Chapter Two

What Could Go Wrong?

There isn’t anything like the stress of meeting new people. You don’t know what to expect you do not know what kind of expressions you need to make, what kind of jokes you have to think of. Corny ones. Smart ones. The stress goes on.

But amazingly I didn’t have to be stressed at all. Frankly, when I arrived at the place Mr. Nicholas said to go. I just realized. I’m helping children. I am entertaining children. I didn’t need to impress them. I just have to be fun!

Dread rested upon my shoulders once more when I realized I haven’t been fun since 2007 and I was only nine. Funny.

I was corny in and out. No doubt about it.

The event was in a huge club house like place. It looked like a party already. “Some outreach they have, don’t they?” someone commented on my left.

A sweet woman, a kind face and an amazing smile. She’s beautiful. “The Reed Enterprise always have this each year. It get’s bigger and bigger each time.” We walked to the registration together. “It’s an outreach opportunity for rich children to volunteer at.”

I looked at her with huge eyes. She’s a rich woman?!  “Wait a minute, I’m not done,” she glances at my stare, “I’m not rich,” she continues and we sign a few things. “I’m one of the organizers. My huge eye stare return.

“I’m sorry I was rude, I’m Scarlett by the way, err,” I give out my hand, “ma’am.” She laughed and slapped my hand away. “Don’t call me ma’am geez, do I really look like forty?”

She laughed. “I’m kidding, it’s alright I’m young looking for my age,” She laughs again. “By the way Scarlett, who are you?” I gulped.

“Ehh, what do you mean?” I asked politely. The registrar gives us our ID’s. The lace was a cute red color and I loved it and my name was beautifully hand written. We walked inside while she answered, “you aren’t like our usual guests, we never invite small school owners, no offense, or even daughters of small school owners.”

Did she really need to say, ‘small school owner’ twice? Before I could snap back a man’s voice stops my reply.

“She’s a guest of mine.” We both turned around to face the eavesdropper. “Miss don’t you have an audience to attend to?” He said. Mr. Reed! She was so dumbfounded that she just squeaked a ‘yes’ and left.

“Mr. Reed! So nice to be a part of this. Thank you.” I say with a genuine smile. “We’ve been doing this since my great grandfather started it but I never joined except today.”

My  mouth opened, “What? Why?” My usual self was coming out and I need to hold it. I might get deported in my own country.

He looked me in the eye and said, “when I was a teenager I was supposed to join but something happened I ended up not going. Now though, I need to make sure someone goes.” vague was his words but I didn’t take notice because the first batch of teenage volunteers came in and I was shocked.

Daughters and sons of famous celebrities and politicians were here. Wow.

“Well I’m glad you get to go now Mr. Reed.” I gulped, “I think I need to go.” I pointed with my thumb when I heard the organizers calling all the volunteers.

“Go ahead. I’ll see you at the finish line Ms. Crest.” He nodded and walked away.

I walked further in the red carpeted hall and into the throng of people. The closer I got the more clear the voice of the announcer became. “There will be five hundred children coming today. Half now and half later at 4 o’clock.”

“There are only two hundred of us. So I kindly ask for everyone’s participation.” The announcer continued, “there will be a schedule posted so we just need to follow but please memorize so you don’t keep asking what is happening.”

She cleared her throat, “Lastly have fun and get to know the child you’re responsible for, make a change in their lives. Thank you.”

Two hours later two hundred children we’re fed, given gifts and of course sang to by a great band volunteer that we had. I got a girl and a boy. They were siblings. Ash and Ashley. “You’re so pretty Scarlett, I love your eyes.” Ashley said when I gave her, her gifts. “So pretty I want to marry you.” Ash added when I handed his gift. He was nine and Ashley was seven.

Their cuteness is deadly. I could have died. I simply laughed and they laughed with me. “Do you have a mommy Scarlett?” Ash asked looking down and then at Ashley, “Yeah Scarlett do you have a mom?” There wasn’t anything about it but there were sadness in their eyes when they said it and I knew. They don’t have a mom. “I do,” that’s the only thing I got to say because their time with us was ending and they we’re being called into the main hall.

“Everyone, children and volunteers, let us face our new friends and give each other a hug.” In which everyone did. I hugged Ash and Ashley and as they did my eyes caught something. Shades.

Shades inside the hall. I looked closely and realized it was Mr. Reed’s son. Why I’m sure he’s a sweetheart with the children.

Ten minutes later the children we’re off to their designated buses and back to where they came from. I went back inside and walked towards him.

He was looking down. His eyes completely hidden from me but I didn’t need a cold stare to understand he didn’t want company. His arms we’re crossed and the way he carried his shoulders. It all said. Keep away.

But all I could do was walk his way. Close enough I cleared my throat and he lifted his gaze to me. Silence.

“I didn’t know you were here.” I pathetically but honestly said.

He looked to the side and kind of smirked. His jawline, let me say, I could cut a watermelon.

Looking at me he said, “I didn’t know we allowed commoners in.” Damn. He is way up in his sassy throne.

I smiled. “Well I’m honored to be here anyway. So commoner or not I’m glad I’m able to meet the children and give them a reason to smile.” I smirked. Unlike somebody.

“Wait a second, I’m talking to one right now.” I added, his eyebrows came together in question and then his face went dead serious.

“Did you just call me a child.” His voice wasn’t questioning but daring me to agree. I laughed, “Why of course, broody, sulky and in need of sweet chocolates and hugs.”

That’s what I said last because the next batch came in and I quickly went in line. He tried to catch my attention by calling out to me but no words fell on his lips since he didn’t know my name.

Five minutes into the crowd I look back where I left him and he was gone. Wonder where he went…

The doors open and children in different heights and sizes elegantly walked out. The last batch was a bit rowdy but this batch seems nice.

Oh boy how I was wrong…


Well…things are starting to go, somewhere.

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