I'm cold I tell her.
“This will only take a minute.” she assures me.
Why do I have to tell you this?
“Because I need your background for the parents that are looking for little girls, like you.” she smiles at me after she says these words.
Why would I want them to know?
“You want them to know because...somethings can't be left in the dark, even if you don't want them to come to the light. If it makes you feel any better, Nala, you can tell me in a story, I wont interrupt you.”
I sit in this cold hard chair, pouting, sniffling. I had been in a care center for four days and I don't like it here, it's always so cold.
“Nala, please, you need to talk about this, I need to know.”
She looks sad, and her eyes start to glitter.
'Why is it so important I tell her?' I thought.
She reaches out to touch my hand but I wince and she stops her hand and tucks an invisible strand of hair behind her ear.
I sigh and start to tell my story.
“Baby, you know this story backwards and forwards!” mommy chuckles to me as she grabs “A Little Princess” off of the shelf .
I giggle with mommy as she tickles my sides a little before she opens the book. My favorite book.
While she reads to me we both hear a 'bang!' and a 'crash!' mommy closes the book and walks out of my room to see about the noise.
“GET OUT! EVA! GET NALA NOW! THEY ARE COMING!” I hear daddy shouting to mommy.
I don't understand what's going on but mommy runs back into my room with tears in her eyes.
Whats wrong mommy?
“Not now!” she hisses, scaring me out of my bed.”We need to go take trip,okay?”
I nod when I hear a loud firecracker sound, it was fast and I couldn't hear mommy.
“TOMMY!” mommy screamed daddy's name. She was crying so hard, she squeezed my hand as she led me towards my window.
“You need to climb down now, sweetheart.” mommy says.
No I whine and pout and cry. It was too high and I was afraid of falling.
“Mommy will come out with you, you wont fall, Nala.” she smiled at me, but she still cried.
She stopped smiling as she said:
“Daddy is protecting you.”
“Yes, baby,\" she says with a smile,\"now come on out we go.”
She makes us run down the wild streets, it's dark and hot and that firecracker sound is everywhere.
People are running all over the place, like little chickens in the pens I see in cartoons.
Why are they running, mommy?
“We need to keep running, darling, don't pay them any attention.”
I run as fast as I can for a long time. Mommy tells me not to stop.
“Don't stop, or the bad people will get you!” she had to yell because a loud 'bangs!' were everywhere.
I started to see people lying in the street. Why are the sleeping in the middle of the street?
Mommy- “Shh” she says and tells me to hide.
I get in a trash can and I stick my head out to ask mommy why I am hiding.
“I need you to .stay there until it's quiet, okay?”
I nod and she gets down on her knees to kiss my forehead.
“I love you, Nala.” she smiles at me, her tears are gone. I try to get out and hug her but she tells me to stay put until it's quiet.
When she gets back up I hear it again, the firecracker noise.
“FIRE!” I hear a man shout.
Mommy runs away from the man, and I see him with this thing, it makes the firecracker sound and my mommy is hit by little dots that make her leak red water.
She screams as the dots hit her in her chest. One hits her head and she stops screaming, and she falls to the ground.
“GO GO GO!” the man yells to other men and they all run off down the street.
I stayed in the can like mommy said until it was so quiet I could hear the birds.
It was lighter than before, it was colder too.
I found mommy sleeping in the street like some of the other people. I tried to wake her up but she would wake up. I saw red water all over mommy, I remembered she told me that it comes out of people when they are hurt.
She must have hurt real bad because it was everywhere.
I shake her and scream at her to wake up, but she still sleeps. I start to cry, I didn't want to be by myself.
I cry, I didn't want to leave my mommy in the street so I drag her to the can I was in. She was really heavy. I lay next to her, waiting on her to wake up, I slept there all day and all night wait for mommy to wake up.
I cried a lot while I waited for mommy, but when it got dark again a man was pushing a lady into my corner. The lady was crying and asking him not to do this to her. He said a bad word and hit her in the face.
I winced because I felt that hit a little bit.
He pushed her into the hard wall and grabbed her neck. I saw him take off his pants while the lady looked at me. She was crying and turning red.
“Help me.” she whispered.
I jumped up and kicked the man behind his leg, he wobbled a little and turned around. He looked at me, he was really mad and he kicked me into the wall. I cried and screamed that I wanted my mommy.
“Get outta here!” he yelled at me as he picked me up by my hair and threw me in the street.
I ran away. Leaving mommy with him and the lady.
I was by myself.
I was sleepy and hungry. I wanted to stop running but I was afraid the man would get me too, and kick me again. My belly hurt and it looked purple.
People in the streets were yelling at each other and fighting. I didn't want to stay out here. It was getting dark and I was scared.
I hid in another trash can so I could sleep.
But I couldn't sleep without my mommy.
I wanted my mommy, and my daddy.
Why won't mommy wake up?
I was by myself, I was cold, I was hungry, I was sleepy...so I cried.
That was all I could do. Cry and beg for my mommy and daddy.
“Nala, come here, sweetheart.” says the lady after I finish my story.
I get up and go to her, she has tears on her face.
“You're only sixs for Gods sake!” she yells as she bundles me into a snuggly hug.
A mommy hug.
“I want you to come home with me, Nala,”she says, on her knees like mommy before she fell in the street.”I want to take care of you and keep you safe. Do you want to come home with me?”
I nod my head, I'm happy she wants me.
She wants to be my mommy.
She smiles at me when she says:
“You're coming home with me.”
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