The world is wide from where you stand[/i]
Danielle looked up from her bed to see the door to her room opening slowly. The light of the bedside lamp illuminated the pink room plastered with awards, trophies, and photographs that all displayed her academic success. In the doorway stood her grandmother, a rather frail looking woman in her mid-seventies.
“I almost forgot to give you this.” Her grandmother said as she handed her a letter.
Danielle examined the envelope carefully before opening it. On the upper right corner there was a red and gold embossed logo that read “Ross Creek University”.
“Oh my goodness Grammy, why didn’t you give this to me when I got home?”
Her grandmother slowly sat on the bed beside her, “Well I couldn’t decide if I should give it to you or not.”
“Gram, it is honestly all going to be okay! There is nothing to worry about.”
“Nothing to worry about,” her grandmother said with a slightly elevated volume. “You haven’t witnessed the things I have. I don’t understand why you don’t want to go to school here.”
“If I go to university here my degree won’t be valid anywhere but here. You know how it works gram, I need to go there so I can actually do something with my life.” Danielle explained.
Her grandmother looked at her blonde haired granddaughter and smiled. She knew that there was no convincing her that there was any other option.
Danielle had worked hard since a young age to get into an amazon university. She had always been capable of taking on much more than her peers. Her grandmother’s health had been failing for quite some time which required that Danielle took care of herself most days.
“Okay, well lets open it up and see what it says.” Her grandmother said.
Danielle’s hand was shaking nervously as she tore the left side of the letter open and peeled the rather thick bundle of papers from within. She read the first line of the letter and suddenly began to cry.
Her grandmother’s smile then turned, “Oh honey it is okay, there are other options.”
Danielle shook her head before croaking out, “No gram, it says I got in!”
Danielle walked up to the brick house and rang the doorbell.
“Hey Dani! Sam is upstairs if you want to head up.” Sam’s mother said.
Sam had been Danielle’s best friend all the way through high school. They had been inseparable since the day they met in grade nine homeroom.
She ran up the stairs clutching the bundle of papers as she went. The door to Sam’s room was wide open when she entered excitedly and out of breath, “You…You won’t believe this!”
“Hey! I won’t believe what?” Sam said rather confused.
Holding the letter up she replied, “This! I finally heard back!”
Sam jumped up and gave her an enthusiastic hug, “Oh my God I am so proud of you! How did your Gram take the news?”
Danielle looked down at her feet and mumbled out a reply, “Well, she seems to understand now. She is worried about my safety on the mainland.”
“Everything we hear can’t be true though Dani. I mean, they can’t just abduct you and no one says anything!” Sam laughed. “So are you going to stay in residence?”
“They don’t get many littles applying to go there so they don’t have housing set up for us. I’ll just have to find an apartment or a room somewhere.”
Sam nodded, “Want to look online and see if we can find anything?”
“You know it!” Danielle replied emphatically.
Sam pulled out her laptop and loaded up Craig’s List, “So you are looking for a one bedroom close to campus?”
“Yep, or just a bedroom in a house.” She replied.
As Sam browsed through the ads one thing was becoming clear, finding an apartment that allowed littles was going to be rough. Many of the ad titles contained the phrase “No Littles” just as though they were denying access to a pet. The few apartments that did allow littles were in quite a derelict condition.
“What am I going to do Sam? This is bad.” Danielle said with a pained expression on her face.
Sam kept browsing for a few more seconds before she responded, “Well we will have to put up an ad and see if someone responds.”
Deep in thoughts of homelessness and lost opportunity Danielle responded softly, “Yea I guess that’s all I can do.”
Clicking the post ad button Sam started typing away at her computer,
“WANTED: APARTMENT FOR LITTLE ATTENDING UNIVERSITY IN THE FALL: Looking for one bedroom apartment or room in a house that is close to campus. I am enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program. I am a quiet girl who spends my evenings studying. Please contact me via e-mail please! Signed Danielle.”
For the rest of the evening the two spent their time talking about the possibilities of the future. Sam talked about going to the local university and studying nursing. She hoped to get a local job that would allow her to stay in the area. She had never been one for travelling outside of her comfort zone. Around nine o’clock Danielle packed up her things, hugged her friend, and headed home.
It was after seven when Pierre pulled into his driveway; it had been a long day of work at his medical practice. When he showed up for work that morning he already had a full waiting room of patients. He was one of only a few general practitioners in Ross Creek and this often caused him to take on more patients than he would like. His philosophy was that patients should have time to discuss their ailments in detail without feeling rushed but lately that was becoming harder and harder to accomplish.
