A New Path Chapter 3, Coffee and Toast

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Posted on 4:35 PM | By Biki Honko | In

Zzzt.... zzzt...... zzzt..... zzzt......zzzt......zzzt.......zzzt...

Rolling over, slamming my hand down on the snooze button.  Ugh!  I hate mornings!  A warm body cuddled up behind me, momentarily confusing me as to who was in bed with me.  Ben!  Turning over, pulling away from him slightly so as to look at him. His face relaxed in sleep, snuggled into the blankets, his entire body communicating one of comfort and peace.  His hair mussy, stubble covering his face, looking so damned cute.

Laying next to Ben, drinking in the awareness of last night, how it meant something to us both more than just a mindless coupling. We connected on many different levels, not just the physical plane.  How could he have been alone for so very long, and then in a few short hours, found someone that seemed to fit him perfectly?

A New Path, Chapter 2, Hamburgers and Beer

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Posted on 3:32 AM | By Biki Honko | In

Derrick stood in front of his locker, and began to get rid of his work day.  Hard hat, welding hood, beanie, leathers, neck bandana, gloves, boots.  Shoving his feet into ancient tennis shoes, he slammed the door to his locker closed and headed out to his battered and ancient work truck. Dropping his used bandana and beanie on the passenger floorboard, snapping his seat belt on, yet another lonely night staring him in the face.  Driving home from work, trying to psych himself into going out and at least trying to meet someone.  It had been almost six months.  Six long months, time for him to put Tim behind him.  Derrick really had thought that moving to a new city would have helped him get over Tim and his infidelity.  Infidelity?  Wouldn't that mean, at some point that Tim would have been faithful?

Stepping into his apartment, being careful to stay on the mat just inside the door.  Never getting a rent deposit back was expensive, and he was trying to keep from staining the carpet with his dust and grease from work.  Dropping his clothes into a conveniently placed laundry basket, a overly full laundry basket, a can't be denied laundry basket.  Walking into the bathroom, and firing up the shower, checking the temp, and when hot, stepping in.  Picking up the scrub brush he began the chore of cleaning his hands.  Even wearing gloves his hands were encrusted with grime by the end of the day.  Washing his hair, twice hoping not only to get it clean, but to get it clean smelling.  Welding paid well, but the dirt and smell were a drawback.  Finally clean again, Derrick stepped out and started to dry himself off.

A New Path, chapter 1

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Posted on 6:46 PM | By Biki Honko | In

Sitting in traffic waiting for the light to change, Abby's thoughts arrowed with worry about Ben, as they did with increasing regularity recently. Something was bothering him, and no matter how many times she asked him, he would always give her a sad smile and insist that he was fine.  That he wasn't fine was clear to anyone with eyes.  His smile never reached his eyes anymore, the joy had faded from his life, he was just going through the motions.  Except during sex, where he seemed almost frantic in his desire to pleasure her, rather than to take pleasure for himself.  Traffic moving again, Ben faded back onto the back burner of her thoughts, rush hour traffic demanded more of her attention.

Pulling into their driveway, Abby was surprised to see that Ben was already home.  His project must at long last be completed.  Maybe tonight would be the night she could pry his secret from him, and then work on his unhappiness.  Opening the front door, she heard the sounds of the tv coming from the family room, as usual ESPN was on.  Going to their bedroom to change out of her work clothes, pulling on comfortable jeans and a sweater, she noticed that Ben had left his clothes in a heap on the floor.  That was the last straw, he never left his clothes laying around.  In fact he was forever hanging up her clothes.  Determined to get to the bottom of his depression, she stepped into the family room.

Break Free Chapter 22

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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?"

"Yup!"

"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!"

"Yay!"




"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

Break Free Chapter 21

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Posted on 7:16 PM | By Biki Honko | In

"Morgan, talk to us.  What on earth happened to Soah today?  She is lit up like a christmas tree!"  Sam was slightly concerned about Morgan's answer, when he blushed.

"Well, umm, I..we..um kissed.  Quite a lot actually.  And I told her, um, ah, that I love her."

"Morgan!  You heard what both of the doctors told you!  She needs to figure out who she is, before she gets involved in a relationship."

"I know, I know!  Don't you think that all day, Dr. Layton's voice has been running thru my damned head?  But, if you had been there you would have understood.  Well, if you had been there, it wouldn't have happened.  Do you know what Soah did?  I got mad at myself for loosing control and kissing her and......   She went upstairs and brought down Book, and had me read a little of it!  She had me read Book!  Worried the entire time that it could make me not like her any more, just to make me feel better.  After I read Book, she was expecting me to get up and leave and never come back.  How could I not tell her after she trusted me like that?  I couldn't keep it to myself any longer!  I think Dr. Layton is wrong!  She does know who she is!  She is just unsure about all of us!"

"She wanted you to read Book?  Really?  Did it make your feel better?"  Sam was leaning forward in his chair totally focused on Morgan.  Morgan looked over at Cecile who had an unreadable expression on her face.  In his short life, not getting any reading from a woman's face was never a good sign.

"Yeah, it did.  It explained a lot of different things, that I had been wondering about for a while.  And until she tells me different, I am not saying anything more."

Cecile broke into the conversation with, "Kissing and what?  Just what else did you two do?"

Turning beet red, Morgan looked to Sam for help.  Seeing the deer in the headlight look on his face, Sam took pity on him. "Did everyone's clothes remain on?"

"Yes."

"Hands on the inside of clothing?"

"No."

"Are you going to let it get that far again?"

"No, well I umm, will try, not to, ah let things...get...try to tell her....umm....  I still feel guilty, about this morning.  I mean she is 15!"

Cecile leaned forward and looking dead into Morgan's eyes, and with a very serious voice said, "Morgan, your teen years are gone, you are a man and it is time you start acting like it.  Until we give you the say so, kissing and hugging is the end of the physical contact between you two.  I am glad that you acknowledge the fact that she is only 15.  In some ways she is much older, and is going to push you to move faster than we are going to allow her.  Learn this new phrase, and learn it well.  No Soah!"  Morgan looked at Sam to see what he was thinking about everything Cecile had been saying, when Cecile's voice broke into his thoughts, "Don't you look at him for help.  In this matter, I am in charge, and only me.  I will be having a talk with Soah about this."

"What about Friday?  Is the answer no?"

"Sam what do you think?"

"I think she can go, depending if you double with someone else.  It is not that I don't trust you.  Right now I think it would be best if she is not alone with you.  If I can figure out what you were stumbling through earlier, she got to a certain point and didn't want to stop?"

Just when his blush was leaving, it was back in a flash again.  "That is not what I meant, umm well, yeah."

"Girls have the same desires as guys." Cecile gave Morgan a firm look continuing on, " For now on, I want you two to leave in the morning when we do.  There will no being here in the house alone.  That should reduce the chances of what happened this morning happening again.  I am going to trust you both in this matter during the day.  Luckily Soah is so afraid of making us mad, that after I talk to her about this, I don't think it will be an issue anymore.  But, until she becomes used to the new rules, no alone time.  Who do you know that would double with you two?"

"How about Dave and Kevin?  Would they be interested in tagging along?" Sam looked at Cecile to see if she approved of his choice, she nodded at Sam.

"I don't know, I could ask them."

"Call them now.  I want to get this settled.  Cecile will be talking to Soah tonight about what behavior we find acceptable."

"Hey Dave, ya got a minute?  No, every things fine. Are you two free Friday?  Umm, well I want to take Soah on a date, and we need to double.  Movie and chinese food.  Not sure, need to check to see what is playing, why?  Oh, that sounds good!  She will like that one!  Huh?  If you want me to.  No, I don't mind. Bye."

