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.
My mother, Matilda, died of pneumonia two years ago. My family and I are moving to London, where my father has new job opportunities.
I'm not very fond of journals, this is my very first. But who am I supposed to confide in? Everything I ever loved is gone.
No, not true. I have my sisters, especially Livana who is seven years old. She is the reason I am still alive.
My name is Alika Ramyran and I am a suicidal teenager.'
I sigh as I place the small brown journal underneath the thin mattress. I shift in the small bed to face the rest of the room. My father is arguing with my 19 year old brother Stefan.
My father, Zephyr is very hard on all of us except for Aliah, my three year old sister. He's been like that ever since my mother died. I can't hear what they're fighting about because I can see and hear Livana crying.
"Angel why are you sad?" I sit on the red carpeted floor, my back against the wall.
Livana wipes her cheeks with the back of her small hands. She sniffles and huffs.
"The water scares me." She sits down beside me, hugging her legs close to her chest, her dark strawberry blonde hair falling to cover her face.
"There's nothing to be afraid of. We're safe on the ship, I promise you. Everything will be alright, you'll see." I gently say, hoping I sent her reassurance.
She lifts her olive hand to tuck her hair behind her ears. Her sea green eyes look up to meet mine.
"Really?" She's still looking at me, hope, innocence and wonder inside of her.
"Papa, please let me do this. I know that I can help out! If you let me work, I can pay for schooling for Aliah when we arrive to London! Please, Papa..."
Stefan's voice is filled with desire and plea. I know that he really wants to do this. My father doesn't want him to work, he believes that Stefan should be finishing his schooling.
"Papa, Stefan has almost completed his schooling. He is a very smart young man. If he wants to work then you should let him. You go, big brother." I say. I look at Livana and she smiles at me, which makes me smile back.
My father sighs and lifts his arms up in defeat.
"If it's what you really want, my boy. But if you ever want to go back to schooling, do it." My brother grins and tells my father he won't let him down.
I wake up to the sound of someone coughing, very loudly. It's probably just papa or Stefan. I try to go back to sleep but I hear it again, someone coughing. I sit forward and look at my father and Stefan's beds. They are asleep.
I take the black flashlight from underneath my pillow. I turn it on and point it towards the rest of the room. Everyone else is asleep, well at least I think they are.
I tip toe to Aliah's little bed. Her breathing is steady, her little fair skinned thumb in her mouth, her short dark auburn hair in loose pigtails. She's definitely asleep.
I hear my father and brother snoring, they're definitely out. My eldest little sister, 12 year old Zara is across the room from Aliah. From where I'm standing, I can still see her drooling a bit, her messy, dark golden hair in her olive face. I chuckle in my head.
The coughing is louder than my father and brother's snoring put together. It's not coming from anyone here, and we don't have anyone in the rooms next to us. A sense of fear comes to me.
I long to return to my bed where I can pretend I am safe. I wish for my feet to take me to the open covers and the white pillow. My body betrays me and my legs move towards the closet. Why would anyone be there?
With the flashlight in one hand, the other reaches out to the handle of the closet. I don't want to open it, but again, my hand doesn't follow the thoughts swirling in my mind.
The handles twists and I open it in a split second.
Nobody is in there. The closet is empty apart from three hangers. But the coughing is still coming from the closet.
I lean against the back of the wall in the small space. It's coming from the other side. The coughing is coming from the other side of the wall!
I hear rustling from one of the beds and I pivot to face the room, twisting my ankle in the process. I fall to the ground, holding my left foot.
"Ouch!" I yell.
Stupid me, people are sleeping! I hope nobody has woken up. The rustling was probably just someone moving in bed. I attempt to lean my head against the wall but instead, my head falls through a small gap.
I sit up and look at the hole in the wall. It's about two feet by two feet and goes into the rest of the ship? Well, it's like a mini tunnel in those adventure books you'd read. The part of the wall that was supposed to be there in apparently a door.
I turn my flashlight off. It's dark so you can't really see it unless you're looking for it.
With the new excitement surging through me, I forget about my ankle. I turn around to make sure everyone's asleep, but instead I am faced with Livana.
"Livana, what are you doing up?"
"I couldn't sleep. I forgot to make the star bright."
I stand up, pain surging through my left foot again. I try to cover it up and my little sister doesn't seem to notice anything.
"Come on, Livana. Let's get you back to bed."
I take her hand and lead her back to her small bed. There are so many stars tonight that we can see from the small circular window.
Livana sits on the edge of the bed and starting looking for the dullest star. The rhyme says you have to look at the very first star you see, but Livana thinks it's better to wish on the dullest so she can make it bright like the others.
"I found one." She whispers as she points towards the stars. There's a big star that's very faint. I assume that's the one she's talking about.
She closes he eyes and starts.
"Star light, star bright. The dullest star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight." She pauses before continuing in a very low whisper so I can't hear her say the words even though I know what she wishes for.
Every single night, since Livana could speak, she would 'make the star bright' by reciting a rhyme. She says that if she doesn't recite the rhyme, the star won't be bright anymore and it will die. And every single night, she would ask for only one thing.
She is why I am still alive, she keeps me alive with her hope, wishes, wonders, innocence. I can't take that away from her. She's my angel from above.
"Good night, Alika." She whispers to me. My sister yawns and lies down. Her eyes close as she falls into sleep.
"Good night my angel." I whisper, kissing her seven year old forehead before limping back to the closet.
I take my flashlight and crawl through the tunnel, discovering a handle on the inside. I close it so if anyone else wakes up, they don't follow.
Putting the flashlight in my mouth, the light shining into the tunnel, I crawl. Where does this lead to?
After a couple minutes, the cramped space widens, becoming about four feet by three feet. I can see a big lump ahead.
Is it a laundry pile? Looks like one.
The pile moves. I jump. What the hell is it? An animal? A person? Why would a person be sleeping here? All passengers receive a bed and a room.
The pile interrupts my train of thought by getting up. It is a person!
"Who are you? Why are you here? Stay back, I have a.." What do I threaten him with?
"I have a flashlight! It's very big and can knock you out in one second!" A flashlight? Really, Alika? The pile is really going to be threatened by a big, scary flashlight.
"Holy mother of the angels." It says.
The pile reaches forward and flicks a switch on the wall. A light bulb in the middle of the room turns on. I turn off my flashlight.
The pile takes off the raggedy hat covering its face.
It's a boy. A stowaway? Most likely.
But why? Who is this mysterious stranger? What's his story?