Why A Child Is A Gift

Terry
city.boy@blueyonder.co.uk
© 2011

The story you are reading is fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are purely from imagination and are for pleasure and are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locality is entirely coincidental.

I hope you enjoy this story. If you do please let me know. I write to give something back for the pleasure I have received.

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Why A Child Is A Gift

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I remember the child was just shy of 12 when she first came to my home. She was very quiet and withdrawn. She was small with blonde curly hair, weighed about 75 lbs, very thin and seriously undernourished. She looked more like a 9 or 10 year old. She was wearing a light tan dress, (which was the only thing she had) and barefoot as she had no shoes.

Her name was Lisa. To get away from an abusive father. Mom was just getting them anywhere so there would be no more abuse. While driving out of town, her mom was killed by a drunk driver travelling on the wrong side of the road.

Her relations on her father's side refused to take Lisa as part of their family. As there was no known family on the mothers side, I was asked if I would take her in, I agreed as I am a registered Foster Parent.

I went to pick her up from the hospital to take her home, she was pretty much healed. I was told when they brought her in, they had found bruises and scars on her body that were not consistent with the accident.

"Hi, I'm Peter. I've come to take you home with me. You are a good looking boy?"

"I'm a girl," she said emphatically.

I grinned. She rolled her eyes and giggled then said, "You're silly."

"You want to get something to eat?" I asked. She smiled.

"Thank you," she said.

We went down to the cafeteria. I had coffee and Lisa had some orange Juice with ham and eggs. When she had finished eating we went to get her the clothing she desperately needed.

Before we go any further, my name is Peter Carlyle. I am 35 years old. I reside in Bellflower, Lakewood, Los Angeles. I moved here 5 years ago after my Dad died. My Mom having died two years earlier. Dad had left me enough money to be financially independent for life.

The reason I moved here was simple. I like the seaside, walking down the beach with sand under my feet, the smell of salt water and swimming.

Now don't get me wrong, while I know I have to shop (I just don't like doing it). But shopping for a girl, Well you know what I mean I hadn't a clue where to start. We went to the mall and I found the store I was looking for, (well Lisa found it). After wandering around the store while she looked at all the fashion on display for about 10 minutes, that was enough for me.

"OKAY," I said, and found an assistant and got her to help us to find what was needed for a young girl.

Again, let me tell you about Lisa. She was 12 years old. Her Dad was very abusive. Her Mother had just been killed in a head on crash. When Mommy wasn't around Lisa had got the short end of the stick, and was beaten incessantly by her Father. I would love to be left alone with the man for just five minutes.

After Lisa had run the assistant a merry dance we walked to the checkout and paid. She was a small version of my ex wife for spending. The two of us started loading the bags of shopping in the trunk, then went home.

By the time we got there she had fallen a sleep. I carefully got out of the car, carried her inside and laid her on the couch. Asleep she looked like a little Angel with a contented look on her face, breathing quietly and gently snoring in tune. How could anyone possibly think of hurting this child for any reason.

Slowly she started to stir, startled she looked around the room and then realised where she was.

"Hi," I said. "Welcome back to the living."

"Can I have a drink," she said a little scared.

"Course you can, would you like something to eat?"

"Please," she said quietly.

"Come here," I said. She tentatively approached, I picked her up, gave her a hug and spoke softly. "I know you are scared but please trust me, I won't hurt you. Whatever happened before will never happen again I promise." She melted in to my shoulder slowly sobbing.

I don't know what will happen in the future, but I was going to make sure it was a lot better than she had been put through in the past. After she stopped sobbing I gave her a soda.

"Well what do you think you would like to eat? Pizza?"

She looked a little strained not knowing what to say.

Tell you what, "How about we go to Mcdonalds?"

"May I have fries?"

"What do you say we have a a burger? And a soda as well?" When she nodded, I said, "Let's go... race you." With that she ran to the door as fast as she could.

Driving to the nearest 'golden arches' outlet. We sat down with the order. For a girl Lisa could demolished her food, like a boy she did it with gusto. Once we had finished we returned home where we went through our nightly preparations and I tucked her up in bed in her own room. I left the door ajar and the hall light on so that if she woke during the night she would have some light and wouldn't be upset. I then went to my own bed.

The next morning when I woke, Lisa was sound asleep when I passed her room, which was next to mine. I did my morning rituals, then went downstairs to make breakfast. (Egg, Bacon and Sausage with Pancakes). The smell of food, especially bacon cooking, is guaranteed to wake any young soul. True to form Lisa was dressed and sitting at the table before you could blink.