"They will go.  Dave suggested a movie that I know Soah will like, and you will approve of.  It is a Miyazaki film."

"Good!  Let's go tell Soah, I know she must be stewing over this."  Sam patted Morgan on his back, "We do trust you.  It is different when you love them, isn't it?  Talk to Kevin and Dave about it.  You want to hold on so tight, for fear they will somehow disappear."

When Morgan came into the kitchen, Soah was working with Talia making dinner, but the light had gone out of her.  She was moving by route, not giving much attention to what she was doing.  Hearing footsteps her head shot up, and seeing the large smile on Morgan's face, like flipping a switch, Soah sprang to life again.  Flooded with light, smiling with her happiness, she ran into Morgan's arms.

"I can go?"  At Morgan's nod yes, Soah began bouncing around.  "Yay!"  Flinging herself into first Sam's arms and then Cecile's.  She was to bouncy to stay in one place for long.

"You can go?  Hey!  That's not fair!  You won't let me date yet!"  Talia was upset, and flung the spoon she was using, into the sink with so much force, it bounced back out.

"Talia?  It is a double date.  We have offered you the option of double dating, and you have turned us down.  That is not our fault, but your own."

"You wouldn't let me go out with Tim, you said he was to old for me!  Morgan is tons older than Tim.  How old are you anyway Morgan?"

"Twenty"

"Twenty!!  Twenty!  He is five years older than Soah!  Five!  Tim is only two year older than me!  TWO!  And you said no!  Why can Soah date someone five years older, when I can't go out with someone that is only two years older?  This is so unfair!"

"Yes, it is unfair.  We admit we are using a double standard, but we have a reason.  And if you will calm down, we will explain our thinking."

"No!  Either I get to date who I want, or Soah can't date Morgan!"

"Stop! Stop! Stop!!!!!  I won't go!  I can't stand this!"  Shaking like a leaf, tears streaking down her face, Soah ran from the room, the sound of her footsteps pounding up the stairs, and then the slam of a door.

The anger quickly left Talia, like the air leaving a popped balloon.  A stricken look on her face, she realized what she had done.

Not waiting for permission, Morgan took off up the stairs.  Coming to the only room with a shut door, he took a chance and tried the knob, it was unlocked, taking a big breath, he walked into the room.  Soah was sitting on the floor by the bed, moose in her arms, crying so hard, she didn't even hear Morgan come in.  Sitting next to Soah he waited for her to acknowledge him.  Lifting her face from moose, she got up and moved away from him.

"I want you to leave.  Don't come for me tomorrow.  I'll have Sam drop me at the day program at the hospital instead.  Don't come back."  Soah opened the door and gestured to Morgan for him to leave.

"Soah!  This can be worked out, you know it can.  Just give it some time.  Sam and Cecile will smooth things over with Talia."

"No.  I can't mess this up.  I don't know what I did to mess things up with my first family, but it's not going to happen this time if I can help it.  If it means giving you up to make everyone happy, that is what I will do.  I need a family, I can't live like I did before.  Go."

"Please!  Let me go get Sam.  He will tell explain"

Soah cut Morgan off, "No!  Just go!  Please!  Don't come back!  I don't wanna choose, but if I have to, I have to choose a family."

Tears standing in his eyes, he wordlessly gestured to Soah, pleading with her, to let him stay.  She turned her head away from him, ignoring his pleading.  Defeated he left the room, walking down the stairs, and out the door.

Hearing the door shut, Sam ran to the door, ripping it open, expecting to see Soah leaving the house.  What he saw was a crying Morgan getting into his car.   Running back inside he flew up the stairs, to find Soah crumpled on the floor next to the bed, still holding moose, crying.

Hearing Sam come into the room, never lifting her head from moose she said, "I told Morgan to go and not come back.  Could you please drop me at the center tomorrow?  Could you please leave?  I am going to go to bed."  Soah got up and started getting her pjs from the dresser, taking her earrings out, clearly getting ready for bed.

"Soah, won't you talk to me?"

"Morgan is gone.  Morgan won't be back.  I don't need him, I need you and Cecile.  I fixed everything.  I don't want to talk tonight.  I'll talk to Dr. Layton tomorrow, I am sure about what I am doing.  Goodnight."

 Sam left Soah's room and before he got to the top of the stairs he heard the door lock.

Walking down the stairs, he was in a quandary.  How on earth could he make this right?  Walking into the kitchen he saw Talia cuddled into her mom, crying, Cecile wasn't far from tears herself.  Hearing Sam enter the kitchen both women looked up at him, hoping to see a more positive face.  Seeing his despair, Talia's tears started up again.

"I've messed everything up!  I'm sorry!"

"Sorry isn't going to fix this. Soah told Morgan to go and not come back."

Morgan drove around aimlessly for hours.  His cell phone would ring, texts would cause his phone to chirp at him, he ignored all of them.  Not caring who was calling, or what they wanted.  His heart was ripped, bleeding and shredded.  All of his plans for the future, ashes.  How could she turn her back on him?  Talia!  What a fucking bitch!  She didn't get want she wanted, and the hell with anyone else's feelings!  Coming to stop at a red light, for once in this long dark empty night, he noticed where he was.  The park.  Pulling into the parking lot, getting out, walking to the place where he had first met Soah.  Sitting on the grass under the tree in the dim light from a distant street light, scenes of the past few months flickering past his mind's eye, emotions welling up in his chest.  How could he have lost the only girl he had ever fallen in love with?  Will breathing ever not hurt again?  How to live without her?

"Oh thank God!  Dave he's here!"  Kevin sprinted up to Morgan and tackled him.  "You scared the shit out of us!  What the fuck were you thinking?  Why in the hell didn't you answer your cell phone?"  Kevin had a death grip on Morgan, as if he would disappear before his very eyes. "We thought you had done something stupid."

"Morgan!"  Dave came running up.  Pulling Kevin from his death grip hug on Morgan, he kissed his Kev.  Running his hand down his neck, smiling into his eyes.  Turning back to Morgan, Dave drew his hand back and slapped Morgan hard.  Grabbing Morgan by the shirt, he slapped Morgan over and over.  "How could you scare us like that?  You shit!  We thought you were dead!  DEAD! Fucking answer your damned phone!  Do you know how long we have been looking for you?  Hours! Driving around, looking in all of the places we thought me might find you, afraid we might find you."  Pulling Morgan to him, Dave broke down and began to cry, hugging Morgan tight. "We thought you were dead!  Oh Morgan,  don't you know how much we love you?"

Kevin wrapped his arms around Morgan.  The three sat on the grass clutched to each other, afraid to let go.  Afraid of what might have been.

Footsteps approached, a shadowy form coming closer, the boys were not paying any attention to anything past the reach of their arms.  When the person spoke he startled all three boys.

"I was hoping you would come here!"  Sam stepped over to Morgan, knelt in front of him, took his battered face carefully in his hands. "Did you get in a fight?  Do we need to call the police?  Are you hurt?"

"Mr. Jenkins, I did that. I was furious! Scaring us like that!  Kevin has known him since grade school, grade school! He should have come to us!"  Hugging Morgan hard saying, "Please forgive me."

"Dave?  Have you ever hit anyone before?"  Morgan lifted his head from Kevin's shoulder.

"No. I haven't ever lost control like that before."

"Hey, that just means you love me, huh?"  Morgan grinned crookedly at Dave thru his spilt lips.  "Thanks."

