“Okay, why don’t we start doing the project?” Ethan asked, dropping paper on his desk, which he moved in the middle of his room. It was big enough to fit the five of them easily, well, if one of them sat to the side they could.
It’s been four days since Hana had told them about the death of her sister and her own near-death. For the first two days, Hana had tried to avoid them. It didn’t work since Anna and Nick or Sam and Ethan would be there pulling her into a conversation. The four friends didn’t want to start all over again with Hana, most of them saw her as a little sister.
On the third day she gave up, even she could see and admit that they weren’t going to leave her alone. So she started hanging out with them during breaks. For the first time, since Lila’s death, Hana felt truly carefree and happy, even if was during school hours and maybe a few minutes after school when she has to stay back a bit. Hana had to admit that she loved being around them and it was great to have them as her… friends.
When Friday came around everyone agreed to go one of their houses to do the history project. On Thursday they agreed to go to Ethan’s house, since it was closer to the school. His parents were more than happy to have his friends over, Ethan didn’t have many and they loved the ones he did have. This is how Hana ended up getting more bear hugs than she could count and by Ethan’s parents, Adelaide and Christian. Both had taken an instant liking to the small girl, mostly because of her childish appearance. Both had fussed over the girl, like they were her parents, in the end Ethan had to rescue her.
Ethan saved Hana by telling his parents that they had a project to work on, which is how they ended up in his room and not the living room. They were trying to get some work done. The key word is ‘trying’, because Anna and Sam were looking at things that Ethan had, from a family vacation to Africa and his birth place: Australia. Hana on the other hand was being lazy - her head was leaning against the cool wood and was resting in her arms as she took a quick nap. Ethan and Nick had to bring everything back to the task, again, so they could get some of it done.
“Hana,” Ethan said shaking the girls shoulder “Time to get up.”
“Five more minutes mum,” Hana muttered shifting her head on the dark cherry wood.
“We’ve got a project to do,” Ethan sighed pulling the girl into a sitting position and taking the seat next to her “And if I remember correctly; it also counts for your grade.”
“Okay,” Hana yawned ripping her eyes “I’ll work, don’t get your pants in a twist.” This caused Ethan to narrow his eyes at the girl, before sighing. He knew that Hana wasn’t awake enough to take any notice of where they were.
“Come on Anna,” Nick called to the two that were on the right side of the room, looking at the stuff that Ethan had gotten from Africa “Sam, we’ve got work, you can look at Ethan’s things later.”
“Okay Nick,” Anna giggled walking over to the group before sitting next to Nick and facing Hana and Sam in the middle of Ethan and Nick at the side of the table.
“What’s first?” Hana asked looking at Anna for the answer.
“I guess we should do first to fourth generation,” Anna said getting a piece of paper for the three on her side, while Hana got paper for Ethan and herself.
“I guess,” Hana said as she wrote her and her sisters name at the top of the paper than writing down her parents’ names and their siblings.
“Can we tell everyone what the countries are?” Anna asked Ethan.
“That would make drawing a world map easier,” Nick pointed looking at Anna, something flashed in his eyes, but it was gone before Hana would see it.
“So, first than second and so on,” Ethan said
“Okay,” Anna said “My sister and I were born in America, but our parents were born in India. My mum’s side of the family all come from India. Dad’s grandmothers came from India as well, but my grandfather’s came from Spain and he met my grandmother in India and they married.”
“My turn,” Nick said pointing to himself “I was born in America as well. My father’s side of the family always lived in Russia. My mother was also born in America, but my grandmother was born in Iceland as was the rest of her family, my grandfather met my grandma in America after getting out of Afghanistan.”
“Why, did your grandfather have to leave Afghanistan?” Anna asked they really didn’t talk about their families, because with some of them it was a very touchy subject.
“Don’t know,” Nick said “Never really talked about it. Sam?”
Sam nodded and gave Hana the note that he had written, he knew Hana would read it for him and wouldn’t need him to explain what he wanted her to do with the piece of paper.
“Both my parents and I were born in America. My mum’s side of the family came from Germany, my grandmother and grandfather wanted to get away from the Nazis.” Hana read, she know what it was like when your family was treated poorly for being different “My father’s mum came from Poland and his dad was born in Austria, both of them meeting in America.”
“My parents, grandparents and I were born in Australia,” Ethan said “my great-grandparents from my mum’s side came from Britain.”
“Father’s?” Hana asked
“Forgot,” Ethan whispered “his parents met in Australia, grandma came from Spain and grandpa from Africa.”
“My turn?” Hana asked wishing that her family history was a little more inserting, but it wasn’t and she hoped it didn’t bore them too much.
“Yes,” Ethan said tapping his fingers on the desk..