"Morning sweetheart." I greeted her and asked if she was hungry. Silly question, I know. But after last night, girl or not, I don't know where all her food went. She must be another kid with hollow legs.

After breakfast I made a few calls to get Lisa into school, so she could get a decent education. After speaking to the headmistress at Mayfair High School. An appointment was made to have Lisa tested to find out her school grade and how clever or not she was.

"Okay Madam," I asked, "What do you want to do today?"

Lisa stared as if in thought before replying, "Can we go to the park?"

"Now there's an idea, why didn't I think of that," I said, slapping my forehead with the palm of my hand causing her to giggle and again saying I was silly.

We spent the time walking around the park, down on the beach, and eventually got ice creams. After we had been sat for awhile I thought It was time for Lisa to talk about her feelings. "Lisa... Tell me about your family. I know about your dad and his family. If you would, tell me about your Mom and what she was like?"

Again she thought. " My mom was nice to me, but she was scared to come home so she worked a lot. Before my dad started hitting my mom and me we used to go to the park and have fun. He stopped working and that was when he changed." She paused thinking before saying, "What will happen to me, I have no Mommy or Daddy now."

I went and picked her up and held her as I tried to explain as best I could. "Well for now you will be staying with me. If that's okay. Now seeing as how a boy has changed into a girl." I smiled as I continued, "Do you think you could help me out?" She looked a little confused so I added, "I've have never had a pretty young girl to take care of so, I will need a lot of hugs to keep me happy." I thought her face was going to split in half she smiled so broadly, "So will you help me out?" I could hardly breathe she hugged me so tight. "Well that is settled then." I had a grin to match, the same as Lisa.

While we walked home I got her another ice cream which got me another big smile. Where she used to live Lisa didn't go out to play as she was either sore or bruised and so she hadn't made any friends. I put her on my shoulder to screams and giggles. She was still very timid but was now beginning to open up and relax.

On the Monday after getting all her records from her previous school, I took Lisa to get her placement test. The Principal, Colleen Mckinley was in her office when we got there. She said she would be administering the test, and asked if I could be back to pick Lisa up around 1:00pm. Lisa was a little perturbed but I told her to do her best and she would be okay. After a long hug I left. She did pretty good in the test but only managed B's and C's and since it was only a few weeks after Summer break Lisa would be starting in 7th Grade.

"Well sweetheart do you think you will like your new school?"

"The teachers are nice."

"Did you see any good looking boys?"

"DAD."

I laughed and got a tap on the ribs.

"Well, while you can't wait to go to school (I laughed again) we will have to go get you your uniform to start Monday."

"Thanks Daddy. Sorry Mr. Carlyle."

"I like 'DADDY'," I replied, as my heart filled with happiness.

Lisa ran into my arms at lightning speed. "I love you DADDY," she said.

"I love you too, 'Sweetheart', more than you will ever know." She sobbed on my shoulder. Hard!! "Lets go shopping," I said.

When we got back I carried the bags into the house. We went up the stairs and went into her room to put her things away. Her room wasn't very big, but would hold what was coming that afternoon.

"When we finished getting her uniforms we went to get a burger. I said I wouldn't be long as I was going to take the bags to the car. What I didn't tell her was I had taken the opportunity to buy a TV and a new computer for her room.

We were halfway down the stairs when there was a knock on the door. "You want to answer that?" I said. When I asked them to follow me, we took the things to her room. Before they left they set up the computer and the TV.

"Daddy are these for me? It's fantastic!" she said.

Then after a second thought, "Why me?"

"Because you deserve everything I can give you. I promised nothing bad would happen to you again. Now you have got a new start and I want you to enjoy it."

"I love you Daddy"

"So do you like them?"

After being knocked back on to her bed she kissed me over and over again.

"This summer an angel (a daughter) entered my life," I said to her. She cried hard, I hugged her and said, "You are a blessing from above. Now show me what you can do on a computer." This gained me a little tap on the ribs. I laughed.

Next year after spring break I finally adopted Lisa. It seemed that after the fostering of many children I now had a child of my own. My world now seemed complete and while I still take in the the not so lucky and abused kids, now I think (I know) they now have a mother of sorts in Lisa and what a mother she is proving to be. While I write this Lisa is pulling at my arm to go play with young Alan, another stray that I have taken in. Lisa asks me all the time for a little brother, and who knows...

But that is another story.


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