"Morgan I want you to come back to the house, and fight for Soah.  You need to show her just how much you love her."

Sitting between his two best friends, feeling stupid he didn't come to them to begin with.  Thinking over Sam's suggestion, realizing he agreed with him.  "What time tomorrow do you want me to come by?"

"Tomorrow?  I meant now!"

"Isn't it late?  She will be asleep by now."

"When I left 30 minutes ago, she was still crying.  She won't let us in, but we could hear her sniffling."

"If she won't let you in, what makes you think she will let me in?  She threw me away for you."

"I have the key.  Let's go."

"Hey, how did you know I was here?"

"I called in every favor owed to me.  Every police cruiser, every EMT vehicle being driven by a friend, was on the look out for you."

"Whoa!  Way to go Sam."  Kevin pulled his arms away from Morgan, and stood up.  Reaching his hand down to Morgan saying, "Let's go, bud.  You are going to get your life back!  I'm driving, Kevin will follow in your car.  We are not letting you out of our sight again."

"Do you think I have a chance?  Honestly?"

"If I didn't think so, I wouldn't be here."

Pulling up in front of Sam's house, Morgan asked, "Kevin?  Do I have a chance?  Will she take me back?  God!  How can I live without her?"

Kevin had never heard Morgan so uncertain about anything before in their many years of being friends.  The plaintive tone, the slump of his shoulders, spelled out defeat, a most unlike Morgan emotion.

"Ya wanna have her back, right?  Stand tall, be a man.  Don't believe her no, she wants ya back dude.  And you know that to be true.  Now get out of my car and go fight for your woman!  Make me proud!"

Smiling a stronger smile than earlier, Morgan got out of the car, a man on a mission.  Sam was waiting for him on the porch.  As Morgan neared Sam, he was handed a key.

"Until she believes you want her, and we want her to have you, keep at it."  Leaning close to Morgan quietly whispering into his ear, "You didn't hear this from me, but if it takes some physical encouragement, go for it."

"Huh? What are you talking about?  You want me to hit her?"  Clearly Morgan was shocked.

"Pfft!  No, I mean, lovin'.  Kiss her, hug her, show her you want her, need her, can't live without her, and refuse to leave without her admitting she can't live without you either."

"What about Talia?  Isn't she mad still?  Is she going to be a problem?"

"Don't you worry about Talia!  She realizes what she has done, and will do anything to make it right."

Walking into the house with Sam, nerves boiling over, mouth dry, hands wet, feet full of lead.  Sam clapped Morgan on the back, smiling encouragingly, steeling himself against failure, he started the climb to his future, either full of life, or back to dark.

Trying Soah's door knob, he found it was still locked, and he could hear that she was still crying.  Pushing the key home, turning the knob, and walking into a room lit only dimly by a streetlight, filtered thru the curtains.  Hearing the door unlock, Soah sat up in bed, surprised that someone would invade her privacy.

"Morgan!  What are you doing here?  I don't want to be with you any more!  Go!"  Soah started to scramble out of bed, aiming for the door.  Morgan shut the door with his foot, walked over to the bed, and pulled her out of it.

"You are going to listen to me.  Do you see what is in my hand?  Your key.  Who do you think gave it to me?  Huh?  Sam did.  He wants us to be together.  He knows how much we love each other.  And I could give a shit about Talia.  No wonder they don't let her date, talk about immature!  I don't care if we sit here all night long.  I'm not leaving until you admit you don't want to give me up. Until you learn that I will always be here for you.  Nothing you can do, will chase me away.  I will never leave you."

Looking up at Morgan, listening to his words, hearing his words, his words sinking into her for the first time.  Finally understanding that he loved her!  He isn't going to go!  I can't chase him away. The immense pain that had a hold on her heart, her soul, herself, was melting away under the fierce love radiating from Morgan.  Giving a tiny shudder, as the last of the ice around her heart melted away, the tears melted away, life began to become livable again.

"What happened to your face!  Who beat you up?  Did Sam make sure you are alright?"

"Yeah, I got beat up.  Wanna guess who?"

"No!  Just tell me!"

"Dave, beat me up for scaring the hell out of him and Kevin."

"What did you do to Dave and Kevin to scare them?  And Dave?  Dave hit you?  Seriously?"  Moving to sit on the bed, Morgan pulled Soah down next to him. Rubbing his hand up and down her back, feeling each rib as his fingers bumped over them, feeling her heat warming her pjs.  Leaning into his hand as it rubbed up and down, up and down.

"When I left here, Sam called them to see if I was there.  He wanted me to come back to work things out.  Everyone tried to call me, text me, I heard all of them, but ignored them all.  I was lost in grief.  I thought I had lost you for ever!  They all thought I had done something stupid, like try to kill my self.  And when Kevin and Dave did find me, Kevin knocked me down, and hugged me like there was no tomorrow.  Dave though just starting slapping the shit out of me.  He was right.  You know with out any doubt if someone as gentle as Dave starts slapping the shit out of you, whatever your mistake is, it is not just a fail, but an epic fail."

"I'm so very sorry!  I just couldn't deal with all of the shouting!  It was just to much!  Please forgive me?"

"Nothing for you to forgive.  Talia needs to grow up."  Morgan's hand had never stop moving, the more he rubbed the stronger his desire to kiss her became.  Throwing Sam's advice into the mouth of his conscience to shut it up he whispered, "Soah, would you give me a kiss?"

Her only answer was to tilt her head back to make her lips available to his.  Leaning down, brushing lips, gentle kisses began to grow more passionate, kiss by kiss.  Winding her arms around his neck she pulled him down to lay almost on top of her. Longer, harder kisses, breathing faster, hands begin to wander around.  Soah slid her hand up Morgan's shirt, wanting to feel more of him, in reality wanting his shirt off.

 Breaking the kiss whispering, "Morgan will you take your shirt off?  I'll take mine off too!"

Morgan knew he had reached the end of the line.  Oh how he wanted to go further, not stopping until he was buried deep inside Soah.  The idea of having her around him, how tight, wet, ripped a groan from him.  Like Dave's slap, a thought slammed into him, she thinks the only way she can keep me is to have sex with me!  It was all in Book!  She needs to be shown there is more to us, than sex.

"No one is taking anything off, Soah."  Morgan pulled out of Soah's arms, and pulled her up to sit beside him saying, "We are not having sex tonight, or tomorrow.  It is going to be long while yet, I want for us to explore each other, without confusing everything with sex.  I love you Soah, you are more to me, than the usual quick lay.  I didn't care about those girls, and using them for sex, pfft, not an issue.  They didn't care about me either.  I was just trophy boy to them.  Someone to show off, someone to make the other girls jealous.  I pretended that I didn't know that is how they all thought about me.  It never bothered me, I always had dates, someone to take to dances and sex, but other than that?  Nothing in here."  Tapping his chest, watching her closely for her reaction to what he was saying.

He could see her working out what he had told her, trying to get all of the pieces to fit into some form that made sense. Pieces clicking into place, picture whole, complete, clear, understanding opening for business.  Mentally fist pumping, yeah!  He had her!  She got it!  Kissing her smiling face, her laughing cheeks, her eyes glowing with happiness.  They were out of the woods, thank heavens!

"I am going home.  Tonight has suddenly caught up with me, and I am just trashed. I will be here tomorrow to pick you up for work.  Remember your promise!  I get breakfast!"

"Good night!  I'll have it ready for you! I love you, thank you for coming back for me!"

"Sweet girl?  I will always come back for you."

