Holly Ann woke to a terrifying shout. Tears ran down her face as soon as she heard it, but she didn’t make a sound. It wasn’t because she had been awaken and it wasn’t because she thought that someone was hurt; it was because she was scared. Of course she knew exactly what the shout was from, but she liked to tell herself that it wasn’t what it really was.
Holly Ann jumped out of bed and slipped on her slippers. She climbed upstairs and grabbed a bagel. She had to get breakfast herself lately, and in fact, she really was doing most everything on her own. She was waking herself up for school, which wasn’t entirely hard with all the shouting, getting ready for school and since she didn’t know how to use the washer and her mom hadn’t done the laundry lately, she had to reuse some of her dirty clothes, and of course, walking three blocks to get to school.
But today was Sunday. Holly Ann missed the days when she and her family went straight to church on Sunday, but they hadn’t gone since the year before. She knew for sure that today wasn’t the day her parents would come to her and say they were going back to church.
Holly Ann finished up her bagel and hopped on the counter to get a glass of water. Then she heard a louder scream and a howler. Next came a crash, or maybe it was more like a shatter. There was loud cry that she could hear and then a boom sounded. She suddenly didn’t want a glass of water. All she wanted was to get away from the screams. She slowly slipped off the counter and headed towards the back door, down the hallway.
Suddenly she stopped in her tracks and paused to stare at the family pictures hanging up on the hallway wall. It was only about a year ago when she was just seven. They looked happy, the whole family. Her mom was smiling with a sparkle in her eye, her dad looked like he was laughing. And she looked like she had just got back from Disneyland. She longed for those days when her family was all happy together and there were no fights and arguments.
Holly Ann continued down the hallway and out the sliding door. It shut tight behind her. She shivered in the cold morning air, but she enjoyed the breeze. She stepped out of her slippers and stepped off the porch. Her toes wrinkled in the wet, dewy grass. Then she lifted her gown up a bit and tiptoed farther into the yard.
The sound of the birds made her smile, and she hadn’t smiled in a long time. She closed her eyes and lifted her nose in the air to smell all the wonderful flowers.
She skipped to a patch of blossoms and plopped down right in the middle of them. She was startled by the cold wet grass, but then settled in.
Holly Ann wanted to cry out all her tears, but she knew that would surely make a flood because there were so many tears inside of her. She felt as if she were going to explode with all the sadness that was locked and kept inside of her. She just wanted to . . .
Suddenly she forgot what she was thinking about when a pink blossom seemed to tickle the edge of her button nose. Her eyes crossed as she realized what it was. At first she thought that it was a little person; no, maybe not just any person, but a princess. Her mind went blank and she did see a little tiny princess. The ball at the end of the stem transformed into a little head with familiar brown curls, blue eyes, and button nose. The long stem part was an actual body that flowed with the pink dress covering it. The pink princess danced and twirled in the sun. She smiled and giggled as she skipped along to a pile of stones, but, it was not just stones, but a stone castle. The great tower must have been at least eight stories high. More and more blossoms fell from the sky. Some were yellow, some were orange, but not a single one was just as cheery and pink like the first. Then a giant leaf flew across the sky and landed in front of the pink princess, followed by a tall and thick stick.
This must be the king and queen, Holly Ann thought as she saw them step towards the pink princess with a warm, welcoming, and loving hug.
Holly Ann watched in amusement as the little family embraced each other. They were all so happy. They smiled and giggled and sang a love song.
“Come on, let’s dance!” The princess cried in excitement.
Then they all grabbed hands, including the other blossoms and leaves and sticks, and spun in a circle until they all fell down in laughter. They giggled some more in delight.
Then the princess, king, and queen all skipped in pure happiness to the stone castle. Holly Ann noticed that the king and queen were very much in love. They were always near each other, hugging, dancing, holding hands, and at one time the king held the queen in his twig arms and kissed her. The pink princess was grinning from ear to ear. She wandered in the field that lay in front of the stone castle, standing in between the two, now holding each hand.
As they reached the stone steps, the king and queen stopped in their tracks. They turned towards each other with their daughter spinning in circles in front of them and whispered something to each other. It was a soft gentle whisper with kindness and love in it. There was no shouting, or loud voices, but a soft whisper.
The words that were spoken were, “I love you.”
Holly Ann couldn’t imagine when the last time her own parents had said those words to each other or acted in this manner. This family seemed similar to hers. Perhaps it was. But no, it couldn’t be; they all loved each and were happy.
Suddenly the pink princess was no longer a beautiful princess. It was only a blossom starting to lose its color. The brave king was simply a torn up stick. The queen was just a ripped up leaf. As for the other blossoms; they were things that you would find in the trash.
Holly Ann blinked twice and stood to her feet. They were weak now from sitting too long on the ground. She wearily lifted her gown and tiptoed to the porch where her slippers lay.
Before she could even fully reach the back door, she could hear the shouts and screams that were heard almost every day now coming from her mom and dad. Tears swarmed in her eyes as she thought of the times when her family was just like the royal family living in the stone castle atop the green meadow. She wanted more than anything to continue to cry her heart out, but a small part of her, way down deep, just knew that there was still hope. She trusted God that one day they would all be happy again and maybe even go back to church as a family. She believed in miracles.
Written by: Mrs. Bieber