The Union of an Apprentice and the
The farm in near Wapiti Wyoming is quite. Except for the occasional car that goes by at the road, that Clelia can hear from her farmhouse. Her eyes register the photo in her hand, the photo of her as a baby in her mother's arms. Before Shana O'Hara gave her up for adoption, she sat safely nestled in her mother's arms.
Before her life was turned into one big unsafe rickety rollercoaster, before Ted Silverstein and Jane Silverstein took her into their New York life. Where upon her mother left the Midtown New York hospital and left back to her Army life, at Staten Island, the Chapels assistant School Motor Pool.
She stared at the birds flying over the valley; she looked at her file from the adoption agency laying on the coffee table beside her maegony rocking chair she brought here.
The file she picked as she put down the photo and she read how as a one year old she was taken to a move to Australia with her adoptive parents.
They were going to live in Sydney work in a Australian branch of Ted's Corporate law agency, but before they did that they went on holiday to see Ted's mother. Who had moved to Lismore, Australia with her Australian boyfriend.
When they went out on romantic picnic with out me and had a little too much drink, on the way home they speed the car and met an Australian gum tree.
The Impact causing them both to die and leaving me an orphan yet again, the grandmother was devastated.
Clelia thought to herself, "She didn't want to keep me and I was put up for adoption again and adopted by the Hamilton's.
Who already had three children; they had lost a fourth child at birth.
So they adopted me, but then they got me and they didn't want me.
Still they kept me and abused me physically, sexually and emotionally.
We moved to a place called Wagga Wagga, where I lived for most of my life with them.
That's where they abused me, most Wagga Wagga.
I was abused and bullied by my brothers and sisters, Gina, Patrick , Sean and a fifth child.
A half sister that sometimes came round from Holland. I never fitted in Wagga and was bullied, like I am most places I go.
Comics, TV and music have always got me through.
I was in Wagga Wagga without my family in foster homes, cause of what I had happened to me.
I got into foster homes and out again when I realised they were just as bad, if worse I thought at first.
Then when I was abused by my family from when I got to Sydney, I realised it was just as bad. I moved to Sydney as a teenager on my own, my family had already moved to the city and to Gosford.
I reconnected with my siblings there after my sister contacted me in Wagga and as an adult they showed me they hadn't changed.
They abused me physically, emotionally, sexually, stole from me, trespassed, extorted money out of me, raped me, they even brought my parents back into my life who abused again. So I no longer have contact with my family.
Now at twenty-five I've moved to America, after saving up enough money and having completed my childcare traineeship to be a Nanny. I brought a house here in America and got a job ready for myself. Right now I just have only a rental car; I've still got to get my own car."
Clelia wondered about the call she made to the address her mother put in the adoption file as her home address. The Atlanta address with phone number, where a old man named Patrick answered and said she hadn't lived there for a long time. Her told Clelia that Shana is his daughter and he will ring and tell Shana that she called, as well as her number. He also seemed shocked by the fact that Shana had a daughter. Clelia thought, "I wonder why she didn't tell her own father about me? And why she hadn't called yet, I had called the address she gave me last night. Now the sun is setting on my farm as Saturday ends and no call."
She heard a howling of a coyote and got up and went inside with all the things from her adoption file, as well as the glass of cordial she had drunk.
Then she got the call from Shana O'Hara, the call she'd been waiting for.
"Hello, is this Clelia?"
"Yes, this is Clelia speaking."
"Hi, this Shana O'Hara speaking and I've been expecting your call for many years."
"Really, you aren't annoyed I called you?"
"No, not at all and I wanted to speak to you too. When you eventually would contact me, I've always wanted to speak to you. Do you want to meet?"
"Yes, when would you be able to meet me?"
"Next Saturday, if you like and do you want to meet at your Grandfathers? I'll bring your father to meet you too, I haven't told him yet but I will."
"Haven't told him I'm here in America do you mean?"
"That and I haven't told him that you exist, but I will don't worry."
"Why didn't you tell him, if you're still with him?"
"I just…I couldn't…I just felt he wasn't ready for a child at the time. It…it will be easier if I explain it to you when I see you."
"You don't mind doing that with your family and my father there?"
