Author’s Note: This personal post goes out to Leanne, my best friend and fellow Moodoo-er. She’ll be leaving for Australia and she won’t be coming back. So, let’s take this as a farewell gift for her. I hope you like it, Lenny. I’m sorry if it sucks at any part. Oh gosh.
This is a sequel to Hajimari no Hi. This will be from Selina’s point of view. This is in third person, because Leanne doesn’t like first person, haha. (: Only the personal thoughts are in first person. Urgh, sorry, Leanne! I thought it’d be weird if the thoughts were in third person
“Everything will be alright, just believe in me,” Selina told Imera. “I will protect you, just sleep.” The young girl gazed up with her tear-stained face. She sniffed, and then dried the fresh tears that threatened to pour down her cheeks. And then, she murmured dreamily as she closed her eyes, “If I have you here with me, then your smile is all I need.” Selina’s eyes widened and smiled. She hugged her adopted sister as she slowly snuggled her to sleep.
She had never been so looked up to, so depended on, in all her life.
She turned her head, to see Imera sleeping soundly on her shoulder, with a peaceful look on her face. Selina smiled as she remembered the day when the younger girl had been so fearful of her, yet she had put on a defiant front and faced her with such bravery. It seemed just yesterday, when they decided to leave the rotten town of Port, and had journeyed on to find another town that would take them in, like an adoptive parent.
They went from town to town, but they were always given the cold shoulder. They had settled down, but when authorities came to chase them out because they weren’t locals, they left. And then, when it was discovered the two of them were from Port, everyone was out to catch them. The news of their escape had spread like wildfire, it seemed.
Now they were on the run. The forest had become their second home. It was so ironic actually, Mother Earth who had brought them into this cruel world in the first place, had now become their shelter and comfort. Selina made camp in a clearing, where the grass was short and gentle, and where the towering trees protected them from being seen.
The warmth they were given was from the fire that was crackling in front of their huddled forms. Its light barely illuminated the place. Selina shifted her gaze from the fire to Imera again. The girl now had a small smile on her face. Just minutes ago, she was crying, because of her immense fear of the dark and of the thought of them being back at the alleys in Port again. Selina tilted her head upwards, and fixed her eyes on the stars above their heads.
“It’s tomorrow,” she said to herself, and laid her head on Imera’s.
They couldn’t stay at one place forever. They had to move to the next place. They kept walking to no specified destination, and ended up at the cliffs near a never ending lake of water that seemed to stretch out to the four corners of the Earth.
“Woah!” Imera gasped. “What is this? This much be the biggest lake in the world!”
Selina, who was taken aback herself, quickly gathered up the knowledge that she had read up from books she stole from shops long ago. “This isn’t a lake. It’s the ocean! It’s much bigger than what I thought!”
“The ocean?” Imera tilted her head to one side.
“Yeah.” Selina carefully made her way to the edge of the cliff they were standing on. “It is the largest body of water on Earth. It is very deep and it has lots of sea creatures in it.” A sudden gust of wind blew towards her, and Imera cried out, horrified. “Selina!”
Selina chuckled lightly, only staggering slightly. It was strong and it carried a scent of sea salt from the ocean. She beckoned Imera over, coaxing her. The girl was terrified; you could see it in her wide eyes. But with a broad smile, Selina whispered at her, “Everything will be alright, just believe in me. Remember? If I’m beside you, my smile is all you need.”
She had repeated the words Imera had said the night before. Imera took a deep breath, gulped down her fears, and inched her way forward to Selina’s outstretched hand. Together, they faced the wind that seemed to blow in from the horizon and into their faces. And slowly, they raised their hands and gave a shout of defiance and freedom.
You and I on that day on that place together, standing so high, reaching the sky. We felt the rushing wind of tomorrow. Didn’t you feel it? Our hands clasped each other tightly, our courage and love overflowing and vast like the ocean before us. That feeling you gave me, Imera, that song of our hearts, the rhythm, synchronising, harmonising, like a choral symphony. That melody, brought out my inner feelings, and rose me off my feet into the wide azure sky. At that moment, I felt like I could soar, with you, to the heavens.
Selina, harbouring those thoughts, gave Imera another smile and laughed.
They made another camp on a smoother area of rocks. There wasn’t much shelter, but Selina doubted it would rain that night.
“But what if it does?” questioned Imera, who was starting up the fire, her hands clutching stones the size of her palm. Sighing, Selina took the stones from her, and rubbed them against each other, above the nest of twigs.
“Everything will be alright, just believe in me, Imera. After all, if you have me, my smile is all you need. Isn’t that what you said to me?” Selina could hear Imera grumble, “I will learn not to say anything so inspirational, if all my words end up becoming quotes that will be used against me.”
Dropping the stones, Selina tackled Imera and squeezed her into a hug, despite the younger girl’s desperate yells of protest. “Selina! Oh my gosh, SELINA! I need to- need–BREATHE- you- SUFFOCATING ME!”
