By Mogomotsi Monnana
The little kid lived in the floor above mine, she stayed with her parents. A young pretty girl with big eyes and black curled hair. She never said anything else other than “good morning Mrs. Garret” every single morning before she went to school. She loved playing with my husky puppy on the first floor as my floor was ground floor. The ground floor was just ideal for a grumpy old woman who only loved her flowers and puppy.
One morning she said “good morning Mrs. Garret, can I come over to your place after school?” Even though I loved my alone time…I was shocked that she had said more to me so I couldn’t say no to the little girl. Interested at how she wasn’t scared of me while most kids her age on the same street were. I grinned and said “yes of course just don’t damage my flowers okay.” The little girl chuckled and looked at her father, she looked peaceful and disciplined but I hated children. They always reminded me of the fact that I couldn’t have one.
Hmm…Oh what was her name? It starts with a T I think…Tessa or Tasha. I think it was Tessa, she was the only kid in the whole apartment. She looked lonely sometimes but most of the times my puppy Charlie kept her busy, at least that kept him away from my flowers.
Later on I started reading a novel, for the 5th time since my husband got it for me as a gift 3 years ago. It reminded me of him every time I read it and his one wish he told me to do for him before he died in my arms, which still haunts me to this day, God bless his soul. I wish things were different, I wish everything was different that I gave him what he wanted, children, but I couldn’t because of my abusive father. The thought of kids made me emotional, angry and sad at the same time but I knew how my late husband loved children he would have loved the little Tessa from the floor above.
Charlie couldn’t stop barking at the window, so typical of him but this time he was acting a little bit more excited than most of the past days. I have never seen him act like that unless he saw his favourite old squeaky duck toy.
I shouted his name and told him to shut it, strangely he kept barking for a while. I had to get up from my little comfortable chair to go see what made him cause a ruckus, Tessa was becoming his favourite person. Charlie was excited to see the little girl with both her parents walking inside the building, but something didn’t look right. Both her parents looked sad.
She must have got herself in trouble at school, kids! Sigh. I went back to my comfortable chair to read the next chapter but Charlie started his whining. He jumped on me and rested his head on my lap, “come on now Charlie I got to read this chapter” I said. He got off and rushed to the door, then started barking again. Charlie was starting to annoy me, I got up from the chair again it took me the whole 10 minutes to finally get up and on my tired feet to make him something to eat but he still acted weird, pushed his plate away, all my effort thrown in my face.
Charlie was seriously getting in my nerves I made myself a cup of coffee and he was still standing at the door looking at me funny “you want some coffee?” I said and he didn’t move a bit but this time around he was whimpering. I went back to my seat and just when I sat down there was a knock on my door, my goodness it took me another 10 minutes to get the door, so unhelpful of Charlie sigh. Oh well look who is at my door! I thought to myself, the little girl with the black curled hair looking pale. “Hello Mrs. Garret” she said and smiled broadly but I could see the looks of despair on her parents faces and it made me wonder what bothered them.
Just when I said “What trouble did you get yourself into today at school young lady?” she was already inside my apartment on the floor hugging and kissing Charlie. At least I will have someone around to make me more coffee, I closed the door and went back to my seat, why is this little girl pale? I wondered. She looked at me and caught me staring at her, awkward to have a kid in my apartment I didn’t know what to talk about. “Do you like school?” I asked, she continued looking at me funny like I just said something wrong. “I don’t like school, my teacher says I am sick” the little girl said.
I thought to myself could she be, why is she this pale today? but yah kids get sick all the time. “Teachers always think their students are sick” I said to try to comfort her, I haven’t had a conversation with a 9 year old in a while It was so hard for me. “Are you afraid of me just like other kids around here?” I asked her and thought now I would never finish reading my favourite chapter. Tessa giggled, got up and walked towards me, shocked to see her randomly hug me and she said “No Mrs. Garret, I just think we are the same.” She hugged me for some few seconds, it felt good, it felt as if she knew I needed a little hug. “How are we the same?” my reply broke the hug and she sat on the floor, looked at Charlie, “we are both lonely and the only friend we have is Charlie” she said.
I looked at Charlie and I looked at Tessa, she looked at me as well but her eyes were now looking different from the way they looked seconds ago. Those pretty big eyes were reddish, this girl could be really sick I said to myself. Concerned I asked “are you okay Tessa? should I get you some water?” This little girl was one happy free soul, she stood up and jumped twice, “see I’m okay and strong” she said and walked to my little kitchen to get herself some water. I remained seated the whole time watching her, “who is this Mrs. Garret?” She shouted from the kitchen, I instantly assumed she meant the old man in the picture just on the table in the kitchen. I kept quiet for a moment, “that’s my husband”, she also kept quiet for a while. “Where is he?” She asked, I sat there thinking mmh what an inquisitive little girl she was, she came to the living room holding a glass of water, almost too big for her tiny hands as she held it with both of her hands, and they were slightly shaking.
