A/N: I have no idea where this came from, so don't ask, haha. Maybe I should've waited til Christmas to post this…nah, too long from now. :P
Disclaimer:I don't own D. Gray-Man, or any of its wonderful characters
Meaning of a Name
"Merry Christmas, …. And…happy …."
A name is someone's identity, something that separates one person from another, a word that represents a life. If one does not have a name, it's the equivalent of not having an identity, simply a nobody.
And so it was for him.
He had no name, no family, no home. Not a thing. He had long since given up the fact that anyone would accept him for what he really was, he knew that for certain. Abandoned at birth, his "mother" screaming at the sight of his innocent face as soon as he came out of the womb, scorned by all who saw him, he knew no one would care for him, to love him.
But he had long since gotten over that, scavenging the streets and alleyways for food, sleeping on the hard floor every night, never staying in one place for too long, for if he did, he was sure to get beaten, mugged, yelled at, and who knows what else could happen to an orphaned four year old. A boy who knew not a thing about the word "love" or "compassion." Only hate, anger, disgust.
Even more so if he tried to take a half eaten sandwich from the trash, and was driven away by the owner, shouts and insults following his petite form as he ran, farther and farther, though the screams never seemed to escape him. No matter how hard or how fast he ran.
And so it was for the following years.
His chestnut color hair, though beautiful and shining when cleaned, was mattered and covered with dirt and grime, cuts and bruises decorating his malnourished form, his clothes tattered and useless, though a large portion was wrapped around his left arm. It was a miracle in itself how he managed to survive all this time, through all the things he's had to go through in his early years of life, his flame never burning out. His will to live.
He had learned to shut himself away from the world, ignore everything that was around him, and let everything around him go by as if he was never there. But that technique never worked during this season. All around him people were merry, bright lights and decorations around the town plaza, evergreens of varying sizes showing through the bright windows of warm houses and apartments. Everything looked so pretty and warm.
But that was it. That was all it was.
That warmth that seemed to resonate from the windows never reached him, and he knew, somehow, that it never would. No one would bother themselves with trash like him. Not even to give him a small bite of something to eat, even though it was "the season of giving." What a load of bull.
Every year he would stay out in the cold, snowy streets, blocking out the merry songs and laughter from the homes surrounding him. He would find an abandoned alley and stay there for the night. It didn't matter if he was cold, or if he was hungry. He just wanted to get away from the welcoming embrace of the warm windows, he didn't want to see the smiling faces of the people inside, nor did he want their scorn or empty pity. He didn't want any of that.
He just wanted someone to accept him, for someone to love him and not care about his feature. He didn't want to feel lonely anymore.
A infinitesimal whimper escaped his lips as he unconsciously gazed at the homes from his safe position. His legs buckled and he fell onto the newly fallen snow with a small 'thump'. He held his left arm close to him, his right arm protectively covering it from view, his knees brought up to his chest. Eyes shut tight, small body convulsing with minute shivers, he cried silently for the family he never knew, for the family that he wished to have. He cried for someone to hold him, to love him, to tell him that he wasn't alone anymore. But he also cried for an unrealistic dream. He knew no one would ever do such kind acts towards him, and he cried.
And that was when he found him.
"Hey there…why are you crying?"
A man kneeled down in front of him, his ebony hat and attire deeply contrasting with the still falling snow. "Are you lost?"
The little boy, on impulse, recoiled at the sight of the man in front of him. Although he had good intentions, and even though he wore a kind smile on his face, his eyes filled with nothing but benevolence, the fear of being hurt was something too great for the child to overcome just yet. He backed up until he felt the hard wall press against his back. There was no way out. At least, none that he could see.
The man blinked, surprise apparent on his face. "Are you alright…?" He reached his hand out, as if to give the boy a gentle reassuring clasp on the shoulder, but as soon as that hand was raised, the boy panicked. He didn't want to get hurt, he didn't want to be hurt anymore. Immediately he recoiled and awaited something that never came. A few silent moments passed and the boy opened an eye and looked at the man in front of him, curious to see if he had left.
He was still there, kneeled on the ground, continuing to look at him with kind eyes, the hand that the boy was sure he was going to be hit with, at the man's side. Apparently the man saw the quizzical expression on his face and he smiled at the younger male.
"I'm sorry…I didn't mean to scare you. What's your name?"
All he received was a blank stare. No one had ever asked him his name, no one had even bothered to look at him without screaming. So then why was this man? He broke the gaze between him and the man and stared at the ground, his bottom lip quavering. He wanted to get away and hide, it felt strange, to be talked to as if nothing was wrong with him. But he knew better, he had learned a few things after his experiences. People would pretend to be kind and sincere, and just when you think you can trust them with your life, they turn around and stab you in the back, throwing you back onto the streets with a bleeding heart. He knew that all too well. And he wasn't going to fall for it from this man. But there was something different about the male in front of him. Maybe…just maybe…
"…you don't have one..?"
The man's smile faltered as he gazed down at the boy. He was malnourished, filthy, cold, and, he was sure, hungry. It was only then did it dawn on him. The man paled, his skin almost the color of the frozen tears of heaven. This boy is an orphan. This boy was abandoned.
And then something happened that would forever be in the boy's memory.
The man turned slightly and shifted through the brown grocery bag at his side. He withdrew his arm and extended it towards the boy, an apple in the palm of his outstretched hand.
