The Wolf

When I was young, mom told me the story of red riding hood, only we used to called it Layla and the Wolf. The Wolf tells the same story, but waay differently.

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Layla

 

 

 

“Layla!” My mother called from the kitchen. I’m used to her calling for me every day. She calls to tell me to give the bread, cookies or bread sticks she baked to my grandmother.

Grandma’s sick, she has been so for as long as I can remember. She doesn’t move much, she spends most of her time laying in bed. That’s why mom always makes me go to her house and deliver her whatever she bakes for her. 

My mother isn’t a baker, but she sure knows how to bake. It’s like a passion for her. She can bake anything, and she’s very generous when it comes to food, she likes sharing it with other people and having them enjoying her baked food. It started as a habit, but later turned into a job. She bakes stuff and sells them in a small shop and bazaars.

“What did you bake her today?” I asked, entering the kitchen and taking a green apple from the bowl on the table.

“Bread and muffins with raisins, her favorite.” And dad’s favorite too. Well, at least they used to be so.

I don’t remember much about my father, all I can remember is that he was a very funny guy, he used to make me laugh so hard that I’d start crying. My daddy used to tell me they’re happy tears. He passed away when I was three, which was really hard for my mother and I. We moved to live in this house we live in because we couldn’t afford to live in our old house. I remember feeling miserable about leaving our old house, I loved it. I loved it because it was my home, it was my one and only home and I couldn’t imagine anywhere else as a home to me. I loved it because I used to live there with my father and it was bad enough I had to say goodbye to him, I didn’t want to say goodbye to our memories and our house.

I still keep a little photograph of the three of us together in my room, I wake up and I find it there.

Another reason mom picked this house for is because it’s near grandma’s house. When I was young, she used to go deliver the food to grandma herself, but ever since I turned fifteen, it’s me who does the delivering.

“Surely you didn’t forget something?” I asked, hopefully. I don’t want her to forget my birthday! I love birthdays, it’s that one day of the year that I can feel really special. I like to think about it, it’s the day I was born, in that same day seventeen years ago, I was born. I like to imagine how my parents’ reaction was like when they saw me for the first time.

Mom smiled at me and pinched my cheeks.

“I would never forget, dear. I wanted to make it a surprise and act like I couldn’t remember but.. you know me, I can’t make surprises.” She hugged me. “Happy birthday, Layla. Now give me a kiss and open the oven.” I kissed her and hugged her again and when I opened the oven, I found a chocolate cake that said, “Happy Birthday Layla!”

“Thank you mommy.” I said.

“Now come on, go give your granny her muffins or you’ll be late and they’ll get cold and hard.”

“Alright.” I said, picking them up and putting them in a basket.

“Don’t forget to take the shortcut, the wood's full of wolves.” I mouthed it as she said it. It’s her usual line.

Sometimes I feel like words lose their meaning if we say them too often.

Well, since our house and grandma’s are practically in the middle of nowhere, I have to pass a forest to find my granny’s house. I have to pass the forest to go everywhere, but when it comes to grandma’s house it’s even worse because her house is literally in the middle of the forest. Mom says that the wolves don’t use the shortcut we take and that that’s the only way to be safe from them.

I went to my room and took the red hood grandma knitted for me and put it on. It’s not cold outside, the sun is out and the birds are singing, but I think the wind can get a bit chilly, so I always like to bring a hood with me. And besides, I like to show grandma how much I like the hood she knitted me while laying on her bed.

I opened the door and exhaled the amazing scent of the forest. What a luxury it is to live near the woods. Seriously, I like my house. It’s not much, but it’s great for me. It’s my birthday, I reminded myself. Every year on my birthday, I like to do something crazy, it doesn’t have to be totally crazy, but it has to be new, something I never tried before. My friend Phoebe gave me this idea.

I have been trying to find a crazy thing to do, but I couldn’t. Now it hit me. The woods is a great, big place, why don’t I explore it and only for today try not to use the shortcut to my grandma’s house. I will eventually go to grandma’s and give her the food, the only difference is that I will have more fun than usual and that I will try something new, something exciting and new!

Grandma, I’m coming. I just need to go on an adventure first.

I have just turned seventeen after all.

 

 

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