Arrow woke up with a lump in her throat and an ever longing feeling for her mother and father. She couldn’t their names or what they looked like. She could remember that as an infant her mother had held her close before Arrow was wretched away and shipped four thousand miles away. To a small town in Northern Florida. Her parents lived in a big city in Southern Canada. Arrow had once hoped to be rid of the torture inflicted upon her at her foster home but hope was a four letter word that Arrow couldn’t afford to believe in anymore. It had been ten years and by then if her parents were searching, she would have been found already.
Arrow lay in bed thinking of what her life would have been like, if she hadn’t been torn away and presumed dead before being shipped to Florida. She lay on her bed and cried tears into the black cotton sheets. She stared at the blue walls and glanced around at all the posters with tears taking her vision.
“Arrownione, you have a visitor darling!”
Mrs. Parrilla was a kind caretaker and always said that Arrow reminded her of her daughter Lana, and said that one day Arrow would find her family.
“It seems that my daughter and her husband want to meet you!”
“Coming Delores, let me get dressed.”
“Hurry up dear, you mustn’t keep my child waiting. She’s just as impatient as you.”
Arrow was impatient and how could anyone but her mother be as impatient as her. She made her bed and crossed the room to her closet. She stood there for about ten minutes before choosing a black tank top, plaid shirt and blue jeans. She did up her face with black eye shadow, eyeliner and rosy red lip stain. Her brown eyes sparkled and Arrow debated on whether to put in her contacts or not. She decided that her black glasses would look best with her shoulder length brownish black hair.
“ARROWNIONE! I WON”T CALL YOU AGAIN!”
“YES, MA”AM I’’M COMING!”
Arrow slammed the door behind her and padded barefoot down the empty hall. She opened the door to the dining room and was surprised that Mrs. Parrilla had made pancakes, eggs and bacon.
“Honesty, Lana you should have come sooner. It’s been ten years since your last visit.”
“Mom, you know. We’ve been looking for our baby. She’s been gone ever since you fostered Arrow.”
“Lana, Sean it’s high time you put two and two together.”
Lana turned and looked into Arrow’s eyes. She tapped Sean and he smiled at her.
“Hello, Lana. I’m Arrownione Maria. You’re my hero.”
Arrow gave Lana a big hug and allowed Delores to formally introduce them.
“Lana, Sean. This is Arrow Marie…. Maguire. You’re going to be so mad at me. But, you never called nor left an address. I couldn’t contact you. This is your daughter, this is Arrow.”
Lana stood and nearly fainted, Arrow nearly fainted. Her foster mom was her grandmother and Lana Parrilla was her mommy.
“I knew it was you, Delores talks about how much I act like her daughter, she could have at least told me”
Arrow started to cry, she sat down on the floor and shed tears. Lana came over and pulled her daughter in a tight embrace. Both shed tears and then Sean cradled his girls in his strong arms.
“I found you, Mommy. I found you Daddy.”
“I found you Arrow, I found you.”
“No, Lana. We both found her. She’s found. Your mother found her, how long ago.”
“Granma found me two years ago and tried so hard to call you, she sent letters. She couldn’t find you. I didn’t know what you looked like, I only knew your touch and voice. From when you held me and sung me to sleep, before I was stolen away and shipped four thousand miles south west.”
“Do you remember what I used to sing, Sean doesn’t.”
“You are my sweet baby, you are mine forever. No matter what happens to us. I promise that we will be together forever, we will be in each others arms. You are my sweet baby, I will find you when you are lost.”
“We have a new verse to add to that, don’t we Lana?”
“Yes, we do. You are my sweet baby, you are mine forever. I promised you that when you are lost, that one day I would find you. You were stolen away as a babe, we searched for you forever, now you are lost no more, you are sweet baby forever. I have found you and you are mine. I didn’t mean to loose you. I wish that I could take back time and raise you as my own. I gave birth to you, I lost you and now you are lost no more.”
“Mommy, I missed you. I wrote a song when I was about four and still in the orphanage. It’s kind of dumb but, it’s for you.