"It's not much…but are you hungry?"
The boy stared, then let his eyes wander from the fruit to the face of the man. There was no trace of any malevolent thought in the man's eyes and the apple seemed juicy and ripe. Cautiously, slowly, with quavering hands, he took the apple from the older male and held the fruit in his hands, as if to make sure it was real. He looked back up at the man, his face filled with nothing but curiosity. He saw the man smile.
"I would give you some meat, but you shouldn't have raw, uncooked steak…it's not good for you." He stood up and looked down at the boy. "But if you come with me, you're more than welcome to have some. I think I bought a bit too much for myself anyway."
Once more the boy looked at him. But now he wasn't so weary of the tall man. Now he was just curious about him.
"My name is Mana Walker."
Mana Walker bent down and squatted in front of the boy, who didn't move from his spot. He extended a hand, and again, the boy didn't move. "Would you like to have a family? You won't be lonely anymore, and I'll make sure you won't be hurt."
It was as if the clouds that had hidden the sun parted and finally let the tepid rays lightly touch the young boy's face. The bottomless pit in his gut finally seemed to be filled, and he no longer felt cold. This feeling was different than what he felt when the other people had said that they would take him in. This time, he felt as though he could really trust the man wearing the top hat, and that was something he never felt. Tears stung his eyes as they fell, but they were not tears of sadness, like they had been before. These held a different meaning.
Mana smiled slightly and reached over to the boy, wrapping an arm around his small frame, embracing the crying boy. At first he felt him stiffen but after a few moments he felt him relax and soon enough he felt small fingers encircling themselves upon the front of his coat. It was then that the tattered clothes wrapped around the boy's left arm untangled and revealed what the boy was trying to hide from the world that detested him so.
The little boy felt them loosen and he immediately struggled in the man's grasp. Panic ran through him and he wanted to run. It was a reflex, he didn't want anyone to see his deformity. The man would yell at him and leave him, just like the others had done before. He wanted to leave before that happened. Even as he felt the man trying to calm him down, he wouldn't stand it. He knew that he would do as the others had done, and he couldn't take that anymore. He just couldn't.
But, then, Mana said something that no one had ever said before.
"Let me see your arm. I won't hurt you, I promise, shhhh…it's okay now, I'm here…"
The boy stopped struggling for a bit and allowed the man to see his arm. His eyes shut tight as he prepared himself for the expected cursing and yelling. If it had ever come.
Curious, he opened his eyes and looked up. He couldn't see Mana's eyes, for they were covered by shadow. Because he had been closing his eyes moments before, he didn't see Mana's expression at the sight of his blood red arm. The boy felt his tears falling again. He knew it was too good to be true, no one would love him, would take care of him. And it was all because his arm was warped, blood-red in color and crevices all along its discolored length, his nails the color of the blackest night.
And so he cried.
His wails echoed throughout the alleyway, full of sorrow and hurt. The apple that was given lay on the ground beside the two, its surface reflecting the soft sunlight, nearly forgotten amongst the boy's cries.
Mana wrapped his arms around the crying boy, whispering comforting words, slowly rocking back and forth. "I'm sorry, I was just surprised, shhh now, don't cry, don't cry….it's going to be all right…"
Slowly, eventually, the boy's cries quieted down until they were nothing but mere whimpers. "It's alright…" Mana looked at the boy and gave him a smile. "Shall we head home and get you cleaned up?"
With tears still falling, the boy looked at him and, for the first time in his life, finally felt accepted. The man hadn't screamed or yelled at him, didn't beat or scorn him, he didn't even glare at him. He reached up and wrapped his tiny arms around his father's neck, sobbing quietly onto his already damp shoulder. He nodded slowly and, although he couldn't see him, knew that Mana was smiling.
"Well, now we need a name for you…"
The boy turned his head slightly, just enough to look at him through one eye. He saw a smile play at Mana's lips.
"How about…hmm….Do you like the name Allen?"
A name is something that identifies someone, a word that adds meaning to one's life. If one does not own a name, then he does not have his own identity, he has no idea who he is and what he has to live for.
That is no longer him.
The little boy that had no name, no home, no family, now had everything he wished for. He has a loving father now, Mana, who didn't care about his arm, a warm home, and now he had a name to call his own. A name that his family, his father, had given him. A name given to him on the day he was found, on the very day that he had despised for so long, and on the same day that he started on the journey he never knew he started. A name that ties with the day that he came to truly be alive.
His name is Allen Walker; birthday: December 25th
"Merry Christmas, Allen. And happy birthday."
Allen: Precious (Gaelic origin, Old German), handsome, little rock (Breton), fair (Scottish), harmony (Celtic), noble (Celtic/early Irish), cheerful, shy, sensitive towards others. Sentimental, brave, spirited. Actual meaning of name is uncertain, but many believe that Allen is a name worthy of someone who will bring about great things and a houses a gentle soul.
Haha doesn't Allen's name suit him? I love it! The meaning of Allen I found by searching a couple websites, I didn't make the meanings, only the last part about the great things and gentle soul. Hope you enjoyed!
PS: I'm still working on chapter 8 of What Once Was at the moment, so hopefully I'll have it posted soon but I have writer's block at the moment so…sorry! -sweat drop-