I walk to the entrance of my beautiful home; I have not been back there for so very many years. I have spread my wings, and feel not unlike a bird returning to my nest. I have made something of myself; I am a teacher now. I know I never would have reached my goal, though, had it not been for some very special people there to guide my life in my time of need. As I walk to the entrance, I find myself wondering how much of my childhood home has changed. As I reach the first of many obstacles, I panic because I can't remember how to get access. Then, I close my eyes and see myself as a little child, jumping up to pull down the little handle that opens up the mighty wall. I laugh slightly because now all I have to do is reach out and there it is, my home sweet home. As I walk further in, I smell the most wonderful scent of baking bread. That brings me back to another memory - me, sneaking into the kitchen chamber and taking an oven-fresh biscuit off of the table. It is flaky and steamy, so inviting my mouth waters just thinking about it. Then I laugh, because I also remember being caught by William, our wonderful cook. He tries to act stern, but one look at what Father called my 'puppy-dog face', and I got away with it. William always had a special place for the children in his heart.
Once I reach the interior of the tunnels, I hear children laughing, and remember all of the times that I laughed like that as well. All of my memories were not happy ones, especially my earliest memories. I was six when I was brought here to live; one of the helpers found me wandering the streets Above. I had run away from a home where my father was a drunk and beat me every day, and my mother was heavily into drugs and could not care less if I lived or died.
I remember my first night in the tunnels; it was so dark, and I was afraid. I had always been afraid of the dark, given the fact that my father always beat me in the dark. I think the reason why he did that was so he would not have to see my face as I screamed out for him to stop what he was doing.
That night, when I was lost in the dark, I was crying. Then, I heard this voice in the dark; it was deep and smooth, like a gentle rain falling on a roof. At first, I was scared, but then the voice told me not to be afraid. The voice told me that he would not hurt me. I felt a shift on the bed when the man - I guessed it was a man - sat down. Then I saw him, after my eyes adjusted to the light from the candle that he carried with him. That was the first time that I saw Vincent.
As the years went by, Vincent and Father were always there to dry my tears and to comfort me when I was sick, scared, or hurt. I remember the first time that I had an illness there; I had been living in the tunnels for eight months, and had just turned seven a week before. I woke up, and I was feeling pretty bad. I knew that I had a fever, but did not know what to do. So, I wandered down the hall to Vincent's chamber. I knew he was still up, because I saw the candles still burning in the chamber, so I walked into the room and over to Vincent. He looked up from what he was writing and saw me coming. He opened his arms and asked me what was the matter. I told him that I did not feel well, and he put his hand to my forehead. His hand felt so soft on my hot and aching head. He scooped me into his arms like I weighed nothing to him, and perhaps I did. He then carried me down to my chamber and tucked me into bed. He left for a short time. Then, he came back with Father. Father had a look of concern on his face. He also had a leather bag. Father said that I was sick, and that was why I was feeling bad. Father left after giving me some medicine, and Vincent sat beside the bed and read to me until I fell asleep. Not a night goes by that I don't miss my family.
I was eighteen when I left the tunnels to live with one of the Helpers, so I could attend NYU to get my teaching degree. I was so scared the day that I left, but I remember the words that Vincent told me - "No matter how far away your dreams for life take you, you have to make the most of it." He also told me, "You will always have a family in the Tunnels." So, here I am now at twenty-four; I have taken a job at a local school, and I find myself yearning to go back home.
I walk up to the library chamber, and hear Father's voice. He is reading one of his favorite books called North of Boston,by Robert Frost. I have always been a fan of Robert Frost's work, ever since the first time I heard Father read from one of his books. So again, I closed my eyes and let his soothing voice wash over me.
Once he closes the book for the night, dear sweet Mary leads the children off to bed. I walk into the chamber the rest of the way, and Father, spying me out of the corner of his eye, looks up. He knows that one of his children has come home for a visit. He stands up and greets me with a hug and a kiss on the forehead, and says, "Welcome home, my child. Why don't you take a seat? Can you stay awhile?" I tell him that I came home to be a teacher at a local school, and I see his face light up because he knows that I will be around for a while. He offers me some tea, and I accept. I take a sip, and Father then asks me if I would play a game of chess with him. I smile, and he smiles back. Somehow he knows that I am still not very good at the game. I was the only one who he could beat at it. So, I give my consent, and he sets up the board, and, as always when Father and I play, I take the black pieces, and, once again - no surprise here - he beats me. I start to laugh, and Vincent walks into the chamber. Ah, my dear, sweet Vincent had not changed much at all. He's a little older, but that's it. He walks over to me, I stand, and he embraces me in one of his hugs. The kind of hugs he gives is the kind of hug that makes you feel safe and loved all at once. He still smells of sandalwood and ink.
We sit and chat well into the night. When I start to yawn, Father and Vincent tell me that I should go to bed, since I have had a long day. I tend to agree; I am getting tired. So, Vincent walks me to one of the many guest chambers, and before he leaves me for the night, he hugs me and says, "Welcome home, Sammie, welcome home." He leaves me then, and I know that he was right. No matter how far I go, I will always have a home under the city.
Note: I do not own anything dealing with the 80's TV show Beauty and The Beast, I am just playing in the Tunnels. As to all of you who have been reading my other stories in other Fandoms most of those stories have been put on hold till further notice. Life has gotten a little rough. I also have a massive case of Writers block. The only reason that you got this story was because I had written it a few months ago before the writer's block hit. I would also like to Thank Wayne Kelley for the Beta of this story. Hope you enjoyed it…Please leave me some feedback