You are my sweet mommy, you are mine as long as I live, you are my mommy for eternity and I wish that you would come back to me. You are mommy, and I wish that you would come back to me. Today, I have found you once again, you are back to me and still my sweet mommy, how I missed you and how I still wish for you. I miss you everyday, and I wish that you would come and stay, now I have you here today and all my wishes have wished true. Oh how I missed you.”
“Arrow, that’s so beautiful. Look at your latina skin, chocolate eyes, brown hair and a beautiful smile. Can you act?”
“Can I act? What are you? Where have you been the past ten years? I won Ms. Can I act? Seven years in a row. I was three when I played Nonie on….”
“You played Nonie, who else have you played baby?”
“let’s see, Nonie, Fergana, Tinker Belle, Rose Red, Stephanie, DJ, Michelle, Juliet, Nurse, Tatiana Lewinsky.”
“My daughter, has played all those parts and I didn’t even pay attention. You know what, let’s go home. I have ten years to catch up on.”
“Yeah, Mama. Si Papi. Let’s go to our casa in Canada. I want to meet Aunt Bex, J. Mo, Colin, Jared, Robert, Bobbie, Emilie, Ginny and Josh. Oh! God. I wish this was a dream.”
Lana embraced her daughter with another hug..
“Then you and Papi, wouldn’t have missed so much. I would have been raised in a nursery and maybe just maybe. I wouldn’t have lived such a terrible first seven years. I wish this was a dream.”
(Little did Arrow know was that her wish was soon to be true)
Arrow woke up in a big room, she was tucked snugly between black satin sheets and covered with a red silk comforter. The comforter had little red and gold designs all upon it. Her black hair was in braids and her face felt smooth to the touch. She bolted upright and looked around the room. The walls were painted a deep blue and mint green dots covered one wall. A silver vanity hung up next to an ornate wooden dresser.
“Arrownione, come downstairs baby. You’ll be late for school.”
“Lana, it’s only summer.”
“Did you just call your mother by her first name?”
“Papi, where are we?”
“In England, since they tried to take you at birth, we moved.”
Arrow darted over to the window and peered at Big Ben looming over houses in the distance. Lana came in and sat on her daughter’s bed.
“Arrownione, why are you staring at Big Ben? That tower has watched over you since your birth. It’s no stranger.”
Lana placed a hand on her daughter’s shoulder and guided the young child away. She sat her daughter down at Arrow’s desk and brushed the girl’s hair.
“Why are you crying, cheer up pal. It’s your fifteenth year. Please, come down for breakfast after your uniform is on.”
“Momma, I’m only ten. Just yesterday we were in Florida, eating dinner with Granma and having fun. You were singing a silly old song and we were crying and then I wished, I wished…..”
A look of total shock spread across Lana’s face, she stormed out of Arrow’s room and retreated to her own. Arrownione was left in her silk pajamas and with a dusty plaid uniform to wear to school.
At school things were even worse. Two total strangers came up and gave her hugs and kisses.
“Arrownione, how was your holiday in France. I hear the French ocean was so warm. To bad Papa decided we should have been snowboarding.”
“It was so warm and fun. I wish I could have stayed there forever. Five years seemed to have vanished in one night.”
The tall boy with blonde hair and blue eyes pulled the girl with red hair and green eyes to the side.
“Zelena, isn’t Arrownione acting strange? Her chocolate eyes have lost their glow and her ebony hair has lost it’s sheen.”
“Damien, Arrownione is just tired. She only arrived home from holiday yesterday evening after tea time was long over.”
“Zelena, Damien. My apologies, it’s my year day and I’m a little nervous about my quinceanera. It’s later this evening around tea time.”
“Arrownione, you are in England. I thought your Mother decided that a quinceanera is just to latina for an English family. Your mother might be Latina but your father is Irish.”
“Didn’t we tell you? Madame has arranged a carriage ride for you and a few friends for after luncheon. You shall feast later with the queen, your father is Prince Sean and your mother Princess Lana Maria. Please, Arrownione behave. You are among royalty.”
“I am royalty. I am a princess. The third in line to the throne.”
By that time Arrow and her friends had arrived at the classroom. Zelena kissed her friend goodbye and vanished down the hall. Damien lingered a bit and then whispered in her ear.
