61 comments

Fiction Friendship

Friendship needs no words - it is solitude delivered from the anguish of loneliness.

-Dag Hammarskjold


Sagacitas




Nyx sighed, her breath condensing on the window. She was in school sitting next to the same window as she always did watching the rhythmic sweep of the ashen curtain and observing the swooping gulls and pigeons fluttering and cooing. She also fiddled with her compass, which in her terms meant flipping it over and over again, she always did this when she was nervous.


It was a beautiful old thing, her father had gifted her with, one day when she had confused bird migration.


She returned her attention to the class. It was before their third lesson, and everyone was chattering, like birds, mockingbirds, cowbirds, all the chattery-type, and it infuriated her.


So she did what she always did and imagined the happiest moment in her life, which was when her parents had gotten her, her own bird.


A canary.


It seemed reasonable. Canaries’ were supposed to be the most favoured pet of birdkeepers.


She smiled as she imagined herself feeding Sunny. Her bird had reminded her of a ray of sunshine, and certainly acted as one.


She’d had an obsession with bird-watching since she was an infant, her parents always pointing out the calls and the distinctly marked feathers.


She loved drawing birds, sketching their markings, spots, speckled feathers, curved beaks.


She loved reading about them in encyclopedias,


Some would call her weird, defective, but she always waved it off.


Every morning, she would prick her ears to hear the morning calls of blackbirds who trilled and sang symphonies of untold tales.


Nyx shook her head a little, black spots blurring her vision before they disappeared and she could see the class, all of them tilting their heads, laughing and chattering, as before. The door of the classroom clicked open, and their tall, strict brunette teacher, Mrs Green, walked in, heels clicking elegantly across the tiled floor.


“Class, take out your textbooks. Today, we will continue our study on the Salem witch trials. We didn’t get to start properly last time, as we had a few… interruptions”


The teacher stared at a few of the students, beadily eyed. Nyx breathed in relief as the teacher didn’t look at her. Mrs Green had a habit of noting students who misbehaved but not correcting them, which scared a few of the students as they could be suspended or parents notified without knowing what they had done wrong or how to correct it.


Nyx flipped open her textbook. It had a few crooked ends but was not as battered as the rest of her books.


She watched her teacher, weary-eyed as she explained the horrors that lay ahead for the unsuspecting women in the era of witch trials. A pang of pity rushed through her as she heard how all the defective, sick children and women were executed because they were accused of witchcraft when in truth they were suffering.


She wondered if this would have happened to her if she had been alive in this century. She shook that thought off, but the worry held her in a vice grip. Maybe one of her classmates would have called her out because it seemed as if they all hated her with a fiery passion.


Nyx’s head drooped, and her hands thumped, useless against her sides. She was exhausted!


Her vision was blurring, she could only see darkn-


Mrs Green’s eyes swivelled around to locate the noise that had sent the class into fits of laughter. And soon enough they were trained on Nyx, who lay slumped at her table. She gasped before rushing over to the child, whose black hair curtained around her. She had black, sleek hair, and would hide in it when embarrassed, which happened often.


Mrs Green called to a child to get the nurse, who reluctantly got up, glancing at Nyx as he trailed out of the door. No doubt his glance was not of pity or worry, but disdain.


“And hurry!” Mrs Green called in an exasperated voice.








Hours later, Nyx woke up to see several anxious eyes peering down at her. She noted it wasn’t her classmates… of course, they would never worry about her being in grave danger because she was the “weird one” and would probably use some weirdo tricks to save herself.


She laughed at the absurdity before seeing the eyes peering down at her crinkle and widen in confusion.


“Mum? Dad?” she asked.


“Shh” her mum, with her kind and soft eyes, tapped a finger on Nyx’s lips playfully but with a worried look on her face. Nyx smiled. Her mum liked to battle anxiousness differently, making others around her happy without troubling them. In fact so did her dad, who wore a huge, beaming smile.


Suddenly, Nyx reached in to embrace them before she slowly got to her feet, the blanket that had lain on top of her falling to the floor.


“We’re home?” she muttered, looking around.


