Hyena Child

In the hot, wandering wilderness of Africa, we find Naieesha, a twelve year old girl who has been raised by a pack of hyena's her entire life.
When Thomas Walters, a man on safari, discovers this girl, he captures her and brings her home to his wealthy family in New York.
Things aren't always what they seem.
Lost and alone, Naieesha's behaviour is intolerable. She fights, eats with her hands, and will do anything to get back home to her beloved pack. Both her and The Walter's family are at their wits end. Can Lena Van Helsing, a teacher for the deaf and misunderstood, step in and save the day?

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27. Chapter XXVII - Natalia's Perspective

​There's something mighty familiar about the li'l child I brought home. Maybe its just my ol' brain. Always seein' things.  

My name is Natalia Cabada. I was born in a li'l village in Kenya, Africa, but when I was only three years ol, ma momma, ol'er brothers and I moved to New Orleans. There I lost my thick Kenyan accent and started to speak with a more Southern flair.

Ma momma taught me everything I know. I loved to watch her cook, sew, and keep house. Everywhere she went, she sang the most sweet music I ever heard in ma life. When I awoke from a nightmare she would put a cool cloth to my head and sing a lullaby to lull me back to sleep.

Momma inspired me to become a world famous singer one day. I never had a good education or nothin', so as soon as I turned eighteen I moved out of our ol' run down apartment, and got a job at The Buffalo Galls Grill & Bar, where I sang accompanied with a jazz band. They loved me. The audience loved me. I was a star. They were my family. And that is where I met my beautiful husband, Jamal.

Jamal was the sax player in our band. Every time he blew a tune, shivers went up my spine. And every time I sang my heart out during rehearsal, he'd whistle loudly and say, "My, but that woman can sing!" Ma cheeks would turn red.

One day Jamal proposed. We ran away and eloped. Nine months later our first and only chil' a daughter, was born. We called her Melody, but her Swahili name is Muziki.

When Melody was nine years old, our world was turned upside down. Jamal lost his job as a music tutor. He began to play his sax on the streets, makin' very li'l moola. I offered to help and sing again, but Jamal said no, I must stay and care for Melody. But I knew better. Jamal couldn't let go of his pride. He knew I would steal people away with ma voice. 

But he was the breadwinner. He had to make the money. And I did not argue.

After seven months into debt, Jamal left without sayin goodbye. I'd figure he'd come back, but he never did. It's been fifty years.

Melody had to grow up without a Daddy. Despite our ups and downs, she finished high school, graduated from college, and was going back to Kenya to teach a childern's school.

​I was a little nervous and sad about lettin' my bebe go, but I knew this is what she wanted. To teach. It was her destiny.

  Melody wrote me letters everyday. One day she wrote that she had met a wonderful man. It was a courtin' time.  Eight months later she was married. I could not be present for the weddin'.

A year and a half later Melody announced to me in a very long and joyous letter that she was expectin' a bebe of her own. I wrote back to take it easy, my beautiful daughter, and I would see her soon.

Ten months later, a heartbreakin' telegram arrived.

Soldiers had come to Melody's village. They burned the huts to the ground. Melody managed to escape with baby girl, but only to hide her where she would be safe.

Melody was found, scalped, and dragged back to the village to suffocate and die. Her husband was shot.

I don't even know if that li'l bebe survived. If she did, gooness knows where she end up too.

Still, that chil'...

The way she looked at me. Eyes full of hope. Curiosity.  Loss.  She  reminds me of Melody as a li'l girl.

It's impossible. She couldn't be ma grandchil. Who I never met. Who I never held.  Or loved.

...Could she?

Jumping out of my easy chair, I hurry over to my writin' desk, frantically opening drawers and searching for a photograph I hid all those years ago out of anger and grief.

There it is. Melody at twelve years old.  

The photograph has yellowed with age, its corners curled over. But I can still see that face. That darling sweet face, identical to the chil' innocently sleepin' sweet dreams in the room upstairs.

Feeling faint, I clutch ma writ in' desk chair and breathe heavily for several minutes.

It can't be. But it is. All these years.  

That little chil', Naieesha, is ma granddaughter.

 

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