Chapter 3: Nayana
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“There are spaghetti and beans in the fridge, have some juice with it,” Lydia said. She ran from the kitchen to the living room, then the front door, grabbing several things on the way. “And I see your suitcases by the door. Make sure you’ve remembered everything.”
Nayana opened her mouth as if to say something, but the words were cut off by the closing of the front door and the hurried steps of high heeled shoes on the porch.
The house was empty now that Lydia was gone, but it didn’t exactly feel lonely to Nayana. She was a loner, so she liked to have alone time. Still, it would be nice to have some hang out time with Lydia every once in a while.
Lydia seemed to always be working, but Nayana had talked her into coming on a vacation with her to Washington D.C. She thought that it might be a nice chance for them to go to a few museums, hang out and talk. Only after did she realize that Lydia would probably be on her cell phone half the time and her laptop the other half. She wanted her to come none the less though.
After going into the kitchen and taking out the plate of food that had been left for her from the refrigerator Nayana sighed, knowing that Lydia wouldn’t be back until she was long asleep so she wouldn’t be able to kiss her good-night.
Within two years, tragedy had struck Nayana and her family twice. About two years ago, her sister had gotten hit by a car and her family was crushed. Then disaster had struck again when her mom and dad got in a car accident a year later. Nayana had been put into foster care then, and then went to a new home with Lydia Rosel. To say she’d had a hard time would be a major understatement. Nayana had been in major psychiatric care for 6 months, but now only saw her psychiatrist once a week.
After heating up the plate, she sat down on the high stool at the kitchen counter and turned on the TV, flipping through the channels. Finally deciding on one show, Nayana took some spaghetti on her fork and twirled it in her spoon, then put it in her mouth. She spit it right back out again.
“Blech!” she exclaimed. Lydia had obviously not been concentrating when she had made the spaghetti because it tasted like worms.
The pizza menu, almost in two pieces, sat in the napkin holder. Nayana dumped the disgusting plate of dinner into the trash can. Then she took the phone from the hook, not glancing at the menu that was gathering dust because she already knew the number of the pizza parlor by heart.
Once she had ordered a small personal pizza, she walked up the faded peach carpet to her room. Unexpectedly, Nayana heard something softly.
“The five shall make a circle.” Nayana shook her head and blinked her eyes rapidly.
“That’s odd,” Nayana murmured to herself. Nayana closed her bedroom door, turned off all of the lights in the room and closed the window shades so the streetlights wouldn’t shine in. The room was pitch black, but she could still see just as if the room was lit by a helicopter spotlight.
Nayana had vision better than any human, any animal, any living thing on earth. The first time that her vision allowed her to see in the dark had been when she’d turned 13. She knew that people would think that she was a freak if they were aware of this amazing sense of sight. She could see the smallest possible letters on the chart whenever her vision was tested. Darkness wasn’t darkness to her, in a way. It was almost as if she was a bat. So she kept it to herself. It was pretty easy to lie to the nurse.
Because Nayana was an introvert, she always kept to herself and kept her stats as a teacher’s pet in tact. She was very smart and loved learning, which were mainly the reasons that she was always by herself either in the library or studying at home. That was one of the reasons that Nayana was a loner.
As the pupils in her sparkly light green eyes dilated and adjusted to the light, Nayana pulled out her science textbook to skim through and put her newest birthday card on the shelf with the others. Lydia had gone to work, as she usually did, after giving Nayana $50.00 for her birthday present. She hadn’t really wanted a birthday party because she didn’t have many friends. And since Lydia was basically too busy for her, she didn’t see any reason to have one.
Chapter 4: Rita
“It’s ‘I Knew It All Along!’ If you don’t know it, at least buy an A you moron! Simple vowel!” Rita exclaimed, digging out a bag of M&Ms from her drawers.
“I’ll buy a U,” said the player on Wheel of Fortune. The buzzer synchronized with Pat’s voice.
“Ah, no, I’m sorry. Are you going to use your Free Spin?” asked Pat Sajak. The player said yes and passed down round, sparkly cardboard. Rita rolled her eyes.
“Idiot. Could have used that la-ter,” Rita murmured in a singsong voice.
The M&Ms spilled all over her bed as Rita dumped some out, licking her lips at the rainbow of colors spewed over her sheets. She grabbed a handful and thrust them into her mouth, crunching down several times on the sweet taste and swallowing. Rita could live on junk food, easily.
Her mom always forced her to have her daily requirements of ‘The Pyramid,’ but she never really noticed how much candy Rita actually had stashed in her room. For some reason, though, all of the candy didn’t do a number on her teeth or her body.
After scarfing down nearly half the bag, Rita switched the TV off and picked up the phone, dialing her favorite number, the number of the local Italian restaurant.
“Ciao, you’ve reached La Cucina, how may I help you?” a voice answered in a thick Italian accent.
“Ciao Anna,” Rita said, flopping down on her bed, forcing the spiral cord to stretch.
“Ah, hello Rita, come stai?” Anna asked, sitting down at the chair beside the register.
“Bene, grazie, e tu?” Rita asked, yawning.
“Bene, bene. Business here has been good,” Anna said.
“That’s good,” Rita said, leafing through a magazine. “How’s Paolo?”
“Oh, molto bene, Rita, molto bene,” Anna replied, grinning as she stared at the waiter taking orders. Anna and Rita always enjoyed talking about Paolo, a topic any girls could relate on. “Oh! Rita! Buon compleanno!”
“Grazie,” Rita replied, putting down the magazine and walking over to her presents. “Mia madre…oh, I love her. I got the coolest walkman from her. It has a rechargeable battery, AM and FM radio, and CD player.”
“Wow. And that outfit you wanted from…” Anna’s voice trailed off.
“Macy’s,” Rita finished. “Yup, Diane got it for me with a little money help from mom. Actually…a lot of money help.”
“What a sweetheart,” Anna replied. “You have to bring her over here sometime; I’ve been saving some small mints for her.” Rita laughed. Just then, her mom peeked her head into her room.
“Rita? Can I use the phone?” she asked. “And don’t forget to pack. Remember, we’re leaving for the airport at around 11:00 tomorrow morning.”
“Sure, sure,” Rita said after covering the mouthpiece with her hand. “Mia madre ha dova usare la telefono. Posso parlare a te domani?”
“Sure, I have the afternoon shift tomorrow, so you can call anytime from 12-5 and I’ll be here. Again, buon compleanno,” Anna replied.
“Thanks, ciao ciao,” Rita said.
“Bye,” Anna replied.
After hanging up, Rita called to her mom that the phone was free. She walked over to her closet and took out a new suitcase that was covered in drawings that Rita had scribbled when she was bored. Rita then looked for one of her favorite books so she wouldn’t forget it. From California, Maryland was a long plane trip. But all of a sudden, Rita heard somebody whisper softly.
“The five shall make a circle.” Rita looked over to her TV and radio, but they were both off.
“Weird,” she said to herself. She shrugged and continuing the search for her book and finally found it. The thing was that the book was completely in French.
Rita was fluent in any language that came translated into a book. For some reason, ever since her 13th birthday, once she’d studied it for a few hours she could master any language someone threw at her. Rita loved it because she could call somewhere in Spain or Germany or Sweden and have a normal conversation with someone.
She had to be careful to not call too many times and to use her cell phone for the free long distance, though. Learning languages was her main form of entertainment, although she never told anyone. Not even her mom and dad. They just knew that she did well in Spanish and English class.