Break Free Chapter 22

Posted on 2:35 AM | By Biki Honko | In

"Where are you going dad?"  Sam was getting his coat and hat on.  Soah was coming down the stairs, with a book in her hand.

"While the weather is holding, I am going to put up the christmas lights."

"Can I help?  Please?  That sounds like fun!"

"Sure Baby Girl, get your stuff on, and join me in the garage."

In a flash Soah was ready and out the door.  The hours flew by with the work of untangling the lights, putting them up, and above all, laughter.  Sam had never enjoyed hanging christmas lights before, it was just so much work.  However, Soah was thrilled with every aspect of the job, and was such a happy companion, the job had never gone faster, smoother, or so enjoyable.

"Dad?  Do we have reindeer or a santa for the yard?  They are so..... happy I guess is the word I am digging around for."

"Ya know, we don't, but I have always wanted some.  Let's head out and see what we can find.  Sound good to you?"


"I'll tell Cecile what we are up to, and be right out.  Could you finish putting the boxes away for me?"

"Will do dad!"

Wandering around the aisles with the different lawn ornaments, commenting on this one and that one, discussing size, colors of the lights, they finally settled on a set of three reindeer, and a large santa.  Complaining on the way home, about having to wait a few weeks until after Thanksgiving, they teased each other about who was the most impatient to set them up.

"Could we at least try out the lights tonight when it gets dark?"

"I always do!"


"Mom?  I need help with a problem."

"What's wrong?"

"Everyone has invited me to dinner for Thanksgiving!  Morgan's family, George and the boys, Cami will be there also.  I want to have dinner here.  I need a clone to be able to eat at everyone's house."

"Humm, what time is Morgan's family having dinner?"

"Oh, early, around noon.  Why?"

"Really?  Why so early?"

"His grandmother doesn't like to drive in the dark."

"How about I call George and see if they would like to join us for Thanksgiving?  We could do a late supper, after the football games are over.  That way you can go to Morgan's house for dinner, and by the time we eat dinner, you will be hungry again.  They could all come over and watch football with Sam, and Cami and Talia and I could visit and cook.  Sound good to you?"

"But, I wanted to help you make dinner."

"I do a lot of the cooking on Wednesday, you could help then."

"Really?  What do you make the day before?"

"The salads, the pies, the rolls.  I also chop all of the veggies for the stuffing, and make the snacks for our lunch on Thanksgiving."

"Ok!  Spending the whole day in the kitchen with you sounds wonderful!  Could you call George?  Or should I?"

"I think he will be more inclined to accept if I call.  Do you need to call Mrs. Davidson?"

"Yeah, Morgan said I didn't need to, but I feel it would be the polite thing to do.  I am still not sure about his family, they treat me kinda weird."

"Like how?  You have mentioned it before, but never really explained yourself."

"Umm, I'm not sure how to describe it.  Fake? I guess that would fit.  And I did hear his dad giving him a hard time about my age.  They also seem to blame me for Morgan changing his major.  He never wanted to be an accountant in the first place, and was just going along with it until he figured out what he wanted to do."

"I think he will make a wonderful teacher.  He is lively and fun, he will capture his students attention, from the very first moment they walk in to his classroom.  I just can not see Morgan sitting at a desk all day, pushing numbers around."

"Yeah, I think so too.  Mom?  I think they feel that I am not good enough for Morgan.  Kinda like I am white trash or something.  They hate Kevin and Dave with a passion!  When they found out the boys are gay, they are not allowed in their house."

"That is just stupid!  You?  White trash!  How dare they think that way about you!  They really won't let Kevin in their house?  He has been in and out of their house since elementary grade school!  I am liking Morgan's family less and less!  How on earth did two such horrible people have such a wonderful son?"

"I don't know either mom.  He wants to move out.  But, if he does, they will stop paying for his college.  Morgan feels trapped.  His dad almost wouldn't pay for his tuition when Morgan changed his major."

"He is trying to use money to keep Morgan on a short leash.  What year is he?"

"Year?  Oh, this is his second year.  His birthday is in December, so he was 19 when he started college."

"That poor boy, has at least 3 more years of being under his parents yoke.  I hope he can last it out."

"Are you sure I look ok?"

"Honey, you look beautiful!  If they find something to complain about, it shouldn't be what you are wearing."

"Soah!  Morgan is here!"

