Lillian hung her head as she walked the beaten path behind her parent’s old barn. Careful not to step where the thorns and thistles lay sprinkled on the ground, knowing she would feel the prick through the soles of her tattered sneakers. As the screams of her bickering parents faded behind her, Lillian’s footsteps grew lighter because soon she would come to view the beautiful white house on the hill where the path became narrow and the thorns no longer threatened.
She hoped she would find her friend there as she had so many evenings before. They would chat for hours across the crystal clear waterway which kept them separated. Sometimes when Lillian’s friend was absent she would sit near the edge of the water and dream of the day she would crossover and visit the people who lived in the white house. But Lillian knew the water was deep and her fears kept her from attempting such a journey.
“Hello friend!” Rachel screeched as she ran to Lillian and squeezed her in delight.
Lillian hugged her in return and with a look of bewilderment asked, “Rachel, how did you get across the water?”
Rachel, taking Lillian’s hand pulled her along and said “Hurry, I can’t wait for you to see.”
When the girls came into the clearing Rachel pointed toward the water and Lillian could barely believer her eyes. “But – how – who?” Lillian walked toward the wooden bridge complete with handrails; she stroked the smoothness of the finished work as if it were a purring kitten. “How did this get here?”
“My father built it! Isn’t it wonderful? He made this way just for you, do you like it?”
Lillian smiled shyly, “Just for me? Yes – I love it!” The girls took hands once again, crossing the bridge together.
“We must find your father right away so I can thank him.” Lillian’s excitement increased with every step toward the white house. Rachel led her past towering fruit trees which seemed to beckon her to taste of their juicy delights and rows of flowers full in bloom that whispered lovely fragrances.
“Daddy will be working but he never minds me to interrupt,” Rachel led Lillian up the stairs of the porch and Lillian could hear sounds of laughter and music even before entering through the doorway.
Once inside, Lillian’s eyes scanned the scene with awe and thought it was even more magnificent than she imagined.
“Why are you tiptoeing Lil?” Rachel asked, looking at Lillian’s feet.”
“The floor – it’s so- glassy, will it shatter if I step too hard?”
Rachel laughed, “No, silly!”
The house bustled with people who all stopped what they were doing to greet Lillian and welcome her with sincere smiles, “Welcome Lillian, we’ve been expecting you.”
“Are all of these people your family?” Lillian asked.
“Oh yes, my father adopts many.”
Lillian noticed there were no walls separating the people and soft light shown in every corner where no lamps stood. Rachel led her up the staircase fashioned from fine mahogany, “How long has this house been here? Everything looks so…so…”
“New?” Rachel asked.
“My father is always making things new.”
The two girls mounted the last step and rounded the corner to find Rachel’s father surrounded by a group of people leaning in to hear him speak. Lillian and Rachel ducked under the crowd until they were in plain view of her father. “Daddy, this is Lil –I brought her across the bridge and she wants to tell you something.”
Rachel’s father stood silent for a moment but his eyes spoke of adoration and acceptance, “Dear Lil, I’m so happy to finally meet you.” He gently squeezed her shoulder as he spoke.
“Thank you sir. I want to thank you for building that bridge.” Lillian wanted to say more, but she knew mere words could never express the gratitude she felt.
“Lil – it was my pleasure. You’re always welcome in my home.”
Lillian abruptly awoke from her slumber to the familiar sound of quarreling. As her eyes sprang open she wondered, just a dream? She peered at the sunlight streaming in through the window covering her with warm good morning kisses. She noticed the tiny flowers in the faded wallpaper seemed rosier and when she inhaled she could smell their sweet scent.
Lillian’s mother now standing in the doorway, asked, “What are you smiling about?”
Lillian’s heart fluttered and words flowed from her lips, “Just thinking of a place where all things are new.”
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