come with me, NOW! The rest of you, finish you're lunch. Miss Davidson, go to the clinic and get cleaned up.” He grabbed Nikoleta by the arm and just about dragged her to his office.

 

                “Sit down.” Nikoleta sat in one of the two chairs in front of his desk. “Miss Soter, what is going on? Why are you always fighting with that poor girl?” Nikoleta couldn't help but to explode, “Poor girl? Poor girl! She was bullying the blonde--”. “Nikoleta, please calm down. Listen, I know you've had it a little rough living in the orphanage, not knowing anything about your parents, living with twelve other girls but you have got to pull it together. Even if Amanda was bullying the other girl, there is no need for you to step in. That’s my job. This isn’t an easy decision for me, Miss Soter, but I’m going to have to suspend you for a few days,” he explained.

 
              “What?! Suspend me for what?  Sticking up for one of Mandy's victims? This is crap!” she yelled. “This may be crap but I think you need to take a break from it all for a couple days, clear your mind a little bit. I'll call Helga and have her to come pick you up.”

   
              Mr. Brown was very familiar with the orphanage. He had seen girls come from there for twenty something years, some good, and some bad. He was also pretty close to Helga, dealing with the girls and all. And of course this was not the first time Nikoleta had been in his office.

 

***

 

                   Helga was there to pick up Nikoleta right away. The ride back to the orphanage wasn't a long one, being that it was only about a mile away, but it seemed to last forever. Helga didn’t say a word but Nikoleta knew she was to get an earful when they arrived back home. A few minutes later they were back at the cramped, beat-up looking, three-story orphanage that she called home. Nikoleta took her things inside and sat at one of the two long, wooden dining room tables. Helga sat across from her, “Alright, Nikki! What's been going on? You keep fighting this girl, Amanda, you have no friends, and you don’t want to do anything normal teenagers do. No football games, no prom date, no driving, not even going to the mall with your friends—which you don’t have. Why did you fight her this time?” Nikoleta just stared. “Why can’t you accept me the way I am? Yeah, I like to read and draw and....and be alone. So what? Have you seen how other 'normal teenagers' treat each other? I want no part of it. I feel like I spend my life defending people from that Amanda girl. If anyone isn’t normal, it's her!” Nikoleta breathed, her eyes teared up. “Nikki, you are almost done with high school, don’t blow it because you feel the need to protect everyone. There are far worse enemies out there than Amanda Davidson. So, here's the deal young lady, you go up to your room, stay there the next few days until you go back to school. You should sort things out. I'll have one of the other girls bring you your dinner. Please, just do me a favor...”

   
              “What?”

  
              “Let it be. If Mandy wants to fight, let her fight. Don’t get involved, okay? I am also going to talk to one of the social workers about getting counseling for you. It may help.” Nikoleta looked to her right, “Yes ma'am," she said calmly. She then got up and went to her room upstairs in the attic, which was behind a door on the third floor and up a set of stairs.

   
              Counseling?
Blek
. What was that going to do? It would be useless. Neither she, nor anyone else had any clue what had happened to her parents. For all she knew, they could have just dropped her off and never thought of her again. Or maybe they were dead. Perhaps they were “abnormal” teenagers such as her self who couldn’t afford a child. Who knew? But what was pondering on the question going to do exactly? Other than the subject of her parents there was nothing in her life worth talking about.

  
              She went down to the second floor where the bathroom was to take a quick shower before all the other girls got home and needed to use it. She undressed and looked at her face in the mirror. A lot of the time she wasn't sure who was looking back at her. Was it Nikoleta Daniella Soter? Was that even what her parents named her? Who did name her, anyway, Helga, Misty and Mary? Who knows? Before she got into the shower she washed her face. All the dark makeup washed down the sink. She looked in the mirror again, hating what she saw. Without her makeup she felt naked, bare, and vulnerable. Her skin and face actually had somewhat of a healthy glow to it. No acne. Natural beauty was definitely on her side, but she didn’t see it.

  
              After her shower she went back to her room and put on a black tank top with black yoga pants. She never did yoga, but man, were those pants comfortable. She began doing her homework and she could hear commotion down stairs from the other girls. They were home about an hour and talking about all sort of things, she couldn’t decipher what, though. Around six o'clock, Lindsey Trazowski, one of the twelve year old's, came and brought her her dinner. Spaghetti and garlic bread, Misty's specialty.

 
              “Why did you get suspended, Nikki?” Lindsey asked. She was the next oldest after Nikoleta. “I got into a fight. It's no big deal, not like I started it or anything.” She answered back, nonchalantly. “Well, anyway, I’m glad you are OK, Nikki.” She got up and started walking down the stairs. “Thanks,” Nikoleta whispered. Later that night, Nikoleta decided she was going to go for a walk, which she did quite often. She opened her little window from the attic and stepped out onto the lower roof then on down to the fire escape ladder. At the bottom she jumped down to the ground and crept along the side of the building. She ran to the alley which was about one-hundred yards away, which led to a short cut to the beach. She walked down the alley and came to a small road of houses, in between two of the houses; there was a wooden ramp to get onto the beach.

BOOK: The Vanishing Stone
3.28Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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