05 - The Little Girl in the Park - Kimberly
There was this sad little girl sitting in the park one day. Everyone passed her by. They never stopped to see why she looked so sad.
Dressed in a plain pink dress, her feet covered only by a pair of sandals, the girl just sat and watched as the people went by.
She never tried to speak, she never said a word. Many people passed, but no one ever stopped. It just so happened that the next day he walked through that very park, past that very sad little girl.
She was in the same spot that she always was, but he didn't know this. Without realizing it, he caught her attention. He knew he was being watched and he looked straight into her eyes. The sad look that he was greeted with shattered the happy feeling that he had prior to meeting her gaze only because he now felt sorry for her, whatever her pain.
He decided to make a move and to walk over to the young girl. He knew that it was a park full of "strange" people. It was not a place for children to sit alone. Children were meant to play. She seemed about his age, but she was still quite child-like.
As he got closer to the girl, he could see that her dress was oddly shaped. The back stood up in an odd fashion. Perhaps that was the reason that people passed by and took no notice of the sad little girl.
As he grew even closer, he noticed that it was not the dress that stuck up, but the girl's back. Deformities are something looked down upon in our society and "so help you" if you make a step toward helping someone who is "different".
As he grew closer still to the young girl, she lowered her eyes to avoid his intent stare. He could see the grotesque shaping of her back clearly now. He pulled his gaze away quickly. He wasn't one to be like everyone else.
He smiled at her, though her gaze would not acknowledge that he was there. He took a seat next to her and opened with a simple, "Hi."
The girl pushed her silky hair behind her ears and shrunk down even more. She stammered the word, "Hello."
She looked up and finally met his gaze. Then shocking realization filled her eyes. "Taylor."
He smiled at her reaction. She knew who he was. Who wouldn't recognize Taylor Hanson? And so began a conversation that he would never forget.
They talked about anything and everything. They discussed philosophy, poetry, religion and coffee. They pondered questions that they had never pondered before and came up with answers to questions they had never dared ask before. The park eventually emptied out and the young girl and Taylor were the only ones left, sitting on a park bench under a bright light, discussing Sigmund Freud.
Taylor noticed the time and realized that he had only about fifteen minutes before he had to go, so he asked the one question that he had been dying to know the answer to since he had seen the little girl's eyes. "Why are you so sad?"
The girl looked down. "Because I'm different."
He lifted up her chin. "You're no different than I am. You're an angel. Sweet and innocent. Demure. Beautiful."
She laughed a bit. Her face twisted as though in pain. "Beautiful? No. I'm not. I'm just a girl who sits on a park bench every day because there's nothing to do at home because she's read every worthwhile book in the house, she had no siblings and her parents are workaholics."
"You are like an angel. A guardian angel. It's like you were sent to watch over all of these people who walk by. Even if they can't see you, they know you're there. They can't help but know."
A hint of a smile appeared on her slightly moistened lips. "They know because they can't help but know. I'm so ugly, they can feel it."
"You're not ugly. If people can't look past one thing to see everything else, then they are ugly within. You are beautiful within and on the outside."
"You really think so?"
He stopped and looked at her closely. She wasn't Cindy Crawford. But, what she lacked in physical appearance, only having the hump, she made up for many times in personality and non-superficiality. She sat down with her head turned down and her eyes closed. He took a deep breath, lifted her chin and pressed his lips to hers.
He'd half expected her to pull away immediately. But, she eased into the kiss slowly and soon, she had wrapped her arms around his neck. When they finally parted, she looked up at him, eyes no longer sad.
He took her hand in his. "How 'bout we get some pizza?"
The girl smile wholeheartedly. "Sounds good. Then, we can go back to my place and play video games."
He went to smile but suddenly remembered the time. "Wait, I have to get home. Do you think we could get together tomorrow? Do you think you could come back to our hotel now?"
The girl laced her fingers together. "Um, y'know, I think maybe we're rushing this. How about we get together for pizza tomorrow? For lunch? Do you know where Antonio's Pizza Palace is?"
"Sure. It's across the street from our hotel."
"Really? I live like half a block away."
"Cool! So, can I walk you home then?"
"Sure. Let's go."
"You do realize that I don't know your name or your age."
"Maria Augnessa Vernai. 14."
"Jordan Taylor Hanson. 15."
"Well, that's a big ol' duh! Let's get walking, Mr. Hanson. I'd hate for you to miss your beauty sleep."
"Oh, ha ha."
The pair walked to their respective places of residence, though one was only temporary, in peace. They had found what they were looking for. Love comes in many shapes, sizes and colors. But, sometimes it comes in abundance and that is when life is best.