This is the story of the power of love. However don’t be fooled, this is not your average boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl yatta yatta, blah blah blah. No, not in the slightest. It is a love more powerful than that in fairy tales, or even Nicholas Sparks book The Notebook.
Our story starts in a small hospital in what used to be known as North America. A woman had just given birth to a frail, premature child. But the woman was no more than a child herself. She was only 16 yrs old. She was terrified of the thing that was now looking at her for love. The child was wrapped in a soft pink blanket. The big brown eyes the little girl had looked deeply into hers. Total trust, complete wonder of the world around her. But, the woman was unable to take care of the child the way that she needed to be taken care of. Tears filled the woman’s eyes. She did the only thing she knew what to do in this kind of situation. She wrapped me up tightly and brought me to the local orphanage. “Miss Antias home for the unwanted” the sign above the towering metal gate read. The woman didn't name me. She reasoned that naming me would be a mistake, as she had no intention of keeping me and would only bring pain. I never saw her again.
The home for the unwanted. It was a wretched place. The walls stunk of mold, and the floors were littered with mice and dirt filled the rooms. I only had one friend, Lucy, which was a dangerous thing to have, as friends were only allowed for the wanted. The wanted, children who had families, whose parents didn't give them up. They were as the name states, wanted. They would grow up, live their lives have families of their own, have jobs they were the chosen ones. Sometimes I lay in my bed wishing I was wanted too. Yearning for my birth mom to come and save me. But fat chance. The only way a child could become wanted was to be adopted, and seeing as I was at the age of 15. I knew I would never have a chance. Miss Antia would always tell me that I was unwanted for a reason. I was always getting into trouble, I was caught getting into the apples which were reserved only for the adults. But it looked so tasty; red, juicy and plump. I just had to have it. I was severely punished for my actions.
He came one chilly September morning, as I was doing my daily chores. A dark limo pulled into the gates of the home for the unwanted. Miss. Antia walked into the rooms we were in.
“Hello children,” she said.
“Hello miss,” we responded instinctively as we had been taught making sure to make eye contact.
“I want you to be on your best behavior today, one of you will hopefully be taken away from here Others will not,” she said looking at me. “So make sure to make a good impression for our guest.”
We nodded in agreement. Although I knew I wouldn't be even considered. Many folks had come before and they always wanted the young ones. I was much too old and rowdy. I was not a good match for anyone. Miss. Antia made sure I knew that. But, I had a feeling that maybe, just maybe, this time would be different. I sighed. Fat chance of that. Oh well.
“Welcome, sir!” Miss. Antia breezed as she opened the door to the stranger.
“Where are they?” he asked in a very commanding tone.
She brought him over to us. I had never seen her nervous until now. I expected the same thing as all the other strangers looking for a charity case. But he was different. He was a slightly aged man with some white stripes in his otherwise brown beard. He stood tall over Miss. Antia. He was wearing a blue striped blazer, saved only for the wealthy. He walked down the line that we were assigned to be in. As he walked he shook each of our hands.
“Hello,” he spoke, his voice soft and kind.
When he got to where I was standing he stopped.
“Hello,” he spoke shaking my hand.
His eyes were a light blue with a grey hint. His face was wrinkled and worn. He wore a light smile.
“What is your name little one?” he asked me. I didn't know what to say. I had no name. I was only referred to as “her” or “you”. I replied the only way I knew.
“ You may call me whatever you like sir, for I do not have a name.” I tried to stand tall, but I was ashamed.
“What is your name sir?” Miss. Antia shot me a harsh glare. I felt the other children look at me shocked. I knew it wasn't polite to ask questioned when being questioned but it just slipped out.
“Sorry” I whispered softly.
I braced for the slap I knew was going to be coming my way for speaking out of line. Miss. Antia piped in
“I'm so sorry sir! Please don't judge all the children because of one very unruly rude one, don't worry there will be severe punishments for the child.” I knew what that meant. I was to be whipped. She continued “come, I will show you the babies.” she motioned toward the nursery.
But instead, the man only shook his head, he looked at me and laughed slightly.
“There is no reason to be sorry child,” I was confused. “It is a reasonable question. I should be the one apologizing for not introducing myself.” he continued. “My name is Mr. Walter Tyler Perry, you may call me Walt if you would like.” he smiled at me.
My heart pounded. I had never been allowed to call an adult by the first name but especially by a nickname. My mind raced with questions. ‘Is this just a sick joke?’ ‘is it a trick?’ ‘when is he going to hit me for making a mistake?’.i was very confused. But I just stuck to my gut.
“Yes sir, thank you, sir.” I nodded respectfully. Finally, Mr. Perry walked towards Miss. Anita.
“I have chosen the one Miss.”
“Oh!?” she exclaimed. “Perfect! Who would you like me to get?”
He pointed to me. She seemed shocked. Then she laughed nervously.
Oh… sir, you are joking? Haha very funny sir!” she swallowed hard.
“No.” His forehead even more full of wrinkles. One of his eyebrows raised in question.
“Why would I joke about that?” he questioned. Horror filled Miss. Anita's eyes.
“No! Sir!” she stammered. “That is a big mistake! I am glad to be rid of her but...” she paused then grinned maliciously. “ she will still be full price as we had previously discussed.”
“Of course I wouldn't ask for less,” he replied. He walked over to me. “How would you like to come home with me?”
I was a little leery. I had been taken away before only to be returned soon after. I knew what I was expected to say.
“Yes sir, thank you, sir.” I was excused and walked up the stairs to my bed and gathered my things: two shirts, two pants, and my underclothes for the week. I hugged my friend Lucy, although I reasoned I would be coming back so there was no use for tears. I would miss her while I was gone.
As I rode in the back of the limo, I watched the home for the unwanted slowly fading from view.