My Only True Friend (Part 2)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Sometimes all people need is to be accepted, no matter what they believe.

Submitted: April 16, 2008

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Submitted: April 16, 2008

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When I woke the next morning, Thorny wasn’t in sight. Jumping up quickly, I started to look around. He wasn’t in my closet, and he wasn’t under my bed, or my pathetic excuse for a dresser. I called his name softly, hoping that I wouldn’t wake anyone else. There was no response. I had half expecting to hear his soft little mew, and find him standing behind me. But he wasn’t there. I started to get frantic. How had he gotten out of my room? The door was closed. What if Miss Grenwald had come in the night and found him? What if she had killed him while I was asleep?
“No,” I said firmly to myself, my voice still soft. “If Miss Grenwald had really found him in my room, then she would have wakened me for sure. I highly doubt that she found him at all—even if he isn’t in my room anymore. She would have made a big fuss and woken all the other…”
I let me voice fade, trailing off into the early morning light that was pouring into my room from my open window.
“The window!” I said, slapping my forehead at my stupidity. 
I ran over to it quickly, and leaned out, looking around and calling for Thorny. But all I could see was the back alley, filled with tall yellow grass and a large dumpster. The sun was just barely rising, which meant it had to be only around six in the morning. I was about to pull my head back inside, when I heard a soft, muffled sound come from below me. I looked down, and there he was, almost completely concealed by the tall, dead grass. I would have never seen him if he hadn’t been meowing at the sight of me.
His fur was full of burrs, but other than that, he looked much better than he had the day before. I bent over (glad that I was on the first story, and not the second), and scooped him up, cradling him gently in my arms, and closed my window so he wouldn’t get out again.
“Don’t ever scare me like that again,” I said, gently touching his nose. He started to purr, once again filling me with that strange, warm feeling that was so foreign to me.
I set him on my bed, sitting next to him. For a while, I he just let me stroke him, and he started to drift off to sleep. It was so peaceful to watch him. He made me feel so…happy. I hadn’t felt this happy in a very long time. Somehow, I knew that I could trust this little kitten. I knew that Thorny wouldn’t betray me—because he needed my help. He was the one that needed to trust me
Suddenly, I heard footsteps outside my door. Hurriedly, I scooped Thorny up again (and he gave me a confused, and slightly annoyed look), and tossed him under my covers, praying that he couldn’t move around. Seconds later, the door swung open, and Miss Grenwald burst in.
“Aww, good, you’re awake.” She smirked. “Quickly now, go finish loading the weeds you pulled yesterday into the dumpster, then get ready for school. Off you go.”
She grabbed me by the arm and started to drag me from the room. I had just enough time to see Thorny peak out from under the covers as Miss Grenwald pulled the door shut behind me.
 