"Oh, that. They'll give us some time alone; they've got a farm outside Atlanta and I have no problem talking in front of your father to you."
"But you had a problem telling him about me straight off."
"Yes, I did. Do you want to see me or don't you?"
"Yes, I do. I'll come to your parent's place next Saturday. What time suits you?"
"Eleven in the morning, is that fine with you?"
"Yes, that's fine. Well see you then."
"Yes, have are good week. Are you coming that far?"
"No, just from Cody Wyoming and do you live in Atlanta?"
"No, I live in the Californian High Sierras with my fiancée Snake-eyes. Snake-eyes is your father."
"Why is he called Snake-eyes?"
"You should ask Snake-eyes when you met him."
"Okay, see you then."
"Okay, but if you want a place to stay you could stay at your grandparents place."
"Yeah, if your sure?"
"Yeah and do you know when you'll be coming in?"
"Yeah, I'm just looking on the internet now and…yeah 7pm on Friday. Is the earliest I can get, is that alright?"
"Yeah, I can pick you up if you want?"
"Yeah, I'm alright with that."
"Well, okay what are airline are you flying with?"
"Well goodbye, I'll meet you at the airport after you collect your baggage."
"Okay, I'll see you then. Bye."
Clelia hangs up and goes and gets her dinner at a Wapiti supermarket.
Almost a week later Clelia is walking down with her backpack to the front doors of the airport, her red hair in a ponytail and a bit messed up from the flight. Her blue eyes spot her mother straight away; she stands waiting next to this blond headed old man. He looks early fifties, just like Shana. They both have good bodies; they must work out a lot. Unlike me!
Clelia smiles at them and Shana and what must be Snake-eyes smiles back, she walks over to them. With her mans jacket, t-shirt, jeans, hiking boots, freckly body, size sixteen body and big DD breasts. She thinks, "God, they must be shocked to see how I look. Not the fashion casual and fitness look they are."
When Clelia gets to them, Shana smiles and hugs her.
When they separate Shana and Clelia shake hands and Shana says, "Its nice to finally meet you Clelia."(Then she holds Snake-eyes arm and says) "This is Snake-eyes, your father."
Clelia shakes his hand and he just nods, so she says, "Nice to meet you, Snake-eyes."
Snake-eyes signs and Shana says, "He can't talk, but he wants you to know he's pleased to meet you too."
Clelia smiles at him and he breaks away from Shana to give her a hug and she hugs him back. .Then they split apart and Snake-eyes signs and Shana says, "Snake-eyes says your beautiful and I think so too Clelia, come on lets go to the car."
Clelia says, "Thankyou."
Then follows them to their car in the car park and she sees a green Sedan. She doesn't know the sort, Clelia doesn't know cars.
They hop in and Shana says, "You don't talk much."
Clelia says, "Yeah."
Shana says, "Never mind your fathers not much of a talker either." She smiles at Snake-eyes and he smiles back, then she laughs at her joke. Clelia just smiles, Snake-eyes does a silent chuckle as he starts up the engine.
Shana and Snake-eyes entwine their left and right hands together as Snake-eyes drives off to Shana's parents house.
At the end of the city limit, when it shows the nice green fields and trees here and there. Clelia looks pleasantly surprised to find something better then her quick trip through this state when she was twenty-three, they didn't go this way. They stuck to the main highways, so she didn't see this beautiful scenery. These beautiful farmhouses they keep passing, till the turn into one driveway. Which leads to another beautiful southern farmhouse, where there's four other cars already parked and Shana says, "Looks my brothers are all here."
Snake-eyes parks the car and we get out, Snake-eyes and Shana get their stuff out of the boot.
Shana says, "Looks like we've got more stuff then you Clelia."
Clelia says, "Yeah." Holding her backpack over her right shoulder, looking at their three bags in Snake-eyes arms and one bag over Shana's shoulders. Clelia follows them to the front door and Shana rings the doorbell, then smiles at me. As the door opens up and a southern old lady opens the door, who must be in her early eighties.
The woman says, "Hello Shana, how have you been girl?"
Shana says, "Great, mom." They hug each other and then they separate and Shana's mom says, "Hello, Snake-eyes. Are you good?"
Snake-eyes nods and they shake hands in greeting.
