Title: Kilmeny: A Simple Song of Happiness
Chapter #: 3
Genre: Romance, Drama, Friendship
CHORD 3: Fun Times And Sad Times
I still can't believe it! My friend Dolce is inviting both me and Malakai to her birthday party! I'm so happy! I seriously can't wait to tell Malakai about this! He's going to be thrilled! But I have to wait a bit because Dad, Mom, and Mr. Murphy are still arguing. They finally stop after a few more minutes and Dad decides to go visit some friends to watch tonight's baseball game. Right when he leaves, I run to Mom and I hug her.
"Mom! Dolce called me on the phone just now! She's inviting me and Malakai to her birthday party! Do you mind if we go? Please?" I importune doggedly. Mom's a little surprised, but I don't blame her. I'd be a little surprised too if my own kid was suddenly bouncing off the walls.
"Oh. Is that so? Isn't Dolce the little pretty girl you're friends with? Dolce Elfman?" She asks, looking a little confused.
"Yeah! That's the one! Can I go, please? I'll do the laundry and wash the dishes! I'll even help Dad in the coffee shop!" I beg again. I seriously want to go to Dolce's birthday party and take Malakai with me. After a short while, Mom finally smiles at me.
"Alright. I'll let you and Malakai go," Mom said.
"YAY!! Thank you, Mom! You're the best!" I exclaim as I hug her tighter than ever.
"Now Piper, please calm down," Mom said. I finally let her go.
"Sorry. Oh! Dolce says she's gonna give me more details the next time I'm at school. I'll fill you and Malakai in once I get the information I need," I tell her before I leave for my room.
So I spend the rest of the night eagerly waiting for tomorrow to come. I can't wait. Then morning comes and I'm totally happy! Not just because Dolce gave me the information me and Malakai needed (her home address, the time to come, the time to leave, etc. Malakai's kinda particular about these things), but because I overheard Dad saying that I'm supposed to go to Pilgrim Academy today, but it got rescheduled to another three or so days because of a school event going on. Delays can be awesome when they arrive at the right time!
Later on, Dolce tells me more about the party. It'll be at her house, which is on Redmond Ave, and it'll be from 2:30 PM to 7:30 PM (5 hours? Wow. That's a first!). Before I go to her house, I rush over to Malakai's house. He's playing his violin with Kilmeny sleeping next to him.
"Malakai! Malakai!" I yell loud enough for him and Kilmeny to hear me.
"Piper? What's up? You're looking energetic today," Malakai replied with a smile. Kilmeny barks, backing him up.
"Malakai...you know my friend Dolce, right? Well, she called my house yesterday. She's having a birthday party and she's inviting the both of us! Me and you, Malakai!" I exclaim. Already I see his face beam with joy.
"Seriously!? Both of us!?"
"I'd love to go!" He exclaims happily, but then turns dejected again. "But I have to help Dad out. I don't want him to do everything or he'll get sick."
"Now now! Don't be so negative, Malakai!" it's Gerald! He's at the entrance with a smile on his face.
"Hi Gerald!" I greet him.
"Hello Piper, dear. Malakai, why don't you go? It's been a while since you were invited to a birthday party. You should take the chance and go. You might not get another opportunity later on," Gerald explains.
"But what about you?" Malakai asked in a reluctant murmur.
"I can do the rest on my own. You've been a great help. Consider this little birthday party your reward," Gerald told him. Malakai smiles again and hugs him.
"Thanks, Dad! I love you!" Malakai declared as he hugged his father. Kilmeny barked along with him. I think she's happy for Malakai. As that thought runs through my head, I remember something I gotta do.
"I'll be right back, okay? I've gotta go get something," I tell them as I dash off.
I run back into my house and see that the coast is clear. Thank God Dad isn't here. If he found out that I'm bringing Malakai to a friend's birthday party, he'd start fuming with rage. Anyway, I run into my room and look around for something. Much to my surprise, it's in my desk underneath my computer. It's a pretty pearl bracelet with a little cat charm on it. Dad got it for me for my 8th birthday once, but I liked Malakai's gift better, which is a little angel hair accessory. I'm wearing it right now! I'll give the pearl bracelet to Dolce for her birthday! I know she'll love it because she loves cats and pearls.
