For the first part of the story “Lost Boy (Meeting the not-so-lost Girl)”, click here
Just when she was about to hand a piece to the boy, he remembered what her mother would always tell her, “Never share a piece of this special bread to anyone — especially to a boy without our blessing. We must meet and know that boy first before we decide if he is worthy of it.”
Remembering how crucial it is in her community to conform to social norms and whatnot, the girl told the boy, “Oh! I am very sorry. I am afraid this is a special bread that I cannot share with you. From where I am, we will be doomed if we do not do what we are told to.”
The boy who was hungry still respectfully asked, “so, that means you cannot share it with me, right?”
“Yes, unless my parents allow it. In that case, it means my community approves it, too.”, answered the girl.
The boy said, “That’s alright. From where I come from, every girl has it, too, but it is not treated as special as how your community sees it. It is just a common thing and girls can share it to whoever she likes — may it be needed or just wanted.”
The girl replied, “Yeah, my community knows that and they have educated and warned us about it. They say that there are places where practices and beliefs are totally different from ours. They warned us to always remember where we come from and stick to our ideals. They say those are what make us unique and different from others, otherwise, we lose who we truly are.”
The girl was putting the special bread back inside her bag when she noticed something, “Oh! but I have these. These, on the other hand, are not special breads. They are ordinary ones. Everyone, girls, boys, women, men, young, old, everybody in my community has them. We can just share it to any boy we like. Here, let me hand you some.”
The boy gladly accepted what the girl was offering. Although he thought it was not mainly what he needed at the moment, he said, “Thank you for these. I am just so happy that you are with me and that we are in this journey together. It would have been lonely if it was only me here.”
The girl just looked at him with a smile saying she was just as glad he was. They shared pieces of the common breads and then went to sleep to have a good rest to continue their journey.
Due to the exhaustion of their journey, they were able to fall asleep deeply right away. At dawn, the girl woke up and noticed that the boy was not where he was supposed to be. She got up and looked for him. The boy was just sitting on the stairs of the old abandoned house they are staying. The girl continued walking towards where the boy was. As the boy was so occupied, he did not notice the girl coming behind him. He continued saying his worries out loud, “My hands are just so tiny. From where I come from, people said that they are just too little for me. If hands are what we use to do work so we can buy and eat food, can I ever use mine? (Sigh) I bet special breads here are really really expensive. I just need to have one, right now and I will be satisfied. I wonder if she will let me have hers if I paid her for it.”
Since the girl was just one step closer to the boy, she was able to hear everything. In order not to embarrassed the worried boy, the girl went back to where she was sleeping. She pretended she was asleep. Few minutes later, the boy came and went to sleep. The girl also went back to sleep after the boy had arrived. They slept for another two hours.
The morning was bright and sunny. When the boy awakened, the girl had set herself ready to get back to the journey. While getting ready, she kept on thinking and feeling about how the boy might be feeling now. “I feel like I cause his worries. If I did not offer him my accompany, he might have been with someone whose willing to share their special bread now. He would not have to starve himself that much.”, the girl listening to her monologue in her head.
A few seconds later, she noticed that the boy is now awake, then, she took a few steps towards the boy carrying her backpack. She fetch something in it and said, “Here boy! I will share it with you —my special bread. I do not really care about what my community will tell me. My parents are compassionate. I am sure they will forgive and understand.”
The boy was shocked of what he was hearing, “Are you sure? Actually, I am fine. I am totally okay. I think I do not need it now.” The girl could not forget what he had heard from the boy last night and since that time, she had felt guilty for causing the boy the misery. She felt sad for the boy. She also felt responsible and felt like she had to do something for him. She was the one who invited him to be in that journey, after all and because the boy went with her, she did not have to be alone, anymore. She just felt like she had to at least prioritize the boy this time.
As her way of somehow thanking him or alleviating the sadness, removing the guilt feeling and taking pity on him, she told the boy to take it. She added, “Don’t worry. I think it is not as important as what my society is telling me. I’ll just pretend that I am not from where I come from. Here, take it. Let us share it.” The boy took the girl’s offer and they shared the special bread that morning.
On they went—continuing their journey. The girl somehow felt uneasy because that was the first time she disobeyed her parents and did something that if known, will dishonor her and her family in their society. Disturbed she was, she still always managed to make sure it was not obvious for the boy.
The journey was actually gonna take years and few months had already passed since they’ve been enjoying each other’s company. Every night, they would make a stop to rest together. They would take a rest whenever they felt they needed to. If they happen to be in a dessert, a farm, a forest and wherever, they just settle for a night rest. And just like their first night together, they always spent the night sleeping near each other. Little did the girl know that every night, when she was deeply asleep, the boy would actually wake up and go a block farther than where they were staying. The boy had to go to another girl he had met before meeting The Not-so-lost-girl. He knew that The Other Girl was also alone and having known that, he also wanted to make the other girl feel the comfort of having a company even if it was always for a short time. He made The Other Girl feel not alone just as how he had been feeling with the company of The Not-so-lost girl.
A few nights of the journey, while they were taking the night by the river, the boy …………….