The woman sees Clelia and they shake hands, then the woman says, "Hi my names Mae, you must be Clelia. My granddaughter, please to meet you."
Clelia says, "Hi, Mae it's nice to meet you."
They end shaking hands and they all go inside and Clelia meets her three Uncle's Hank, Joseph and Ciaran. Their wives Niamh, Eileen and Nicole. Uncle Hanks and Joseph's two sons. Grandad Patrick, he's in a wheel chair and looks likes he's in his early eighties.
Shana shows me to a room and they have a mattress all made up on the floor for me, Shana tells me it's my bed. I put my bag at the end of my bed and Shana and Snake-eyes put their bags against a couch on the right side of the room. The room has trophies of Karate tournaments on the wall and mantelpiece and a big double bed next to my mattress. It's a very girly looking room. I look at some pictures of Karate tournaments, Clelia says to Shana, "You're obviously into Karate. Did you use it on other children at school?"
Shana and Snake-eyes look at me surprised, Shana says, "No, I would never do that."(Then she was thoughtful.) "At one time as a teenager I did start enjoying defeating the other girls in tournaments, but then Da taught me how wrong that was. I was just being a prideful foolish teenager though; it was in tournaments as well. I always fought by the rules and I never fought dirty or used by skills at children at school. Why do you ask?"
Clelia says, "I just remember children and parents using Karate against me at school that's all."
Shana and Snake-eyes look shocked, Snake-eyes signs with his hands and Shana asks, "Snake-eyes wants to know how you defended yourself?"
Clelia says, "Well, I fought back like street fighting style. All I got, went psycho at them or ran. Sometimes that's why I think I'm not so fit now, I'm not running away from bullies anymore." Eloise laughs at her own joke.
Snake-eyes silently laughs, Shana laughs and Grandad Patrick laughs coming in on his wheelchair. He must have got up by that funny thing on the staircase that glides the wheelchair up.
Grandad Patrick says, "It's good you've got a sense of humour about it."
Clelia says,"Yeah, well you've got to don't you?"
Grandad Patrick says, "Not really, but its good to see you've got one. A sense of humour I mean, you can't always feel bad about the things that happened to you. Sometimes you've just got to deflect from the bad times, by making a joke out of them. I had the same problem at school because I was small, but I learned Karate to defend myself from the bullies and I think you should learn it to gain better self confidence. Plus maybe you will need to defend yourself again."
Clelia said, "I would like to but I am afraid of getting hurt by someone teaching me again."
They all look surprised and Shana asks, "How did your teachers hurt you?"
I said, "They hurt me physically, they were too rough."
Shana says, "That's horrible, I and anyone else here would never harm you during self defence classes. You need to be taught by someone you trust, would you be able to trust your father and I and learn from us?"
Clelia says, "Maybe, one day. Just not now, I don't know either of you really well yet."
Snake-eyes nods and signs with his hands, Shana says, "Snake-eyes says he will train you in the art of self defence and even combat moves when you're ready. He will respect you and teach you without harming you. Since you will feel better with just bags and gloves, also the occasional how to get out of a tricky situation."
Clelia smiles gratefully at Snake-eyes and nods, Snake-eyes then signs and Shana says, "Snake-eyes says it is a honour to train his only living blood relative. You're the daughter of the master of the Arashikage clan and it is expected that you will be eventually trained in the clan ways."
Clelia asks, "The Arasgikage clan? What's that?"
Grandad Patrick says, "Never mind lets go and have some of your Grandma's great cooking, girl."
Clelia smiles at him and then they follow him on his wheelchair as it slides down the stairway, then they go into the southern dining room.
Where the just arrived Aunt Siobian has come with her husband Conor and their thirteen year old daughter Deirdre, Clelia gets introduced to them.
They all sit down at the table, Clelia next to Shana and Snake-eyes. The food on the table is Barbeque chicken, Fried chicken, Candied sweet potatoes, Green Beans and buttermilk biscuits with white gravy. Sweet tea, Pecan Pie, Sodas bottles and apple pie.
There's enough for everyone and everyone gets a bit of everything, except Cleilia she chooses not to get the candied sweet potatoes, sweet tea and Pecan pie, since she's not particular to those things.