“He is not here anymore, he is in a better place now” I said. She walked towards me and stood in front of me after placing the glass of water on the table which was on the side, “you mean he has passed on, he is an Angel now watching over you” she said. I paused for a moment, who is this kid I thought. I looked outside through the window and looked at the sky, this little kid was making me cry I tried to hold my tears but it was like she could see through me. “Don’t cry Mrs. Garret I will watch over you too” she said. I wiped the tears with my hand and looked at her and thought how sweet, she made me giggle. She looked peaceful but her skin and eyes were saying something else about her.
“Mrs. Garret what is your worst fear? Mine is bees” she said. I noticed how she was looking at another picture of me and my husband while we were beekeeping back in the days, on protective clothing and a bowl filled with honey next to us. I looked at my husband on the picture, “my worst fear is leaving this world without doing something my husband asked me to do for him” I said. “What is that something?” She said.
“Let’s get coffee and I will tell you what it is okay…” I said as I got up from the chair to make more coffee, we both went to the kitchen and I made coffee for her and for myself. I could see how excited she was for that ‘something’ my husband wanted me to do for him. We both walked back to the living room. I took a sip, she took a sip and impatiently looked at me, “well uhm…my husband asked me to do this important thing for him before he died and it’s one thing I have to do before I die” I said “settle the problems him and his son from his previous marriage had, it’s a really long story and you are too young to understand, his son hated him because of his mistakes.”
Tessa looked at the picture of me and my husband, glanced at me, right at that moment I started feeling dizzy, my vision slowly started getting blurry. I looked at her, I could see she was saying something but I couldn’t hear what exactly she was saying. It was like a swarm of bees buzzing in my ear, I placed the cup of coffee on top of the table and held the side of my head, quickly thought I should get some water. Tessa’s lips moved again but still I couldn’t hear anything. I got up and that was it I fell to the floor and was unconscious.
I woke up in a hospital the following day, my eyelids were a bit itchy as I started trying to figure out where I was. Just when my sight started getting clearer I saw a doctor standing just by my side, right at that moment I knew something was not okay. He looked at me, “welcome back Mrs. Garret” he said, I looked at him thinking what does he mean ‘welcome back’.” I was confused and couldn’t remember how I ended up in the hospital. My head felt heavy as I turned it to the side and looked outside through the window, the sky looked beautiful.
The doctor cleared his throat “Mrs. Garret I’m sorry to tell you this” he said and paused, my heart started beating so fast “you have been diagnosed with leukaemia, first stage.” I looked at the doctor speechless for a while, “leukaemia? You mean cancer?” I mumbled, the doctor nodded his head and said yes. “It’s good that it is still on its first stage, high chance for therapy to show great results and the little girl called Tessa was really brave.” The name Tessa grabbed my attention more. I stared at the doctor and right then two familiar faces walked in, Tessa’s parents. I noticed how sad they looked and wondered what made them too sad.
The parents looked at me, “where is Tessa?” I asked and at the beginning I could see his mouth slightly opening and closing not knowing what to say to me, they looked at each other, the father stepped a little bit closer and his eyes filled with tears. “Mrs. Garret, Tessa was diagnosed with brain cancer, stage four” he sobbed “she told us you needed the money more than her for your therapy and that you should accomplish your husband’s wish.” Tessa’s mother walked out crying, I focused my eyes on Tessa’s father, “what do you mean? What are you talking about?” baffled to hear those words. The father held my hand and said “Tessa died because she didn’t want to start her therapy and said her therapy finances should be used on you” he said “she said she is watching over you.”
This couldn’t be true, I refused to believe what I heard, I couldn’t believe a single word of what Tessa’s father was saying and it was all just words to me. I looked at her father who had his hand on my arm and tears falling down his cheeks. I could see how serious and real it was that Tessa, a 9 year old black curled hair girl from the floor above had made a decision for her destiny. I looked outside at the sky once again, I could see her pretty big eyes looking right back at me, I was completely moved with what the little girl did. She was too young and had so much ahead in her life but she decided to save an old woman like me who lived her life, just so she could fulfill her husband’s wish.
That beautiful little girl did something I still can’t believe to this day. It’s never just about how small or big something is but the kind of heart someone has. Tessa was simply Heavenly Sent!
We have angels living amongst us and they come in different shapes, sizes and colours. Someone is always watching over you, Always! Tessa showed her goodness through me so I do good for my late husband’s son, I guess I’m the one watching over him.
Author Of Upcoming thrilling suspense novel titled :THE KILLER IN HER CLOSET