I stare upwards at the gray sky that is standing over the East End of London. It isn't odd to see gray skies here, but today they are lighter than usual. I can tell that it is going to snow, either today or tomorrow. I hope, and yet I don't hope, that it will snow tomorrow. I love the snow, for all its beauty and how it seems like everything is being covered, cleansed almost to start over. But I am leaving the East End tomorrow, and leaving the family I live with here. I am not from this family. I'm not really from anywhere, at least not that I know of. They found me outside, laying face down on the cobblestones, outside of their restaurant and home called Café Marianne. They took me in and kept me as their own. Even after they saw the mark on my eye, they allowed me to stay, as long as I covered it up with my hair. They believed me when I told them I wasn't sure how I got it, or of anything as a matter of fact. And it is true. I didn't remember anything. And I still don't. They have been my family since then, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson and their three children Harvey, Emma, and Gerald. But now that I'm 16, I can finally go out and search for my family, the one that I can't remember. I have no clue who they are, or what they look like. I can only assume they are upper class, because of the one possession I have from them; a ring with a blue diamond in it. It's beautiful, and very rare, so I can only assume they are rich people. I wonder how they will feel when I come back. I wonder what my mother and father will look like, or if I have any brothers or sisters.
"Cecelia! What are you doing outside? We need your help in here!" I hear Mrs. Anderson call out to me.
"Coming!" I reply, as I turn around, sending my long hair flying around my head and my dress to swirl around me. I run inside the café, and grab an apron. I pull my long black hair into a pony tail so it doesn't get in the way of my work. However, I let my bang stay lose and in front of my right eye, the one with the odd mark. My blue eye though still was visible for the world to see. I begin to tie the apron strings around the back of my dress as I walk toward the kitchen. I grab the notepad which we write the orders on and walk into the restaurant itself. The tables are crowded with men and woman, all wearing simple dresses, all having different hair colors. The children get food all over their faces. Everyone just seems so happy. I smile as I walk over to a table that has a man with reddish brown hair and a woman with brown hair in a bun. I know the two very well know; it's Fred Abberline and his soon to be wife, Whitney. Fred smiles as I walk over to their table.
"Well if it isn't little Miss Cecelia! How are you sweetie?" Fred says joyously to me as Whitney turns her head around and smiles.
"I'm actually kind of excited. Tomorrow's a big day for me." I say to them with a smile on my face.
"And what day would that be?" Whitney asks softly, not much for talking.
"I'm leaving tomorrow. I'm going out into the world!" I exclaim, throwing my arms wide.
"You're finally going to follow up on that singing dream of yours aren't you?" Fred smirked at me as he says this. I've always been singing, ever since they found me, I would always move about and sing. I could make up a song out of nowhere that just went along with how I was feeling. I always wanted to be a singer; well, at least I've always wanted to for the past 3 years. Before that, well I don't even know.
"That's one of the reasons I'm leaving. But the others a secret." I wink at him as I say this. I pull the pencil out of the notepad and ask the two, "Now, what will you have?"
I write down their orders and walk back into the kitchen. I slip the order into the holder and say, "Mr. Anderson you have another order!"
"Thanks Cecelia!" He says as he grabs the order and starts grabbing the food.
"Cecelia!" I hear three voices call out for me. I turn around just as Harvey, Emma and Gerald all tackle me. I laugh as they all cling to me. Emma is 7, Gerald 13, and Harvey 10. They would have had a fourth child, a girl in fact. She was a stillborn baby. Her name would have been Cecelia. That's basically how I got my name.
"What's up guys?" Emma looks up at me with her big brown eyes.
"Cecelia is it true that you are leaving tomorrow?" The others all look at me with the same sad eyes. I feel my heart strings being tugged at. I look down at them all.
"Yes Emma, it's true." Their eyes began to get tears in them.
"Why Cecelia, why would you leave us? Won't you miss us?" Harvey asks me sadly. Tears began to fill my eyes.
"Oh of course I'll miss you. I'll miss you all so very much. But I have to go." I hug them all as I say this, the thought of leaving them almost unbearable.
