- Harry AnderS -
'Born to be a King'
An inspirational fantasy
A retired psychotherapist meets a severely burnt little Gypsy boy, and takes him into his house.
Chapter 9 ended with:
"Oh... well... sorry we woke you up!"
"No need for sorry. I enjoyed the show. But, did you and Dad..."
"That's none of your business. Dad explained a couple of private things to me. Did I really make a noise like an elephant with Thomas?"
"Of course not, silly. I'm only teasing you."
"Oh... You're such a dork!"
"Next time, I want to join the fun!"
I listened to their conversation, red-faced and trying to keep my eyes on the road...
Chapter 10. Little Harry gets his mask, and misses all the special attention.
We entered the town in no time, and I parked our car in the same space as before.
"Just a minute, please. Have a seat, and I'll be right there!"
All at once, the sun returned into little Harry's eyes, and he started to smile again.
"Hello, my friends, it's nice to see you again. Sorry you had to wait."
He threw the towel somewhere into a corner, where it found its place on a chair.
Little Harry carefully touched the model, and chuckled:
"Is that me? I'm REALLY looking like a green alien!"
He felt the soft rubbery substance that covered the greenish model:
"This is creepy! It's as if I'm touching a real face..."
Now all of us felt the softness of the plastic mask, that would cover little Harry's face.
Peter demonstrated little Harry how he had to remove the mask from the model without tearing it.
At first, little Harry was a bit giggly; but then he seriously looked at himself in the mirror, and indicated something about the nose.
We were stunned!
Peter had tears in his eyes, and told little Harry:
"Be careful not to wear your mask for too long, because after a while the inside will be rather sweaty and itchy. Four hours will be the absolute maximum. After that time, there's a risk that your skin will become swollen and inflamed. If that ever is the case, don't hesitate to visit your family doctor and ask him for some ointment.
Little Harry threw himself at Peter, and nearly suffocated him:
"Thank you, Peter, thank you very much! Now I can attend a normal school, just like John!"
He went to me, and threw his arms around my waist:
"Thank you, Dad, for letting me have my mask. You are the best Dad in the world!"
He kissed my cheek... and froze, with an stunned look on his face:
"I can't FEEL you any more, Dad... It's as if my lips are gone..."
He looked at us with desperation in his eyes...
"You can't feel your father's face, because the mask also fits around your lips," Peter patiently explained,
Little Harry looked confused, went to the mirror, and carefully studied his new face:
"Of course, now I can see why it is... That wasn't a clever reaction... sorry."
He climbed onto my lap, and looked a bit ashamed.
"You will have to get used to your new mask," Peter further explained.
Little Harry nodded, still looking a bit confused.
"Sir, may I ask you a private question?" Peter asked me, a bit hesitantly...
"Err... yes, of course you may. What do you have in mind?"
"Yesterday, I took the liberty to talk about your son to a friend, who is living near a clinic that specializes in severe burns. During the last two years, this clinic has achieved astonishing results with skin cultures and transplantations. However, they are very expensive..."
Suddenly, I understood why Jack had told me: 'Spend everything you have on him...'
"Thank you, Peter, for caring so much about my son. Do you know the address of that clinic? I will be happy to contact them; and, of course, I will let you know about the results!"
Peter smiled happily too, and handed me a business card that had the address of the clinic already written on it.
Everyone hugged everybody, and little Harry even kissed Peter.
John couldn't keep his eyes off his little brother, who looked out of the windows with beaming eyes.
"Did you see that? That woman saw me, and she waved at me!"
I parked our car in a big parking lot, and little Harry jumped out of the car and proudly looked around...
We entered the mall, and asked a security officer for computer desks.
We went upstairs and headed for the furniture department, with little Harry leading the way.
Little Harry gave up, and just sauntered to the computer desks, where he started to look each desk over.
"Why is Harry so sad all of a sudden? Isn't he happy with his new mask?"
"Well... I think he is missing all the special attention. He was so used to everybody looking at him and making remarks... Suddenly, nobody seems to see him."
"That's weird! Two long years he waited for this moment, and now he isn't even happy?"
John shook his head in disbelief, and joined his little brother.
Little Harry looked every desk over, and carefully deliberated before he made his choice.
"This one, Dad! This is the desk I want to have."
The sales clerk handed us a receipt for the stockroom, where we could collect the unassembled desk in three separate packages.
John had the solution. He fetched a couple of ropes from the stockroom...
"I think you will be living with us for at least a couple of weeks, so wouldn't it be nice for you to have your own desk in your own room?"
