A Servant's Heart
Chapter 6: Foreign
The wheel of the plane touched down on the runway. Omri was awoken by the bumpy landing and was nearly thrown out of his seatbelt which was too big to properly protect him. It had been 13.56 hours since take off and Omri had enjoyed his first ever flight. Besides the crying babies and loud music that could be heard from teenagers headphones, Omri had fun experiencing all the new opportunities. A few hours before the plane had landed Omri had fallen asleep again. Now he was awake and excited. He was in Australia. The passenger lady started helping people get their bags from the containment areas above the seats. Omri had his small satchel still slung around his neck. He hopped out of his chair and followed the line of people out of the plane. The sun forced Omri to shield his eyes as he looked around his new surroundings. People were everywhere. Some were getting off planes, some were getting on planes, some were sitting in the waiting rooms and some were greeting their loved ones as they arrived home. As Omri watched families reuniting he began to feel sad and alone. He had no one to return to. Not any more. He was all alone in a foreign country.
It had been hours since Omri had gotten off the plane. He'd been walking down the streets looking and admiring the new sights of Australia. None of the street signs or store fronts or any written words made sense to him for they were all written in English but as usual Omri didn't mind. There were people everywhere and cars flooded the roads creating a lot of noise. The sun had begun to set and Omri was feeling hungry and completely tired of walking. He remembered the money that Melchizadech had given him before he had left Israel. Somehow, Omri had to find food and somewhere to sleep for the night before it got too dark. Maybe he could ask someone for help. While walking down the streets Omri tried to get someone's attention and ask for help but no one would listen to him. At one point, Omri accidently bumped into a man and fell over onto the path. "I am sorry. I…" Omri started to apologize but the man just turned and shouted at him telling him to "Watch where you're going!" Omri was shocked and a little frightened by the man's reaction. It was only an accident. Slowly, Omri got to his feet and decided to find food and shelter himself since no one seemed to want to help a strange lost boy like himself.
The sky became dark. The full moon and stars lit up the sky. Omri was now the only person who was still out. He was tired, lonely and hungry. After walking for hours on end without the help of anyone, Omri found himself in a large grassy park area. Some distance from the grassy area there was a large sandpit where play equipment had been set up. Far from the sandpit sat a large tree that spread it's branches out in every direction. Some of the thick branches hung close to the ground giving Omri somewhere to sit and rest. He took his satchel off from around his neck and gave a deep sigh. Throughout the evening, Omri had tried and tried to get help but no one paid any attention to him they just kept on walking with rectangular devices help up to their ears or in front of their eyes. It seemed the people in Australia didn't like helping kids like Omri. Fallen leaves covered the ground beneath the tree that Omri sat on. The leaves were soft so Omri decided to use them as a temporary bed. He buried his satchel under some of the leaves so that no one would steal it then attempted to cover himself with some of the leaves. That proved difficult so he didn't bother. Too tired to think or walk, Omri lay down on the leaves and gradually fell asleep.
Early morning came. Birds were singing in trees and kids could be heard playing on the equipment in the sandpit area. Omri could hear them from where he slept. He woke up to the sound of the joyful birds and children. He wished he could play with the kids but he knew that he had no time. Omri had no idea what time it was but he knew it wasn't too early since families were already at the park. Omri sat up on his leafy bed and breathed in the morning air. It was very hot and sunny making it hard for Omri to see without squinting. Quietly and cautiously, he peered over one of the large branches of the tree and watched the kids play. He smiled. "Hey!" someone shouted at Omri. A little alarmed, Omri looked up in the direction where the sound came from. Sitting high in a tree was a young boy who looked to be the same age as Omri. "What are you doing?" the boy asked climbing down from the tree.
"I was sleeping." Omri answered slightly in fear. He didn't know this boy and didn't know if he could trust him.
"I know you were sleeping. I saw you under the tree. Not that I was watching you, that would be creepy and weird. I mean, why were you sleeping there. Don't you have a home?" the boy was now standing in front of Omri questioning him.
"I do not have a home. I am new to Australia." Omri answered the boy. The boy looked at Omri confused.
"Do you want to play with us?" the boy asked suddenly. Omri thought for a moment. Surely he could trust a boy but did he have time to play? Omri's stomach was hurting from lack of food but he didn't want to upset the boy and playing did look like fun. "Okay." Omri answered with a smile. A large grin appeared on the boy's face and he called his friends over. Two other boys came running over, one was holding a small ball and some sort of long stick where one end was thin and the other end was thick. "I'm Luke and this is Jack and Robbie." Luke introduced himself and his two friends. "What's your name kid?" Jack asked. He was the boy who was holding the ball and stick thing and was towering over Omri.