I return to Malakai's side and we decide to walk to Dolce's house. Redmond Avenue is surprisingly close to where Malakai lives, and it's in walking distance. Normally Malakai doesn't like to walk to places since he's afraid that stalkers or murderers or pedophiles might jump out and kidnap him or that he might get lost. He doesn't like being told directions, especially street names and addresses that he doesn't know. Good thing he's known where Redmond Avenue is for some time now. He and Gerald used to drive past there a lot.
We arrive at her house earlier than usual, but Dolce welcomes us anyway (Kilmeny came too, by the way). She's looking very pretty today! Her hair's all done in two little braids with purple ribbons and she's wearing a sleeveless magenta top, black pants, and black and white shoes. I give her the pearl bracelet and she's squealing and beaming with joy.
"Oh my God! Piper, this is wonderful! I love it! Thank you!" Dolce exclaims as she hugged me joyously, enough to suffocate me but I don't tell her that.
Later, more people arrive. Surprisingly enough, the kids that come are Dolce's age, but I've never seen them in school before. Dolce says that that's because she used to go to another school before coming here and that she has many friends from the other school. She introduces me and Malakai to them one by one. There's Jillian Cosgrove, with long black hair and hazel green eyes, Sam Pajari, a Russian-American boy with light brown hair and dark blue eyes who's surprisingly nice and sweet like Malakai is, Faith Langford, a cute little girl with very short red hair, dark brown eyes, and a tomboyish demeanor, Errol Davis, a boy with dark brown hair and light brown eyes, and Alvina Reaves, a pretty girl with curly blonde hair and hazel eyes. They're all extremely nice and kind! I'm surprised kids like them exist! Soon, members of Dolce's family arrive. Her mom and dad, her uncle Georgio, her aunt Cordelia, and their kids (from oldest to youngest) Gavino, who is 16, Bianca, who is 13, Luce, who is 11, and Matteo, who is 3.
We did lots of fun things! First, Dolce gave us all goody bags which are full of treats, candy, and some little trinkets she got for all of us. Malakai seemed to like his a lot. He got a little necklace with a dog on it. Right when he pryed it out he threw it over his neck and began wearing it. I felt happy for him, watching him smile and gush over his new necklace. I got a strap for my phone in the shape of a pink star and some red, blue, green, and silver jewels above it. Then, we got to have cake. Dolce got this super cool peanut butter cup like ice cream cake. Sure it's kinda big, but it's sooooo good! Malakai likes it too, and so does everyone else. After we finished our cake, we got to watch Dolce open her presents and see her many joyous squeals and gasps. I swear if she got a dollar for any squeal that came out of her mouth, she'd be rich by now!
After the presents, all of us kids played go-fish, watched TV, played around in Dolce's room, etc. Malakai seems to love talking to Luce, Errol, and Faith. He's found new friends! I'm growing to like Jillian and Alvina. They're nice girls. I make sure to have all of their phone numbers or e-mail addresses so that way I can contact them and talk to them on occasion. That and Malakai too. This is the first time he's made friends with people other than me, and those three seem to be very nice kids (Dolce talks about them a lot) so maybe this'll be a great opportunity for Malakai to grow less attached to me. I don't mean that in a mean way. I still want to maintain my friendship with Malakai, who's going through hard times even now. He's very important to me, but it's also important for him to interact with others and make new friends, especially since his disability often prevents him from doing so. Maybe with these new friendships, Dad might consider changing his opinions about him.
Later, Faith noticed Malakai's violin.
"Hey Malakai. You play violin?" Faith asked innocently. Malakai blushed.
"Y-Yes, I do," He replied softly.
"What music do you play?" Errol asked.
"Umm...classical. Stuff like Ravel and Schubert and Tchaikovsky..." He replied shyly.