“Yes, Mrs Green called us up when you collapsed, and after getting the nurse we decided it was best to take you home... We assumed you were just stressed out or exhausted”


Nyx’s dad nodded. “What was that, sweetie? I mean, did you feel dizziness throughout the day or…?”


Nyx shook her head, her blue eyes widening, “It was so sudden, I felt so sleepy and didn’t realize-”


“Well then, we’re going to have to get you to sleep at 7 pm won’t we, Missus,” winked her father.


Her mother wagged her finger, "You mean 7 am, don't you!?"


Nyx laughed.


Suddenly, her facial expressions turned serious.


“Not a chance!”


Sunny suddenly chattered as if agreeing, which reminded Nyx of her classroom. “Class was so loud today!” she mumbled.


“Do you want to transfer?” her mum asked.


“No! It would be a cowardly thing to do,” she replied, her voice certain.


“I can’t run away from my problems,"


"Not all the time anyway,” she tried jokingly.




Her parents shrugged before settling down on their chairs. They were outside on the patio. It was a sunny day. Her parents had thought the warmth would wake her up.


Nyx took in her surroundings. Birds twittered, and she took a mental note to grab her notebook later, for… bird-related reasons.


She wanted this moment to last forever.




Chapter 2-


Nyx did NOT want this moment to last forever. She felt an agonizing pain, and she writhed.

 It was a dream, of course it was, but the pain felt so real!


She let out a scream, a plea, except it wasn’t a scream, it was a squeal. She felt trapped between claws. As she tried to slash out, she saw a pale face peering in, and felt a strong desire to call to her.


“Help me!” she wanted to yell, but she couldn’t, her mouth wouldn’t and yet the girl noticed the desperation that choked Nyx, and walked forward, tentatively.


“Hello?” the girl spoke in barely a whisper. Her voice was beautiful, soft, her eyes widened.


Nyx struggled to speak, frantic, trying to escape. Whatever this thing holding her back was, she wanted to get out of this abyss, this darkness that clutched at her.




A vice grip




The Girl moved forward, her eyes looking for some kind of restraint, some kind of boundary that stopped the black-haired girl in front of her.


“What’s your name?” the girl asked. Nyx knew she didn’t expect an answer.


“So… uhm, what's your hobby?” the girl asked conversationally, it made Nyx want to laugh out bitterly.




“I’ll go first, if you want?” the girl offered, undoubtedly awkward.


“I really like writing stories.” the brunette replied, twiddling her fingers, “Sure, it seems boring to you maybe, people say I’m weird for it… but it’s my hobby!”




Birdwatching is weirder






Nyx tried to say this, but her lips were held in place. A bird swooped past, a blackbird in fact and Ashley looked up to gaze at it, Nyx's vision allowed her to watch the bird as well, it was a sunny day, afternoon probably, as the sun was right in the middle of the sky.


“Hm. Birds are really smart, don’t you think?” Ashley smiled, before stopping herself and laughing, "That was really awkward, wasn't it? Out of the blue! I'd usually say. Oh well, I'm always like that," she chuckled.


Finally, ducking her head she bade Nyx farewell.




“I guess I’ll see you sometime later.”






Then she was gone. As if a petal in the wind, she left behind a ribbon of blue and red, writing inscribed on it, Nyx quickly picked it up, waving it around, searching for some sign of the girl, and then she was gone too, but less graceful.


Pain burst inside of her, layers unfolding, as if a rose's petals had slowly been torn apart, her limbs, her stomach, her head, all parts of her experienced this immense pain.




Chapter 3-


She woke up sweating and Sunny screeching from her cage. She looked outside.


It was very sunny.


So, she assumed it was the afternoon... which meant her parents had let her sleep in.



What a dream to remember!




Nyx got up, stretching, and realizing her fists were tight together, unclenched them. To her surprise, she opened one to reveal a ribbon of blue and red.




It was real! The dream was real! The silk girl was real!


Silk girl... Nyx liked that name, it sounded cryptic but also made the girl seem a bit friendly.


She stuffed the ribbon in her pocket.