Laughing, Selina let go, leaving a red-faced Imera glaring at her viciously. “If you dare to do that to me again, I swear I will-” she started to threaten before Selina waved it off dismissively. “Oh, lighten up, will you. It’s our friendship anniversary after all.”
That caught Imera’s attention. Her voice was filled with much surprise. “What?”
Selina didn’t say anything. She just walked over to the twigs, swiftly got the fire started. When she was a good distance away from the fire, she lied down on the ground, making sure there were no dangerous points and that it was reliably smooth.
She stared into the sky again, as she did before. The stars twinkled, surrounding a full wolf moon. She felt Imera’s presence beside her. Both of them were now lying down together, under the blanket of the stars.
“You know, Imera,” Selina began softly. “I wasn’t really an orphan to even begin with. I had a warm family. I was a rebellious kid, going around stealing things when I could have easily bought it. It got me into trouble all the time. Then, when I got a little more adventurous, I decided to get out and explore. There was something I wanted to find, something I had been missing from my heart. I’d search around town, scouring the little places no one would even spare a second thought to look at, and then when evening was cast, I’d return home.” She paused. A bit of happiness and longing had seeped into her voice unknowingly.
She could feel Imera’s interest in her past life story, as the little kid was trying to move closer to her. It encouraged Selina to continue. “One day, when I returned, I discovered my whole house was burnt down while I was away. A group of bandits had sneaked in, robbed and murdered my parents, and then set the house on fire to get rid of the evidence. I can still remember the roar of the fire and the shouts of the neighbours as they tried to put it out. But it was too late.”
Selina stood there, frozen to the ground as she saw the orange demon with a thousand tongues devour her home, and her parents who were still inside. “Mother! Father!” she screamed at once, when she found her voice back. She was tearing up- the door was on fire, the windows were on fire- oh god, not…no…The roof was caving in. All rescue attempts were futile at that point. Selina screamed herself hoarse. She screamed until she could scream no more. She screamed; and her screams rose to the breaking point. It rose higher into the heavens. And then, it showered.
She could feel her throat working up. That day was especially painful. She was taken away into the orphanage, but she left it in the middle of the night. Selina was more determined to find that something that she had been lacking for so long. She moved from town to town, never stopping. She went according to her heart, and she listened to it. And then finally, she stopped, at Port.
“I didn’t know why I was there,” she continued. “But my heart told me that the thing I was looking for was here in this very town. And then, I found you.” Selina’s and Imera’s eyes came into contact. “You possessed the very thing I had been looking for all this time. At first, I thought it was you, but now, as we went forward together since that day…”
I looked around the world and found the one and only precious treasure. Imera, my dear sister, it was you. That feisty nature you had in you, those eyes that reflected fearlessness, and the deep mutual bond we had together, by the heavens, it was you. No, it wasn’t really you. It was us. I finally learnt to believe in that special power we had, the one that we could only have that lasted forever.
And then Selina felt herself being dragged into an embrace. “Thank you,” Imera said, “for sharing with me your story.”
Selina whispered back, “No problem. Happy Friendship Birthday, Imera.”
There was a faint ‘happy friendship birthday to you too’ before the two of them snuggled together, their arms wrung around each other, protecting each other. The words were carried forth by the wind and beyond the seas.
It was a miracle they found each other.
Two broken children, tormented by their own mishaps, came together and healed each other. The power they felt and shared, that bond that carried them over seas of hardship, was their undying friendship. This friendship is an elastic, super-glued bond. It cannot be torn by simple means, nor will it snap because of the long distances. The story of Imera and Selina ends here.
However, questions will still be brought up. When will they settle down? Where is their place of happiness? Only the heavens know, but we all know, it will end happily for the both of them. With Selina’s confidence and Imera’s spirit, there are no barriers the duo can’t break. After all, the so-called stormy nights they each endured had actually brought them together.
And thus, this is the end of the story, that weaved the story of two girls of different backgrounds and personalities.
Leanne: Sorry, this was so late. >< But, really, I have to thank you for everything. The times we shared and had together with Moodoo were beautiful memories. I hope that you will keep it, and when the time arrives, we will meet up again in the future, and laugh about all the silly moments and stunts we pulled off . Thank you, thank you, being one of my best friends and my fellow Moodoo-er. Don’t be so hard on your drawing skills. I can honestly tell you that your art is seriously amazing. Remember what you told me? “Keep practicing.”
I believe you can do it, Leanne, and don’t forget us. (: You probably have lots of friends back in Australia, but just reserve a little space in your heart for Moodoo. We will be waiting, and I hope you will too.
To whoever is in-charge of the universe or fate itself: Thank you for blessing me with such a lovely friend. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet her. Thank you for letting me befriend her. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for everything. Thank you for Leanne.
((Don’t take this the wrong way. ))
I love you, Leanne, as what a best friend would.
Moodoo will miss you.
Happy Friendship Birthday.