It happened about nine years ago when you were only seven years old; or at least that’s when it started. You knew something was wrong with you because your parents made you see different doctors all the time. Your head would always hurt and your eyes would itch and sometimes you couldn’t see at all. You remember lying awake in bed feeling so hopeless and confused, but you never fully understood the entire crisis that was happening. One night you overheard your parents arguing. Your mom was crying and your dad was yelling. “We don’t have the money to take care of her! Do you really think we can afford this?” “I don’t want to lose my baby…” “Do you really want a disabled child? Do you really think you can take care of that? Not only would we have to pay for the medical bills, but we would have to invest on renovating the house to adjust to her needs. And what about school? She can’t go to a public school, no. We would have to pay for private lessons. We can’t handle it! I think putting her up for adoption is the best idea.” Your mom continues to cry. You knew what adoption was but they couldn’t possibly be talking about you, right?
You get up out of bed and cling to the wall. You can see the light shining faintly from the other room and you follow it out to your parents. “Mommy? Daddy? My head hurts.” Your mom wraps her arms around you and pets your hair soothingly. “Shhh my darling, it’s okay.” She lets out a sigh and shakes her head. “That is out of the question. I won’t give up my baby; she would be stuck there forever. No parent would want to adopt a child with cancer. Even if she does get the medical help she needs she’ll be blind the rest of her life.” “And I don’t want to have to deal with it either! They can probably do a better job at taking care of her than us anyways. I’m busy with working to pay for this damned house and you’re just clueless.” You flinch a little from your dad’s tone of voice. You were for sure they were talking about you now and you tried to hold back your tears. Your mom goes quiet and squeezes you tighter making the tears spill out.
“Fine, when should we do it?” She sighs and chokes on a sob, running a soothing hand down your small back. “If we get rid of her by Saturday, we’ll have enough to pay the bills and a decent amount of groceries.” Saturday, you knew it was Wednesday. So you had to wait three days, you decided if they tried to do anything weird in the next three days you wouldn’t let them. Your mom looked down at you and you closed your eyes to pretend to be asleep. She picks you up and carries you to your room and tucks you into bed.
The days come and go and next thing you knew it was Saturday morning. You were so glad you made it through the three days with no issues. So as usual, your mom wakes you up on Saturday morning with a kiss on the cheek and helps you to the kitchen for breakfast. You chattered on about whatever it is little kids talk about. You finish eating and your mom takes your plate. “Sweetie, do you want to go to the store with daddy today?” Normally your mom does the shopping, but every once in a while your dad goes if she has something to do. You loved going to the store so you nod. “Why aren’t you going though mommy?” She gets quiet and you can barely hear her croak out “Because we’re having guest today and I need to clean the house.” You didn’t think anything of it.
About an hour later you were playing in your room with your dolls and your dad walks in. “Hey pumpkin, you ready to go to the store?” You jump up and nod. “Yeah, yeah, yeah!” You grab his hand and he leads you outside. The sun was bright and it was warm. Today was a good day because your head or eyes didn’t hurt and mostly everything was seeable. You stroll to the store and your dad grabs a shopping cart. “Hold on to the cart and don’t let go, okay?” You nod. “Yes daddy.” As you walk through the somewhat crowded isles of the store your dad grabs this and that and throws them into the cart. Not even after ten minutes of being in the store your head pounds with pain and it was getting hard to see. “Daddy, can we go home now? I don’t feel good.” “We’re almost done sweetie, just need to get a few more things,”
The shopping cart stops moving so you stop too. “Here ________, hold this for me.” He hands you something; you recognized it to be a piece of paper. Your dad must have been grabbing something… a few minutes pass by. “Daddy…?” You wander around the cart trying to find him but he was nowhere around the cart. “D-Daddy?!” You called out again, this time with tears running down your face. You let go of the cart and wander around blindly until you accidentally bump into someone. “Oh I’m sorry…” you mumble. “Why is a little girl like you all by yourself?” the person’s voice was strong and commanding, it scared you a little. “I-I can’t find my daddy.”