Soah took another look in the mirror.  Black turtle neck sweater, black and white plaid skirt, white tights, black shoes, silver jewelry.  Very little makeup, only a few touches.  Hair, short and wispy around her face. Nothing showy, too short, or too revealing.  Cecile was right, they will complain about something, but her clothes shouldn't be an issue. Giving Cecile a hug, Soah headed down to Morgan, and a sure to be an uncomfortable afternoon.

"We'll stay only as long as necessary.  The important thing is not to show them how much they have hurt you.  I know, I know, easier said than done.  But remember, I live with them, and struggle to just let it all roll off.  No way do I manage to do that, but I try."

Pulling into the driveway, Morgan let out a large breath, "Great!  Grandma is here!  Just being here normally makes dad behave.  Let's hope she can work her magic today!"  Holding Soah's hand on the walk to the door, he leaned in and gave her a be brave kiss, before opening the door.

Unlike her house today, full of wonderful aromas and the sounds of football, and a atmosphere of happiness, in Morgan's house only the correct aromas were all there, and there the similarity ended.  A strained crouching ready to attack feeling filled the house.

"Morgan!  It is about time!  What took you so long?"  Mrs. Davidson's shrill voice cut into the tension.

"Mom!  I have only been gone 20 minutes!"  Morgan winked at Soah, with a rueful look, "Is there anything we can do to help you?"

"Like you would be any help in the kitchen!  What ", flicking a withering glance at Soah, "help could she be?"

"Come on, I want to introduce you to Grammy."  Leaning close to whisper to Soah, "You will like her, she is nice!  I promise."

As they came to the doorway of the living room, the haranguing voice of Mr. Davidson could be heard clearly in the hallway.  Morgan put out a hand, silently signaling to Soah to wait, he wanted to listen to what his father was complaining about now.  Errr! Again with the change of majors!  Why won't he just let that go?  Sighing with despair about the never ending, flat tire, worn out topic, Morgan straighten his shoulders and prepared himself to enter into the boiling vat of disapproval. Soah tugged on his hand, turning his head to look at her, running his eyes smack into a large smile full of love.  One look, a small moment in time, lessing the sting of his families disapproval, her smile evaporated some of the unhappiness in his eyes.

"Morgan honey!  Come over here and sit next to me!  And bring your cute little girl friend!"  Grammy patted the sofa next to herself. Smiling widely at them both.

"Soah Jenkins, this is my grandmother Mrs. Davidson.  Grammy?  This is my Soah."  Grammy pushed Soah's proffered hand away and pulled her into a hug.

"So, I finally get to meet the girl who stole my grandson's heart?  Sit down here, and tell me about yourself."

"I can give you all the information you need mom.  She is nothing but jumped up white trash.  Just dating our boy, thinking he has access to our money.  A little gold digger is all she is."

"Charles!  You will mind your mouth when you speak to me!  How dare you speak to company in that manner.  You invited her into your home, this is not how I taught you to treat company. Where is your manners?  Soah, is your family having dinner today?"

"Yes ma'am they are, later today after the football game."

"Do you think they would mind having one more to dinner?  I am not usually so forward as to invite myself to dinner, but I think eating here will give me indigestion."

"They would not mind having one more, I am sure!  With the amount of food we made yesterday, and they are working on today, there will be plenty."

"Don't forget Kevin will be there, also known as the bottomless pit."  Morgan was loosening up with the acceptance of his Grammy.

"Kevin will be there?  Oh!  I do like that boy!"

"What is there to like about a damned dirty queer?  You can't leave!  The rest of the family will be here soon.  What will I tell them, when you aren't here?"  Grammy didn't even respond to her son's vile remark, she just stalked over to him, pulled her hand back and slapped him.

"I warned you about speaking to me with respect.  And tell your brothers the truth.  That you are a rude, ill mannered hateful man.  Morgan, do you mind if I ride with you?  You will have to bring me back here to pick up my car."

"Of course not!"

"Before I invite myself into your home, would you mind going in and asking them first?"

"Nope!  This is my house, we have plenty of room, a mountain of food, and everyone here loves Morgan.  They will be pleased to meet his Grandmother.  Come on in."  Soah pushed open the door, calling out, "Mom!  Dad!  We have company!"

Sam came into the hall, still with the remote in his hand. Surprise plain and clear on his face.  "Baby girl, aren't you back kinda early?"

"Hello!"  Grammy stuck out her hand for Sam to shake, "I'm Irene Davidson, Morgan's grandmother.  I hope you don't mind me barging into your family celebration, but my son made staying there completely impossible."

"Sam Jenkins"  Cecile and Talia hearing new voices had came into the hall, "My wife Cecile, our daughter Talia.  We would be pleased to have you join us for supper.  Are you hungry?  Dinner won't be for hours yet, let me take your coat, and you can help yourself to the snacks."