Her apple pie sat beside her meal waiting to be eaten and the rest of her meal sat in front of her, in a big plate. A soda dink of Coca Cola to the right of her, everyone else's food is laid out exactly the same except the have the things she chose not to get.
Clelia eats her meal and Shana asks, "What do you do for work Clelia?"
Clelia says, "I work as a Nanny."
Shana says, "That's good work. You like working with children Cecilia?"
Clelia says, "Yes. Have you been to Iraq in your work?"
Shana says, "Yes, but not because of the Iraqi war, same with Afghanistan."
Clelia says, "Why did you go there then?"
Shana says, "I can't really say, Clelia."
Uncle Hank says, "Their in Special forces they can't say Clelia. Even we don't know."
Clelia eyes go wide and she looks at them both and asks, "Is that like the Tom Clancy stuff from the games?"
Shana and Snake-eyes shake their heads and Snake-eyes signs with his hands. Shana says, "Snake-eyes says its more like the books by Tom Clancy. Is there games by him?"
Clelia says, "Not by him but based on the books. Like Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon."
The two boys say, "Cool. Do you like computer games?"
Clelia says, "Yes."
Aiden the boy with red hair Says, "Do you play Harry Potter?"
Clelia says, "Yes. I like Harry Potter, have you seen the movies?"
Aiden says, "Yes, all of them!"
Ciaran the boy with the blond hair says, "I've watched them too!"
Clelia says, "That's great, I like Malfoy and Snape. Who do you like?"
Aiden and Ciaran say, "Not them their not the good guys! We like the good guys! Don't you?"
Clelia says, "Yeah I like them too."
Shana says, "Wow, you are like a nerd aren't you?"
Clelia says, "Yeah, so?"
Shana smiles at Clelia and says, "Nothing. Just noticing is all."
Clelia continues to eat her meal.
Aunt Siobian says, "So you are a nerd, surprise surprise from your state of dress! Do you like eat you own clothes or something, to make your state of dress so bad?!"
She, her husband and daughter laughed.
They were the only ones.
Shana snapped, "Well I'd rather her have brains and be an intellectual, than a air head socialite like your daughter."
The rest of family then laugh at that, Clelia just looks down at the table. Then she feels a hand on her shoulder, its Snake-eyes with his arm going round Shana's shoulders. He smiles at her and gently rubs and gently squeezes her shoulder in a reassuring manner. He mouths, "Don't worry. About Siobian, she's just a bitter person. I think your great, as you are Clelia."
Clelia smiles up at him, Snake-eyes smiles back. On the other side of Shana and then he takes his hand away and rests it on Shana's left shoulder.
Clelia continues eating and Shana asks, "What do you do for exercise?"
Clelia says, "Not much, I occasionally go on my bike. When I get the idea in my head to."
Shana says, "Well if you come over to my place occasionally and learn how to fight, you'll defiantly get fit. Even if not straight away it'll make you want to work out more."
Snake-eyes nods and Clelia says, "Yeah, that'll be great."
Then too weeks later she finds herself thinking in the middle of fighting combat karate and jeet kun do with her mother, "What have I got myself into?!"
She finds herself flinging punches and then them being missed by Shana and she gets her the face twice, the blood pouring not only out Clelia's nose now but also out of Shana's. She steps unsure of her mothers reaction to that, Shana lunges and attacks, dropping Clelia with a flying kick. Clelia felt the pain in her temple, but didn't expect her to continue to fight back from her punches. She thought she would get angry at her, so she was more surprised then winded, she hits back with her fists. Her mother moves away from her and tells her how to fight next to attack and defend herself at the same time, Clelia does as her mother says and ends up on the ground when Shana blocks with a karate movement.
Then the battle and lesson seems to be over for now, Shana overing a hand and Shana says, "You'll get better eventually, its only your first lesson and you already got me. So your doing pretty good. Hey Snake-eyes?"
Clelia took Shana's hand as Shana spoke and she helped Clelia up.
Snake-eyes nods and smiles, coming over and patting Clelia on the back. Snake-eyes hands Clelia a hankie for her excessive nose bleed, Clelia holds her nose and thanks him in a nasial voice. Then Clelia goes and sits on her fathers steps and sees Shana just wipe her nose quickly and her blood is gone.
