Pieces of the Child

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Chapter 68: Crawling to Emerge
(by NativeRose, added on 1 November 2007 02:41 PM)

"Scott is going to marry me!" Bethany sang out, laughing hysterically. "My dress will be the color of the princess in that book!" Bethany talked to her friends as they played in the sandbox. Kennan was not too far away. He sat dismally, listening to everything that was going on. Why couldn't he fit in? His mental questioning was interrupted when Bethany continued to speak.
"He's going to marry me when I'm this many!" She forgot to hold up some fingers; she just waved her arms in the air, her hands dancing before the faces of the other giggling girls.
"I thought he was your cousin," Kennan said. Although Bethany was visually impaired, she could still see the uncertainty displayed on his face.
"No! He's my bestest friend! Scott helps me. He can see more things. He helps me read when the words are squished on the paper." Beth could not know how true her predictions would be.

Kennan went back to observing the activities around him. He heard Sierra talking to Andrea, Nequenta and Zack. Rosalyn played on the slide structure with Jordan and Andrew. Isaac and Jenna ran around the perimeter of the playground at school. They chattered excitedly, and Kennan could hear the conversation from the other side of the schoolyard. Brandon and Adam played tetherball nearby. The cocophany only served to plunge Kennan deeper into depression. He wanted friends. At the same time, he didn't want any attachments.
"Hi!" a cheery voice broke into his grim thoughts.
"Who are you?"
"I'm Rosalyn. Do you want to play?"
"Play what?"
"Maybe the swings...or the sandbox...or, or the--" She jumped up and down as she breathlessly suggested things they could play with. However, her torrent of words was interrupted when the bell rang.
"Oh, we have to go inside. Can I go with you?"
"Yes," Kennan said slowly, bewilderment coloring his voice. Maybe, just maybe, Scott and Rosalyn weren't like his family. Maybe they could be his friends.

Today was the first full day Kennan spent with his new family—Bethany, Jamison and Corrine Ross. They seemed nice enough, but this was what happened with the mean family, too. How could Kennan be sure?

The questions reverberated around in his head when the lift touched the ground outside his new home. Would he be all alone, just as he had been with the previous family?
"Hi, Kennan!" That was Corrine, Beth's mommy. Kennan thought she was smiling, based on the sound of her voice. He suddenly wondered who had purchased his hearing aid tool. It was the Clearsounds SoundWizard 2 Complete System. This was his new amplification device, and it made it possible for him to hear everything, even the little verbal cues. It was just amazing that he could hear the smile in Corrine’s voice. Maybe she could love him. Then Kennan heard Bethany’s walker and her footsteps as she approached the lift. Kennan was startled when he felt someone touch his chair.
“Who’s that? Leave me alone!” he “screamed” through his digital voice.
“It’s Jamison, Bethany’s dad. Can I help you move just a little, so Bethany can use the lift?” Kennan stiffened as memories flashed through his mind. Would this big person hit him because he was in the way? Would he push him into some thorny bushes as the other people did? Kennan was surprised when Jamison released the brakes and slowly pushed him up the ramp. Corrine reached out to give him a hug. That was strange; her voice wasn’t coming from way above him. Was she sitting on the ground? That was the only thing Kennan could figure, as it was like she was looking right at him. The people never did that before. Well, no, that wasn’t quite true. Miss Anela, the teacher; Miss Janell, the physical therapist and Miss Hannah, the speech therapist at school did that, too. But why did Jamison and Corrine do that? They weren’t like the mean family at all. Still, what if all this was just a show so the bus driver wouldn’t know what they were really like?

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