I managed to scream but I couldn’t move. Noah came running over and asked what happened. I looked at him and said “I broke my bottle.”
He said “I’m sorry. I’ll help you clean it up.”
‘NO!” I said. When I said that, I could tell that he was puzzled. I said “let’s go read our ancestry tests.”
He asked “are you sure you don’t you want to clean this up first?”
Again I said “no. I want to wait. When I clean it up, it will be real and I’m not ready for it to be real just yet. You have to remember. I’ve had that bottle since I was eight years old.”
He gave me a hug and told me that I was going to be alright. Of course I was going to be alright but I had just destroyed something that had been a part of my life all these years.
I felt like I had failed as its guardian.
I settled down and we were ready for the big reveal. He had the idea that we should switch. He would read mine and I would read his. Then we flipped a coin to see which one of us would go first.
He won, which meant that he was holding my heritage in his hand. He opened it and suddenly got this serious look on his face. I said “what? What is it?”
He shook his head and said “well…it says that you are 50% European, 45% Irish, 38% Scottish, 53% French and 98% pure Martian.”
I threw a pillow at him and said “seriously. What does it say?” He laughed and said “it says that you are 45% Irish, 38% Scottish and 17% French Indian.”
“I knew it!” I said. “I told you that I had Cherokee blood.” Noah smiled and said “I don’t think the Cherokee originated in India.”
I got that famous pouty look on my face. I had never lost the ability to be the queen of “poutdom.” I said “pffft. So my grandmother lied to me when she told me that my great-grandfather was Cherokee?”
Noah said “maybe, but at least we now know that you get that pouting from your Irish blood.”
It was my turn to read his. I started reading and said “wow. You are 95% Scandinavian!” Noah said “don’t tell me. The other 5% is that sideways gene.” I laughed and said “no, it says the British Isles.” I said “you know when you think about it, you do look Scandinavian. You could be Norwegian or Swedish or Danish.”
All he said was “I guess. Let’s go clean up your bottle. You can’t just leave it laying on the floor.”
I had been able to forget for a while but he was right. I couldn’t leave it laying on the floor. We walked over and I just stood there, looking at it. Noah came in with the broom and dustpan. What I feared when I was a little girl had happened. I had just released something sorrowful…I just knew it.
I picked up the folded piece of paper, yellowed with age and held it in my hands. Noah said I should go sit down and read it. “But what if it’s something private?” I asked. “What if it was meant for only one person to read?”
Noah said “I have always thought that everything happens for a reason. I think it was meant for you to find that bottle and I think the message inside was meant for you to read. Why else would someone go to the trouble of sending it out to sea? They wanted it to be found.”
Noah always had a way of making me feel better…a way of making the world make sense…a way of making me feel special, like telling me that this note was meant for me.
I sat down and carefully unfolded the paper.
He came in and asked what it said. “I don’t know,” I said. “What do you mean you don’t know?” he asked.
“It’s in a foreign language.” Noah looked at it and said “I’ll bet we can find a professor at the school who can translate it.”
I said “I can read Scarlet Rose but I have no idea what the other words say.”
I stared at the words and wondered who wrote them so many years ago.
Jag heter Scarlet Rose.
Jag bor i Sverig.
Jag är ensam.
Vill du bli min vän?
To be continued______________________