From the Other Side of the Pond

My house was one of the smallest in town. But, even though it was cramped and crowded, I loved living in it more than anything.

From the outside, it was an ugly, cracked tan color, with pieces of tan paint chipping off from the walls, showing the dark, chocolate brown bricks beneath it. It had a big wooden door, the color of ripe, fresh apples and a doorknob of honey, planted smack in the middle of it. On either side of the door was a square window with dusty glass. It wasn't the best of houses, but it was what we could afford. Or at least that is what Mama says.

My house was built on the top of a hill that's grass was the greenest green you ever saw. We lived out in the open, far away from any trees or forests. There were no trees, there were no bushes, there were no shrubs. Just patches of grass for yards.

I lived in a tiny, friendly town, where everybody knew each other. I knew my neighbors, my neighbor's neighbors, and my neighbor's neighbor's neighbors and they all knew me. It was like living in one big, gigantic family. Everyone was loving and caring.

Tonight was unlike all the others. Usually, on a Friday night like tonight, my whole family would gather together and we would all eat dinner at the large, wooden table that took up most of the dining room and kitchen. We would all tell jokes, laugh, and talk about how our week went and what new things happened.

But, not tonight. Tonight nobody would be eating dinner with their children because all the adults were having a fancy dinner at the Johnsons' home. The Johnsons, the wealthiest family in the town, were celebrating their daughter and her new-born baby. All the adults in town were invited and the invitation said strictly, no children allowed.

So, tonight, I was stuck eating dinner with my older brother, Bobby. I frowned at the thought. Bobby wasn't the kindest brother around, but he was the most annoying.

I looked at the pretty, antique clock on the wall of the kitchen. My parents had left around a half hour ago to the party and I was already bored. There was really nothing to do in my house, other than read a book or play outside.

I took a peak out the window. The weather seemed fair enough. The sun was still out, just hovering above the horizon and its light still brightened up the land. I stood from the lumpy chair I had been seated on and ran into my brother's bedroom.

"Bobby?" I asked in a sweet voice, "Can I go for a walk?"

My brother looked at me disapprovingly, his dark brown arms crossed and an ebony eyebrow raised elegantly.

Before he could tell me no, I pouted and gave him my best puppy-dog eyes. "Please?" I whined.

He sighed at looked out the window, much as I had before. "Oh fine. But, be back before sunset, okay?" he looked at me sternly.

I nodded, smiling. "Promise!"

Without even thanking him properly, which my mama probably would not have liked, I dashed out of his room and to the front door. Grabbing a wool sweater from the coat rack, I open the door and began to jog carefully down our hill.

The weather wasn't as great as it looked like from the window. It was warm and humid, the air a bit sticky on my skin. But, I didn't mind. I just kept walking. I actually wasn't sure where I was going; I just let my feet carry me in any which way direction they wanted.

While I walked, I let my mind wander to what my parents were doing. Could they possibly be having fun at some fancy-shmancy dinner? I think not, my parents are too fun for that.

After what seemed like a long time of thinking, I stopped my feet to see where I was. I had walked to the other side of town. I glanced at the sun, to see it was sluggishly setting.

I sighed. I had never been on this side of town before. So, I continued to explore for a few more minutes, just to see what was over here.

To my surprise, I found a forest. Quite happy to see trees in a place other than my school yard, I plunged into them, running right through them. As I went into the forest, I found that it was not very thick and there weren't as many trees as I would have liked to see. I shrugged it off and kept up my exploring.

Looking in front of me, I saw a dim light. Cautiously, I walked over to it. Smiling, I saw that it was the end of the forest and stepped out into the open again. I gasped as my feet fell into water instead of land.

Hastily, I stepped back to the trees and looked before me to see what I stepped in. My eyes widened as I saw a big pond. The water was as blue as the daytime sky with little green lily pads and flowers in it. Grinning, I reached out into the water again, this time with my hand. I dragged my fingers through the silky, cold water. It felt heavenly, on a humid day like this.

I stared at the water for a long time without looking up until I heard the faint sound of laughter in the distance. Quickly looking up, I let my eyes feast upon the sight that I had not yet witnessed in front of me.

"Oh my lord!" I whispered.

In front of me, on the other side of pond was the biggest house I had ever seen. It looked like a castle from the fairytale books I had read at home. It stretched across the land, probably as big as my town itself. Squinting my eyes, I saw a thin figure in the distance. It came closer and closer. As it did, I hid behind the tree.