 
I had just enough time to visit Thorny again before I had to go to school. I stuck some more food to give to him, and made him a little bed out of my bed sheets.
“Be good while I’m gone, okay Thorny,” I said, setting the plate of food down in front of him.
He looked up at me with his orb-like blue eyes. He was still rather weak, so I set him on the floor so he wouldn’t fall off my bed. Kissing him on the top of his fluffy, black head, I hurried out of the room, making sure to close the door tightly behind me. This day of school was no different from all the others. I had all my usual classes, and sat by myself at lunch, starving because I had been denied breakfast by Miss Grenwald as part of my punishment.
However, when school finally let out, and I was starting to walk home, I ran into Terry’s gang. She was taller than I was, and her short, blonde hair now had bright purple streaks in it. Her clothes weren’t always as modest as most others girls, and her friends all dressed the same. Terry and the five other girls in her gang looked like the could all be related they looked so much the same. They frightened me.
Terry smirked at me. “Where you going, emo girl? Are you going back to that shaggy old place you call home?”
She shoved me backwards, making my trip and almost fall on my back. But I caught myself, and merely looked down at the ground. I could hear the other girls laughing.
“Why won’t you look anyone in the eye, little Jenny? Is it because you are too ashamed of yourself? Is it because you know everyone else is so much better than you are?”
I was fighting back tears as Terry’s gang laughed again. Terry shoved my backward again, harder this time, making my fall onto the cement. I rolled over and stood up, not daring to look over at the six girls in front of me. Their laughter filled the air, even though I tried me hardest to drown them out. I’d had enough. I wanted to get home to Thorny.
But as I started to walk around them, Terry grabbed one of the straps on my backpack, pulling me into the circle the other girls had formed. I was surrounded, and trapped.
“What do you want?” I asked in a voice so low I was surprised they had heard me.
“Well you see, I forgot to take notes today in all my classes, so I was wondering is I could find someone stupid enough to give me theirs. And it turns out that you qualify.”
I shook my head, backing away from her, only to by shoved back forward by one of the girls in the circle.
“We can do this the easy way, or the hard way, Jennifer,” Terry said, and I could tell the she was starting to lose her patience with me. “Hand over your notes and we’ll let you go back to your dump.”
I shook my head again. I needed my notes. If I didn’t have them, I would surely fail the upcoming exams, and I needed to get good grades. If I didn’t, I would be severely punished by the warden of the orphanage. My notes were something I couldn’t afford to give up.
“So, the little cry baby is refusing me?” Terry asked, and I could tell by the tone of her voice that she was angry now. “Well, girls, I think she might need a little persuasion.”
Without warning, two of the girls grabbed my from behind, one of them each holding my arms. Terry walked forward, and smirked down at the sight of me, standing before her so helpless. I looked up slighting, and our eyes met. It had been on accident, but for some reason, what I saw in her eyes made me keep looking. All that I could see in her flaring eyes was hatred, and pure loathing. I knew what was coming next.
She drew back her arm and punched me right in the stomach. I didn’t cry out, and I didn’t struggle. The two girls holding me were each twice my weight, and much stronger than me. Struggling would only make things worse. But I fought back my tears. I didn’t want to give Terry the satisfaction.
When I didn’t give her the reaction she had wanted, she hit me again, but I was still able to hold back my tears and cries of pain. She drew back her arm, and stuck me across the face, hitting me so hard that my vision went blurry. I couldn’t help it anymore. I let the tears fall from my eyes.
“What I weak little baby,” Terry said, shaking her head in disappointment. The other girls snickered.
Then, the two girls released me, pulled my backpack off me as they did. They tossed it to Terry, who grinned greedily at it. 
“Thank you so much for your kindness, Jennifer. I’ll be sure to…not…return this to you.” She burst out laughing, and the other girls followed her lead. Then they left. They left me beaten, and sobbing on the ground, without my notes, or any of my school supplies. Miss Grenwald was going to kill me.
 
 
I was half and hour late when I got home that afternoon. Some of the other orphans were playing out in the front lawn, kicking a soccer ball to each other. I could feel their eyes on me as I walked with my head down all the way to the front door. Miss Grenwald was waiting in the entry hall for me, with her arms crossed, tapping her foot impatiently. I knew what was coming before she had a chance to say anything. She took one look at me and knew that I had gotten into a fight and lost my backpack. I was sent to my room, with the expectation of double the amount of chores, and serving breakfast to the other kids, but not being allowed to eat any of it. Plus, a beating was received, which only added to my collection of bruises, cuts and scars. Miss Grenwald said that she would go out and buy me new school supplies later in the week.
When I reached me room—limping from my beating—Thorny crawled out from under my bed, and meowed at me enthusiastically. He seemed even better than this morning, and even in the poor condition he was in, he looked better than I did.
I sat down on my bed, and he jumped up onto my lap. He had really regained some of his strength. He rubbed up against my side affectionately, purring softly. That’s when I started crying.
“Oh, Thorny,” I sobbed, scratching him behind the ears, “I just can’t take this anymore. Terry used to be my best friend. I don’t know what happened. Almost every girl in Terry’s gang had been my best friend somewhere along the line. I don’t know what I did to make them hate me. Look what trouble they got my into.”
The way Thorny was looking at me made me feel like he could understand what I was saying. Like he could understand my words, and my feelings. I had never had anyone understand me in that way since my parents had left.
“I wish my parents were still here,” I whispered, burring my face in Thorny’s soft fur. “I bet you miss your parents too, don’t you. You’re in the same boat, aren’t we Thorny? We’re the same in so many ways. We’re both orphans, with no one to understand us.”
Thorny meowed in my ear, which sounded almost sympathetic. I was starting to really wonder if he could understand me.
“I just wish that I could find someone in this world that would love me, and not hurt me like all the others. I have tried so many times, Thorny, to make new friends. But every time I got close to them, they would always betray me. Like Terry and her whole gang. All I want in this world, is for people to just accept me for who I am.”
Thorny brushed his tail against my face, whipping the tears off my cheeks. His sweet purr and cute little face seemed to be telling me that he would accept me. That he cared about me, and loved me. And that was all I needed to know. I lifted him up and held him close to my face, my tears falling onto his black fur. He didn’t pull away, thought, to my surprise. He stayed right where he was, and just let me cry.

All my life, I had never had a shoulder to cry on. Whenever I cried, I was being hurt or was alone. Now, though, I was pouring my heart and soul out to Thorny, and he was listening. No one had ever offered my this comfort before, and it made me feel safe. It made me feel like I was not so alone after all.


© Copyright 2017 mystory. All rights reserved.

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