Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: PHOTOS and/or SOUVENIR(S) (vacation) (07/16/15)
TITLE: Little Luna
By Jenny Fulton
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To be honest, I couldn’t understand my tears either. I was going home. I should be happy. But all I could think about was how much I was going to miss those kids. Who would have thought that three weeks at a Mexican orphanage could change a person’s life so much. I had never expected to care so deeply, especially for little Luna.
I went through the expected airport motions in a daze. An hour later we boarded and I found a seat near the back of the airplane. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I just wanted to remember. As the plane started its engine, I took out the picture Luna had drawn for me. In the center was a large purple heart with stick figures of a tall person holding hands with a smaller person. I fingered the picture lovingly for a few minutes before taking out a Polaroid photo one of the orphanage workers had taken. A group of children were holding hands as they danced around in a circle. Just outside the circle, a small, runny-nosed four-year-old girl with big brown eyes and dark curly hair looked up at the camera with a big grin on her face – Little Luna.
The tears flowed freely and without reservation. Through my tears, I began to notice something strange. The figures seemed to be moving and I was almost sure I could hear Luna’s little laugh. I continued to stare at the photo and within moments, was completely convinced. Something strange was definitely going on. The children had stopped their game and were now settling down for dinner – exactly what they would be doing at this time. Little Luna sat at her usual spot, every now and then looking directly at me through the photograph.
I shook my head. This was crazy. I tucked the picture away and leaned back in my seat for the rest of the ride.
School started again – my senior year. Everything was different. My perspective on life had changed. I was filled and driven with new purpose. Someday, someday I would see Luna again, but first, I needed to finish strong and get the training I’d need so I could have more to offer.
When life got tough, I would get out that strange photograph. Each time, I was shown a different scene. My heart would go out, my spirit stretching across the miles to connect with a small child in an obscure village orphanage. I saw the time she fell down and scraped up her arm. My spirit reached through the picture to comfort her and I watched in amazement as she calmed down. When I was having a rough day, I’d look at the photograph and see her smiling and laughing. Sometimes, she’d be singing and then look at me and say, “Esta bien, esta bien.” My spirit would lift as her spirit of sunshine and joy spilled over the picture and onto me.
I wrote to Luna often and she would write back, oftentimes via a dictated letter. I treasured those letters and the crayon drawings which accompanied them.
The college years flew by and before I knew it, graduation was approaching. I met a young man that last year. After gathering my courage, I showed him the picture. To my relief, he saw the picture moving as well. To my amazement, he didn’t run away. In fact, before long, he was thinking of Little Luna as “his” little girl too.
Graduation came and went. The young man and I were married that summer. In the fall, he prepared to start his new job. Before he began, however, there was something we needed to do. You see, there was a very special little girl in Mexico…”
“That’s right, Little Luna. You. God brought you into my heart and he finally allowed me to bring you into my home.”
“Can I see the picture?”
“Strange thing about that picture, the moment we held you in our arms, the photo stopped moving. Now it is stuck on one image – that image there on the mantle – all of us together – a family – as we were meant to be.”
*Fiction and a little fantasy… or is it…
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