"I am Omri." Omri said still smiling. The three boys looked at each other. Than Luke asked, "Omri? I've never heard that name before?" Omri was figured his name wasn't popular in Australia so he answered.
"I am from Israel."
"Yep. That would explain it." Jack said, then tossed the ball he was holding to Robbie. Jack then walked over to Omri and handed him the stick thing. "You can bat first." he said then ushered everyone over to a large lighter coloured patch of grass shaped like a rectangle. The two other boys ran over with Jack and got into certain positions. Bat? Omri didn't understand. He walked over to the patch of grass and stood next to Robbie. "I am sorry but I do not understand. What are we playing?" Omri asked. Robbie looked at Omri, a confused look on his face that then turned to a smile.
"Mate, you've never heard of Cricket?" he asked in shock. Omri shook his head. "I almost feel sorry for you. Cricket is a sport. What you're holding is called a cricket bat." Omri looked down at the 'cricket bat' in his hands. It was very heavy to carry "Look you hold it like this." Robbie took the bat from Omri and demonstrated how to hold it. "See." Robbie handed the bat back to Omri and said "Now go stand over there. I'm going to throw this ball at you and you need to hit it with the cricket bat." Robbie got into a position that looked like he was ready to throw the ball. So all Omri had to do was hit the ball? Seemed easy enough to Omri. He stood at the other end of grassy area and got in the position Robbie had showed him. "You ready!?" Robbie shouted from where he stood.
"Yes, I am ready!" Omri shouted back. It happened too fast for Omri to see. Robbie ran up and threw the ball at tremendous speed. Omri's vision blurred at the sight of the ball speeding towards him. He shut his eyes in fear and swung the heavy bat falling backwards in the process. The ball was traveling so fast that Omri didn't even see what had happened but when Omri opened his eyes he saw the ball soaring into the air. He'd hit the ball! Omri smiled and continued to watch the ball as it flew. Jake and Luke were running to where they figured the ball would land. Jake leapt into the air and caught the ball in cupped hands. He then landed on his belly but got up and flung his hands into the air shouting. "Out!" he shouted.
"Come on Jake. It was his first time. Give the kid another chance." Omri could hear Luke talking to Jake. Omri didn't understand what was going on so he walked over and asked, "What happened?"
"Jake caught the ball on the full which means it didn't hit the ground. In Cricket it means that you're out but we're going to give you another chance since you're new to this." Robbie explained patting Omri on the back. After that, Omri, Luke, Jake and Robbie took turns hitting and throwing the ball for a few more hours.
Sports were never one of Omri's interests. He only knew a few sports that were played in the city where Omri grew up. He never joined in, he just enjoyed keeping track of who was winning or just sitting on the sideline and watching. Cricket, though, was different to any other sport Omri had ever played or seen. He enjoyed it quite a lot but found it very tiring. After a few hours of playing Omri began to feel hungry again. His stomach ached from being empty. He ran over to the other boys and said, "I am sorry but I can not play anymore. I need to find food. I have not eaten for a while." Omri handed Robbie the bat and began walking away.
"Wait! Omri!" Luke shouted running after Omri and stopping him. "We've got some food if you'd like some. We also have water." Luke suggested. Jake and Robbie came over.
"I am quite hungry." Robbie admitted wiping sweat from his forehead.
"Come on boys. Let's go back to the picnic area." Jake said walking off. Omri felt like he had no choice but to follow as Robbie and Luke led Omri over to a few benches where adults sat talking to one another. "Hey mum! Hey dad! We're hungry and thirsty. Can we have some food and water?" Luke asked his parents.
"What's the magic word?" Luke's mother asked turning in their direction.
"Please?" Luke answered. Omri stayed behind the boys not sure what to do. He wasn't sure if the boy's parents would like him. Adults in Australia seemed not to like Omri so he acted cautious around them. He didn't want to upset anyone. Omri didn't stay hidden for long for one of the men at the table spotted him and asked "Who's this young man?" Omri knew the man was talking about him but avoided eye contact.