“I have to return it!” she announced to nobody in particular, before rushing through her bedroom door and out of the house.


Once outside, she realized she had no idea where she was going, furthermore she hadn't even told her parents where she was going, but one look at that ribbon and she was convinced.




She remembered the dream vividly, and fact that writing had been inscribed on the ribbon.


She flipped it over.


Come and find me, birdwatcher.


A.D


Nyx groaned. This gave no insight into where she was supposed to go. She wondered how the silk girl had known she was a birdwatcher.


"Think brain, think! For once!!" she cried out.




‘Birds are very smart’ the girl had said, just out of the blue, as she would put it.




Random. Or was it? She had obviously known that Nyx was into birdwatching.




Due to Nyx having watched many, many, many shows, and she meant "MANY", she realized this was a puzzle.


"So TV does improve your smarts," she smiled, pocketing that information to tell her parents later on.






Maybe this was a game. A puzzle?


She reflected on their conversation. Maybe it could give her that one missing piece she had lost when she poured out the entire box of puzzle pieces.


She frowned, 'That's oddly specific", but she remembered it, the day she had lost ONE piece in her princess puzzle.

That had happened 8 years ago...


It was really infuriating.




Then again, maybe Nyx wasn't missing a piece of the puzzle, but a piece of herself.


She shook her head, "Definitely not a possibility,"




She smacked the side of her head, lightly, because she didn't want a bruise...


and she remembered.











Birds are very smart. 








A blackbird swooped overhead














The sun was in the middle of the sky






“Eureka!” Nyx cried out, she placed a hand on her chest, was she ok? She never said Eureka...She waved it off, "Oh n-never mind" she stuttered as she stumbled for words.




Nyx frantically scanned the sky, a black shape fluttered into view, it swooped, chattered and sang.


'How convenient' she mused.


She noted how it was afternoon as it had been in the dream, maybe everything DID fit together.




The bird flew... Nyx had no idea.


North. South. East. West. It all confused her, but she abruptly stopped... being a h-headless chicken?


Nyx brought out her compass.




The arrow-like sign swivelled around and around, taunting Nyx. This painfully reminded Nyx that the Blackbird was flying farther and farther away every second she wasted.


Finally, the hand rested on...




NORTH






Nyx ran after the Blackbird, which had nestled itself on a rogue tree, it swooped up and down as if taunting her before fluttering away.


After a few minutes of jogging after the bird, Nyx noticed a distant shape on the horizon.


It seemed to be leading her to a nearby woods.


She wondered which one before realizing it was...


Hackfall.


She remembered this because her father had taken her birdwatching on her birthday, early in the morning, the warm, not too hot, summer air of July, refreshing her face after a surprisingly hot spring.


They had sat on a log, bracken engulfing it whole, and watched as the sun rose, and with it flocks and flocks of birds.


They chirped, trilled, cooed and hooted, and it amazed Nyx, how many pelts flashed by her.


It was paradise.






Chapter 4-


As Nyx entered the woods, she had already started to doubt her plan and her evidence. How stupid of her! She could have accidentally grabbed that ribbon while she was going to sleep and could have dreamt about it because of that.


No, but she had never seen a ribbon like this in her house! Nyx attempted to convince herself, her eyes shutting briefly to concentrate on her so-called mission, instead questions welcomed her.


Why was she following a blackbird? What off-chance could this blackbird showing up mean anything? What a weird thing to do...


But she followed, navigating not by sight in the dark woods, but by faith, hope and trust in the blackbird.


Soon, the narrow path she was leading brightened, and she could see. Spring’s breath edged along the forest floor, bringing life to flowering plants, multi-coloured flowers, freckles shining and dancing along the petals playfully.


On the horizon, she saw the sun rising, rays filtering through the forest.


This gave Nyx energy, and she burst into a sprint. The blackbird glared back in her direction, before fluttering towards a house edged between the forest and a meadow.


An orphanage?


Nyx looked questioningly at the blackbird, but suddenly a pale face emerged from the dimly lit room and looked outside to the Blackbird, eyes shining in delight.