"Wow! I bet you're really good! Can we listen?" Luce said.
"Yeah! Play something!" Alvina exclaimed.
"Please? I love listening to classical music!" Jillian begged.
"Show me your heart!" Sam declared with a clap. I don't know what he means by that, but Malakai gives in and plays Ravel's Pavane for a Dead Princess. Everyone is captivated, including me, by his beautiful performance and the soothing music traveling through the air. The music even seemed to calm naughty little Matteo down. When he finished, everyone clapped.
"Wow! That was beautiful!" Faith cried out with a smile.
"Super cool!" Sam said.
"How very entrancing!" Errol told him calmly.
"Amazing! I wish I could play like that!" Luce said.
"I'm jealous! But you're great, Malakai!" Alvina exclaimed.
"Play it again!" Jillian begged. Kilmeny barked like she was beaming with joy, which she is.
"I think that's enough for today," I told everyone so Malakai wouldn't get scared and start crying from too much overstimulation like he always does.
But he got scared, covered his ears, and cried anyway. Not because of playing in front of them. He grew to like these kids. But he got scared and cried because of Matteo being a little brat. All Matteo did throughout the entire party was scream, knock things over, and throw things. Earlier he dropped his piece of cake on the floor and cried LOUDLY and in a raspy voice. Malakai didn't like it and I had to take him out of the dining room. Thankfully enough, Dolce, Luce, Faith, Errol, and Alvina stayed with us and offered to mollify him. Jillian was busy hanging out with Gavino and Bianca. I'm so glad I got to know these kids! I wish I had them in my school...and in the Catholic school I'm supposed to go to.
Nonetheless, the party was beginning to end and it was about time to leave. Although we didn't want to, we said goodbye and headed back home...to my house, anyway. I took Malakai with me because I want him to submit his entry into the contest as quick as possible! I looked up information about the contest and one of the requirements is that you have to record a video of your music performance, put it on a DVD, and send it to them. It's SUCH a good thing I have a webcam and all those other things! I put the webcam on top of my computer, set it up, turn it on, and get it set to record.
"Alright! Webcam is on and rolling! Malakai, do your introduction!" I told him. Kilmeny sat on my bed while Malakai shyly pulled out his violin and set it up.
"H-H-Hello. I'm Malakai Weaver. I-I-I will be playing a part of Maurice Ravel's Mother Goose Suite on the violin. I hope you enjoy it," He said to the webcam.
He began playing his violin. As his music plays, I notice how melancholy it sounds. It's beautiful and soothing, yet it's melancholy and ingenuous. It makes me think of all the memories I had with Malakai. All the times we played together. The times we had dinner given to us by Gerald and Sadie. The times I stood up to the bullies who picked on us. The times I got angry at the teachers and one-to-one assistants who abused him and treated him like he was nothing. The times we made up our little games and pretend plays in the back garden. The times we played underneath the flowers and pretended to be little fairies in a pretend world that only existed in our little minds. The times Malakai cried at whatever bad thing happened to him (like when Sadie died). Everything that brought us up to this point. I know from now on that I won't be able to see Malakai as much anymore, let alone help him, because of what my Dad wants. He thinks Malakai's nothing but a wretched guttersnipe who's never going to get anywhere in life or amount to anything! All those teachers and one-to-one assistants Malakai got stuck with said he's nothing but a naughty, uncontrolable child who isn't disciplined correctly and should be but in an asylum where he'll be hopped up on all kinds of toxic medication that could screw him up in the head! This makes me sad, because I'm pretty much the only one who sees Malakai for who he really is: a kind, gentle, warm-hearted boy who would do anything for those he loves and sacrifice everything he owns so he can make others happy. I wish more people would see him for who he is.
I didn't know it then, but my wish was going to come true. In a strange way, of course.