"No Cecelia you can't go! You can't!" Gerald cries out as he too hugs me. They all hug me and cry, and I cry right along with them. They've been my family this entire time. How can I possibly leave them? But I knew I had too. It isn't even the day I am leaving and I'm already crying. I pull away from them and wipe the tears off my cheeks.
"Come on guys, we have work to do around here. This restaurant can't run on its own. Come on." They all get up and sniffle a bit, but then they are all ok. We all walk back into the restaurant and get back to work.
The rest of the day passes as customer after customer comes into the restaurant. We are busy for the rest of the day, until finally the last customer leaves and we close up. I clean up the restaurant itself as the others all clean the kitchen. I wipe the tables, sweep the floors and set all the chairs on the tables. I finish this task though, and the others are all upstairs in our home section of the building. I go into my room. We aren't rich, so my room isn't grand and amazing. It's a good size though, and it has everything I need; a bed, a desk, a dresser, and a small little book case for all my books. I walk over to my bed, kneel down and pull out my suite case. I didn't have it on me when I was brought into this family. However, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson figured I was going to want to leave someday, and were kind enough to get it for me. They have always been so kind to me, and I will be forever grateful to them.
I go over to my little dresser and pull out the few dresses that I have. I also grab my socks, scarves, coats and pantaloons. I placed them all in my suite case. It's at moments like this that I'm glad I don't have much, because if I did it would never fit into my medium sized suite case. I grab hold of my pouch and I place inside it my favorite books; Romeo and Juliet, Alice in Wonderland, the Wizard of Oz, the Iliad, Pride and Prejudice and the Bible. I also place my notebook full of all my songs and poems inside the pouch and draw the strings. I hear a knock on the door and turn around. Mrs. Anderson is standing in my doorway with a gentle smile on her face.
"Do you need any help?" She asks me, motioning to my suite case and pouch.
"No I've got it all. Thank you though." She nods her head, walks over and kneels down next to me.
"I can't believe you're actually going to be leaving." Mrs. Anderson shakes her head softly, her eyes sad. I look at her, and eyes just as sad as hers.
"I'll come and visit you guys. I'll bring my new family, and you can meet them. I promise." She shakes her head again.
"Don't worry about us. We just want you to do what you feel you should do," She places her arm around my shoulder. "We want you to follow your heart, and to know that you'll always be in ours." I throw my arms around her neck and hug her. She hugs me back, stroking my hair.
"I'm going to miss you all so much." I say softly into her neck. She hugs me tighter.
"We're going to miss you too." We stay like this for a while, until she has to get up and put the other children to bed. I change into my night clothes, and take my hair out of my ponytail. I am about to climb into bed, when I hear little feet behind me. I turn around and find little Emma standing in my doorway, clutching her little stuffed bunny that came from the Funtom company. All of Funtom's products have still been produced, but nothing new came out. The young Earl who was in charge of it all went missing three years ago, the same day I was found. So all the people in the family and employed at the house went out in search of him. So far they haven't found him yet.
Emma stares at me with her big brown eyes, her red hair hangs around her head and down her back. Her white nightgown hangs off her pale shoulders, and covered her small body. She walks forward a couple of steps and asks, "Cecelia will you sing to me one last time?"
I smile at her, sit on my bed, and pat the place next to me. She climbs onto the bed, and I wrap my arms around her. She leans into me. I look down at her and ask, "Which one would you like me to sing?"
She thinks for a minute, then looks up at me and asks, "Will you sing to me that Irish lullaby?" I nod my head and begin to sing,
Too la roo la roo la
Too la roo la lie
Too la roo la roo la
Hush and don't you cry
Over in Kelarney
Many years ago
Me mother sang this song to me
In words so sweet and low
Too la roo la roo la
Too la roo la lie
Too la roo la roo la
That's an Irish lullaby
I fade out on the last word and look down. I see little Emma asleep on my arm. I smile slightly, pick her up, and carry her into her room. I pull the sheets back, place her in, and tuck the blankets in around her. I kiss her on the forehead and whisper softly to her, "Goodnight Emma."
I close her door and walk into my own room. I close my door, lay down in my bed and close my eyes. This was my final night in my own bed, and I was going to make the most of it. The final thought that passed through my head was, "Maybe tomorrow I'll be with my real family…"