“I love imagining that you are a princess and I am your knight in shining armor. But, anyway Arrownione, have fun at your quinceanera.”
Damien was halfway down the hall when Arrow shouted.
“It’s ARROW! A-R-R-O-W!”
Arrow entered the dining room and spread her homework out, she opened her book to chapter thirteen and began on her tenth grade course work. She had failed her test miserably and half the time improvised on what she knew as a fifth grader, no fourth grader. She had just began reading her book when Lana came in with a huge box and Sean came in with a platter of biscuits and tea.
“Hello, dear how was school?”
“It was okay!”
“Well, it’s tea time and time to put away your studies. You’ll finish after tea and before dinner.”
Arrow closed her binder and placed her homework sheets in her backpack, she placed her book on the side bar and sat down for tea. Lana placed the big box in front of her daughter and Sean poured tea for three.
“Lana, how many sugars?”
“Arrownione, how many sugars?”
“The usual sugars, Papi.”
“How many is the usual? You’re mother usually pours the tea.”
“Mother, how many do you wish me to have.”
“Sean, give her four. She usually haves four sugars and six biscuits.”
“Six, she must enjoy biscuits.”
“Yes, Papi they are so delicious.”
Sean set a plate of six sugar cookies and a tea cup and saucer in front of his daughter, they sat down for tea and began eating. At four thirty Lana cleared away the table and set the big box down in front of her daughter.
The box was about four feet long and three feet wide. It was also two feet tall. It was hot pink with a big blue bow. Arrow undid the bow and carefully lifted up the top. Inside was folds of material, layers of tulle, silk and polyester filled the box, the material was a deep sapphire blue and so pretty.
“Your father and I thought that we would surprise you with a quinceanera. You are fifteen and you are very well behaved. Happy Birthday Baby!”
Arrow lifted the dress carefully out of the box and held it up to her. It was floor length and three feet in circumference. It was a sapphire blue and covered with tiny diamonds. Lana took the dress from her daughter and let Arrow look in the box. A pair of two inch silver heels lay at the bottom, they made Arrow taller than her mother when she wore them.
“This is the best birthday ever, but I wish my life was different!”
“Arrownione, why do you not like the dress? We can fix it, we have three days. Black or red?”
“Momma, it’s wonderful. I just wish that things were the way they were five years ago when my brother was still alive.”
“Oh, Henry sure did love you, you were twins. I can’t imagine what we would do for his fifteenth birthday party. I mean boys don’t have quinceaneras”
“Mama, don’t stress. We have three remarkable days to worry over those things. Goodnight Mama.”
The next Saturday Arrow sat at her vanity and watched her mother braid her long dark brown hair. Lana’s delicate fingers weaved in and out, pushed in diamond pins and pink and red flowers. She tied Arrow’s dress tight and held her daughter’s hand while delicately applying makeup with her other. She only allowed Arrow to put her own contacts in.
Four hours later, Arrow was in the arms of her father and they danced so slow and happy. Arrow had received a late birthday present that morning. A delicate pair of silver earrings with garnets, a simple white gold chain with a sapphire drop and a delicately created white gold ring with a light sapphire crusting. Arrow danced with her Papa and closed her eyes. This was truly the best week of her life but she regretted wishing for a better life. Arrow missed being ten, she missed her life with Granma and missed the memory of meeting her mother just hours ago. She closed her eyes, took and deep breath and whispered.
“There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.”
Arrow took her ring off and held it tight in her hand. She opened her eyes and saw that her hand was no longer huge and delicate. It was small and the sapphire ring no longer fit. Arrow looked around her and saw the blue walls and posters, she saw her simple bed and most importantly she felt at home.
“Arrownione, darling you have a visitor!”
“I know Granma, it’s my mother. And I’m ten years old and as happy as can be. I can’t imagine a life without all this. A life in England with big quinceaneras and extravagant tea parties after school is such a dull boring life. I do know one thing though!”
“What’s this crazy talk?”
“I’m finally at home.”
Arrow went over to the window and buried the white gold sapphire ring in the window box among the pink and red flowers that grew under her loving guidance.
“I found you and you found me. This is my home and it shall always be, I’ll never again be all on my own.”