My Only True Friend (Part 1)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
When I felt that I couldn't be more alone, I found a friend that would help ease all my pain. Animals are known to help heal people, so why can't my new cat, Thorny, help me?

Submitted: April 14, 2008

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Submitted: April 14, 2008

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After being broken so many times, I doubted whether I could ever trust anyone again.Whenever I tried to get close to someone, they would leave me, or hurt me in one way or another.So many times I tried to start over, but no matter what, I failed in my relationships with my friends.I had so much on my mind that I wanted to talk about.I had so much that I wanted to tell someone.I had kept my feelings bottled up for so long that the pressure was building up inside me, and I was ready to burst.I have tried so hard to start over, to try just one more time to learn to love again—to learn to trust.But I just didn’t think I had it in me.I had not an ounce of trust left.
I sat in silence at my bedroom window, looking out into the dark, night sky.I was thinking hard about my past.About all the people that had come in and out of my life.I was starting to wonder if I should just leave.If I should just leave this life, and move on to a better place.I climbed back into my bed, and hugged my knees to my chest.I could feel tears building up in my eyes as I tried to think of some reason to stay.I tried to think of one person that would miss me if I really did leave.
I couldn’t think of anyone.My parents were both gone.They had died a long time ago, when I had only been four years old.My father had gone away on a business trip to New York one December, leaving my mother in charge of me.But when he tried to drive along an icy road, he lost control of his car, and hit an oncoming semi truck.Later that same moth, my mother was murdered one night as she was walking home from the gym.She’s left me with a babysitter, but never came back.
So now, I lived in an orphanage.This place had been my home for ten years.No one had adopted me.No one wanted to adopt someone like me.I had a few problems that they didn’t want to deal with.I had depression to start with.I was sometimes even very suicidal.Second, I couldn’t look people in the eye.It hurt me for some reason, and I just had to look away.And third, I didn’t like to talk around people—not anymore.
I was only fourteen years old, and had had more heartbreaks than most people have in their entire life.I was sent to an old, rundown school just down the block, but had no friends there.
“Jenny,” said a voice from behind me.It was my mentor, Miss Grenwald.Well, sort of.She was the one that watched out for me.She didn’t care much for me, but since she worked for the orphanage, she had to do what her boss told her.I could tell that she disliked me very much.
I looked briefly over my shoulder, to see Miss Grenwald standing in the doorway to my small, damp room.Though I didn’t look at her face, but down at her feet instead.
“It has come to my attention that you’ve been stealing from your classmates.You principle contacted us today, and said that one of the girls in your class told him that she saw you taking things from other kids lockers.”
I didn’t answer, keeping my gaze on the ground.I had done nothing of the sort.I was sure I knew who had reported me to the principle.It must have been Terry.She hated me, and loved framing me for things that I didn’t do, and would never dream of doing.She had a little gang that followed her everywhere she went, and did want she said.They all loathed me, and I had no idea as to why.I’d never done anything to them.
“Well,” Miss Grenwald said impatiently, tapping her foot, “do you have anything to say for yourself?”
I closed my eyes and shook my head, knowing that she wouldn’t listen to anything I said anyway.
She sighed in disapproval. “Well then, Miss Jennifer, you know there will be consequences.You will go without breakfast for a week, and weed the back gardens until all the weeds are gone.You will not be allowed to leave the orphanage grounds except to go to school, and you will lose all of your privileges until I feel like you have learned your lesson.”
I nodded soberly, hiding behind my hair.I didn’t care about the stupid punishments.They wouldn’t make my life any worse.The yard work would only give me something to do, other than sit alone in my room all day.I never even left the orphanage except for school anyways.
With a stiff little nod, Miss Grenwald said before leaving, “You’ll start in the gardens tomorrow.”
When I woke the next morning, I saw Miss Grenwald standing over my with her arms crossed and a stern look on her face.I quickly looked away before our eyes had a chance to meet.
“Get up you lazy lump,” she said kicking my bedpost. “You’re going to go strait out to the gardens.No breakfast.So get dressed and meet my out back in ten minutes.”
With that, she turned on her heal and marched out of my room.I solemnly dragged myself out of bed, only have gotten three hours of sleep.I got dressed as fast as I could, and made my way through the orphanage, and out the back door—avoiding the many looks the other orphans gave me as I walked through the halls.Miss Grenwald was waiting for me under the large oak tree that stood tall over the backyard of the orphanage.I looked beyond my mentor at the garden behind her.The weeds were so tall and thick that I could get lost in them.Not to mention, most of them were covered in thorns.
Miss Grenwald smirked when she saw my reaction to the weeds. “Well, you’d better get started if you want to be finished before supper.I want you to pull up every last weed, and stack them in a pile over by the dumpster.When you are done, come and get me so I can see how you’ve done.”
Without another word, she turned briskly and marched back into the orphanage, her nose high in the air.She always walked like that when she was in a good mood, and the only time she was really in a good mood was when she was punishing one of the orphans.
Sighing in defeat, I headed over to the edge of the garden and grabbed one of the weeds.I immediately pulled my hand away, biting my tongue to hold back a yell of pain.I looked at me bleeding hands, and carefully pulled out the large thorns protruding out of them.How was I supposed to pull up all these weeds without gloves?
Sucking in a big breath, I reached for the weed again, wincing as I was stabbed by more thorns.But I didn’t pull away this time.Instead, I pulled up, yanking the weed out of the ground.I tossed it quickly to the side and pulled the new thorns from my hands.
