Harry and I hung out in my bedroom after getting home from lunch, doing more coursework as well as odd pieces of homework that were due soon (and also reading) until we heard the front door open and close.
Heading downstairs we found my parents – both professors at UEA – carrying shopping bags into the kitchen-diner.
‘Hey sweetie, did you and Harry have a productive afternoon?’ Mum asked as she and my father started putting everything away.
‘Mhm, very. Um, can I talk you both about something?’ I replied, reaching into the pocket of my jacket to wrap my hand around the earring I’d found, transferred from my bag once we got back to mine.
‘What is it, love?’ Dad enquired, he and Mum turning back to me as I pulled the curious earring from my pocket, and held it up for them to see.
‘I found this earlier today before Harry and I went for lunch, buried beneath the soil surrounding a tree. A sort of…. melody filled with the tinkling of wind chimes and other pretty sounds followed me until I found it, and the earring’s silver casing has a heart symbol engraved into it. I don’t have a clue why only I heard it, or why there’s only one of them. I don’t know what’s going on.’
My parents looked closely at the earring before sharing a look, and then my father disappeared into my parents’ shared office, returning a short while later with a leather bound book held in his hand which he handed over to me.
Taking it slowly from his offered hand I looked down at the cover, expecting it to be an aged artist’s sketchbook they’d been saving for me, but my eyes only found a large “O” embossed on the front in silver. I glanced up at them, mildly puzzled.
‘What is it?’
‘It’s a journal honey. It belongs to you’ my mother replied. ‘But…what does the “O” stand for?’ I asked, still confused.
‘It stands for Oraelia…’ Dad answered, a pained expression on his face as he gazed at me, heaving a great sigh before he continued. “Oraelia is…your true name. You were brought here from another world eighteen years go for your own safety. Your mother and I are your adoptive parents.’
I blinked at him, not quite believing what he had just told me, but at the same time… this afternoon music only I could hear had led me to the interesting earring I held in my hand, so was what Dad had just told me so hard to believe?
‘Okay, so…who am I exactly?’
‘Why don’t you sit down sweetheart, and we’ll explain as much as we can. Harry, could you go and wait in the living room please, son?’ Dad kindly suggested to Harry, who nodded and glanced at me with an encouraging smile before leaving the room as I sat myself down at the breakfast table.
‘During a storm eighteen years ago – at around eleven o’clock at night – there was a knock at the front door. When we opened it there was no one there but looking down, we found you on our doorstep. Two handwritten letters and the journal were enclosed, within a large envelope, in front of you. After reading the first letter twice over, your mother and I searched online for an adoption agency close to where we lived at the time. There was one, no more than half an hour away and when they opened the next morning, we took you in. We told them we’d found you on our doorstep with a letter in which your details were written, giving them the second of the two we found with you, also informing them that there had been no birth certificate with you. There were a few meetings with child social services and a number of home visits, while you stayed with a foster family, to ensure we were suitable parents for you. There were even more meetings with the adoption agency, and lots of paper work – but it was all worth it, because after nearly two long but rewarding years, you officially became our daughter.’
When he was finished, I sat silently for a while absorbing everything I had been told.After a while I swallowed and spoke, voicing a question. ‘What did the first letter say?”It was from your birth parents to us. It explained that they had been observing us for a while through ways we probably wouldn’t believe, and that it had been decided we would be suitable adoptive parents for Princess Oraelia of Ledoran, Elandrea because we were kind, loving people who had struggled long enough to have children of our own’ replied Mum.’What do you mean?”We had tried for three years once we were married to have children, but had been having no luck. You were our little miracle,’ Dad replied, his eyes growing misty as he uttered the last few words.’Your parents had then written that in our world, we were to call you Ellie, as it was close to your real name and that this was the name written in the second letter, which we were to pass on to the adoption agency we were successful with.’I looked down at my lap and spoke, quietly.
‘I guess being from…another realm, might explain why I’ve always felt different to everyone else.’
‘How do you mean?’ Mum asked, brow creasing a little in puzzlement.
‘Since I was ten, I’ve been able to tell just by looking at them how someone was feeling. I don’t tire when I sprint, and a few other things like being able to hear better than most people and see a little better – further, than nearly everyone I know. It’s kind of made me…the oddball at school for the past few years but – I didn’t realise it was because I wasn’t born here.’
When I finished my explanation I looked back up at my parents, who smiled at me reassuringly.
‘It’s going to be fine, sweetie’ she told me, reaching out and covering my hand with hers.
‘Why don’t you and Harry go up to your room and have a look through the journal – which I can promise you neither of us has read – and we’ll call you for dinner soon’ Dad added.
A small smile spread across my face and I nodded, getting up from the table and taking the journal before going into the living room to get Harry, and then the two of us returned to my room.
Hey my lovelies, I hope you enjoyed this chapter the next one, ‘Portal Pieces’ – along with a post detailing a rough chapter posting schedule – will be going up tomorrow :).
You have wings. Believe in them and yourself, and you will fly.