Break Free Chapter 20

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Posted on 7:13 PM | By Biki Honko | In

"Soah!  Breakfast smells awesome!  What did you make?  Oh french toast!  Yummy!  Bacon, and scrambled eggs, wow!  This must have taken you forever!  Can I eat now? Please?"  Talia batted her lashes at me, a large grin on her face.

"Sure, help yourself.  Will your mom and dad be down soon?"

"Here we are, the divine aroma pulled us down the stairs.  French toast?  I love french toast!  Why does yours smell so much better than mine? Oh the coffee is ready!  Soah our lifesaver!"  Cecile poured two mugs of coffee and handed one to Sam.

"I use vanilla extract and cinnamon in the batter.  I hope you like it."  I was so nervous about making them breakfast, hoping they would like my cooking.

"Umm, ohh, Soah!  This is the best french toast ever!  Mom, I am so sorry, but Soah's is so  much better!  The syrup is warm too.  Yummy!"  Talia speared two more pieces from the serving plate, having already devoured one piece and a large helping of scrambled eggs and several slices of bacon.  "No need for lunch today!  I will be full on this all day!  Yum!"

"Where did you learn to cook like this?  This is a fabulous breakfast!"  Sam had a substantial amount of everything on his plate.  His fork poised half way to his mouth, he shot a sharp look at Soah.  "Soah!  Where is your plate?"

"Umm....... I don't have one.  I'll eat later."

Sam pushed to his feet, getting a place setting, and stalked back to me.  "I am taking your hand."  Doing what he said, he pulled me away from the sink full of dishwater, and forced me to the table.  "We appreciate all of your hard work on this glorious breakfast.  But, in this house, we eat together, the dishes wait.  Sit.  Eat."

Cecile and Sam both started piling food on my plate.  Glancing at Sam to check if he was truly mad at me or not, he didn't seem mad.  Cecile patted my arm, and nodded at my plate.  Releasing a breath that I was unaware of holding, I started to eat.

"Soah, can you teach me how to make your french toast?  I love this stuff!  Yum!!!"  Talia was eating with a look of total happiness.

"Sure, it is nothing special.  Just the normal batter for the french toast.  Just add a few drops of vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  I watched some cooking show in the hospital and she did it this way, and it sounded so good, I wanted to try it."

"What else can you cook?  Is everything you cook this good?"  Talia was starting to slow down, her stomach was getting full, but her mouth didn't want to stop tasting.

"Umm, lots of things I guess.  I make really good peanut butter cookies."

Cecile glanced up at the clock, "Whoops!  We need to get ready to go!  You have only 15 minutes before blast off Sam!  Soah?  Are we supposed to drop you off or is one of the boys going to pick you up?"  Before Soah could answer Cecile the doorbell rang.  "Well that answers that question!  Get the door Soah."

"Sure mom!"  And I ran for the door, not seeing the shocked look on everyone's face.  Pulling the door open, there stood Morgan, a large grin on his face.

"Cute look there Soah!"

"Huh?"  Looking down, I saw I was still wearing the apron, with my fuzzy slippers.  Giggling at what I was wearing, I asked Morgan, "Have you eaten yet?  Do we have time for you to eat?"

"Sure, I can always make time for food.  It smells wonderful!  What is that?"

"French toast.  It seems to be a big hit around here.  I have enough batter for a couple more slices.  Do you want some eggs and bacon also?"

Morgan followed me into the kitchen, "Wait!  You made that wonderful smell?  Really?  Hook me up!  Good morning everyone."

"Oh, hey Morgan.  You do not want to eat Soah's french toast!"  Talia smiled at Morgan.

"Why not?  It smells divine!"

"Yeah, but once you start eating you will never want to stop! I'm ready to go dad!  Meet you in the car!  Bye Soah!  See ya Mom!"

"Talia is right, best french toast I have ever eaten!"  Kissing Cecile on the cheek and ruffling Soah's hair, Sam followed Talia out the door.

"Soah, I get off at 5 every night.  Sam is usually off around 4:30.  I will swing by and pick Talia up from her babysitting job after work.  Morgan, what time do you and Kevin usually wrap things up for the day?"

"It depends on what we are working on.  Sometimes, we have to wait for things to dry and wrap up earlier, or the current project is complicated and we don't want to break in the middle, and we just keep working until it is finished.  Why?"

"Soah, is not supposed to be home alone."

"Oh, then we will just keep her busy until 5.  Sound good?  Now where is that french toast I am hearing so much about?"

"It's almost done.  Do you want some scrambled eggs also?  Let me warm up the bacon."

"I am leaving now Soah.  Take your cell phone with you today.  Call me if you need to."

"Mom?  Aren't you going to be late for work today?"

"Yes.  I have already cleared it with my boss for me to come in about 30 minutes late each day this week.  I wanted to make sure we had enough time in the mornings until you became accustomed to our schedules.  Give me a hug baby girl."  Oh, lovely, lovely hugs!

"Bye Mom!  See you tonight!  So, did you want eggs?"

"Sure, if it isn't to much trouble."

Nope!  No trouble at all!  So, what kind of work will I be doing today?  There is enough coffee left, do you want some?"

"Yeah, only had one cup this morning.  Painting. We want to get everything painted before we put the flooring down.  That way we don't have to worry about spilling paint on the new floors."

"Here is your coffee and the eggs, the french toast will be done in a minute.  So, if you are to the painting and flooring, are you almost done?"

"One would think so, huh?  No, well, yes....here is the thing.  All of the big work will be done, after all of the flooring is done.  What is left is all the little fiddly jobs.  Moldings, towel racks, curtain rods, shelves.  The kind of stuff that is not hard to do, but is time consuming, because you have to be so exact or it shows."

"Here is the rest of your breakfast.  Will I get paint on my clothes?  Everything I have is new, and I don't wanna mess it up."  I poured myself another glass of juice and sat down with Morgan.

"Soah!  Talia is right!  This is heavenly!"

Morgan was quiet while he was busy eating.  Scraping the last morsels of food from his plate, he leaned back into his chair, with a groan and a large smile.  I picked up his plate, and finished up the rest of the dishes.

"While I was eating, I was thinking about keeping you clean.  I have never managed to paint anything without getting at least some paint on me.  How about we go down to Value Town, and get you a pair of cheap tennis shoes, and a bandana for your hair.  And at the hardware store, we will get you a set of coveralls.  That will keep you clean and tidy.  Sound good?"

"Umm, I don't have any money."

"No worries. I'll spring for them.  And I don't want to hear from you about it, understand?  Hey! How about if you make me breakfast each day?  My mom leaves early each morning, and I have no idea how to cook.  I get well tired of cold cereal and toast.  Do we have a deal?"

"Ok.  Let me run up and get my shoes.  Is shorts and a tee ok for under the coveralls?"

"Yeah, less is better.  Hurry up Chef Soah!"

"I'll be quick!"  Running up the stairs, I sped into my room, grabbing up my shoes and a pair of socks.  Halfway down the stairs before I remembered my cell phone!  Errr!  Back up the stairs, into my room, where did I leave my cell phone?  Oh, on the desk.  Grabbed it up and shoved it into my pocket, down the stairs again.  Flying around the corner into the kitchen, I caromed off of Morgan, landing on my butt.

"Hey!  It isn't a race here.  Kevin won't fire us.  Besides I am picking him up, so he will wait for us, and he is always late!  You ok?"