The silk girl watched the blackbird’s antics as it dove and soared.


Then the Blackbird flew out of sight of the girl and dove back towards Nyx, who sat now on the stump of a sad little tree. She could almost feel the small pulse of life coming from the roots, trapped there, nowhere the go.


She felt confused.




Chapter 5-


Her confusion turned to surprise as the Silk girl ran outside towards the forest.


Nyx quickly hid. She didn’t know why she did it, but it was instinctive. One thing to note was that Nyx was one of the most impulsive people she knew, then again, she didn't know many people.




The girl clumsily skipped over tufts of grass, her soft feet clearly unacquainted with the undergrowth, peering under fallen branches, and lapping up the picturesque scenery, her eyes brightening as she saw daffodils and daisies daintily waving in the wind. Wispy, willow trees followed suit, and soon the entire forest was greeting the girl.


A growl greeted the girl coldly, and a bear emerged, this put Nyx so off track she fell back in the dirt, darkness dappling its crimson coat. As if on cue, the girl also gasped and fell back, obviously regretting her choice to come outside, her gaze darkened. Nyx didn’t know what she was doing, but she rushed out, energy pulsing through her veins, in front of the girl, who yelped as she saw Nyx.




No recognition sparked in her eyes, it hurt Nyx a bit, but this did not matter.


All that mattered now was saving this helpless girl that sat slumped on the floor, not unconscious, but not unlike Nyx when she was unconscious in class, and in this story, the girl wouldn’t be hurt.


Nyx wouldn’t leave this girl to fend for herself. She felt herself burning with heat…


and…


everything around her burnt furiously. For the next minute she did not know what she was doing, she relied on pure instinct.


The bear bawled and jaws snapping turned heel.


Nyx fell to the floor, exhausted.


How amusing.


The end of the story just like the start.


Her vision blurred, and she fell into darkn-




Chapter 6-


Nyx woke up to the Silk Girl looking at her with anxious eyes. She smiled at her, her lips finally able to move.


The silk girl smiled back. “You’re okay! Thank goodness, I thought you were-”


Nyx put her finger on the silk girl’s lips and smiled jokingly.

“Ha! Did you even check my pulse?”


The girl grinned a bit. "No- I uh- didn't"


"You're so clueless,"




The girl was young and a fragile package. Not that Nyx wasn't... -she just hadn't considered herself a child for so long.


Plus, it would be best not to add more to the trauma of being attacked by a bear. That was a pretty big factor.


“Let’s start anew,” Nyx said, holding out her hand, trying to sound serious but it didn't work, the stress and pressure put upon her beforehand sent her into hysterical laughter, Ashley joined in, before brushing herself and extending her hand.


“My name’s Ashley, yours?” she tipped her head to the side as if trying to figure out the girl who stood in front of her.


Before answering, Nyx thought for a bit. Wow, her brain had such good timing, because this time, she was thinking deeply, contemplating the events of the recent days and what was to come. She also made sure to scold her brain for working now but not earlier on, when she needed it. 




Nyx was sure that this moment would lead to a long, loyal friendship between the two. She wanted this moment to last forever.


The last puzzle piece to discovering herself.


She was...


“Nyx”



May 30, 2021 13:26

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61 comments

07:05 Jun 07, 2021

HI! Saw you liked my story earlier and hopped on to read yours. It's really good! I love your descriptions of Nyx, but there are a lot of places you could improve. Keep writing!!! Kyla

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Ashley Daven
07:14 Jun 07, 2021

Thank you so much! I really loved your writing! Yes, I'm working on improving my writing consistency and definitely much more, there's so much more to work on, I don't think I'll ever be done!

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Arlex Rodriguez
06:08 Jun 07, 2021

I also ❤️ this story!

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Ashley Daven
06:54 Jun 07, 2021

Aww, thank you so much! I checked yours out earlier and I really loved your stories! 👍

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08:51 Jun 07, 2021

First off, welcome to the community. I'm relatively new, too. I must say I love this group. They're very supportive and full of useful critiques and wonderful stories. Secondly, I loved how you described Nyx. I liked the ending. Great job! Keep going! :)

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Ashley Daven
09:12 Jun 07, 2021

Thank you so much, your comment really lit up my day! I agree, I also love this community and the diverse and creative stories that are on this site!

