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September 29, 2013
~~The Ba Sing Se Orphanage~~
Sunlight shone through a window, spreading its warmth and happiness with every touch. Light pushed the darkness away, revealing the small room. A bed was in the middle of the room with the window to its right. To the left, was a drawer filled with books and maps. It was morning, just like any other, just as meaningless and depressing. From the window I could see children playing in the park, walking with their parents and smiling. I didn't have that luck.
Since you're wondering who I am, so, I'll tell you. My name is Doshin, I'm 12 years old and I am an orphan like the rest of the children here. When I was only four years old my parents died and I was brought here, to this place. It's not that I don't like it here, everyone is nice to me, they teach me and spend time with me. But, it's just not the same as having a family. I miss the...
"Hey Doshin, are you awake?" said Sai, my best friend and the only person I could relay to. "It's seven o'clock, if you don't hurry we'll be late for breakfast!" She's a sweet and kind soul, always looking out for me a helping me with my problems and dilemmas. "I'll be right there, save me a seat."... Now, where was I... Oh yeah, I was talking about me. Since I got here life's been so dull and boring.
Nothing interesting to do, almost no interesting books to read, and no peace and quiet, since I'm living with almost a hundred children... Well, enough chit chat, I've got to go, breakfast doesn't wait for anyone, especial in this place.
As I walk into the overcrowded cafeteria I could see Sai, still holding a seat for me. As I picked up a bowl of this delicious whatever it is and started walking towards my spot everyone stood up and started looking at me.
"Happy Birthday, Doshin!!!" everybody shouted. I actually forgot that it was my birthday. I looked around at all the faces that were looking at me, smiling with joy. I put on a smile, thanked everyone and sat on my reserved seat.
"Doshin, since this is your 10th birthday Shun, Li and I got you something," said Sai and handed me a wrapped package. "Open it, I'm sure that you'll love it." As I'm trying to open the package I'm thinking about what could be inside. No doubt some socks or maybe a piece of chocolate. Not that I don't like such things, but I feel, that I don't need so many earthly possession. As I finally managed to open the package I was amazed.
It was a book, and a real one. "We managed to get this for you, since we know that you like reading s much." Said Sai, the only person that knew me.
A book, a real book. Finally a present I liked. "We know that you like History so we got you this book. It's about the history of the Air Acolytes," said Lee, one of my friends. "Everything about the Air Acolytes is written in here. Their history, Culture, habits and philosophy," said Sai. I was amazed and speechless.
All that I could do was to hug my friends as hard as I could, with some tears of joy coming down my cheeks. As I thanked them I immediately rushed outside, to get some fresh air and to find a nice quiet spot in which to read, not such an easy task if you're living here.
Finally I found a perfect spot under the shade of the an Oak tree, sat down and started reading. As I started reading I couldn't stop. I read until Sai came and said: "Doshin, it's getting late and dinner's ready."
"How long was I here?"
"Almost ten hours," said Sai. As I stood up and started walking with Sai to the Cafeteria I couldn't forget about the things I read. The peace and tranquility of the Air Acolyte way of life, the idyllic surroundings of the Air Temples and the beauty of the landscape. There were only two pictures in the whole book, but they told me more that all of the 600 pages together. As I sat down and started eating my dinner I was in a different world. I was daydreaming about the Air temples.
As lunch ended I went straight to my room and read the whole book once more. After several hours of reading I finally fell asleep, dreaming about the wonderful life of an Air Acolyte.
The next day started like any other, with Sai waking me up and waiting for me, so that we could eat breakfast together. She asked me about the book and what was written in it and I gave her long speeches about every detail of the Air Acolyte way of life. As lunch ended I walked to my quiet spot in the Garden and just sat down and thought thing through. Finally after several hours of thinking I knew what I had to do, to get my happy life back. I rushed into my room, opened the top dror, took a small sack out of it and ran to the tailor shop, which was only about ten minute away from the Orphanage.
~~The Taylor Shop~~
When I got there everyone looked at me strangely, since I was breathing so heavily. "Do you want anything?" said an old lady.
I looked at her and gave her a picture. "Is it possible that you could make an outfit like this one for me?" The lady looked at me with an even stranger look than before and finally said with a smile on her face: "Let's get you measured." The kind lady measure every proportion of my body, which took only about five minutes but felt like an eternity for me. As the kind lady finished I immediately asked her how much is it going to cost.
The woman looked at me and seeing the look in my eye said: "Three copper pieces." I knew that she knew that I was an orphan so she gave me a huge discount. I paid her and started walking joyfully towards the Orphanage.
When I got there I realised, that there was still a really hard thing to do. I had to tell Sai where I'm going and why. All night I couldn't sleep, as I was thinking how to tell Sai that I'm leaving for good. The next three days passed as usual, with Sai waking me up, sitting at the same table and playing together all afternoon. I still couldn't tell her.
The next day I went to the Taylor shop and picked up my new clothes. I ran as fast as I could to the Orphanage, went into my room and locked the door and hid the package. I waited until eleven o'clock and then I went into the kitchen and grabbed some tea leaves. I went back into my room, locked the door and did something I thought I would never do; I shaved my head and put on my new clothes.
Since you're wondering what kind of clothes did I order I'll tell you... I ordered Air Acolyte clothes. The clothes were an exact replica to the smallest of detail. I put the Tea leaves into a small bag and put it into a pocked at the back of my new attire. The only other things that I took were a map, and the remainder of my money, all of which fit perfectly into my pockets. As I looked into the mirror I almost couldn't recognise myself. But there was still one thing to do.
I still had to tell Sai, but I couldn't do it. I took a peace of paper and wrote the things I wanted to say to her down and left it on my bed. I opened the window and started walking to my new home, the Southern Air Temple.
END OF CHAPTER ONE
|The Great Walk Chapters|
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