John looked at me with so much love in his eyes that I nearly drowned in them...
"What do you think, Harry? Maybe I will only be living with you and Dad for a few days..."
"I think you are just afraid that I will be jealous, because you are getting a present too... but I have already gotten my mask as a present, remember? I think Dad has an excellent idea! Of course you will need your own desk, because you are going to live with us for more than a few days."
"How can you be so sure?"
"I just know, and you will see that I'm right..."
"I really hope you ARE right! Well... okay, Dad; this time, I will resign to your pressure, and humbly oblige..."
I laughed at his dignified use of words and ruffled his hair, loving my so dear friend more and more.
"Wow, little brother, you are having a very good eye for details! Thank you for your valuable help and advice."
Little Harry beamed.
On our way home, the boys noticed a small drive-in restaurant, and we decided to stop for a rest and a drink.
We went to a free table in front of the restaurant, and ordered coffee and colas.
"Do you really NEED all the attention? Why don't you peel your mask off, and let them look at your real face again? Now stop being so unthankful. You are making me angry!"
Little Harry looked at his big brother with a shocked face...
John tried to follow his little brother, but I stopped him:
"No, John, let him go and sort this out for himself. You were absolutely right, so don't feel guilty. I think he needs his personal space now, to get some more insight, and maybe even mature a little bit. He will come back when he's ready. Let's just keep an eye on him, as he is only eight years old, but from a distance. Okay?"
John nodded, and we turned our chairs so that we were able to look outside effortlessly.
Finally, he left the tree and sauntered back to the restaurant.
"You were right, and you did exactly the right thing by kicking my ass! It may sound stupid, but I did miss all the special attention... Wow, you were looking straight through me!"
He threw his arms around John, and buried his head into his brother's chest.
"Sorry, Dad, for being such a nuisance."
"You were not a nuisance, but you were having an important insight. I am sure you have learnt something today, and will not make the same mistake again. You can be proud of yourself!"
"Yeah?... Really?... Thank you, Dad; you are always making me feel better. I love you, and a lot more than I can tell you!"
Little Harry was back on earth. We had our beaming boy back.
"Will you phone that new face clinic today, Dad?"
"As soon as we are back home, son."
"I hope they can help me to have my real face back... I am very happy with my mask, but now it's starting to itch, and it feels very sweaty inside. As soon as we are home, I'll take my mask off, scratch my face, and wash the itching away with buckets of water!"
"What's about Harry's pending hospital appointment?" John thought aloud,
"Well, let's phone that clinic first, and listen to what they can offer us."
Both little Harry and John slowly drifted off. I thought that the emotions of the day were taking their toll...
"Don't do that now, because I'm driving my car! I don't want to have an accident by falling asleep..."
His answer came immediately, from within my head:
"Sorry, I didn't realize you were busy. This stuff is fairly new to me, you know. I only wanted to thank you for caring for my boys, and I'm leaving you now."
Both boys opened their eyes, and John yawned a couple of times:
"Wow, Dad; suddenly, I couldn't keep my eyes open! Fortunately, now I'm feeling fit again."
Little Harry looked a bit pensive, and hesitated:
"I can feel Jack around, Dad, and he wants to apologize for making us sleepy; as he has done before while we were in your bed. He didn't realize you were driving a car, and he will be more careful the next time. He doesn't want me to end up in a hospital, other than for having my face repaired..."
John looked surprised, and chuckled:
"THAT was what I was feeling. It didn't feel like a normal sleep, but as if I was suddenly drunk or so. Thank you, Jack; but, please, couldn't you use another way to contact us?"
We chuckled, and started to sing along with the music.
"It's really itching now! I will be happy to peel it off and wash my face."
We left our car, and John grabbed the keys out of my hand and hurriedly opened the front door.
"Will you help me, Dad? It's too sticky, and I am afraid I'll tear the edges."
I helped him peel his mask off; and, with a sigh of relief, he put his head under the tap and turned the water on.
"That feels better!" he murmured, spluttering and gasping, scratching his face everywhere, and splashing it with more water.
He dried his face, filled a bowl with warm water and soap, and painstakingly cleaned his mask.
"That's me, the freshly cleaned green alien."
John looked at the mask, and chuckled:
"That sounds like the title of a creepy film..."
Thank you for reading the next chapter of my emotional rollercoaster 'Born to be a King'.
Have a look at my OTHER story, about the same little Gypsy boy growing up in a secluded place in the Rumanian mountains; this time seen from his own point of view. You may click this link.
I would LOVE to receive your comments.