I will never let you fall,
I'll stand up with you forever.
I'll be there for you, through it all
Even if saving you sends me to heaven.
"I'm not going."
Beck had been extra giddy these past few days because Jade, his wife of two years (and counting), had finally agreed on starting a family on one condition: she's not pushing anything out of her hoo-haa (which was strange considering that she had no aversion at all towards anything that may cause her any bodily harm).
"What? Why not? I couldn't just go there all by myself." Beck was this close to pouting.
"I think you can."
"I don't think it would be that bad." He said, sitting down next to his wife on the bed.
"I think it is." She said it without a hint of doubt in her voice. "I mean, a dog's so much easier than a kid, and you've been telling me since high school that you've always wanted a dog. Why don't we just get a dog?"
With a small smile, he responded, "I know they're easier, but they're a whole lot different from kids, babe. And since you told me clearly that you don't want to go through the whole labor thing, might as well we give someone else's unwanted child a good home and a family."
She never even thought about it that way. In her mind, she thought that orphanages are where people just shove some random kids in there. She knew, but never really bothered to care, that some, if not all of these children were victims of neglect or abandon or abuse. These children are broken beyond repair.
These children were just like her.
With a strangled sigh, she stood up to get her signature Doc Martens.
"The kid has to be a girl. And potty trained. I'm not up for wiping penises and changing diapers."
"Thank you," Beck grinned, kissing her forehead.
"Yeah, yeah. Let's just go before I change my mind."
"I change my mind. Let's go back home."
Beck was just in the middle of parking when Jade bluntly pointed out her distaste. The orphanage looked pretty decent, but what threw Jade off was the amount of bright, blinding colors painted on the walls.
"I'm not going to be caught dead walking in a kiddie funhouse." She deadpanned, not even bothering to unbuckle her seatbelt.
"But you agreed to it."
"It wasn't set in stone."
"But words can't be taken back. Once they're out, you can't take them back in." Beck challenged.
He's been learning the ways of the retort master.
With a small growl, she unbuckled her seatbelt as she grumbled, "Fine."
"Thanks. Hey, at least you get to pick her out." Beck smiled, stepping out from his side of the car.
"Pick her out? She's not a dog, Beck."
"And now you're becoming defensive." He teased, wrapping his arm around her waist.
Jade rolled her eyes.
"Hello?" Beck called once the couple was inside. Children were running around the place and Jade had half a mind to actually leave Beck there and make a run for it while she can.
"Oh, hello! What can I do for you?" An old lady who looked as if she's less than a year from claiming her senior citizen status greeted the two. She was pretty hefty; she looked nice but Jade felt in her gut that the lady couldn't be trusted.
"Hey, yeah. Um, we're looking for someone to adopt." Beck grinned kindly at the lady. Jade was about to retort something sarcastic until a little teddy bear flew over and landed on her boot.
"Do you have anyone in mind?" The lady asked more to Beck than Jade because right at that time, Jade was picking up the bear that rolled down from her boot to a heap on the floor.
"Yeah, um, we want a girl. Not too old, and not a baby, either." Beck said, and Jade nods in approval but looked rather interested in the bear that was in her hands. It was brown and tattered and old, and she saw that a bit of polyester filling was peeking from its ripped ear. It probably had never seen the light of day. Or a washing machine.
In a daze from examining the thing in her hands, a little boy snatched the bear from Jade's grasp and scampered off to another room. She heard loud, rambunctious laughter and the sound of something ripping.
And then a muffled whimper.
Since Beck and the lady were too deep into their conversation, they were not able to notice the sound. Making sure that the two were occupied, she managed to escape the scene and went on the find the child who owned the sound that made her care.
The place was relatively small; just two wings separating the boys and the girls and a playroom in the middle, behind the front desk.
The playroom was deserted except for the boy who she immediately recognized as the one who snatched the bear from her and a few of his friends.
She heard more whimpering when she watched the boys playing a four-way tug of war with the now headless bear's arms and legs, willing for them to rip.
She tried to search around the room and her eyes finally locked on a little thing sitting on the floor. The kid looked no older than four or five. She had a little white dress on but Jade noticed that the front of her dress was dirty. She had her brown hair done in messy pigtails and her grey eyes shone with tears as she watched the boys do some serious damage on the bear.
"Hello," Jade tried to soften her voice so as not to scare her away. "What's your name?"