"This is Omri. He's been playing cricket with us." Robbie answered his father who asked about Omri. Robbie wrapped an arm around Omri and pushed him closer to his father. Omri still avoided eye contact. He still wasn't fully convinced that Robbie's father would like him. "Nice to meet you Omri." Robbie's father said extending an arm. Omri looked up slightly. "There's nothing to be scared of. I'm not gonna bight." Robbie's father joked. Omri made eye contact with the man. He seemed friendlier than the other people he had met so Omri slowly extended his hand into Robbie's father's hand who shook it gently. "You hungry." the father said picking up a sandwich wrapped in a see through material and handing it to Omri. Omri didn't want to take it but Robbie's father insisted saying, "Here, Take it." Omri graciously took the sandwich.
"Thank you sir." he said smiling. Robbie's father grinned. Maybe not all Australian adults were mean, Omri figured.
"Take some water too." Luke offered handing Omri a bottle of water. Omri also took the water and thanked Luke for offering it to him. He knew that these people didn't understand what he was going through and he knew that he couldn't tell them but they were very nice to him so he trusted them. Omri had made his first friends in this foreign country.
The sun was beginning to set. Luke, Robbie and Jake had to leave the park so Omri had said goodbye to the three boys and their families, thanking them again for their kindness to him. Back to the tree Omri walked. He sat on the leaves once again. Only a small amount of the sandwich had been eaten only a small amount of water had been. Each piece of food and every drop of water was important to Omri so he made sure he had enough to last him more than a day. Suddenly, Omri felt something under the leaves and when he lifted the leaves off he found his satchel. He had forgotten about his satchel but thankfully it was still there and nothing had been stolen. He opened the satchel to put the sandwich and water inside when he noticed a note sticking out. He quickly grabbed the note and began reading the Hebrew writing:
You already know that I've given you money but I've also paid for you to go to school. Maybe you'll be able to learn how to read and write in English or even make new friends. I hope you're doing fine in Australia. I'm sorry I couldn't pay for you to live anywhere but I'm sure you will be able to manage.
Attached to the note was an address which was written in English. Luckily next to the English there was Hebrew writing explaining how to use the address to find the school. Omri was so excited. He'd always wanted to go to school. He loved learning. Tomorrow, Omri decided to find the school and attend it for the first time in his life. He only hoped the people at the school were just as nice as the people he had met earlier that day. With excitement in his body Omri lay on the leaves under the tree and fell asleep.
This was it. This was the day. Omri was standing outside the gates that led to the school Melchizadech had paid for Omri to attend to. Joy and happiness flooded through Omri's body as he made sure it was the right address which it was. He was about to walk through the gates and enter the school grounds when a loud bell sounded making Omri jump. Kids were already entering the school so Omri followed after them. At the front doors to the school he was stopped by a teacher. The teacher's name tag read 'Mr Myles' "Excuse me young man. I don't recognize you. Do you have your ID?" the teacher questioned. Luckily, even though Omri didn't know what an 'ID' was, Omri was prepared for this situation. He reached into his satchel and pulled out a slip of paper. The paper had Melchizadech's English writing all over it. Omri didn't understand it but on the back Melchizadech had written in Hebrew to Omri telling him to hand the paper to a teacher once he got to the school. Mr Myles took the paper from Omri and read it. After a moment of silence Mr Myles said "Come on. I'll lead you to the class room." with that the teacher took Omri down a long hallway and to a door located close to the end of the hall. Mr Myles opened the door and signaled to the other teacher who was already in the room to come over. The two teachers talked for a moment before Mr Myles left. The other teacher, who had a name tag that read 'Mrs Kelly' looked down at Omri, "Come." she commanded. Her friendly smile made Omri feel safe. He obeyed the instructions and followed the teacher into the room. The classroom was filled with desks and chairs with teens sitting at the desks. There were a few desks free and one big desk at the front of the class. Omri was told to stand in front of the larger desk. "Today class," Mrs Kelly started getting everyone's attention, "I would like to introduce a new student. Please welcome to our class, Omri Shafir." Mrs Kelly finished. Omri looked around the class peering at every face. Some weren't very friendly looking but others seemed nice. He spotted some girls quietly giggling and pointing at him. Omri didn't realize they were mocking him so he smiled. "Omri, please go sit at the empty desk next to Alf over there." Mrs Kelly said sweetly pointing to a desk in the second row. Omri nodded then walked over to the desk and sat down. He looked beside him where Alf was sitting. Alf turned and smiled at Omri then looked back in the direction of the teacher. Omri was filled with excitement. This was his first day of school and Omri was sure it would be great.
To Be Continued...