Malakai finally finished, and I stopped recording. I saved the recording onto my computer and took Malakai and Kilmeny home. I ran back home, put the recording on an empty disc, and put it in a plastic case. The next day, Mom was kind enough to take me to the post office and I put it in the big blue mail box. I made sure I wrote down the name, address, and location of the school and the name of the disc and our names on the letter so it'll get to it's destination. I hope it does. I remember reading that the people will send us an e-mail letting us know if they got our disc. I don't know what they'll do if they say it's not the winning disc. Malakai would be soooo upset!
But I shouldn't think about that now. Soon, my first day at Pilgrim Academy has begun. And I already don't like it. I have to wear this uniform and hear nuns talk about God's grace and kindness to the people of Earth. If God's so great, then how come he made Malakai's life so miserable? What did Malakai ever do to him that was so bad!? I didn't bother to make any new friends because I didn't see anyone who looked remotely kind. Ugh.
Well, I managed to survive and that was that. I went on my computer to check my e-mail, and much to my surprise, the people running the concert sent me an e-mail that says they got the DVD safely! Wonderful! But it'll take a while for them to see it since they have to look at a lot of other entries. I'm just hoping they see Malakai's is the best!
And speaking of Malakai, later in the night, as I was doing my homework, I heard a knock on my window.
You'll never believe who I saw in front of my window at the top of the tree.
"Malakai!?" I yelp, hopefully not enough to make my dad suspect anything.
There he is, sitting on a tree branch with a smile on his face.
"Hi Piper," He said. I notice Kilmeny's not with him. Of course she wouldn't be. There's no way she could climb a tree!
"What are you doing here?" I ask.
"I brought you something," Malakai replies. He rummages through his pants pocket and pulls something out. What he gives to me leaves me silent.
It's a necklace! Particularly shaped like a hexagon with a blue dolphin imprinted on it. I know it's not from one of Dolce's goody bags, that's for sure. He smiles as he gives it to me.
"I found it in the basement. It was Mom's. It's very valuable, but I don't want to sell it. I want you to have it, Piper. Consider it a reward for all the stuff you had to go through with me," Malakai said with a solemn smile on his face. I'm overjoyed.
"Malakai...you don't have to do this, I mean...this is Sadie's, isn't it?" I told him, my eyes beginning to swell up with tears.
"Yes, it is. And I want to give it to you. I'm afraid that those people might come and make me sell it so we can pay off our debt, but I don't want to sell it. It's too important. You keep it, Piper. I know you'll take good care of it," Malakai said.
I hold the necklace to my chest. "Thank you, Malakai. I will treasure this forever!"
But when I open my eyes, now he's dejected.
"And speaking of bad news...my Dad's sick," He says.
"What? Sick? No way!" I cry out.
"Yeah. He is. I think it's just a cold. I'm sure rest is all he needs. But I wish I could make nice hot chicken noodle soup for him or give him medicine. But we don't have an oven or money to get medicine," Malakai replied sadly.
Then an idea pops into my head.
"I know! I know something that's great for colds! Wait here!" I tell him as I dash out of my room.
I run into the kitchen, open one of the cupboards, and pull out a plastic bottle of medicine. I'm sure this stuff will work, no problem! I run back to Malakai and give it to him.
"If you give him this stuff twice a day, he'll feel better in no time!" I tell him. I don't have any regrets with this. And besides, Dad doesn't use it anymore, and nobody in the MacPherson family's been sick in years, so what harm would it do? Plus it'd be a waste to not use it, wouldn't it? Malakai smiles.
"Thanks Piper. You're the best. Oh! Did you know? Faith, Sam, and Errol came by my house today," Malakai said.
I'm flabbergasted. "Really!? The kids we met at Dolce's party!?"
"Yep! I gave them my home address and told them I didn't have a phone or a computer. They came by my house and took me to the park to play with them for a while. They showed me their books and games and everything. Faith's really cute. She reminds me of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables, but with shorter hair, brown eyes, and is less talky. Sam loves Pokemon and Digimon. He beat Errol in a little Pokemon game battle. But he's nice, just like you. Errol said that he and Dolce go way back and that he used to be a victim of bullies too, because he had to have surgery on his eyes once and it made him look funny. He doesn't have it anymore. He reminds me of Laurie from Little Women!" Malakai explains.