I heard the laughing sound again, this time louder, as the figure got closer to me. Finally, it reached the other end of the pond and sat down.

The figure was a person, more specifically a girl. A girl with long, straight yellow hair and pale skin. I watched as she reached for a lily pad.

Trying to get a better look, I leaned forward and my foot tripped against a stone, sending my whole bottom half into the water.

The laughter seized and the little girl snapped up, looking at me. We stared at each other for what felt like forever, while my bottom froze in the cold water. The girl made her was around the pond slowly and stood a few feet away from me.

I was so afraid of what she would do, that I didn't move from my position.

Shocking me, she grinned a toothy smile. "Don't you think you should stand up? The water is quite chilly."

Nodding dumbly, I shakily stood up and stepped back to the tree that I was previously at.

"Are you hiding from me?" she questioned, pushing her blonde hair behind her ear. "I'm not going to bite." She said with a giggle.

Attempting to overcome my shyness, I walked closer to her. She smiled again.

"What's your name?"

"Fallon." I said softly, looking her over again. She was the exact opposite from me. Her hair was blonde and long, mine was short and black, her eyes were green, my eyes were brown, her skin was pale, and mine was dark. I had never seen someone like her before. She was very pretty. "

"What's yours?"

"Mirany." She answered.

The conversation progressed from there and we spoke and spoke. I began to feel more comfortable in front of her. We talked about our families and were we lived. I learned that she lived in that humungous house that is a bit behind the pond. I told her about my tiny home and she told me how she always wanted a small house. I told her about school and my friends and I found that she was 'home-schooled' and how she didn't have many friends.

We talked until the sun dropped below the hills.

Finally, I declared that I had to leave, before I got a whipping by my brother, Bobby. Mirany's face grew terribly upset and she begged me to stay, saying that she often got lonely and wanted to talk. After a few minutes, we agreed that I would come back tomorrow to see her. She grinned, for the thousandth time, and said, "Okay!"

As I ventured back into the forest, I tried to see what my surroundings looked like, so I could remember how to return to Mirany. Everything looked the same, though. I thought for a minute, before picking up my wool sweater again. I placed in on an oak tree and nodded in satisfaction. When I came back and saw the sweater on the tree, I would know where to go.

When I got home, I came in through the door to find my parents and Bobby waiting for me with worried faces. My mama immediately pounced on me, giving me a bear hug and bombarded me with questions.

"Are you okay? Are you hurt? Where were you? Did someone take you? Did you get lost?"

I calmed her down and began to tell my family about Mirany and the forest. When I was finished, no one said anything. The silence was uneasy.

My mother's face was shocked and my father looked somewhere past livid. As he opened his mouth to, most likely, yell, my mother placed a hand on his shoulder and whispered to him. He closed his mouth and nodded.

"Time for bed, baby girl." He said and walked me to my room.

For a month after that I found myself going to visit Mirany every afternoon. She would always be waiting for me from the other side of the pond. We talked about anything and everything. We quickly became best friends. Every night I would tell my parents about what happened when I was with Mirany and they never said anything, they just nodded and smiled.

One day, when I was with Mirany. I asked her if she had told her parents about me. She said no and promised that she would tell them that day. I clapped my hands and giggled. We began to plan things. Once, her parents knew about me, and then maybe we could have a sleepover or a play date. She told me how she had never had a sleepover before and was so anxious to have one that she could hardly contain her excitement.

That evening, when I was at home, someone knocked on the door. My mother peeked out the window to see who it was and called my father over. In a shaky voice she told my brother and I to go into Bobby's room. We did and I glanced through a crack in the door to see two big white men holding up a piece of fancy paper. The next thing I knew, we were being forced to move to another village far from here. We left in two days.

I never saw Mirany again.

When I was twelve, I learned about things like racism and the difference between black and white I finally understood why my parents had reacted the way they did when first told them of my knew friend.

Years and years and years after that, when I was an old woman, my husband took me back to the village that I had originally been born and we walked together and talked, loosing track of time together. We found ourselves on the edge of a forest. Curiously we walked in it and I found a wool sweater hanging on a tree. I smiled as I remembered it belonged to me. I slowly walked to where I thought was the end of the forest.

Stepping out in the open, I heard soft laughter. I looked around and saw that there was an old woman, around my age, with long white hair, rocking in a rocking chair. She looked like she was waiting for something.

Like she was waiting for something from the other side of the pond.

A/n: I hoped you enjoyed and I would love it if you left me a review! REVIEW...please.