"Thank you so much for your hospitality.  Would you mind if I spoke to my grandson in private for a few minutes?"

"No, that is fine.  We are all either in the family room, or the kitchen.  The living room is all yours.  Take as long as you need."

Wondering what on earth Grammy wanted to talk to him about, he led her into the living room, and waited for her to sit down, before sitting beside her on the sofa.

"Morgan?  The behavior I saw from your father today, is that he normally treats you?  Is he always this mean to you?  I want you to tell me the truth, not what you think you want me to hear, understand?"

"Yeah, this has become the norm of how they both treat me.  He just won't let it go about my changing majors.  I just don't get it.  What difference is it to him, if I would rather be a teacher than a  accountant?  I was hoping with you there, today would be better.  I hate living there anymore.  They don't like Soah, but are usually civil to her, it is there, but in an undercurrent.  I have never seen him be so obvious about it before."

"Why don't you move out?"

"They told me if I move out, they will stop paying for college.  And before, it would have been no problem.  I had no idea what I wanted to do anyway, and was just going to keep them quiet.  But now, it is a whole new game.  I want to be a teacher.  I think that I would make a good teacher."  Morgan fell quiet for a while, and his grandmother allowed the quiet to spool out, waiting for him to finish.  "Grammy?  I want to marry Soah.  She is much younger than me, but somehow we are a perfect fit.  I want to have children with her, grow old with her.  My view of the future before I met her, was fuzzy and full of just don't care.  For the first time ever, I care about my grades, and am doing well in school.  She pulls me into focus somehow."

"That is what I wanted to hear.  I will get a hotel room tonight, and tomorrow we will start looking for apartments for you.  I will fund both your schooling and your housing costs.  I would be remiss if I left you living with that sad excuse of a father I some how managed to produce.  What time will Kevin be here?  Will he be bringing his boyfriend?"

A stunned Morgan sat like a statue on the sofa.  "Honestly?  You are going to pay for my school?  And for me to move out?  Really?"

"Where do you think the money has been coming from?  I gave it to your father to use for your schooling.  Thankfully I kept my name on the account as the primary.  I was worried that he might try to bully you with money.  Monday his name will be removed from the account.  And Kevin?"

"Oh, yeah, Kevin and Dave are spending the early afternoon with Dave's family.  They will be coming over around 4 or so, with Kevin's dad and his fiancee."

"Good!  I want the chance to catch up with Kevin.  Do you like his Dave?"

"Grammy, Dave is the sweetest, kindest person I think I have ever met.  He has been a friend of mine for several years.  You would have to be blind not to see how much they love each other.  Kevin and Dave both love Soah, but with Dave?  To him, she is a sister.  I would hate to see what he would do to me, if I ever hurt her."

Grammy loved Dave, and enjoyed in catching up with Kevin.  At one point Grammy, Cecile, Cami and both girls ended up in the kitchen, having giggle fits over the guys facial expression upon being told they had been elected to do dishes after dinner.  Who had made the most shocked face was hotly debated, but it boiled out to a dead heat between George and Sam.  The delicious dinner was spiced with congenial conversation, laughter and from people who were true blue, dyed in the wool friends.  Soah over the course of the day had fallen under the spell of Morgan's Grammy.  After Soah had relaxed from being attacked at the Davidson's, her personality had come bubbling up to the surface, charming Grammy completely.  As the day lengthened into evening Grammy knew she would be driving in the dark on unfamiliar streets, and it began to worry her.

"Grammy?  How about if Kevin drives your car to the hotel?  Dave can follow us, and pick Kevin up at the hotel?  That way you don't have to drive in the dark?"

"Now that sounds like a plan!"

 After hugs and kisses, hugging again, people started to trickle out of the house until only the Jenkins were left.  Soah was still moony after a heated moment spent alone in the darkened living room with Morgan, and was sitting on the sofa next to Talia letting the conversation wash around her, only catching edges here and there.  Talia smiled at the look on Soah's face.  For not the first time, relief pounded thru her, that her actions that terrible night did not cause Soah to loose Morgan for good.

"Morgan, that little girl surely is special.  Don't you let her go.  After we get to my hotel tonight, I need for you to tell me how she ended up in that family."

"Are you sure you want to know about her past Grammy?  It is not pretty."

"Yes, I don't care about how ugly it is.  I want to know everything about the girl that my grandson loves!  Besides you forget that I have been on this earth quite a long time, and in my time have been acquainted with evil many times.  Some of which seems to  live in your home."