Morgan pulled me to my feet and stopped my giggles by kissing me throughly.  I dropped my shoes and socks and threw my arms around him, and fell deeper into his kiss.  Morgan picked me up, never breaking our kiss, and carried me into the family room.  Sitting down on the edge of the sofa, Morgan slid me against him, and leaned back on the sofa.  Laying on him, his hand on my back, the other cupping my head as we kissed.  Sharing each others breath, lips and tongues soft and warm.  Slow long soft noisy kisses.  Morgan's hand on my back slid up and down, oh that feels so heavenly!  Gradually Morgan began kissing me more firmly, more urgently, his hands were both running up and down my back, oh more, please more!  His hands stop their wandering on my butt, pressing me against him, moving his hips up and down as he ground himself against me, he moaned low in his throat.

 Breaking off our kiss Morgan whispered into my ear, "We have to stop."  Groaning deeply he rested his face next to my ear.  His breath tickled as it washed over my cheek.

"I...I...don't want to stop!"

"Oh honey baby, we have to."

Pressing my pelvis down onto Morgan, rubbing against him, urging him to finish what he started!  Catching my hips in his hands, he stilled their movement. Whining trying to break free of his confining hands, needing the friction back again.

"Morgan, please!  I don't wanna stop now!  Come on, please?"

"No.  It is my fault, I shouldn't have let it get to this point.  I'm sorry Soah, but no."

Pushing up with my hands on his chest I looked into his eyes, they were glazed with desire, and I knew he wanted to finish as badly as I did.  Leaning down, zeroing in on his mouth, hoping if he starts to kiss me, he will loose control.  He let my lips land on his, but then pulled back so the kiss was light, not what I wanted at all!  Running his hands up my sides and around my back, holding me to him as he sat up. Turning me around, sitting me sideways on his lap, he hugged me, and rested his cheek on my head.

"Soah, you know we can't do this, don't you?"

"No! I don't know why!  I didn't ask you to stop!"

"You are 15!  Shit!  What was I thinking?  You aren't ready for this."  Morgan pushed me off his lap onto the sofa, and dropped his head into his hands.  "Damn it!  I gotta get my shit together!"

Sitting there, listening to Morgan berate himself, running himself down further and further.  I needed to make him stop feeling so guilty.  Of course!  Jumping off the sofa, I ran up the stairs, and into my room.  Opening one of the suitcases on the floor, I dug to the bottom, retrieved what I needed, and ran back down the stairs.

"Morgan  I want you to read something.  I wrote this a few days before you met me."  Handing Book to Morgan, I pointed at where he should start reading.

"You.... you are letting me Book?  Why?"

"It will explain some things.  I am not as innocent as I look.  I...mean that, umm......I've....never ahh, had sex, but ummm......... just read it."

Morgan began reading where I had decided that I needed a boy, any boy who would protect me at school, and my desire to find someone older to teach me how to have sex.  Worried that he would think less of me, didn't really matter any more.  I just didn't want him to feel any less about himself.  Nerves climbing up from my stomach, taking root in my chest, coming to rest around my throat.  My heart sped up, until it was banging around in my chest like a shoe in the dryer.

Lost in my own thoughts, sure he was leaving and never looking back, I startled when he dropped Book onto the coffee table.  Coming back to the here and now,  I chanced a quick look at Morgan.  His eyes were wet, he wasn't crying, only one blink away from crying.  Wrapping his arms around me, he held me so carefully, he still wanted me!

"School was bad for you also?"

"Yeah, girls hate me for some reason.  I get picked on all the time."  Loving the feeling of his arms around me, I just had to ask while there was still some bravery left, "You don't hate me now?  Do you still like me?"  Steeling myself against his words. When he did speak, it took my breath away.

"Don't you get it?  I love you!  I have dated tons of girls, and not a single one has ever held my interest for more than a few dates!  But, you!  There is something about you that draws me in.  You are all I can think about!  That is why I lost my self control with you today.  I want you so much."

"What you read in Book, doesn't upset you, at all?"

"Yeah, it does.  But not for the reason you think.  What upsets me, is that no one ever saw you.  No ever wanted you.  I am blown away by that!  You are kind, and sweet, smart and funny, and cute as hell.  Go put Book away, we need to be going.  I'll call Kevin, and let him know we are coming."

The rest of the day went by in a blur. The only thing my brain would hold onto was that Morgan loved me!  Even after reading Book!  He loves me! Me!

After dropping Kevin off, a warm quiet filled the car.  Morgan had my hand on his lap, and he would rest his hand over mine when he wasn't shifting.  I was tired from painting, and was content to just bask in the enjoyment of being with Morgan.

"Would you like to go on a date Friday?  Out to dinner, and a movie?  Chinese food sound good?"

"Really!  Oh yes!  I would love to!  You will have to help me order, cause I just ate what Dave fed me.  Will they have forks?  If not, Dave will have to come with us!  What movie will we see?"

"Not sure, we need to check to see what is on.  There will be forks, if you want to be sure, you could bring your own!  Do you need to ask Sam and Cecile first?"

"Oh.  I'm not sure.  We can ask when we get to the house.  That would be so funny!  Hey mom!  I need to take a fork on my date!"  Giggling at the funny picture of me putting a fork in my bag, and then the even funnier idea of me getting it out of my bag at the restaurant!  Morgan must have agreed with me, because soon he was laughing with me.

As soon as the car came to a halt, I was out like a shot, and up and into the house.  "Mom?  Dad?  Is anyone here?"  Sam came into the hallway, the newspaper in his hand, and a concerned look on his face.

"Baby girl, what's the matter?  Are you ok?"

"Dad!"  I threw myself into his arms, and gave him a huge hug!  "Guess what?  Morgan wants to take me on a date Friday!  Can I go?  Please?"

"Hey Morgan!  This morning when I left she was all calm and quiet.  What kind of paint are you using?"

" I know the answer to that!  Eggshell.  Wait, is it really made with eggshells?"

"No that is the finish, only kinda shiny.  Where were you all day?  We told you that, and you thought it was interesting."

"Really?  I don't remember that at all."  At that point Mom and Talia came home.  Running up to mom, and throwing my arms around her saying, "Mom!  Morgan asked me out on a date Friday!  I asked dad already and he started talking about paint.  Can I?"

"Let's go sit down, I am tired, it was a super busy day.  Why don't you help Talia get supper ready, and let your dad and Morgan and I talk about it, ok?"

"Umm, does that mean no?  Did I do something wrong?"

"No, you haven't done anything wrong at all.  This is what parents do.  We want what is best for you, and for us to decide, we need to talk to Morgan alone for a minute.  Everything is fine."  Mom gave me another hug, before she headed off to the living room.

"Come on, let's make supper.  I hope you are a wizard with supper like you are with dinner!"

"Sure.  What are we making?"  Taking one last glance at the living room doorway, before following Talia to the kitchen.

Break Free Chapter 19

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Posted on 7:13 PM | By Biki Honko | In

Days leap by, crawl by, flowing into a long stream. Good, great, wonderful days, full and happy.  Horrid, terrible, pebble in your shoe as your run for your life days, empty and sad.  Uneven, out of sync, can't quite find my balance moments.  Moments of skin full to bursting happiness.  Shifting sand dunes, always eager to run and play with the wind, leaving me grasping for footing, grasping to stand.  Never quite getting there, never quite understanding, always missing some detail, some fact, some connection.  Trust, complete and total, not now, not ever?  I trust, I hope, I pull back, away, back into safe.  But, my safe, isn't so warm, so comfortable, I don't quite fit there anymore.  I don't quite fit anywhere.

