Bea stood out to Scarlett.
She was sitting quietly on her bed, which was opposite Scarlett’s, reading a
book and softly stroking a small ball of fluff, curled into a ball against her
side. Scarlett assumed this was a dog. Bea had golden skin and thick,
raven-black hair that flowed in a glossy waterfall of jet-black down the back
of her jumper. She seemed tall and mature, her eyes deep brown, concerned and
full of knowledge. Though lots of girls in her tutor wore ridiculously small
tops and shorts and tottered about in ten-inch heels, true beauty shone through
Bea’s kind features, her mask-like face not destroyed by unnatural makeup and
Bea was foreign. She was originally from a quaint Indonesian island, where
small ‘Lion dogs’ guard golden temples and all sorts of exotic fruits are
grown. She was raised in a nun’s orphanage, with other Indonesian girls and
boys. There, she talked and played and laughed like a normal girl- until one
day, when she was nine, when all that simply vanished due to a terrifying
landslide that crushed her orphanage, along with all but one of her friends and
all the nuns. She was playing with her friends, Hadi and Millan, under a
jacaranda tree next to the crystal-clear waters and on the golden sand when
there was a crash- and the whole island began to judder. Clinging to Millan,
Bea watched in horror as Hadi quickly ran into the wobbling building to
retrieve her belongings. Sand and rocks began to crush the building, when a
massive pile of gravel, dirt and sand dumped itself on top of the orphanage.
There were a few screams of pain, then silence. Hadi did not come
out. Andthat’s the exact moment where Bea would stop
talking or smiling until she met Scarlett.
There being no other orphanage in the 25-mile island and it being an officially
hazardous place for young children, Bea and Millan were sent out to a more
wealthy country, but they were separated. Millan was flown off to somewhere
classy in London to stay with a rich family, but when Bea was flown to
California, no one would accept them. She had several interviews with couples
interested in a pretty little girl, but no matter how social workers tried, Bea
would not speak. So she was kept in a Care Home, where they bought her a small
‘lion dog’ from her home country to help calm her when she was 14, until when
she was sixteen, which was the age limit at the Care Home. They tried one last
time to get Bea a home, but alas, not a word was spoken. Not knowing what to do
with her, they admitted her and Rini to Skothamor´s Senior Academy, knowing she
was a fighter.
Scarlett stood at the foot of Bea’s bed. “Hello.”
Bea looked up from her book. Nothing moved in the mask-like face.
“Um, I’m Scarlett. Hello again.” She held out her hand. Bea looked at it.
“Uhm...so, what’s your name?”
Bea blinked at her blankly. She might have been talking about a trip to the
library. She looked inquisitively at the Dr Dre’s slung around Scarlett’s neck.
“These?” holding them up, Scarlett asked. Bea looked at them, intrigued.
Scarlett held them out to Bea. “Be careful with them- these cost the earth.”
Tentatively, Bea held the headphones, staring at them with wonder.
“You put them on your ears,” Scarlett explained, gesturing with her hands over
her ears. Still staring at her, Bea slowly placed the headphones over her ears.
Her eyes remained emotionless.
“I’m going to play some classical music, okay?” Scarlett fiddled with the MP3
connected to the Dre’s, and then watched Bea’s reaction. Scarlett could hear
the faint trace of the piano intro. Bea sat up straighter, her eyes gleaming,
hands gripping the earphones. Her jaw was hanging slightly open. The corners of
Bea’s mouth twitched. Her eyes widened with pure happiness. Finally, Bea’s
perfect little mouth grew into a wide smile, stretching right across her face.
This was the first time she’d smiled in seven years.
“Do you like that song?” Scarlett smiled at her.
Bea looked back up at her, with eyes gleaming with ecstasy.
“...it is most beautiful sound ever experience.”
Bea did often talk to herself, but always in her own language. She knew quite a
bit of English, mostly the essentials, but she listened and learnt herself in
her old homes. She was extremely clever, but seemed to choose not to use her
intellect and kept it to herself.
She held up the dog and hugged him, opening one of the earphones so the dog
could hear too. He was caramel coloured, with masses of curls all over his
body, and almond-shaped, chocolate eyes, with the softest of stomachs and a
flag-pole tail that was constantly wagging.
“Rini.” Bea held him out to Scarlett. “And I Bea. Hello, Scarlett. Pretty name.
Like your name.” Scarlett smiled and scratched Rini behind his ears. He yapped
with sheer pleasure, and both she and Bea laughed at the little dog. Celeste
“Oh, hey, who’s this?”
“This is Bea. I don’t think she speaks much English.”
“Oh, hello, Be- oh, my goodness! Who’s this little guy?”
“Rini,” Bea repeated, face radiant with pride.
Celeste approached the dog, and did not cuddle him or squish his face about, or
any of that nonsense. She knew that Rini was a lion dog, and did not appreciate
being treated as a toy. Kneeling down so she was eye level with Rini, she held
out her hand. Rini sniffed it, then leaned back, as if to say, ‘....okay,
you’re fine.’ Celeste stood up again. She looked at Bea.
“You’re just as awesome as your dog.”
Bea smiled. “Know little English, but know what that mean.”