The girl stared straight ahead as if she didn't hear her.
Jade, ever stubborn, instead of snapping or going away, simply sat down next to the girl. Not too close that she'd already be invading her personal space, but not too far away either.
A lone tear rolled down the girl's cheek.
"That's my bear," She whispered so softly that Jade was already straining her ears so that she could hear her voice. Jade looked from the child to the boys who were currently playing with the bear's stuffing then back to her. "They taked my bear when I was 'sleep here."
"Why didn't you take it from them, then?" Jade urged, feeling downright sorry for this kid that she didn't know if it was even normal for her.
The child shook her head.
The boys were finally gone, but they left the remnants of the bear all around the room.
"My bear," the child whimpered, more tears finding their way down her cheeks when she assessed the condition of her beloved toy.
Jade could feel her heart aching.
"Come on, I think we can still fix it," Jade said, uncharacteristically optimistic as she proceeded to stand up and gather the remnants of the bear but the child's gentle hold on her wrist made her stop in her tracks.
"S'okay," The child said, though judging her face and body language told Jade otherwise. "Stay with me, pwease?" She lisped.
Jade sat back down, but a bit closer to the child now.
"Um, I can get you a new one," Jade offered awkwardly. She wasn't exactly used to this kind of interaction. "If you want, I mean."
"You'll do that for me?" The child's eyes twinkled and jade made a mental note to make sure that the sparkle in her eyes happens again.
"Yeah, I can." Jade sort of smiled. "My name's Jade."
"Sophia." She replied. "Will you come back, Jade?"
She was unsure when she'll ever get to visit again, but so as not to crush the child's hopes, she replied with certainty, "Yeah, I will."
"Can you take me with you next time, Jade? I don't like it here."
Jade could see why.
"I don't know if I can bring you back to my home the next time I visit, but I can promise to bring you something really nice when I do."
With a small smile, Sophia scooted closer to her.
"Hey, I have someone I want you to meet." Jade said, standing up from the floor. "Can you come with me?"
Sophia shook her head rapidly and started clenching and unclenching her fists for some reason.
"Hey, babe." Jade recognized the voice and spun around to find Beck smiling at her. "Found someone you like?"
"Oh, I found someone alright," Jade smirked, looking back at Sophia and giving her a wink. The little girl giggled cutely when she saw that the motion was directed towards her.
"Aww, who's this little cutie?" Beck crooned, kneeling down to the child's level. The lady from the front desk just shook her head.
"That kid's name's Rosetta," The lady said indifferently.
"It's Sophia," Jade corrected. Jade's vibe was right all along.
Shrugging, the lady continued on. "You wouldn't want her, trust me."
"Yeah, and why's that?" Jade countered, feeling protective over the child immediately.
"She can't walk. She's paralyzed from the waist down. Too much work." The old lady said. "We have better and healthy children outside playing, if you would like to see them." She continued before walking out.
Ignoring the lady, Jade sat back down next to Sophia who was this close to letting the waterworks out again. Beck sat down in front of them, eager to watch his wife bring out her maternal side.
"Is that why you won't follow me earlier?" Jade asked gently, hesitantly putting her arm around her shoulders. It was a stupid question, but she didn't know what else to say. Sophia nodded and looked down.
"How do you get around? Don't you have a wheel chair or something?" Beck asked.
Sophia shook her head this time. "I crawl on my hands. People carry me sometimes but they're mean. They let me fall." She admitted.
Jade looked at Sophia's dress once again and understood now why it was so dirty.
Tears flowed some more.
"Do you still want me?" Sophia asked, her tone serious but her voice was shaking from fear of rejection. With Jade's heart breaking, she embraced the child and very carefully, transferred the child to her lap.
"Of course we do." Jade said, and right after that, she stood up with the child in her arms, one hand wrapped around her back and the other under her knees. Sophia clutched Jade's neck tightly, afraid of impact from the floor that she was certain that she was going to face.
Caught up in the moment, Jade leaned down and kissed the little girl's forehead.
"I won't ever let you fall, Sophia. I got you."
Hey, I don't know. We just had tests, and what I usually do when I finish early is write or doodle on random pieces of paper. This had been churning in my head for quite some time but honestly I never really could capture mean Jade quite as well as other people can. This little thing was written after my English and Accounting tests.
Please do tell me what you think. Wishing you all the best!