His wife Allison would be home soon from her professor job at the university. It was near the end of the winter semester and she had been busy getting things ready for finals. This included marking and editing final papers, updating marks, and preparing the actual final that students would write in less than a week.
Just as he got the key in the large red door his wife pulled into the driveway in her station wagon. She got out carrying a brown paper bag containing their supper from the Kai Wing Chinese restaurant down the street from their home. It was tradition that on Fridays they would both get the number two special to celebrate the end of the work week.
“Hey Hon, how was work?” Pierre asked her.
Allison gave a huff and displayed a small smirk, “It was a long day but I got almost all my marking done for the semester.”
It was fairly uncommon for her to be behind in her work at any point because of her innate ability to organize and prepare for the inevitable onslaught of work that would eventually come her way.
“That is really good hon! I see you picked up our supper?” Pierre stated while brushing her brown curly hair to the side so he could give her a kiss.
After dinner the two of them sat down to a bottle of wine and their favourite television show, Trading Spaces. The premise of the show was to switch two families from different backgrounds and see how each of them faired. They would often switch low income families with high income families or city families with country families. In this particular episode one of the families was from the mainland and another was from the Littles Island.
“Those houses are so small!” Allison remarked. “I don’t see how a fully grown amazon could ever survive on that island for any length of time!”
“I know, that must be torture. Those doorways are tiny and those beds are just ridiculous!”
“Even worse is witnessing those littles try to navigate an amazon house! They can barely even get into bed or even use the washroom. I can see why so many of them get babied, they are so helpless in our world.” Allison stated.
Pierre thought for a moment, “Yea I can see that. I find it hard to believe that people just abduct them off the street without giving them a chance though. I mean, if they display the ability to get by then maybe they should be left alone.”
“Hon, look at them! Everything they do is a laboured effort just to get by. Getting onto a toilet is near impossible. It only makes sense that they are diapered. They need someone around to help them navigate our world and help them. It’s not fair to just watch them flounder around and struggle day to day.”
“No I get that hon, I just think they are capable of contributing to our society even if they need help.” Pierre said.
Allison watched the littles on the television for a few more minutes before speaking again, “Don’t you think they are adorable though? I mean, I just want to squeeze their little cheeks.” It had been a common occurrence lately that Allison displayed a maternal instinct. The truth of the matter was that it was impossible for the two of them to have kids. They had discovered this early on in their marriage when after several months of trying they finally broke down and went to see a doctor. The results indicated that Allison could not bear children and after this the two of them focused on their careers and put having children on the back burner.
Pierre smiled at his wife, “Yea they are cute. I could imagine one of them pitter-pattering around this house.”
Later in the evening when they were lying in bed Allison was browsing Craig’s List on her tablet. She really didn’t have an idea what she was looking for but she often found herself browsing the site just to see if anything worth buying had popped up. It was during this moment she happened across an ad labeled “WANTED: APARTMENT FOR LITTLE ATTENDING UNIVERSITY IN THE FALL”.
Why don’t you be you, and I’ll be me[/i]
Since the discovery of the Littles Island with the advent of satellite imaging technology in the early sixties, the world had changed dramatically. Up until that point the world had been advancing technologically at a rate that many felt was too fast.
Once littles were discovered there were many debates on what to do. It was determined early on that accommodating them on the mainland was going to be a problem. Much of the world’s technology had been invented and sized for amazons. Discovering a whole other miniature variation of themselves was not even talked about in science fiction literature up to that point and now here they were with a scenario they could never have imagined in a million years.
Given that the littles only accounted for a very minute portion of the world’s population it was not practical to change much of their infrastructure to accommodate them. Inventing highway lanes for a little’s car was preposterous to them. Adding something as simple as a bathroom sized for a little was clearly not going to happen because how often would someone actually use it?
The only solution that they could come up with was to keep on doing business as they had been. Amazons would have to help littles navigate through their world if that was required. Besides, plenty of amazon children who were similarly sized got by just fine this way. They had special chairs, booster seats, car seats, and similar things that could be adapted to suit a little. For most amazons this was the only solution and in their opinion if littles couldn’t navigate through their world than someone would have to take control and make sure they were getting the basic necessities. No self-respecting amazon would allow a little to struggle through life unfairly.
The morning light was just starting to flicker through the white curtains of the pink bedroom when Danielle woke up. It was her normal routine to wake up early even on weekends so she could really enjoy her day. She would often get up, brush her teeth, and then sit at her desk and browse the net for a while before she really started getting ready for the day.