Stuck.  All of the old rules of life, of behavior, gone.  Without anything to fill in the gaps, the holes, the need. Out in the open, exposed naked and alone.  The old is gone, and the new?  I can't nail down the new.  The new is slippery, sliding, mutating faster than I can classify.  Trying, to make a pattern, a form to fit into, a place to hold me.

Full of fear of making a mistake, never knowing exactly what is expected of me. Expectations, are they set in stone?  Are the rules constant, unchanging, identical day after day?  The uncertainty, the waiting for the masks to fall off, the hands to strike out, the acid words to burn me.  Hope blooming, full of blossom and fragrance, reaching for the sun, opened up eager for more.  Curling, drying, shrinking withering confusion, blasting my hope into fragments over my landscape.

Hope, happiness, wonderful, alone, horrid, terrible, confusing days, all began with the closing of a door.  The front door.

As the door closed on my last welcome home guest, the fear started to crawl around in my belly, and began the trip to my throat, around my throat, closing my throat.  Alone, really alone with the Jenkins.

Sam smiled at me saying, "Soah, I want you to understand that this is your house.  I don't want you to, no more correctly, we don't want you to feel like an unwanted guest.  No one forced us to take you in.  We filed the foster papers because we want you here with us. So, we are going to give you the 50 cent tour of your new home.  Honestly, we don't spend a great deal of time here in the living room.  The family room is where we spend most of our time. When Talia has friends by this is the room Cecile and I retreat to.  Who knew that girls were so noisy?"

"Girls are noisy?  Have you heard how loud you and your buddies are when a game is on?"  Talia had a big smile on her face, and poked Sam in the tummy.

Cecile slipped her hand into mine and pulled me into the dining room.  "Normally we have dinners here each evening.  We do make exceptions for time schedules, certain tv shows, what have you.  The dishes in the sideboard are usually only used for holidays, so we trundle the dishes back and forth from the kitchen."  Tugging me along again, Cecile pulled her into the kitchen.  Opening various cabinets and cupboards showing me the where and what of the kitchen.

"What time is breakfast?" I was trying hard to remember everything that I had been shown, and was worried, oh so worried, that I  was going to forget something important.

"Around seven.  Is that fine with you Soah?"

"Sure.  What is normally for breakfast?"

"Eggs, pancakes, bacon, toast, oatmeal.  The usual breakfast foods. Cecile leaves around eight, I am usually out around 8:15 or so, and Talia has a babysitting job that I drop her off to each morning.  Did Kevin ask you to help him on the apartment?  Everything has taken so much longer than they had hoped.  There is still so much work to do.  Dave is working full time, and only has time after work, and he is allergic to dust which limits what he can help with.  Morgan is working each day with Kevin, but they could really use more help. They really want to move in soon."

"Yeah.  Kevin and Dave both asked me to help."

"Do you want to work with them?  You don't have to."

"Umm, if I don't help them, then I have to go to the day program at the hospital, right?"

"Yes, both of the doctors don't want you home alone yet.  Which would you rather do?"

"Help Kevin and Dave.  Is that ok?"

"Yes, it is."

Sam pulled me along into the family room, showing me the tv and the computer.  Babbling on like a noisy brook, about what I couldn't honestly tell you.  Overload, so much to remember, to hear, to absorb.  I know I will forget something important, I am full to bursting already.

"Lets go see your room, huh?"  Sam's question caught me by surprise, he pulled me from my daze of fear and an overload of information.

"......ok..."

Up the stairs, down the hall, and into a bedroom. Words began flying around the room, words that had no real meaning, words are worthless.  Something about making the room my own, wanting me to decorate it to my desire.  Desire?  What I desire, you can't paint a room with, can't cover a bed or windows with.  What is my desire?  At this point, I don't even really know, what it is I desire.   How about, rules that make sense, rules that are nailed down, rules that don't shift and flow?  For rules that I can believe in, I need to trust, and that is something I just can't do, I don't know how to do.  I desire a world that makes sense to me, a world that won't hurt me, a world that I can fit into, a world for me.  Love?  Oh, I desire love, someone to love me, not hurt me, but love me.  Affection? Yes!  Affection, that would be beyond words wonderful, I desire affection.  Yes please!  One order of affection to go.  Standing there, lost in a sea of words without meaning, lost in my thoughts, just honestly plain lost in the universe, Sam touches me, jerking my mind back to the here and now, and surprised by the touch, I flinch away.  Oh God!  I flinched!  Steeling myself for the blow, waiting, oh God, I hate the waiting, just get it over with and hit me!  The blow that never comes?  Scrabbling my way back into the present, fighting to understand the words and the body language, fitting together the puzzle pieces to make sense of what is happening around me.  No angry faces?  Flinching, without fail, leads to furious unbridled anger. Anger that is only cooled with the heat of violence hammered out on me.  I see only sad faces.  Cecile has tears in her eyes, why?  Cecile moves toward me, and I cringe away.  Trembling, shaking, crying, knowing my sin, and the penance that will need to be paid.  Why, oh why, can't I stand still, and just receive their anger, the punches, the whippings?  No, I always, and I do mean always, flinch, cringe, attempt to move away, it just magnifies their response to an ever stronger focus.  Unable to stand up any longer, I crumple to the floor, I am a puppet with broken strings.

"Soah?"  Sam knelt next to me, rubbing his hands over his face, "You need to understand that we will never hit you!  And, when I say never, that is just what I mean.  We will never ever hit you, ever!  For any reason, no matter what, we will never hit you."  Sam slowly sat down, "Soah, I know that it is easy for me to sit here and tell you that we will never hurt you, and impossible for you to believe me.  All of us are just going to have to take this moment by moment.  We are going to have to learn to listen, really listen to each other.  Listening not only to what we are saying, but what we mean.  And, we are going to have to learn how to say what we really mean when we talk to each other."

Sam sat quietly on the floor next to me.  Cecile and Talia were sitting on the bed.  Talia had her arm wrapped around her mom, tears still streaking Cecile's face.  Sam held his hand out to  me, waiting for me, allowing me room to decide if it was safe to take it.  I pushed myself up, sitting by Sam, but out of his strike zone, relieving every moment with Sam, and how safe he made me feel.  Making a decision, believing in it, throwing my caution into the fire, I launched myself into his arms.  And was greeted with a fierce hug.  He scooped me up, turned me around so that I was sitting in his lap, and cuddled me to him.  In a rush, all of the days tension drained away.  As the tension left my body, I began to cry, giant body shaking sobs, that surprised me with their intensity.  I clung to Sam, the tears wrenching my throat, choking me in their haste to leave me all at once. He held me so gently, I could feel his affection for me, his love for me?

 As my tears ran down, Sam murmured  into my ear, "Baby girl, are you feeling better about living here with us now?"

Pushing away from Sam slightly, wiping my face with my hands, "Yeah, I am sorry about that.  I should know better, and part of me does, but still, it is so hard to believe..... that life will be better."

"Sorry?  Why on earth are you sorry?  There is no reason at all for you to apologize.  If anyone should apologize it should be us.  I noticed that you had zoned out on us, and I wanted to get your attention, to bring you back into the room with us.  I knew better than to touch you to get your attention."

"It's late, and you have had a really long day.  Why don't we all go to bed.  Things will look better in the morning.  Soah, just get what you need out of your bags for tonight.  We can unpack your things tomorrow, ok?"  Cecile looked so sad, sitting on the bed.  I felt even worse now about cringing from her hug.  Sighing, as she stood up, Cecile leaned down and opened up a suitcase.  Standing up, she had bear and moose and my pillow in her arms.

