Star Light, Star Bright

Noah is an outcast who was orphaned by his parents at a young age. The only thing he has of them is a picture. He climbs about the Royla, a vessel setting sail to Great Britain. As a stowaway, he encounters beautiful Alika, a girl from Greece. But Alika isn't all what she seems to be. As Noah and Alika develop a deep friendship, tragedy strikes. Their friendship is tested while the struggle to survive becomes bigger and stronger.

Chapter 1

Noah

I wake up on the shore of the ocean. I look up to see the stars shining brightly in the dark sky. Wind picks up and with it is sound. I can hear voices from the road which is about thirty feet from where I'm laying. The voices come closer and I can make out the words.

"The ship's leaving in around ten minutes, John." One of them says. The other sighs.
"The Royla's last stop was Greece, am I right, William? If the wind doesn't pick up by mid-way to Argentina, then it should hit the boat by London. What do you think, Max?"

Another voice pipes up. I thought there had been only two.
"John, we can't warn them about it, they'll think we're crazy. We'll just have to let them go..."

We have to leave. I turn around and shake my friend, Pablo. We are runaways. We come from an orphanage in Texas, where we grew up. We're both seventeen now and we would've had to wait four more years to be allowed to leave the horrendous orphanage. We ran when we were thirteen. We traveled all across America in search of a place to call home. We're still looking.

"Pablo, wake up! We gotta go, we'll be found out." I whisper quietly, but loud enough so he can hear me. Pablo groans and mumbles something about not wanting to get up. I roll my eyes even though I know his eyes are not open.

"Listen, if we don't leave, somebody's gonna find us and we'll be arrested. You know what they do to the homeless! Get your stuff together and let's go. Immediately."

A few minutes later, we're fast walking stealthily along the beach with our small cloths in hand. In each of our cloths is a toothbrush, a piece of white bread, some cheese and a small bar of soap. These are our belongings and what we live on.

"Noah, where are we going?" Pablo asks me uncertainly. We keep walking as I lead us towards the docks a couple miles to the west from where we slept. I don't answer him.

We finally reach the docks where a large ship is boarding its final passengers. It's the bluest blue I've ever seen, like the midnight sky or the blue telephone police boxes you see in the newspaper when there's news in Britain. Large, white cursive writing printed on the boat reads 'The Royla'.

"The Royla? We're not boarding that, are we?" Pablo asks, panic in his voice. I give him a confused look.
"Of course we are. I have to find my parents, and I have to find my home. You have to come with me. We can start new, wherever my parents are. It'll be a new adventure for us, Pablo!"

He hesitates, shifting his weight from foot to foot.

"Come on, Pablo... Please, I'm not leaving you." I can't. I grew up with him. He's all the family I know.

"Noah I can't. I'm afraid of boats and water. And my parents left me in America for a reason. They wanted me to grow up here. I have to give them that, may they rest in peace. I can start a new life in California. Go, go find your parents."

A sad glimmer in my friend's brown eyes tells me that he means what he says. I take a deep breath.

"Goodbye Pablo. Take care alright? I hope you find your sister. Take care of her too." I can't believe this is where we part. I've known him my entire life. I never thought there would be a time where there'd be a parting of ways.

I walk closer to the ship, where the doors closing. I look back at my second self for the last time. He walks towards me and I hug him. Parting of ways is hard to face. I pull back and I see he's crying. I blink as a tear fall onto my pale face.

"Go have your adventures, Noah. I'll see you soon my friend." He gives me a curt nod and steps back. I turn around and walk towards the ship. I can not board since I do not have a ticket, and it's already leaving. I grab hold of the safety ladder at the side of the boat as the Royla leaves.

I let go of the railing with one hand and wave goodbye to the only true friend I'd ever knew. He waves back at me and I smile, tears rushing down my face.

"Farewell, Noah of the Ark!" Pablo calls out. He used to call me Noah of the Ark when we were little kids playing games in the orphanage. My smile widens, the tears becoming even more numerous.

"I will miss you dearly, my friend. Goodbye Pablo Picasso!" He used to draw a lot at the Victoria Orphanage in Wisconsin. That's when I gave him the nickname. I'll never forget him. But now I must start a new path.

The parting of ways is hard. A new journey, a new life, finding my parents. All I have of them is a photograph. I'm in it too, so is my sister. I have their names of the back of the photograph. My mother; Amelia-Rose Smith, my father; Samuel James Smith and my presumably older sister; Sarah Jane Smith. I'd like to meet them so very much.

I just hope I can find them before the crew of the ship finds me. I am a stowaway, an illegal person. I don't know how long I can hide out on this vessel for, or when I can hide. Will anyone help me? I'm no time traveler, how would I know? Where will I get food? These questions can wait for tomorrow, I just need a place to hide out.

I climb the rest of the emergency ladder, right onto the poop deck. I tip toe my way to the other side of the ship. There are stairwells leading downwards. I make my way to the lowest level of the ship, with each landing hoping nobody will see me. Nobody does.

I turn left and down the hall I go. I bring the back of my hand to the tip of my nose. It's freezing. 'Well of course it is, you dummy. It's March 19 1969, it's obviously going to be cold!' I think to myself.

As I walk down the hall, I stop. There's four cracks in the bottom of the wall. It's about two feet wide and the top crack is around two feet above the red carpeting. Looks like a mini door. Well, it's a door for sure but with no knob or handle and it's painted exactly the same as the wall with the same texture. It's as if someone cut the outline of a door into a wall. Of course, because of my curiosity and stupidity, I gently push the "door".

Ah, so it really is a door! It opens up and there is a very small pathway. I have to crawl on my hands and knees but it isn't too tight. I turn around and there is a handle from the inside. And a lock. I close the door and lock it. I turn back and keep crawling. After about ten feet, the small tunnel becomes wider. I still have to crawl but there's more room.

What is this? A laundry shoot? No, they have staff to do the laundry. Is it for stowaways, like me? Impossible. As I keep moving, ideas come to my head of why this exists but none make realistic sense.

I hit my head against something and look up. Great, I just ran into a wall. So this is the end of the mystery tunnel. An idea comes to me. This could be where I hide out! It's perfect. I smile to myself.

Taking off my raggedy grey-green jacket, I prepare for the rest of the night's sleep. What will tomorrow bring? I hope I don;t get found out by staff or a tattle tailing rich snob. Well, if there's one thing Pablo taught me, it's that what comes, comes and it was meant to happen. He used to say that you should accept and move on, make the best of the situation.

Whatever God has in store for me, I can handle it. Well, tomorrow's a new adventure. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens then.

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