So this was why Miss Grenwald had seemed so eager for me to start?She knew these weeds were covered in thorns!I was starting to get irritable now, as I reached reluctantly for the next weed.As I pulled it out of the ground, I uncovered a small, pathetic look tulip flower.This garden was already half dead.Cursing under my breath, I continued to pull the weeds, taking care not to pull up any of the dying flows.After ten minutes or so, I had only managed to make a small pile of weeds, and had made almost no progress.
I started to cry.Not because of the throbbing pain in my hands, but because I knew that no one cared that I was in pain, and because I knew no one ever would.Suddenly, I heard a soft, high-pitched sound come from somewhere in the forest of waist high weeds.It sounded like a small animal.I stopped and listened.There it was again!I knew what that sound was.It was a meow.I started to push aside the tall weeds, wading in, ignoring the pain as more thorns cut into my legs and waist.
Then, I saw him.I tiny, black kitten, curled up in the tall weeds.He had shagging black fur, deep blue eyes, and was so small that he could fit in the palm of my hand.He was extremely skinny, and covered in cuts, and thorns.I stooped down, and gently lifted him out of the thorny plants.He was trembling.I looked nervously over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching, then darted out of the weeds, and behind the large oak tree.We weren’t allowed to have pets at the orphanage.
I set the kitten down in the grass, and he didn’t move.He looked close to death.He was so weak that he couldn’t run away, or even hiss at me.I gently stoked him with one finger, trying to be as gentle as I could.
For some reason, I could look into this little creatures eyes without any discomfort.
“Don’t worry,” I whispered to him softly, “I’ll take care of you.I have to leave now, but I’ll be back.I promise.”
I set him carefully underneath one of the trees roots, so no one would fine him.If Miss Grenwald were to find him, she would have him killed.I quickly glanced back and forth across the yard, to make sure no one was around.I was alone.Taking a deep breath, I darted for the back door.When I had made it safely inside, I ran to the kitchen, avoiding the few people that passed me in the halls.Once I was in the kitchen, I ducked under the counter, making sure the cook was gone.Once I was sure I was alone again, I racing to the refrigerator and grabbed out the bottle of milk, and a piece of leftover chicken from the night before.I poured the milk into a small bowl and put it back.I knew it wasn’t the best thing for the kitten to eat, but it was better than nothing.I stuffed the chicken in my pocket—a bit disgusted at the thought of it, but not really caring—and made a balancing act with the bowl of milk as I snuck back outside.I only spilled a few drops of it, but not very much.
When I made it back to the tree—absolutely astonished I hadn’t gotten caught—I set the bowl of milk down in front of the kitten and took the chicken out of my pocket, breaking it into small pieces and setting them down next to the bowl of milk.
I backed away a bit so the kitten could feel more comfortable, and watched in delight as the small creature inched forward and started to nibble on the pieces of chicken.It was a strange feeling.I had never felt so warm inside.I had just saved this little creature, and watching him made me feel important for once in my life.It made me feel…confident.
“I have to go finish with my chores for now, but I’ll come back to check on you soon,” I whispered, standing up.The kitten looked up at me for a second, as though he could understand me.I turned and went back to my weeding.
It was near dinnertime when I had finally managed to pull all the weeds.My arms were cut and bleeding up to my elbows, and my hands were numb, and dripping with blood.After I had finished cleaning myself up, I was planning to go check on the kitten, but Miss Grenwald caught up to me first.
“I see you’re done.Well, I’ll go examine your work in a moment.I want you to eat dinner, then go straight to bed.”
I nodded, looking at my red and swollen hands. I had really hopped that I could have seen the kitten again, but it didn’t look like that was going to happen tonight.After I had eaten, and was sent back to my room, I sat on my bed, wondering if that little kitten was alright.I had never cared about something so much before—not since I’d come to the orphanage.
I waited a few hours, until I was sure everyone was a sleep.I silently crept out of my room, through the halls, and back to the oak tree.I was disappointed to see the kitten was gone.The chicken was gone, and the bowl was empty, but the kitten was nowhere to be seen.I hoped that Miss Grenwald hadn’t killed it.But right as I was about to walk back inside, I heard a soft mew come from somewhere in the distance.I looked around, and saw the kitten lying in the grass a few yards away.His black coat made him almost impossible to see, and I wouldn’t have seen him at all if his blue eyes hadn’t been glowing.
I sighed in relief and walked over to him slowly, so I wouldn’t frighten him.I watched as he stood on weak legs, and limped slowly toward my outstretched hand.I knelt down, and let him sniff my hand.His whiskers tickled my blistered skin.I was surprised when a sift purr started in the small creatures throat.It made my hear melt.
I scooped the kitten up in my arms, and carried him inside to me room.I knew it was wrong, and that I would get into worse trouble if I was caught, but I didn’t’ care.I had fallen in love with this sweet little animal.I set him down on my bed, and he started kneading my pillow with his clawed paws.I watched him with a tender expression, that warm feeling flooding through me again.I could see gratitude in his eyes.
“Hello there,” I whispered as the kitten nudged my arm with his cold nose, “I’m Jenny.Do you have a name?”
The kitten rubbed against my arm, his purr growing louder.I smiled something I very rarely did.
“I hope you don’t mind if I name you,” I said quietly. “Because I have the perfect name.Thorny.”

I smiled at the name, and gently stoked my new friend along the length of his spine, making him raise him hind end in the air.Carefully, I started to pull some of the burrs and thorns out of his coat, taking care not to hurt him.He seemed grateful that I had saved him, and seemed to know that I only wanted to help him get better.I fell asleep that night, with Thorny curled up on my pillow, right beside my face.


© Copyright 2017 mystory. All rights reserved.

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