Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The Smiling Stranger

Marie double checked she locked the door of her Saturday job shop and noted: yes, she had. As she walked through the little town she lived in, she felt relieved at how much had been sold that Saturday. The shop was picking up; which meant one thing... Summer was on its way.

That evening she was helping out at a concert the community centre was putting on. The disabled children at the music charity she volunteered at were putting on a show and she couldn't wait. The kids had put so much effort in and they had all been counting down the days until the night.

When she got home, Marie had a shower and dressed into a white summer dress. She brushed her hair and added mascara to her eyelashes.

"And here she is!" Leigha, another volunteer almost shouts as Marie pushed open the main hall's door. Almost immediately, the kids ran to her as Leigha laughed at their charm.

"Ree!" they shouted excitedly.

One sweet boy, John, hugged her tummy. "I'm nervous, Ree."

Marie kneeled down to his height. "I know for sure that you don't need to be. Whisper in my ear those words you were nervous about forgetting."

John nodded and whispered them word perfect. Marie grinned at him and the boy grinned back. "Team, let's go and play a few games to calm our excitement." Marie felt a surge of pride at their hard work.

An hour and a half into the concert, everything (a part from a few blips) had gone as planned. As the final group song ended, Marie cheered from the front row and the kids all giggled at the standing ovations, proud of themselves.

It was John's turn.

As the kids whispered good luck to him, he seemed a little nervous, but brightened up as Marie stepped onto the stage, ready to be his backing music. She kneeled down and gently fist pumped him. "You're gonna be great."

Marie could barely take her eyes off the boy with no sight but a gorgeous voice and a huge heart as she played piano. He was a star and she both wanted the song to end so he could soak in the clapping and also wanted him to carry on singing for ever; he was so happy. The words he oh-so-feared forgetting were sung with ease and the song did end. Once again, the audience stand an applaud with sincerity. The audience was smiling and giggly John could tell. "Well done, kiddo!" She stood aside and clapped the ever giggling John.

Parents and kids began to leave and in between tidying up, Marie said goodbye to them all, congratulating the kids and singing their praises with honesty. As a few parents linger, talking to Leigha, Marie began to stack chairs. "Marie," she heard John's voice.

She turned and paused at the sight of a man she has never seen but smiles politely. "Hello, champ," she turned her attention to John. "Is it soaking in how famous you have become?"

"Sure is, Ree," he grinned. "I want you to meet my brother, Tee."

Marie shifted her eyes nervously to the man with a proud-of-his brother smile and bright blue eyes. "Hi," Marie nodded with a smile.

"Tee and Ree," he grinned at her. A different grin now. A lopsided one that made Marie blush a little. "Thank you so much for playing piano for John."

"It was such a pleasure," Marie said.

"But, thank you." His sincerity was obvious.

"Well, it's no problem. Your brother is my inspiration."

"You hear that, bud," he turned to John. "You're a pretty girl's hero."

Before Marie can even comprehend this sentence, Leigha approached them. "And Marie and John are my heroes. This girl is something else."

"Oh, Leigha, don't!" Marie could feel what was coming. She tried to avoid the lovely lady at the end of things like this because she felt such embarrassment when she talks of her. She's one of Marie's best friends, but she can be like an embarrassing mother sometimes.

"The girl basically runs this charity with me, has her Saturday job, is doing great in her literature degree and volunteers all over the shop."

"Leigha!" Marie exclaimed, ignoring the smiling stranger.

"She's great," John confirmed.

"So I hear," Tee chuckled. "Hey, buddy, do you wanna go for ice cream?"

"I definitely do!"

"You two have fun," Marie ruffled John's hair and smiled a little awkwardly at the lopsided-grinned guy opposite her.

"Can Ree come, Tee?"

"Oh, that's not-"

"Tee and Ree- it would be silly not to, right?" As Tee's eyes captured Marie's once again, she tried to ignore Leigha's excited expression. Oh, she would have something to say about this tomorrow.


This isn't a story I am particular proud of in the way of literary brilliance (I have never praised myself on such a phrase - aha! - but I couldn't think of another way of saying it); I just admire characters like Marie and I'd like to become as much like her as possible.

Efforts & Hope,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

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