“It’ll be short,”
“Why would it be short?” Nick asked the girl, it seemed she was trying to avoid the question, but would she do that?
“I’m sure,” Hana sighed “that the teacher doesn’t want us to go back about twelve thousand years ago, just to find one migration in my family history.”
“Twelve thousand?” Ethan asked getting sick and tired of this game and was hoping that Hana would get to the point.
“That’s when they came from Asia,” Hana said “don’t know what part of Asia, but I think near India.”
“Stop dancing around the point,” Ethan growled pulling out of his seat and pulling Hana over his shoulder “I’ll only put you down when you tell us.”
“Okay, okay,” Hana laughed, but in truth his shoulder was digging into her stomach and it was starting to hurt “I’ll tell.”
Happy with the results, Ethan put the girl back into her chair, laughing as she pouted at him “Evil Ethan,”
“Just tell Hana,” Anna laughed at the two, shaking her head “They won’t hate you for it.”
“Hate?” Nick asked Anna, before turning back to Hana “Please tell us. Stop with the teasing.”
Shacking with silent laughter, Sam was hoping that Ethan would just tell Hana how he felt, but knowing the tall Australian he most likely would not, he didn’t know himself. That boy really didn’t understand emotion, but he was getting better at it.
“Native American,” Hana sighed, same people didn’t react well when they found out she was an ‘Indian’, one woman even spit at her, spit because her people were here first… why they helped the French, she’ll never know.
“And here people told us that the Inca’s were all gone,” Nick said trying to lighten the mood.
“No… the Inca’s were killed by the filthy Spanish,” Hana giggled “American Indian.”
“So is Gwenelda your last name?” Ethan asked raising an eyebrow
“I remember the teacher asking you how to pronounce your last name,” Anna said putting her hand on her chin remember the day when Hana moved to the school.
“Nope,” Hana said popping the ‘p’. “Not many people can say my last name.”
“What is it?” Nick asked
“Makkitotosimew, Gwenelda is my middle name.”
“So Shahana Gwenelda Makkitotosimew,” Anna said causing Hana to look at her with wide eyes “What?”
“You could, you could say my last name,” Hana stated, if the person wasn’t Native American they couldn’t say it and most of the time even they couldn’t.
“That’s easy Hana,” Anna laughed “my last name is Chandrika, Aashiyana Tamanna Chandrika is my full name.”
“Thank you Hana,”
“Might as well, Nicholas Dusan North Luna,” Nick laughed pointing to himself than pointing to Sam “And he’s Samuel Ryan Sanders.”
“Ethan Athan Bailey,” Ethan sighed when Nick looked at him “also you can leave your family trees here.”
“And you’ll bring them to class?” Hana asked the taller brown-haired boy.
“How did this start?” Anna asked as she giggled into her hand
“I don’t know,” Hana said “think it was because you said my last name, and then said yours to show me why you could say mine.”
“Come on guys,” Ethan said, putting a large piece of paper on the desk, as much as he loved learning about their youngest friend, they had work to do. “We need to draw a map. Mr Lee said we’re not allowed to use pre-drawn ones,” looking at Hana as he said this. The girl had tried to pass something from online off as her work a few times.
“What’s with that look?” Hana said looking at Ethan like she never done anything wrong, it wasn’t long before she was cracking up laughing “Okay, okay, sue me. I don’t like homework or school work.”
“You need to work,” Ethan told the girl while Sam wrote something in his notebook “and pay attention in class.”
Tugging on Hana’s sleeve to get the girl’s attention gave her the note.
“Thanks,” Hana said reading the note “Ethan is right, you know? You’re smart, you even skipped a grade, but if you don’t start doing school work, you’ll fall behind. The heck. Since when do you agree with Ethan?”
Sam didn’t react to Hana’s outburst, but he was silently laughing at the face Hana was pulling, seeing this Hana just pulled another face getting more laughter from the silent boy. Something was wrong, but Hana wasn’t telling them anything so they couldn’t help and he hated the fact that someone was causing the girl harm, even if it was only a thought.
Anna didn’t like the idea that Hana didn’t trust them. It was almost like Melisa all over again and no one should have the fact that Melisa did, the poor girl wasn’t around anymore and Anna didn’t want to lose anyone else.
“You know Sam and Ethan are right,” Nick said poking Hana’s forehead challenging her to deny it. Huffing, all Hana did was lean against her chair, looking at the green paint on Ethan’s bedroom walls and then out of the window where the landscape was white with snow. It snowed last night, but once again not enough for a snow day.
“Fine,” Hana pouted at them.
“Let’s get to work,” Nick jokingly ordered, looking at the piece of paper with lines drawn on it.