Katia grew from a broken home. Then again, would you really call it a home? When you never went home to begin with.
Her mother and father left her behind in the world. Taken to the US to foster homes. She was put for adoption and never chosen.
If you had to describe her, she would be a punk, quiet, but she is honest. That's something she learned in the streets. Instead of hating the world.
She learned to love it. Sometimes in order to see beauty you need open your eyes to the twisted nightmares.The streets are her home.
Until she was 16, she broke into a house. She was caught by the owner. Her name was Gunny. Oh, how I still miss her till this day.
The day I felt human..
As street trash, normally people ignore me, some threw food at me, laughing. It's not at all to bad, at least I got food for the day. Homeless life, is never easy. But then again,I got a spot I break into daily. No one is ever home. I wonder if the owner had gone and died or something. I seen pictures of her, well I think its a her, you never know these days. I broke the usual window.
Every time I come back it's always repaired. I figured, they fix security here. Maybe add a camera? But nope, nothing. I walked into the kitchen humming to myself, checking if there was food in the fridge.
I reached and made myself a sandwich. I took another look again and saw juice as I reach for it. My eyes caught something in the hallway. A woman stood there. Her eyes met with mine and the fear came creeping in. First thought in mind, "The sandwich jumped in my mouth?! what the elf, why did think that. RUN ,you idiot, RUN"
Gunny saw me breaking in, stealing only food. She looked at me in wonder. Told me not to run. I stood there with a sandwich in my mouth. Nodding away.
She could of called the police. But she didn't ,why? Why was this woman different then the others. That's where I learned that kindness comes in may forms.
She spoke as I ate away, asking me questions, if I kept breaking in. My replies were answered with only nods, "I kept thinking to myself been breaking in over a year."
I mean, I never seen anyone home. She told me, she works as a translator. She normally is gone for weeks at a time. Even months.
That would explain the spoiled food I found at times. She spoke multiple languages. English,Korean,Spanish,Russian,Vietnamese,Japanese. She also had medical degree. But, she told me it wasn't her passion. It was meeting others and speaking in other languages. It amazed me, how someone knew so many languages. She would try to get closer to me, I would move away. She finally gave up and said "well, its raining out. Why don't you stay the night. You can sleep on the couch but if you are, then you are in need of a shower. I'll lend you some clothes." I stood there backing out slowly, she walks away and back with a towel and set of pj's. Then she pointed to the bathroom. I looked at her and nodded again.
I kept my eyes on her as I walked into the bathroom thinking to myself "what I'm I doing. She could set a trap. But then again she didn't call the police yet. She didn't kick me or treat me like trash.
Maybe, just this once I can believe in the good. I should give this a shot. It can be good. I'll try it.. "
I showered, oh, how it felt great. Warm water, washing all the dirt off my hair. I had forgotten what color it was, brown. As I stepped out I saw the mirror, it's the first time
I looked at myself. I saw my hair was covering my eyes. Have they always been green? The world looked so dull for the longest time. For the first time I see everything in color.
What is this warmth I feel? Is there something wrong with me? Maybe it was just the shower.. I walked out holding my old clothes, she said "put it in the laundry and come in here." I dropped them in a basket and walked cautiously towards her. She kept smiling for some reason, as she spoke asking away,
"My name is Gunny, and you are? I'm sure you can speak." I froze again.. "should I speak to her.?" She said looking at me. "Oh wait!! I know..."
Walked back in with coconut ice creme. She spoke again, "if you say something, I'll give you this.." I looked at her in wonder. Then kept thinking to myself. I mean I'm not going to sell out to ice creme. Then again, I would love to try it.
My thoughts kept playing, jumping everywhere, " Don't do it, don't open up. you are going to regret it." But then again.. Ice creme...
I'm going to hate myself for this. I spoke quietly. My name is Katia.
She smiled as she handed me the spoon. Katia, what a nice name. Do you have a last name.
I nodded no.. She said, well if you earn it I'll give you one, deal?
My eyes locked to hers as I wonder. I just ate away. I can't believe I sold out for ice creme. sucker..
From there, she was nothing but kind, we build a friendship. She would leave on travels and trusted me out of no where.
Maybe she was lonely. As time progressed, I would welcome her home. I felt like a cat, waiting for her to come home.
She cut my hair and showed me how to wear makeup. Finally, after a few years she asked me to start going with her in her travels. She would bring me books, for me to study.