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Aman Fatima
08:12 Jun 06, 2021

WOW!!! I love how you described Nyx and the flow of the story was great. I also loved how you broke the story into chapters that is a good idea. Great job for your first story. :))))

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Ashley Daven
08:14 Jun 06, 2021

Thank you SO much! That's really kind of you!!

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Aman Fatima
08:16 Jun 06, 2021

Welcome!:) Enjoy writing more stories!!

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Ashley Daven
08:19 Jun 06, 2021

Thank you!! Same with you, I love your stories :)

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Aman Fatima
08:55 Jun 06, 2021

Thanks!!

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Dhwani Jain
17:16 Jun 14, 2021

Wow! I really liked this story Ashley. Although, I would love to have had a bit of information on Sunny. The name, Nyx is so beautiful!!! Great job! Where are you from?

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Ashley Daven
12:38 Jun 15, 2021

I'm from the U.K. Asides from that thank you so much for your feedback, yes there will be more information on Sunny if I make a sequel to it, there's definitely more to the story. Thanks, I agree, I love the name Nyx.

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Dhwani Jain
13:22 Jun 15, 2021

Wow! This is the first time I am meeting someone from the U.K. on Reedsy. Would you like to do a collaboration with me?

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Ashley Daven
13:43 Jun 15, 2021

Sure! If you'd like to!

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Ashley Daven
13:43 Jun 15, 2021

What would it be about?

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Dhwani Jain
13:45 Jun 15, 2021

Anything...let's think about something... You can contact me through my blog: www.djdhwanijain.wordpress.com

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Ashley Daven
13:45 Jun 15, 2021

Ok, sure

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Ashley Daven
13:48 Jun 15, 2021

Though I would like to tell you, that at the moment I'm busy working on a project so may not be able to contact you are collaborate with you for a while. Just tell the details, if you could think of any. Like a deadline we could set?

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Hugo Millaire
12:29 Jun 10, 2021

Wow this is amazing I love the descriptions of Nyx, it was like poetry and the overall flow of the story was immaculat. Great job!

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Ashley Daven
13:18 Jun 10, 2021

Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comment!

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Hugo Millaire
16:20 Jun 10, 2021

Any time! Also little typo there meant to say immaculate :)

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Ashley Daven
16:28 Jun 10, 2021

Haha, it's fine!

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Hugo Millaire
16:49 Jun 10, 2021

Also I just wanted to thank you again for commenting on my story it's much appreaciated!

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Ashley Daven
17:04 Jun 10, 2021

It's no problem at all, I really enjoyed your story!!

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Liz Redt
07:41 Jun 10, 2021

Nice

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Ashley Daven
08:15 Jun 10, 2021

Thanks

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Bonnie Clarkson
21:52 Jun 09, 2021

Kind of a mystery. "her hair curtained" is good imagery.

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Ashley Daven
03:29 Jun 10, 2021

Thank you!

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Arkane ㅤ
11:24 Jun 08, 2021

As a writer of 3 years, the descriptions are deep yet short enough to digest–– you know most readers today, they have the attention span of a bird. Hope Jerry Jenkins sees this and gives you the recog you deserve. - Arkane

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Ashley Daven
11:56 Jun 08, 2021

Thank you so much for your kind words, I really appreciate your comment!

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Arkane ㅤ
11:29 Jun 09, 2021

Honestly you should go beyond short stories–– fantasy novels would be more your niche based on how you built the world in this. :) Go get J.K. Rowling's attention :P

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Ashley Daven
13:08 Jun 09, 2021

Haha, thank you, short stories are nice to write because they don't take much time and you still feel a sense of accomplishment once done, but I absolutely love writing fantasy novels, you're right!

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Ola Hotchpotch
20:25 Jun 07, 2021

The story is beautiful .

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Ashley Daven
03:09 Jun 08, 2021

Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comment.

