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By: Maria Karandyszowska

One Hand February 17, 2012 “Do you know why they left you?” someone asked. “What? Who left me?” I was curious. “Your parent’s silly!” they said. “They left me? When? How? Why?” I asked myself. “Probably for the same reason they left me. My dad was drinking and my mom, well, I don’t know!” She answered. “My dad doesn’t drink! He is a good man! Don’t you dare talk like that about my parents?” I turned around and they saw it. They saw one of my hands was “missing”. One of the girls said “I know why they left her! She doesn’t have a...” she was about to say her last word when one girl interrupted “Shut up Kate!” Then she turned to me and said “come on, you can sleep next to me!” She took my hand and led me to her bed. Under the bed there was an old brown box. It was dirty and ugly! She opened the box there were the most magical things I’ve ever seen! There were shiny rocks, and beads. There were some coins and ribbons, pencils, paper. There were random things that were so beautiful. She had photographs, post cards, stamps, EVERYTHING! I said “This is amazing!” She patted the bed next to hers which was a sign for me to sit on it. This was the beginning of Sally’s and my friendship! “Stop it!” I yelled. “Stop it now! Stop pushing and kicking me around” I screamed at Kate. “Why should I? I mean you are so useless!” she said and she added a horrible laugh to that. She made an evil smile and then poured a bucket of cold water on me. “Mrs. Johnson! Laura poured water on herself and now the floor is wet!!!” Kate was the meanest person I ever knew! She did even meaner things before. For example one night she put bugs under Mrs. Johnson's pillow and then blamed it on me! I heard the loud steps on the staircase, and I knew danger was coming! “What is happening over here!?” Mrs. Johnson asked. “Laura was kicking and pushing me, and I asked her to stop but she didn’t! And then she was so angry that she poured our drinking water on herself!” Kate was the best at lying though I don’t even know how pouring the drinking water made sense! “That’s a lie!” I protested! “How many times have I heard that one!” said Mrs. Johnson. “No! I’m serious! Kate did all this!” I was almost crying. “Kate would never do this! She is an angel!” an angel! More like a monster! She patted Kate’s long brown curly hair.

“Now Laura, you have to be punished somehow! Maybe the girls will think of something for you?” Mrs. Johnson gave them a chance to control me. “Hmmm... let me think...” started out Kate “How about you clean the floors in all of the hallways” “and the windows” added Claire “and the sinks!” added Andrea. “And then the toilets” said Claire. “And then, after all this work you will NOT get dinner!” All of them laughed. They sounded like hyenas. All of the girls walked away except Sally. She was so kind. She went up to me and whispered “Don’t worry. I will help you clean the floors and I will bring you some food.” She was the exact opposite of Kate. Always helpful and kind. I don’t understand why her parents gave her away, well, I know her father was drinking, but the mother was perfectly normal, I think. I cleaned the toilets first, to have the worst already done, and then I started with the the sinks and the windows. At last I finished! It was so quiet. Everybody was sleeping. The next day, I got breakfast. The day, as any other day was completely normal. Terrible. Work, work, work, I got punished, more work for me, and more work, work, work. Of course, there also has to be a terrible trick from Kate. Kate picked today. I was carrying a bucket of dirt that I cleaned away in the dining room, and as I was heading down the hallway, Claire put her foot under my feet, and the dirt from the bucket poured on to the floor where the girls were “cleaning”. They quickly called Mrs. Johnson. “What is this mess?!” “I think Claire can explain” said Kate. “I was cleaning the floor and then Laura came and poured this dirt onto where I was cleaning! I worked so hard and now my hard work is all ruined!” she lied. “I can imagine how hard you worked. Laura! Clean that mess. NOW!” demanded Mrs. Johnson. “Yes Ma'am” I answered. I bent my knees on the cold floor, and started cleaning the floor with my tears. When I finished I went to bed. The next day I lay in my bed because I woke up early and because Mrs. Johnson was drunk (again) and I wondered if anyone was adopted yet. I hope Kate will be soon, though I don’t think anybody will want her...or me. This is what I don’t understand. People say “it’s not about the looks!” or “don’t worry, they will love you, no matter what you are”! ALL LIES! I don’t have a hand and they didn’t pick me! They won’t adopt me! They didn’t choose me! Just because I don’t have a HAND! Maybe there is a reason I was born without a hand... Maybe I will be someone famous. Maybe, just maybe, I have a different talent, that will change my life forever! I just have to find it! What if it’s singing? I sang a little tune that I remember my mother used to