Clelia thinks to herself, "If only my nose bleed like that, for me bleeds it pours. Which makes it hard for me to breath while its pouring out blood out my nose."
She turns and looks to her left and coming up the path is a guy she's seen in pictures inside, Shana told the story of why he became Snake-eye's Apprentice. When Clelia noticed him in pictures inside and in their photo album when Shana showed it, she was glad to see the picture of her as a baby with Shana in the photo album. Shana said, "I only put that their recently after I told Snake-eyes about existing. He was upset I had never told him, but things are better now."
Clelia had asked, "Why did you give me up in the first place, Shana?"
Shana sighed, looked down and then looked up again, tears were in her eyes. Shana said, "I just wasn't ready. I really did love and want you, but I had only just begun my career and my relationship with Snake-eyes."
Shana took a deep breath and continued on, "I couldn't see anyway to bring a baby into the world of a soldier and into a relationship that wasn't ready for a baby, Snake-eyes made it clear at the time he wasn't ready for a family, he wasn't even on speaking terms with me after the chopper accident."
Shana turned to a photo in the album of Snake-eyes and Shana in front of a helicopter with some other army people. She then continued on, whilst looking Clelia in the eyes with teary eyes, "I thought he blamed me for what happened. When the two choppers collided on a mission, I was stuck by my harness. It got caught in the door. He cut it with his knife, but as the helicopters collided his face was set alight. I was knocked out. That's how his face is all messed up and why he has no voice."
A tear dropped down her cheek as she remembered the horrific event. She looked at clelia and put her arm round Clelia in a loving gesture, then Shana said, "He told me later that he didn't blame me for what happened, he just couldn't talk to me because he was dealing with what happened and was afraid he was a curse that got me hurt. Since Snake-eyes lost most of two recon patrols in Vietnam and when he came back he found out all his family were murdered in a head on collusion with a drunk driver. His close twin sister Terri and his loving parents Mark Silverstein and Maire Silverstein. Then he gained a brother and another family in Japan with the Arashikage ninja clan. Only to lose the hard master and to have thought his brother Thomas Arashikage had killed the hard master. The arrow was aimed for Snake-eyes, but the Hard master was imitating Snake-eye's heartbeat so it killed him instead. Which led the disarray of his clan and Snake-eyes lost his family again."
Shana turned to a picture of the Arashikage clan before the disarray then she said, "Though when I told Snake-eyes recently he wished I told him then and he would have loved a child at the time, since he said it doesn't matter when you were, he would loved you as our child no matter what. He misses that he didn't get the opportunity to be in your life before now."
Another tear dropped down Shana's cheek and she smiled at Clelia and gave her a hug. Shana then said, "As do I regret what giving you up for adoption and not telling Snake-eyes. Since you tell me you had a rough childhood, I had thought you were going with a good family. I thought you would stay with the family I chose and checked, it's horrible that things have turned out different. I have always loved you and thought about and how you were, what you were doing? Where you are? How you were going at school? I am proud to see that you have grown into a wonderful, caring, beautiful, strong woman."
Sean Collins, that's what Shana had said is name is. She looks him walking towards the cabin, his blond hair and brown eyes. His muscular body and good looks, his walk is cavalier and confident.
He sees at him and smiles, straight at her, a charming. Disarming smile, his eyes wonder all over her body and he looks with a tender loving look staring into her eyes. She smiles, and then looks down absmentmindly thinking, "He can't be looking at me, as if he likes me. It couldn't be possible. Oh, I wish it is. I wish he is thinking of me, like I'm thinking of him."
Her thoughts are then interrupted by a clearing of the throat; Clelia looks up and sees him standing over her. Leaning on the banister and looking down at her, with that charming smile still on his face. Sean says, "Hello Miss. Where did such a beautiful woman like you come from? And please me the name that fits this beautiful face?"
Shana and Snake-eyes come over and Shana gestures her hand to me and says, "Sean, this is Clelia our daughter."
Sean looks at them surprised and they nod heads, Shana says, "Yes, Clelia's our daughter. It's a long story."
"I'd love to hear it." Thomas Arashikage says, which takes everyone but Snake-eyes by surprise. When he appears on the footpath and he nods at me, I nod at him back still holding my nose.