The afternoon sun shone brightly as young Maddie trudged down the road home from school with a glum look on her face. She still felt downhearted because of what had taken place in the schoolyard at morning break. Some boys from her class had made fun of a girl from another class. This girl’s father had been laid off quite a while back and her parents could hardly make ends meet with only her mother’s wages. The boys were making fun of her second-hand clothing and calling her parents losers.
Once he sat crouched inside the cardboard washing machine box, the boy entered another world. A place where characters from the books that he borrowed from the library came to life. In his imagination, he accompanied them on all sorts of adventures. He could be setting sail as a famous explorer to unknown lands one moment and ranging the prairie with cowboys the next, or doing battle with knights, or tracking down a horse thief as a Canadian Mountie on his dog sled.
Part 5 in the Helena Series
“Ohhh,” Helena and Marlon sighed as the most radiant sun they had ever seen, appeared before them.
They gazed at the sun to see it transform into a smiling woman’s face so full of love that it brought tears to their eyes. A warm and gentle voice spoke.
“Dear children, I am called Tamar. Please, come closer.”
The two friends did as they were asked.
“My name is Helena,” Helena said without the slightest hesitation.
“And I am called Marlon,” Marlon added with equal enthusiasm.
“Yes, I know, my little wise ones. I have been watching you from above since the day you were born.”
“Were you expecting us, Tamar?” Helena asked.
“Yes, I was indeed. Just as humankind has been expecting me for thousands of years.”
“So, you are the long-expected Sun,” Helena said to her own surprise, as the words did not feel as if they were her own.
“Yes, I am,” Tamar replied, “and to the ancients I am also known as Sirius.”
“Well, I’ll see you tomorrow then,” Bianca said as she stood up and left the cafe terrace with a curt “goodbye”.
“Bye,” Giulia replied blinking her eyes to hold back the tears.
She watched her best friend walk down the street until she turned the corner at the other end of the square in the little Italian town where they both lived. Unable to enjoy the warm spring sun on her face, she looked back on the conversation that had ended only minutes ago. Why had they gotten so angry at each other, she asked herself. What had started as their weekly get-together, had turned into a quarrel over nothing, leaving both of them feeling hurt.
Many years ago, in a little mining town in the north, a newborn baby boy lay ill from pneumonia in his hospital cot. As the wind howled in the fjord outside, he gasped for air and longed for the loving warmth of his mother. Where was she? He felt her alright, even though she was not near, in the same way he could hear the comforting resonance of his father’s voice. Why then, could he not decide whether to live or die?