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Drew Andrews
19:52 Jun 07, 2021

I'm glad you like my story (ies). Thanks for the follow... I will try not to disappoint. FYI... I enjoyed your story. I saw it going a different way...lol.... But you can see how my works in my stories. That and I'm a big fan of the poem : The Raven.

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Charli Britton
17:27 Jun 07, 2021

I really liked that! It's great for your first story. Yes improvements can be made, but even the most accomplished authors need improving. ;) In Chapter two, the beginning felt real. I really liked it, felt personal in a way. I love the little quirky hobbies as well. :) I look forward to reading more!

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Ashley Daven
17:28 Jun 07, 2021

Thank you! I agree, in fact, there are always improvements that can be made! I'm glad that you enjoyed the story! :D

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Charli Britton
17:34 Jun 07, 2021

Of course. :)

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Cole Lane
17:22 Jun 07, 2021

I'm sooo intrigued! There is something much bigger going on here? Her parents seem to know Nyx is changing somehow? She has the name of quite a powerful goddess of darkness, but Ashley seems like the balance to her darkness. I feel like they are the Yin and Yang for each other? I really liked the way you describe everything in her environment, being an outcast, the birds as a distraction/comfort. When she enters the forest and then into the clearing the atmosphere was so well set, it was easy to feel the change for me from what I thought wa...

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Ashley Daven
17:24 Jun 07, 2021

Thank you so much for your kind words! You're right in thinking there is a bigger picture and I will definitely be making a new story in continuation of Ashley and Nyx's adventures, though I'm not sure when, as I'm pretty busy at the moment. Also I'm glad that you saw how the two friends balance each other out, that's exactly what I was going for!

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Amel Parvez
16:58 Jun 07, 2021

Beautiful.

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Ashley Daven
16:59 Jun 07, 2021

Thank you so much!

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Amel Parvez
17:02 Jun 07, 2021

you are most welcome

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Francis Daisy
15:58 Jun 07, 2021

I love how you started with a quote. Your love of nature and bird watching seems like something you can tap into for future stories also... Keep writing! Your dialogue is fabulous and really helps to move the story along. Welcome to Reedsy!

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Ashley Daven
16:00 Jun 07, 2021

Thank you so much! I really love integrating themes of nature in my stories, it's definitely a running theme I'll be using, and again, thank you for your encouragement!

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15:46 Jun 07, 2021

Hey, I enjoyed reading your story! Great choice of words when Nyx comments that her classmates probably hate her with a "fiery passion".

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Ashley Daven
15:48 Jun 07, 2021

Thank you for your comment! I'm glad you liked my story. I really appreciate it! Just wanted to let you know, I really enjoyed your story as well!

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Esther Kurisu
15:35 Jun 07, 2021

I really enjoyed this story! I do have one suggestion, in this sentence you might want to put a comma after did. "She was in school sitting next to the same window as she always did watching the rhythmic sweep of the ashen curtain and observing the swooping gulls and pigeons fluttering and cooing."

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Ashley Daven
15:41 Jun 07, 2021

Thank you so much for the advice, I'll edit it on my draft of the story, and thank you for taking the time to read this story!

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Esther Kurisu
20:13 Jun 07, 2021

Of course! Anytime! :)

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Lavender Z
11:40 Jun 07, 2021

I enjoyed reading this story so much-you have serious skills!

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Ashley Daven
11:42 Jun 07, 2021

This comment means so much to me!! Thank you so much! Same to you, I read your book, and it has amazing and well-thought out descriptions!

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Spescozia Juma
10:11 Jun 07, 2021

Wow a beautiful story

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Ashley Daven
10:21 Jun 07, 2021

Thank you so much!

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Arwen Dove
08:55 Jun 07, 2021

Great job! Amazing story! :)

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Ashley Daven
09:13 Jun 07, 2021

Thank you!! I'm so glad you liked my story, and I also really loved your story "Someone to Believe in" it was a beautiful and touching story :)

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Arwen Dove
04:29 Jun 09, 2021

:) Thanks so much!

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