sang to me before I went to sleep. It came out o.k. What else is there? Dancing! I made some funky moves but then I tripped and I lay on the ground. I went back to bed and fell asleep. “What are you waiting for RAT!? Come on! Get up! I can’t use so much time on you!” shouted Mrs. Johnson. I stood up, and headed out the door. “Now clean the kitchen! GO!” she screamed at me. I went to the kitchen and started to clean the floor. I looked around. The kitchen was perfectly clean! I abandoned my job and went away. I went secretly to Sally so no one could see me. I went up, and whispered. “Hey, is Mrs. Johnson here?” “No. But Kate is and she is going to make a nasty trick if she sees you!” she warned me. “I had to clean the kitchen! It was perfectly clean.” I changed the subject. “Oh NO! Poor you!” she said. “I will just pretend I am cleaning the kitchen. She won’t notice!” we giggled a little and went back to our places. When night came I lay in my bed drawing some girls in fancy dresses. Their faces were similar to mine. They had long straight dark hair, they were skinny, and they had a hidden smile in their face. The only different thing was that they had two hands, not one. Sally tapped me on the shoulder. “What are you doing?” “I’m drawing!” I answered. “Let me see!” she asked. She looked at my drawings and said “wow you really have talent!” did she say that? Yes! I have talent! I was so happy back then! I hope nobody will adopt her and that she becomes my sister! We woke up, it was so cold! I looked at Sally. She was still sleeping. With her golden hair on her shoulder she looked like a princess. Suddenly she woke up. Jack was squeaking. She took him into her hands, and patted him on his tiny back. She put him in my hands and went up to the sink to wash her face. She looked at me and asked “Did Mrs. Johnson come in yet?” “No, not yet...” I answered. I put Jack back into the cardboard box. I fixed his little bed, and gave him some water. “He is so cute” I said. We played with Jack for a little while. He ran so fast to me and back to Sally. I looked at sally and said “We should run... we should run away and never come back! We should go on the streets and sing for money or something. Or, we can go ask for a job?! It will be great! We won’t be treated like rats and we will get food, and warmth! I will say you are my sister and...” “I don’t know Laura. This is a big risk and we tried that already and they caught us! They will catch us again!” Sally interrupted. “Why do you think that way? Why are you so negative? Why won’t you think about the goods and the better side of life...?” “Because life isn’t only about happiness and pink bunnies jumping around! You can’t think positively! You have to think realistically!” she screamed at me. “Maybe you are right... this won’t work, and nobody will adopt me...” I drowned in my thoughts.

“No, I didn’t mean that. It’s just, well, you know. Plus the day will come when you will get adopted. I mean, look at yourself. You are kind, sweet, pretty. I always wanted to have eyes like yours and hair so soft. You walk with grace and you are so polite! You are strong and confident!” She said. She was truly proud of her friend. “Let’s stay here.” I said “Okay, Goodnight Laura. I’m sorry!” said Sally. “Night night Sally. Thank you” I said. The next morning Mrs. Johnson burst our door open. Sally was right about everything “Come on darlings get up! Wakey wakey! It’s a beautiful day! Come meet me in my office!” she said. She was doing the sweet voice again. We woke up and went to her office. On the way I told Sally to not believe her that she is a nice person now because she is hiding something. She nodded. We came in. “Hi girls. Today is a big day! Do you know what’s happening?” she asked “No, what is happening. Why are you dressed so pretty Mrs. Johnson?” “Because a big group of people is coming and they want to look at the orphanage and choose some girls to adopt. Now before they do I have to teach you some things.” She? Teach us? No way! “What do we have to know?” Sally asked eagerly. “First you have to dress differently. Here are the dresses you are going to wear.” She said. Mrs. Johnson showed us these beautiful dresses. One was Blue and the other yellow. She also showed us the bows we are going to wear and the shoes! Truly saying, I was excited too. “First, you have to wash yourselves! Now go, go, go!!!” She let us out with the dresses. When we came out we looked like princesses. “Now this is what you need to learn. You love me and I am so kind. You don’t break anything, pull, push, and you don’t run in the hallways. You don’t make a lot of noise and you pretend to be little ladies. You are well mannered and you eat with a knife and fork. Get it?” Mrs. Johnson said. “Yup!” we both said. “Not “yup” but “yes” Now, Get it?” Mrs. Johnson said again. “Yes” we said. The time arrived. There were people dressed in rich suits and pretty dresses. The man had top hats and the woman high heels. The ladies had make up and beautiful hair styles. The man had polished shoes and white gloves. They looked wonderful. There was one pair of adults that didn’t have any exclusive clothes. They had kind faces. We went to stand by our beds because that is where the adults were supposed to meet us. I was next to Sally. People passed me. I was ignored. Then a pair of adults came to Sally. They asked “What’s your name?” “Sally” she said “What a beautiful name! And how old are you?” They asked “I’m eleven! This is my best friend Laura! She rocks!” she said randomly. I smiled. They looked at me and then took Sally to Mrs. Johnson. They took her away... It was over. With gorgeous hair like hers and two hands! Why wouldn’t they. Still, what was I expecting! That they will take me instead of her?! Yeah right. I looked around. All of the girls were talking to a person except me. Then suddenly someone tapped me on my shoulder and I turned around. There was the poor looking lady with her husband. “Hello and what is your name? How old are you?” they asked. Politely I answered “Hello, my name is Laura and I am eleven years old.”