"Come on everyone!"  Soah was bouncing from foot to foot in impatience wanting everyone to be in the truck.  The Jenkins were going to the tree farm to pick out a Christmas tree.  "Daylights burning people!"  Without realizing it Sam's sayings had begun to invade Soah's daily speech.

Running up and down the rows of trees with Talia, looking at each tree briefly before running off to another tree.  Red cheeks, sparkling eyes, bubbling laughter, full of life, full of fun, full of love.  Sam and Cecile strolled along at a much slower place, actually looking at the trees, reveling in the happy sounds of laughter flowing from the girls.  Tree picked, tree loaded, truck loaded, with two giggling, silly girls.  A truck full to the headliner with joy.  Decorating the tree turned into an evening filled with tears, and needing a snuggle with Sam.  This was the first tree Soah had ever had.  Her first Christmas ever.  Cecile vowed to get Soah a first Christmas ornament.  After tears were dried, spirits pumped back up, if not full, no longer rattling empty.  And the long awaited night came for both Sam and Soah.  The lawn ornaments were at long last on the lawn and lit, along with the house lights.

"Dad?  I need to speak to you in private.  I'm kinda in a pinch and I need an answer, so could it be after work tonight?"

"Is everything alright Dave?"  Mr. Li was worried at the tone in his only son's voice.  Dave had been to happy today, for their to be trouble in his relationship with Kevin, he was stumped.  Today would prove to drag for the remainder of the day.

"I am sorry about causing you to worry all day.  I didn't realize that saying it that way would make you think something was wrong.  Honestly, my mind is just so jumbled up right now."  Dave was sitting in his dad's office, the shop closed for the day, just the two of them.  It had been a long while since they had taken the time just to visit, and catch up on all the little things that keep a relationship alive and fruiting.

"That's ok son, but if you don't tell me, your mom will not only be out of a son, she will be missing a husband also.  Now spill it!"

"I want to ask Kevin to marry me.  I am afraid to wait until summer like I had planned.  There are petitions circulating already  calling for a special election, and it has only been 6 weeks since the election!  If we get married before they reverse the law, we will still be married.  I don't want to miss our chance!  I only have a little saved up towards the rings.  Could you please advance me the money?  I promise that I will repay it."

"Is that all?  Oh son, of course I will lend you the money.  When do you want to get married?  Do you have a date in mind?"

"It sounds corny now when I think about it.  But, last night it seemed like a wonderful idea."

"Corny or not, tell me."

"New Year's Eve.  I thought it would be cool, to kiss as a married couple as the clock strikes 12.  We would ring out the old year single, and welcome the new year as a couple."

"That is a wonderful idea!  I love it!  We need to get your mom and Cami together after you ask him, so they can get this planned.  Do you already have the rings picked out?"

"Yeah, it was the weirdest thing.  Remember when we both went ring shopping with George?"

At Mike's nod yes, Dave continued.  "While he was looking for Cami's ring, he asked us to look for a ring for him.  Kevin and I wandered around the shop, and we both found the same ring without each other there.  I think that means it is a perfect choice."

"Do you want to swing by the jewelry store right now?  You could ask him when he comes home from class tonight."

"Hell yeah!  Let's go!"  Dave jumped to his feet, and grabbing his dad's hand pulled him out of the his chair with such force, he almost knocked Dave over.  Laughing and clasping his dad to him tightly, the joy expanded to the point, it was threatening to tear his ribs from his backbone.

Soah sat surrounded by a wall of brightly wrapped gifts, refusing to open any of them yet. She kept brushing her fingers over the paper, touching the bows, wanting to savor the love that each package represented.  Watching everyone else open their gifts, the joy exchanged with the gifts.  Cries of happiness, of surprise, and laughter, composed a beautiful Christmas melody.  At last only Soah's gifts remained unopened.  Finally, one by one, Soah's packages dwindled until she had opened them all.  Overwhelmed by the amount of gifts, she just sat on the floor, moose in her lap, fluffy slippers on her feet, and a bemused look on her face.  Knowing not to push, to allow her time to process new experiences, they began to pick up the discarded wrapping paper, and straighten up the living room.  Hearing a odd sound underneath their happy chatter, Sam turned to find Soah now clutching moose to her chest, tears streaming down her face.

"Baby girl?  Come here and snuggle with me.  Talk to me, tell me why you are so sad."  Soah got up from the floor and climbed into her dad's lap.