When she finally sat down at her computer she noticed a new e-mail notification on her e-mail client. Although she often got e-mails, it was generally just a bunch of junk mail that was of little relevance. But, this morning was different.
The subject line of the e-mail read “Reply to Craig’s List ad number 409885”.
“Hi Danielle! My husband and I have a room available in our house for you if you are interested. We live close to the campus and I also work there so transportation to and from the campus would be taken care of. If you would like to discuss the necessary arrangements please give us a call at the number listed below! –Allison”
Danielle could hardly contain her excitement! She had spent most of the night tossing and turning because she was worried about the possibility that finding a place that would take a little would not be a reality. It was fairly evident that many of the places available on Craig’s List were not willing to accept a little signing a lease agreement. Having someone contact her within twenty-four hours was a blessing that she was not going to let pass by.
Opening up Skype she quickly located Sam, “Found a place already! Have to work out the details over the phone.”
About an hour later she got a reply from Sam, “First, what are you doing up so early? And second, that is awesome! Is it an apartment or a room? Any pictures of it?”
“It is a room in a house. The woman who e-mailed me back said their house is close to the university and that she works there. She offered to drive me there every day!”
“That sounds awesome Dani! Make sure you call today and get all the details. Hopefully it won’t be too expensive for you.” Sam said.
“Yeah I know, it should be fairly inexpensive though since it is just a room and not a full apartment. I’ll try to get a photo of the room or house from them. This is so crazy!”
“So what is the plan today? Are we hanging out?” Sam asked.
“Obviously we are! We hang out every Saturday.”
“Well did you want to head into town? We can go to the mall or something.” She stated.
“Yea, sounds like a plan. I really need to get some new shirts and things for the summer.” Danielle replied.
Early the next morning Allison and Pierre were sitting at the breakfast table. Pierre was looking his normal disheveled self with his scruffy need to shave face, hair going in all different directions, and a glossy look in his eyes. It was evident to anyone who ever witnessed this side of him that he was not a morning person. On the other hand, Allison was in a sing-song mood. She had got up early and made pancakes topped with fresh blueberries for the two of them to eat.
Looking down at her plate she began to talk, “So remember last night when you said you could imagine a little ‘pitter-pattering around this house’?”
Pierre looked up with a mouthful of pancakes and gave a confused nod.
“Well, last night after you fell asleep I was on my tablet surfing around on Craig’s List. I found a wanted ad looking for a bedroom that would take a little. She is going to the university this fall.”
Looking at his wife he could see this was something that she was excited about. “Hon, that’s a big step for us.”
“I know, but I really think it’s time. I have been feeling like we both are thinking the same thing – we are financially set up and we are still young enough to keep up with a child.” Thinking that he needed further convincing she went on, “I am about to have the summer off so I will have plenty of time to prepare for her arrival and that lets me make sure everything will be perfect.”
When he thought about it he really couldn’t see why they shouldn’t take in somebody but he needed to make sure his wife was on the same page as him. As he had mentioned the previous evening, it was important to him that they didn’t just go abducting an unsuspecting victim off the street. “I am all for it dear, but I want to make sure that you are on the same wavelength as me.”
Allison nodded, “Okay what are you thinking?”
“Well for one, she needs to be aware of the conditions of her living here and she must be okay with them.”
“I agree, that is extremely important to me as well.” She replied.
“And second, if we are basically adopting this girl we need to make sure she is living up to her potential. She can’t just be babied all day, she needs to have goals and aspirations of her own. Yes, she will be our daughter who we dote over but she will also be working on her own things.”
“Totally agree with that. We would need to make sure she is safe too Pierre. We can’t have her getting hurt in our house. Imagine a little falling out of bed at night or trying to climb onto the toilet? She could break their neck from those heights!” She exclaimed.
Pierre listened intently before replying, “It sounds like somebody has really put a lot of thought into this. If this is something you really want, then I am all for it. I’ll let you take care of the preparations and you just tell me what to do. We’re in this together.”
Getting up from her seat Allison walked over to Pierre and hugged him for everything he was worth, “You are an amazing man, you know that?”
Smiling at his wife he replied, “And you are an amazing woman! I am the luckiest man alive.”
Around noon that day the two of them decided they would go shopping. They needed some ideas for Danielle’s room and they also needed some groceries. The two of them were absolutely beaming as they exited the house and got into the car.
When they returned there was a message on the phone, “Umm Hi, this is Danielle. I am calling about the room that you e-mailed me about. If you can just give me a call back that would be great!”
To Be Continued