Wow. To think those kids are gutsy enough to go to Malakai's house and invite him to play games with him. This is way too good to be true! I don't think they know about autism. I wonder if they'll understand if I told them about it.
We talk for a bit more, then Malakai decides to go home. But I'm getting worried. His dad got sick, and won't be able to do his job. I know I'm trying to be positive with the situation and hope for a good outcome, but if his sickness is worse than it seems, then Malakai will end up in bigger trouble than he already is!
A few weeks passed. And I only saw Malakai four times throughout those weeks. Good thing about this is that I saw him with Dolce's friends. Faith told me once that she has an autistic sister and that Malakai reminds her of her. I'm glad Faith understands. She's a sweet girl, though a little mischievous, but not to a bad degree. I'm happy that those kids see Malakai for what he is, not what others perceive him to be.
But there are times when people refuse to see Malakai for who he is.
I was in school one day, quietly studying and finishing my homework, when I suddenly hear a group of older girls gossiping.
"Hey. Is that Piper MacPherson?"
"Yeah! It's her!"
"My brother went to school with her. She's the one who's friends with a real slob living on the streets, isn't she?"
"Whoa! That's so low!"
"It is! I wonder if she'll start behaving like a hobo later?"
At first, I ignore their senseless gossip. I don't want to get in trouble in this school. It's already making me sick enough as it is. But they decide to take it further. Three of the older girls walk up to my desk, with their arms akimbo and sharp eyes looking scornfully down at me.
"Piper MacPherson, right?" The girl with really long, straight blonde hair asks.
"Yeah. Why?" I tell her.
"Tell us. What's it like being friends with a hobo?" A girl with black hair and glasses asked in a maligned manner. Her friends laugh.
"I'm not friends with any hoboes. I'm studying for a test right now, so you better--" I try to scoff at them and return to my studies, but a girl with immensely curly maroon hair steals my book.
"Hey! Give it back!" I yelp.
"Not until you give us the 411 about your little hobo friend!" She exclaims.
"I don't know any hoboes! I don't have anything to say to you! Now go away!" I successfully manage to take my book back from her scrawny little hands.
"Does he eat from the trash cans?" The blond girl asks scornfully with a wicked smile.
"Oooooh! Nice one!"
"Ewww! That's so gross!"
Her friends laugh mercilessly.
"For the last time, I don't know any hoboes! You have the wrong person! Go and work on your homework or something!" I tell her as I'm about to leave.
"Oh, really? Would someone really be as suckish as to hang around with a kid who smells like dog crap and eats rotten sandwiches from the trash and drinks and bathes from the sewers and doesn't have meat on his bones?"
That did it. I officially snap. I throw a hard cover text book at her and attempt to strangle her.
"YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING, YOU ANOREXIC TURKEY!! And where's YOUR meat, huh!? I've had chicken wings with more meat on them than your scrawny stick bones and watermelon boobs!!" I scream at the top of my lungs.
A full on fracas ensues, but I don't care. Nuns come and break us up, but I don't care. I DO, however, care about the fact that they're putting all the blame on me instead of those chicks who think they're soooo hot and think they're better than everyone else! They're teachers for God's sake! They should be putting the blame on both of us, not just me!
Then I'm in the office, with Mom and Dad looking down at me. Mom's sad, and Dad's incensed. Big time.
"Piper! What is the meaning of this!? You've been in this school for a few weeks and already you cause trouble!" Dad yells.
"I'm not the one causing trouble! Those girls were! They were saying bad things about Malakai!" I retaliate.
"Oh, is that your excuse?"
"No! It's the truth! They kept saying bad things about him! They kept saying he drinks and bathes in the sewers and eats from the trash cans when he doesn't! They don't know anything! The teachers weren't doing ANYTHING to stop them!"
"I'm sick and tired of hearing Malakai this and Malakai that!"