Pulling away from Sam, I got up and walked over to Cecile, screwing up my courage, I reached out and yanked everything out of her arms, dumping the stuff on the bed.  And then, shaking inside, slid into her arms for a hug.  Cecile froze at first, and I thought I had made a terrible mistake.  Just as I was getting ready to pull away from her, she tightened her hold on me.  For the briefest of breaths, I was scared all over again, and then somehow, knowing I was safe with her, melted into her embrace.  Oh, oh!  How good this feels!  My first true, no holding anything back hug with her, I never want to let go!  Standing there, with her slightly rocking me back and forth, holding me so warmly, I began to feel in her arms the same feelings that rush through me when Sam hugs me.

Kissing the top of my head Cecile said, "Soah, we have all had a long day, especially you.  Come on let's get you ready for bed, huh?"  Nodding my agreement of how tired I was, but was not wanting to part from her embrace just yet.  Cecile squeeze me lightly one last time, and disentangled herself from my grip.  "I am not going anywhere, we will have lots of time to hug."  

Laying in bed, warm and oh so very happy.  What I have always prayed for, hoped for, despaired of ever happening, has happened.  I am safe!  Oh, I love to say the word, safe, safe, safe, safe...  The very word is music to my soul. I just have to believe in Sam and Cecile.  I have to get this right!  I can not ruin this by my behavior.  I need to be extra careful to follow all of the rules.

Break Free Chapter 18

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Posted on 7:10 PM | By Biki Honko | In

Beginning, oh how hard to find the thread to pull, and open up to Dr. Fisher.  Words stumbled out, halting, slow, uncertain words.  Fear crashing over, freezing my tongue, speeding my heart rate to rabbit speed.  Keeping in, holding tight to secrets, the flow only ever before this, going in.  Allowing thoughts and feelings out that are photosensitive, that were huddled in the dark, dark closets in my soul.  Opening those doors and prying small scared feelings out to be examined, caused pain that was searing, burning, and yet, cathartic.

I feel.... lighter....? Is lighter even the right word to use?  Yeah, lighter.  It almost feels as if I have set down a very heavy burden, that I wasn't even aware of carrying about.  Explaining what the last few days were like at....home, ripped me open.  Remembering every detail, every word, every hit, just every....last...detail.  Why would remembering all of that make me feel.....better?  It seems illogical that telling something you just want to bury as deeply as possible, would make you feel better, lighter, new.

Laying in the dark, holding moose, in my new room, trying to adjust to the shifting sands my life now seems to be built on. Each and every day, something that had been solid was replaced by soft sand.  The solid, the rock, was harsh and offered no comfort, nothing to cling to.  But, it was a constant, unchanging in attitude, hated, abhorred would be much more accurate, but constant.  The fear of being beaten, the desire to be beaten, hating the screaming at me, the hurtful words, desiring the painful words.  How else did I know that I truly existed?  Being ignored was just as painful, just as fear inducing as the physical pain of blows.  After a few days of not existing for them, I began to fray at the edges, to slowly dissolve into the ether.  Becoming unable to find my self in the dark, in the light, in crowds, alone.  Being hurt, was who, what I was, without it, I ceased to exist.

No one ever seemed to really notice me, or hardly even remember me.  Why was that?  Why did I seem to match the back ground so effectively?  Wait up a moment though, the boys all noticed me.  Well, Morgan did.  At first Kevin and Dave had a hard time seeing me like usual.  But, then Dave noticed me well enough to realize something was wrong with me.  How did he see me that well?  What did he see that made him worry?  I love Morgan, and yet I fear Morgan.  How long will he want me?  How long until the darkness inside of me chases him from my arms?  I fear him beginning to beat on me, and yet, long for him to hit me.  The waiting, the wondering, the worry is so immensely overwhelming that breathing becomes a chore.  If he hits me, it means he wants me, right?  Could I make him mad enough for him to loose his temper?  How mad would he have to be, before his hand is loosened from his side and flies out to meet my flesh?  Would his punch feel different, leave a different smudge on my soul?  Or are they all the same?

Restless, need to move, need to flee my thoughts, need who knows what in the hell I need.  Out of bed, pacing, pacing, pacing my room like a lion in a zoo.  Without conscious thought, only the need to calm my self with movement, out into the hallway, walk, walking, running down the corridor, around the corner, hands out to push the door open, and then bang!  Stumbling back, arms aching, door locked, locking me in, locking me away from what, I don't know, only knowing that I need out!  Beating the door, yelling, shaking the door, tears, tears, sliding down to the floor, unraveled.

Feet.  I see feet.  Traveling up from the feet, my eyes come to rest on a face.  On his face is a look of, concern?  He is speaking to me, do I want to listen?  Should I make the effort?  No, I just do not care what he is saying.  I am tired of listening, same words over and over and over.  I am sure his are the same.  Sitting, he is sitting beside me, and he is not talking, he understands silence?  Not touching me, not speaking, just sitting.  My rabbit heart slows down, my chest is untying the knots, muscles starting to unclench.  Pulling back from the edge of the cliff, eyes drifting closed, the rivers on my face beginning to run dry.  Ragged breathes in and out, breathes smoothing out, evening out, once again breathing is not noticed by me, my body getting on with it's job.  Pushing up to sit beside him, still not wanting, not willing to listen.  Pushing himself to his feet, he holds a hand out to me, with a question on his face.  Shakily I extend my hand to him, and he gently pulls me to my feet.  Walking beside me in blessed silence, we return to my room.  He turns on the nightlight, and straightens my bedding, waiting for me to climb in.  And this is when I realize that I have had moose in my hand the entire time!  Snuggling him closer to me, I get in the bed, and pull up the covers.  He pulls a chair over to the side of my bed, and sits, still not talking.

Suddenly words explode from me, every ugly thought that had been torturing me the last few hours.  Spilling over my lips, down my chin, pooling on the floor, between us.  Waiting for him to stir it, to scoop it up and throw it back at me, sliming me with my own words.  And then the words gradually trickled to a halt.  Empty of any more words, ran down, ran out, just done.  Leisurely he leans forward and quietly began speaking to me.  His voice so low, so quiet, I had to almost strain to hear him, hear what he was saying, hear what he wanted me to know, to think about.  Fear of the unknown, he said is paralyzing, and I have been living in the unknown the last week or so.  Only knowing one way to live, only knowing how I fit in that one life, and when that is taken from me, I want back what I know, what is safe.  What I truly do not want, but know how to operate in.  How to me, being hit, is the only attention I understand, which is why I crave it.  And that I will need to learn to live without violence, without soul searing words, without needing them, without wanting them, without.

Hugs he went on, make little sense to me, because they had never followed a pattern.  Random hugs, random kisses, were so much worse, bringing to life hope for a brighter tomorrow, only to have it tarnish again and again.  Until the hugs and kisses became so much more painful than the blows that curled up my hope into a small safe ball.  In many ways being beaten was much less painful, less hurtful of my hope, which laid curled and dried on the closet floor of my soul.

Sleep, he wanted me to sleep.  Said he would sit here with me until I slept.  Said sleeping would help realign my thoughts, help me to sort out the true from the bogus.  Dry the fear from my heart, and allow hope to unfurl again in the light of day.  Unbeliever that I was, how could I sleep with all of this dark muck oozing around in my head?  And then, it was morning.

