A NORMAL GIRL
by Azuki, 9, NSW
I got out of bed and I stared out the window, longing for a friend. Girls and boys were playing outside happily. It was 1902 in France. See, my sister had tuberculosis when I was four. Two years later she is forgotten. The memory of her is tossed away like an old newspaper.
Well, at least I remember her fondly. Camille, with her soft blond hair, bright blue eyes and dainty little dimples. Maman said she was belle.
“Il est temps pour petit-déjeuner!” Maman yelled.
“J’arrive!” I called back. Breakfast was ready. I could smell just-baked croissant. Okay. So I’ll tell you more about it later.
I haven’t been outside so I don’t have any friends. I haven’t met anyone except Maman, Camille and my imaginary friend Carlos. After Camille died, I got lonely. Carlos was my only hope.
Carlos was a jolly soul. But one day, we had a fight.
“C’est vrai, les licornes sont reélles (It’s true, unicorns are real)!” I told him.
“Non, non,” Carlos argued. ”C’est une idée stupide (That’s a stupid idea)!” That made me angry. Furious. My fingernails dug in to my palms because of my tight fists. No one messes with my unicorn theory. That’s when it all started.
The next crisp morning, I heard Maman’s horses clopping down Marseille, which meant she was going to work. Maman banned me from going outside because of “dangers.” Because I was an obedient little girl, I did what I was told. But that day was the day. I was going to go outside. No more Carlos! Well, at least that’s what I thought. He might follow me.
I went down to the bottom floor and the door was locked from the inside. Then I thought of an idea. I was on the bottom floor. Right? There are always windows in a house. I could climb outside the window! After putting aside some provisions, a picture of Maman and food in a bag, I set off.
It was a rough journey. People stared at me like I was a strangely dressed tourist. I walked and walked for ages until I reached a grassy field.
“C’est beau,” I sighed as I gazed at its beauty. Dandelions, roses and violets, purple and blue! It was amazing. That’s when I heard the explosion.
Suddenly the sky was filled with planes and I was choking on dust and ash. I didn’t understand what was happening. I was only five. All I remember was that I ran. I ran until I found a gathering of people. They were all speaking French. I was so excited to think that I could find Maman. I got out the picture of her and started asking people if they had seen her.
“Avez-vous vue cette personne?” I asked whoever would lend an ear. But all the feedback I got were shaking heads and shrugging shoulders.
Would I ever see Maman again? I ran to a corner and started crying. Then, I heard a familiar voice, “Anne, tu me manques tellement. Oú êtes-vous ma petite douse?” That was the distinctive sound of Maman’s voice! She was asking where I was!
“Maman?” I whispered, my voice hoarse from dehydration.
“Ma fille! Allez, nous devons trouver un abri! Je connais un ami (My daughter! We have to find shelter! I know a friend),” she cried. We ran through the warzone, barely missing bombs flying down from all the warplanes.
Finally, we found our destination. There was a pretty woman standing at the door, followed by two children. The woman was named Mila, Maman’s friend, a boy named Liam and a girl called Lola. They had a small house but I was excited that I could possibly live a normal life again.
The next day I went to school and I met nice people. I played with Lola and Juliet, a girl from our neighbourhood. A few weeks later, Maman came up to me and said that our home was safe from war now and we had to go home.
I got out of bed and stared out the window. I wasn’t longing for a friend. For once, I was one of those boys and girls playing happily. I was a normal girl.
This is Azuki’s first story published with Alphabet Soup. If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!