I learned on my own how to speak Spanish, it felt natural. I had asked her, if she could help me find anything about my past. She did. She found my birth certificate.
My mother and father died a few years back. I didn't know them, but I cried. Because for the longest time, I wanted to meet them at least once.
Than again. That was a wish I had a long time ago. That night, she cooked and told me so how would you like to take my last name. I'll adopt you.
I'll take you with me in my travels. But, you need to do studies. Become a translator and help others in need. I couldn't refuse. Katia Soto, I finally belong somewhere.
Life goes on...
My first time in the field with her, I get to see her work. She spoke to everyone like she was friends with them. Introduced me. Can this be real? Its been what, a year or four.
I seem to lost count. Days became weeks and weeks became months, even the year mark passed. I felt like, I was living a dream. I actually never wanted it to end. I got to be on a plane, and it felt like I could see the world from afar. I did actually imagine what it would be to fly. Maybe touch a star or two. I am getting used to this. We arrived at Sochi, Russia. I tilted my head peeking, at her destinations on her tablet, saw we were headed to lake beloe next. As soon as we finish with work today, I asked her"whats in Lake Beloe?" She said it was a surprise. Since, I did a good job on my studies. I was quite intrigued. I was being rewarded for doing my best. I never seen anything like it. I do admit. I can't wait what more unfolds. We stayed in sochi for 3 days. After that we traveled by bus to Lake baloe. It was beautiful. Not many places here, a couple of cabins. The scenery of the lake it looked very serene. The wind blowing through my hair, and the gaze of the sun rays, shining between the tree branches. I stood there as I asked gunny, "What was across the lake?" She replied, "that is a place called Belozersk, Chernarus, its our next destination."
Unravel the world...
Then after that, everything went blank.. I woke up a hospital. My first reaction is panic. I asked, "where gunny is??!!" I kept searching the room frantically for her. All I see is 4 people holding me down, cloth curtains, the smell of disinfectant. Where I'm I?? They were speaking something, I completely didn't understand. I spoke again,
"Where is gunny??" Finally someone who spoke english walked in. Told me to calm down. There was an accident. I was the only survivor. I remember, how fear felt again.
For the short time I lived with gunny. I'd forgotten fear. The woman looked at me, with sadness in her eyes saying. "Your friend died. The world isn't what you think it is." I asked in
disbelieve, confused "where I'm I?". The reply was Belozersk, Chernarus. I remember I passing out. Waking up once again, thinking, "I was living in just a nightmare." Then submerged myself into a slumber once again. I woke up again, I pinched myself, this all this, was real. This is the reality I have to face. I been given bad cards all my life. I just wanted my little piece of heaven. It took time to accept to finally realize that I need come back to earth, to accept the hand that I been given, I wasn't angry.
I was just mad that time was taken from me. I wanted to do more. But this is the reality I have to face.
Remember, what gunny taught me. The world is beautiful, you just need to stop and look and you will see that there is more to it then meets the eye. I'm going to keep that legacy alive. The only way I can preserve the memory of her. It's by staying alive. I celebrate her, I celebrate the living by remembering them. As time went by I started to open up, I learned little to what happened. We heard radio frequencies, emergency broadcast, then everything went silent. I heard rumors from other patients and staff members. That the world out there ended. For the longest time, I thought this place was going to be safest place to be. In the end, I needed to move away from such a populated place. If such outbreak is happening. Then, this is a perfect spot for the disease to spread. I was begged by staff members to stay. I agreed to stay for a few months, learning as much as I can. Helping as I can. As I assisted, I gathered traits from the nurses, learned how to clean wounds. After a long hours assisting best of my ability. All my thoughts turned to gunny at night. I know she would be proud, I learned basic medical training. It's better then nothing. I knew my time here was running out.
They had food,water, shelter. They also boarded up the walls. I actually started listening to the patients and hearing them, talk about leaving. Food was running low. A lot of remaining occupants are elders here. They wouldn't survive out there. I think its time for me to take my leave. Leaving with little to nothing. I spoke to everyone and told them I'll be on my way. I thanked each and everyone for helping me in my hour of need. But in the end, I need to see for myself. I value every person I met back there.
If the world is really ending. Shouldn't we go, and help it?
Only time will tell.
Time, I wish I could reverse it.