The nurse was opening the blinds, rustling around, getting my slippers and robe from the closet.  Breakfast was only minutes away, and I was expected to be there.  Skipping meals was not allowed. Up, up, up! Hurried through face washing, teeth brushing, and out the door, down the hall, and into a large sunny room.  Pulling me to a table, pushing me into a chair, introducing the five other teens at the table.  There eyes were bright and curious, wanting something from me I do not want, or know how to give.  Pulling back, curling up, looking down, not wanting any more, fearing any more contact.  Plate in front of me, fork in hand, pushing and moving my food around, and around.  Starting to get up, needing to be away, needing to be safe, needing to be alone to be able to breath freely again.  A hand on my shoulder, looking up a nurse, saying I had to eat.  Weight gain was necessary to finish healing, I had no choice in this matter.  Looking down into the plate of food, I could not, did not want to eat, a lump started growing in my throat, bigger and bigger until I could barely swallow.  Bolting from the table I ran from the room, and into my new room.  Shutting the door, wishing for a way to shut them all away from me.  Rushing to the closet, stepping in, shutting the door behind me, darkness envelops me.  Better, much better.

The door to the closet opens, some unknown time later, looking up at Dr. Fisher, realizing he was going to push and pull on me again, forcing me to open up.  Pulling me from the closet, pushing me out the door, and into the hall, he led me into his office, where he began to pry me open like an oyster.  Days went by, spending most of my mornings with Dr. Fisher and the early evenings with Dr. Layton.  Digging through my soul closet, learning how and where I began and the evil beings imprint ended.

Afternoons were spent in the day room, we were not allowed to stay in our rooms.  Because all I had were pajamas, Cecile was allowed to visit to bring me some more clothing.  Seeing her was beyond wonderful!  Hugs, so many delightful hugs!  The visit was short, to short!  And then, she was gone.  Slowly, cautiously I began to talk, first to the kids who sat at our table for meals, and then to others. Shying away from the girls, afraid of them, afraid of them hurting me, as most of the girls at school did.  Not opening up, not sharing, not meeting them, just edging the conversation.

And then one day, walking into the day room, there was Dave!  Dave!  Running at him full speed, running into his welcoming arms, running into his love.  Holding me, kissing my cheek, patting my back.  Pulling me to a couch, he held my hand and smiled his sweet smile at me.  A blink, a flash and then he was standing up, asking for a hug before he had to leave.  Melting into him, feeling his warmth, hearing his heart thumping along a slow steady beat.  Before I was ready, long before I was ready, he was leaving!  Following him down the hall, trailing him like a puppy on the leash of his hand, getting to the doors, he made me let go.  Watching him through the glass of the door, he entered the elevator looked up, saw me standing there, waved bye, and the doors closed.

Standing there, feelings sloshing around, cresting over the shore of my confusion.  Lost in the maze of events that seem to have no connection, I feel someone standing next to me.  Whipping around quickly, frightened by the unnoticed approach.  I see Dr. Layton standing quiet as usual allowing me to center back on calm.  He explains that my hard work has been repaid by allowing me short visits with my friends.  Morgan, every dna strand of my being is calling for, Morgan.  No Morgan until I find out who I am without him.

I turn and look at Dr. Layton, really look at him.  He is short, youngish, around middle 30's and very slim, almost to the point of being skinny, his hair is dirty blonde, and stick straight, light brown eyes that are steady and calm.  There is something different about him, not sure what it is.  Maybe it is the quiet way he waits, patiently remaining silent, clearly unhurried, clearly unconcerned about time.  Holding his hand out to me, quirking an eye brow, asking him to trust him.  I place my hand in his, and am led to his office.

The weeks fly by, every day is almost the same as the day before, all blending together into one endless day.  Several flares of bright color illuminate the gray of everyday, visits!  Visits from everyone one except for Morgan.  He sends me funny cards, favorite snacks, but is not allowed to call or visit me.

Walking into Dr. Fisher's office for my usual appointment one day, I am stunned to see not only Dr. Layton, but Sam and Cecile!  After hugs, and kisses, we settle on the couch and the doctors begin to speak to me.  I am going home with Sam and Cecile today!  My appointments with both of the doctors will continue, just not on a daily basis.  I am given rules about my time with Morgan!  Rules! What the fuck for?  Why? Why? Why?  And if I think that the rules will be ignored by Morgan, I am mistaken, he was here earlier and was given the what and why of the rules.  Dr. Layton leaned over towards me, looked me closely in the eyes, and in his usual quiet voice explained why this had to be.  I hated it!  Hated it!  As much as I detest the rules, the need for rules, what he said made sense to me.  Sigh, I hate when that happens.

Packing up my belongings, a few quick goodbyes and I am so ready to leave.  As Sam picks up the filled suitcases, Dr. Layton walked into the room, and asked me to stay behind for a few minutes for a quick chat. Sitting down he waited until I had sat and was focused fully on him.  Quietly he explained that life was not going to be an easy sail, and did not want me to be surprised when my past reared up it's oh so ugly head.  My only defense was to be aware that what is past, is not always gone.  My past is also an important part of my future, and there was no magic knife to cut it away.  Learn how to co-exist with my past, to integrate it as seamlessly as possible into today.  Asking me for my cell phone, he started pushing buttons, many, many buttons.  Handing my phone back to me, he explained that his numbers were now programed into my phone, and I was to call him when I needed him.  Whenever I needed him.

Riding home, home?  Flutters of anxiety throb in my chest.  Holding moose tight against me, trying to keep the quivers, tremors at bay.  Fear made the tattoo of my heart beat ratchet up and up and up.  My feet and hands were tingling, my head seemed to float above my neck, I was loosing the battle against the fear.  Fear of what would happen after the front door closed.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear.  Holding moose wasn't enough, and the quivers overtook me.  Just as I was about to dissolve, the car slowed and we pulled into the driveway.  Of home?  I don't think I like the word home.  Shakily I stand on the path to the house.  Voices zoom and zing around me, but nothing lands even close to my ears.  Only the thought of how to walk up the path, how stepping up the steps and through that door will begin a future I am not sure I am ready for.  This will be different, it has to be different, it can not be the same as the past, it just can't!  Stepping into the living room, following Cecile's tugs on my hand, when had she taken my hand, I look up and see, Morgan!  Slipping free of Cecile, I materialize into his arms.  His warmth soaking into me, my heart begins to slow, my head lands on my neck, and the voices land in my ears again. Many voices, who is all here?  Loosing my hold on Morgan, I turn and see Talia, George, Cami, Kevin and Dave.

Hugs!  Hugs!  Each wanted a hug.  Did I say a hug?  I mean numerous, uncountable hugs.  Cami's soft body holding me gently, rocking me back and forth, whispering her love into my ear.  George's more cautious hugs, but still full of love, and a big loud kiss on my cheek, turning me red and making every laugh.  Kevin's jolly hug, like how I always imagined a big brother would hug me.  Dave's warm and gentle hug, rubbing my back and landing words of support in my ear.  Talia threw her arm around my shoulders and wished me happy homecoming, and then made everyone laugh by asking me to hurry up with the hugs, she wanted to eat! Sam pulled me over and into a warm hug and then pushed me into Cecile's arms.  She held me lightly, not trapping me against her, allowing me to snuggle but not forcing me to.

Talia got her wish, the platters and dishes of food on the dining room table were attacked, plates filled, voices happy and light.  Laughter bounced around the room growing and growing until the very walls were smiling.  Snuggling on the couch between Morgan and Dave, Kevin teased me that I could borrow Dave, but had to give him back. All to soon, it was hugging time again, but now these were the sad kind, goodbye hugs.  And then, they were gone.