"Why?  Why didn't they love me enough to ever buy me a gift?  Dr. Layton keeps telling me it isn't anything I did, but it is something that is missing in the evil beings.  How can you not love your own child?"

"That is a question we will never ever be able to answer.  It will nag at you from time to time for the rest of your life, and no matter how you pull at the threads, and try to unravel the fabric of your life with them, you will never find the answer."  Dad held Soah and let her cry until she had ran out of tears.

Sniffling and hiccuping and finally calming down Soah asked her dad, "Did you and mom get the papers from the court yet about my adoption?"

"They came a few days ago, why?"

"Is is to late to change them?  I......"  lapsing into silence, working out what she wanted to say, " I hate my name!  I don't want to be Soah any more!  Please could you and mom give me a name that is clean of hurtful memories? Please?"

"If that is what you want, we can arrange that. Do you already have a name picked out?"

"No, you didn't understand me.  I want you and mom to name me.  When you adopt me, I will have parents for the first time ever.  You are already giving me a new last name, your last name.  I would like a new first name to go with my new last name."

"Why on earth would you think we wouldn't do this one little thing for you?  Do you want to know your new name in advance?"

"Nope!  You will do a good job in choosing me a new name!"

"Are you sure?  What if you don't like the name we choose?"

"No chance of that!

"Are you nervous?  You look kinda pale."  Morgan gave a worried glance at Kevin.

"No, yes, I don't know!  I just want this to last forever, and want it over already!"

"Hey doofus?  I would say you have a massive case of nerves.  You have nothing to worry about.  He asked you to marry him.  You know he won't pull a runner.  I bet he is as nervous as you are."  Not knowing what else to do, to make his friend happy, he pulled Kevin into a hug, holding him tightly, and then clapping him hard on the back.  After letting go, he noticed that Kevin was a little calmer.  "Better?"

"Yeah.  Can you believe Dave?  Getting the rings, asking me to marry him, and coming up with this awesome idea of the stroke of 12 deal.  Hey!  Again with the doofus?"

"He seems fairly smart, the only lapse in judgement so far that I have noticed is choosing you for a...... hey?  What are you two going to be?  Partners?  Husbands?  Husband and wife?  You already call him your wife!"

"We talked about it, we want to be husbands.  You and Soah are the only ones who ever hear me call Dave wife. It is a private joke ya know."

Soah was expecting a court room, just like on tv.  It was a middle sized conference room.  It did make it less scary!  She was sitting between her mom and dad, her guardian ad litem was between her and the judge.

"All rise.  The honorable William Smith will be presiding today."  The judge swept in, took his seat and the bailiff continued, "You may be seated.  In the matter of the adoption of one Soah Helms, will the interested party please rise?"

Soah, stood between her dad and mom.  In a few minutes the judge was going to make it binding, legal, her parents forever!   The lawyer handed endless pieces of paper to the judge, the guardian ad litem handing more pieces of paper to the judge.  And finally!  They were at the end!

"Soah, could you change places and sit next to me?" The judge waited for everyone to get settled. "I usually take this time to question the child, to make sure that they are happy.  But the look on your face says it all.  Are you ready to hear your new name said for the first time?"  At Soah's nod the judge continued, " Please stand.  You are now the legal child of Samuel and Cecile Jenkins, please let me be the first one to shake the hand of Renee Jenkins."

Ten years later....

Renee heard footsteps coming down the hospital hallway, she would know those footsteps anywhere, it was dad!  Sitting up straighter in the bed, smoothing the blankets down, waiting for dad.  Even all these years later, the sound in her head of dad and mom, ran a tingly thrill thru her.

"Renee!  Oh Baby girl!  You look good! Where is Morgan?"

"He went to get me something to eat.  I'm starved."

"Really?  Maybe I could help with that.  Tada!  Cake! From your favorite place, the Cake Box!  Mom will be here right after work.  They wouldn't let her off early."

A squealing door hinge, was heard complaining down the hall, and then a squeaking of shoes on linoleum.  And interlaced with all of other noises of a busy hospital in the early afternoon, a thin wail, that was approaching.

After the nurse settled the baby into Renee's arms, and left, Sam sat on the side of the bed, watching his Baby girl glow with happiness.

"Grandpa, would you like to hold your grandson?  Aaron Davidson, meet the best grandpa ever!

                                   The End

Comments (1)

Well done ... I was sucked in , and held hostage until the very end. I guess I was just a few moments ahead of you posted each chapter... lol I went to bed around 2:30. If only I would of stay up ... lol not like I didn't wake up early and was shock to see the last chapter. .... I LOVE IT.