"Tell that to the other kids! Rumors spread like wildfire among them, and they're more interested in exacerbating them than stopping them! You should know that by now!"
"Oh! So now you're blaming me for your little fracas!? Haven't you realized by now that Malakai's nothing but a street rat!?"
I slap him in the face. HARD.
"I HATE YOU!!! I hate you I hate you I hate you!!! That's all you ever say about him anymore!! What did he ever do to you that was so bad!? He didn't do anything to deserve what he's been getting now! Stop saying all that crap about him! He's done all sorts of nice things for us and you have the balls to repay him by calling him a street rat and a beggar!? You're even worse than him!!" I scream as loud and hard as I can for all to hear. I don't care what they say afterward. I want them to hear what I have to say whether they like it or not. I ran away shortly after.
So I got suspended for three days. And I'm grounded too. Yeah, like that'll do me any good. I'm surprised they didn't take my computer away. Maybe they're thinking I don't do much on the computer other than school projects. I'll let them think whatever they want.
What I do know is that both of my parents are away for a couple of hours and I decide to use this time to arrange a meeting with Malakai and the others. We meet in the park and I tell them all everything. Dolce couldn't come because she has music lessons.
"What!? How horrible!" Alvina exclaims.
"He shouldn't say such mean things about him! Especially after you were so brave to stand up to those girls! My sister goes through that stuff too, and if someone makes fun of her I'd wanna beat their brains out!" Faith cries out boldly.
"How could those teachers be so stupid as to not do anything about those girls! It's like they're condoning bullying!" Errol said.
"Yeah! That's soooo stupid, isn't it?" Luce said.
"I agree! It's not fair that you have to take all the blame, Piper! You're awesome!" Sam said.
"I know. I wish I could hypnotize them and show them the truth!" I tell them.
But what Malakai says in the midst of all this has me spitless.
"I'm surprised. This isn't like you at all, Piper. You've only just started school, so of course you'd have trouble adjusting to it all. It's all a new experience for you. You'll get used to it later. You're actually very lucky to go to school."
I'm absolutely flabbergasted. He's saying all this with such a calm face and such a sincere smile! How could he be so calm and accepting of all this when he's the one being victimized by everyone around him?! I look down at Kilmeny, who's sitting in my lap quietly and serenely.
"Cheer up, Piper. I'm sure it'll all work out," Malakai whispers reassuringly. But it doesn't work. He doesn't know. It won't work out. Nothing's worked out for him, so why's he so sure about what'll work out for me? Worse than that, why does he care so little about himself and so much about others, even those who don't even like him?! But if I say something he'll argue with me, so I concede defeat.
"You're right. I'm sorry. I'm so selfish, aren't I? Here I am complaining about my little problems...yet you have such hardship to endure," I tell him softly.
"It's not your fault. It's good to do a little complaining once in a while," Malakai said. Kilmeny barks to back him up.
"Yeah! But it's best not to do it too much or people will think you're a whiny little brat," Errol said.
"I agree! It's good to let out your frustrations! I don't like keeping stuff inside!" Faith exclaimed.
"Me either," I tell her.
"But it's soooo stupid that teachers don't do anything about bullies nowadays! In my school, bullying policies are so strict that they've set up cameras in every single part of the school, even in the classrooms, in case something bad happens," Luce explained.
"That's cool!" Sam said.
"Hmph! Catholic schools are all full of jerks!" Alvina exclaimed with her arms crossed.
Soon, we talk for a bit more and then head home. I manage to sneak back inside before Mom and Dad do, so I'm good to go!
But more weeks pass, and it's now December. I haven't seen Malakai all that time because Dad's given me so much to do, school or no school! This is just unfair!
Then I notice it starts to snow. The tiny white flakes flutter down from the sky and onto the barren ground. I like looking at snowflakes, but what worries me is that I hear this winter's gonna be full of bad snowstorms and blizzards. What's gonna happen to Malakai and Gerald if they're caught in a terrible snow storm and they can't get out? I don't even want to think about that!