“What’s this?” the person grabs at the paper in your hand. “Let me see! I want to read it too!” you hear a little girl squeak. After a few quick moments he sighs. “My name is Lili. And this is my older brother Vash.” The girl squeaks again. “Lili, let me take care of this, okay? You, come with me.” He grabs your hand and leads you somewhere. “Do you know where my daddy is?” You perk up a bit. “Just stay quiet for a little bit and I’ll explain what’s going on.” “Okay…” After a little bit of walking and standing in line, your vision gets a little better. A little girl stood beside you. She had blonde hair and a really pretty dress on. She seemed to be about your age. The other person was a young boy dressed in green with blonde hair who seemed a few years older. You smile as he leads you outside the store. “You’re pretty. I like you.” Vash stiffens a bit, but stays quiet.
“Okay, your name is… ________?” You nod. “Yes sir.” He sighs. “Your father gave you this piece of paper?” You nod again. “Yes sir.” “Did you read the paper?” You shake your head. “No sir, I can’t see really good. I have something called cancer in my eyes that makes it really hard for me to see.” “Well then ________, I guess there’s no easy way to say this. But your father can’t help you and just… left you. So I’m going to take you to the police station so they can do something about this okay?” “But I don’t wanna go to the police station! I just want my mommy and daddy!” You start to cry again and Lili puts her arms around you. “It’s okay ________, don’t be sad. Maybe my big brother can take you home with us and we can play. Big brother, can we do that?”
A moment of silence and then a sigh. “Fine, if that’s what you want Lili, we can take care of her for a while…” You have been told so many times to never follow strangers or to even talk to them, but you trusted Vash and Lili for some reason. They help you into their car and drive you to your new home.
You gripped the rail of the stairs tightly and slowly made your way down. You know Vash hates it when you wander around by yourself; but you’ve been in this house for nine years already! You know your way around even if you can’t see a thing at all. You make it to the last step and cling to the wall. Slowly, you made your way down the hall towards Vash’s room. You hear one of the doors open and you freeze in place. “________? What are you doing walking around? Do you want me to help?” Lili’s voice echoes down the hall as she runs toward you and grabs your arm. You gently tug away and smile. “I’m okay, thank you Lili. I was just going to Vash’s room to talk to him for a little bit.”
“You know he’ll be mad if you walk in there by yourself.” You giggle, “Yeah, I know.” You continue down the hall and find the door to Vash’s room; there was a V carved in the doorknob so you know it’s his. You open the door and shuffle in. “Vash? Are you in here?” “________! What are you doing?!” He grabs your arm and leads you to the bed, making you pout. “Stop treating me like I’m helpless, I know what I’m doing.” “Did you come down those stairs by yourself? I told you if you want to go somewhere to call for someone, or at least use your cane!” “I don’t need to though! I can get around just fine. I didn’t come all the way down here to argue with you.”
He sighs and wraps his arms around you. “I just want you to be safe. You know that. Why did you come down here anyways?” “I just wanted to know if you changed my sheets. They feel different from the night before.” “Oh yes, I forgot to tell you I had to wash them.” It goes quite a bit and you cuddle into him. “What color are the new sheets?” “Purple.” “What kind of purple?” “Dark purple.” You just lay in his arms for a few minutes. Then he shifts and stands up, pulling you along with him. “Where are we going?” “To the balcony.” You step outside and a cool chill hits you making you shiver. You smile, “Are we facing the mountains?” “Yes.” “Is the grass a bright green?” “Yes.” “Are there cows roaming around eating the grass?” “No.” You pout a bit. “Well there should be.”
You lean into him and sigh. “Vash, I wish I could have gotten a better look.” “At what?” “Everything, the house, the landscape, you, Lili… I just wish I didn’t have to get that surgery.” Vash holds you close to him. “How many times do I have to tell this to you? Without the surgery the ca-” “The cancer would have spread and it would have killed me, I know. But why me? Why couldn’t this have happened to my parents so they know how it feels?” “If this never would have happened to you, I would have never found you. You would be stuck in that house with your parents.” You frown and nod. “Yeah, I guess that’s true.” You shiver again. “Vash, can we go inside? I’m cold.”
He guides you inside and back to the bed where he lies right next to you. You pull his head to your lap and run your fingers through his hair. “I like how soft your hair is. Lili’s is like this too. It’s pretty.” He doesn’t say anything and you smile; he never knows how to reply when you compliment him. You move your hand down his face and brush your thumb over his lips. You feel his muscles move into a tiny smile. He sits up and puts a hand on your cheek, bringing your face closer to his and into a kiss. It always surprises you when he does something like that, but you smile and giggle. “I love you Vash.”
“I love you too ________.”