“do you like it here?” They asked. “Well I’ve been here for around 5 years, so I am used to being here, but actually I hate it here! It is dirty and I’m always hungry.” I had to say the truth. They looked at each other in disappointment. “Would you like to stay with us? We have a home and food and we won’t treat you badly.” they said. I felt like this conversation was beginning to be very awkward but I didn’t want to stay here especially when Sally left. “Yes! Will you take me? Are you sure?” I showed them my hand. “Don’t worry child we don’t mind that. From all of these girls you look the smartest and the kindest” That was true since Sally left. Then I told them “I’ll just get my things!” They nodded their heads. I went to the kitchen because that was where Sally and I left our things. I opened the door and... I saw Sally. “What are you doing here?” She asked. “Well that is kind!” I answered. “I mean I am so sorry, but this is one in a life time chance! I can’t say no! They are so kind!” she complained. “It’s o.k. I’m going too!” I told her. She looked at me, run up and hugged me so hard I almost choked! “OH GOODY GOODY GOODY!” she said. “I am so happy for you! Who are the people that are__” “The poor looking ones. The ones that are not dressed into nothing fancy.” I said looking down at my feet. “Are you serious!? That’s great Laura! My “dad” is your “dads” boss! That means we will have the opportunity to meet. We will like always be together!” she smiled. I smiled too! We packed our stuff and went down. We went out with our families together. Before we departed, Sally told me “Here, I want you to have him. He will see me when I come over to your house. Don’t worry.” She gave me the card board box. Then she also gave me the pencil and paper. I told her “I don’t have anything to give to you Sally? I am so sorry!” She just smiled and looked at her parent’s. We said see ya real soon, and all the other “good bye’s”. When my “family” arrived home they showed me my room. It was beautiful. It had a big window a comfy bed with a cozy blanket. I had shelves with books, and a desk. I was so happy! I took out Jack. He was so cute. Days past. I was happy, but I really missed Sally. When will I see her? Every day I asked my parents when we can meet with Sally. They said “whenever your dad has still his job and the boss is free.” I waited for that day, but when the day came that the boss was free, Jack died, and my dad was fired...

By: Maria Karandyszowska

About the Author: The authorcalledMariaKarandyszowskagot this ideafrommovies andbooks she saw. Probablyyoucouldconnect tosome movies andbooks toolike “The little Princess” or“Annie”. The authoralsolookedoutside the normal worldthat she livedinandthought about the people that don’t have families orlive inanorphanage. The authorhopes that nowyouunderstand andthinkabout otherpeople too. The less fortunate thanyoubecause like Sallysaid, “Because life isn’t onlyabout happiness andpinkbunnies jumpingaround! Youcan’t thinkpositively! Youhave tothinkrealistically!” Youcanfindthe authorinWarsawPoland. This is herfirst short storythat she published. She hopes tomake manymore andtomake herreaders happy!

This story is about a girl without a hand. It is so hard for her living in an orphanage without any parents. She get’s bullied and worried. With only one friend, it’s a hard life.

One Hand  
One Hand  

This story is about a girl without a hand. It is so hard for her living in an orphanage without any parents. She get’s bullied and worried....