This story full of Love is my gift to YOU.


Chapter 4. Taking my little soul mate home...

    Halfway through the evening, my doorbell suddenly rang.
I bolted upright in shock, trembling all over and fervently rubbing my eyes.
What time was it?
How long had I been dreaming?
Who the heck would try to pay me a visit at this time in the evening?

    My living room was already getting dark, so I switched on a couple of lamps.
Next, I stumbled to the front door and opened it, ready to brush off the unwelcome visitor I hadn't invited.

    Standing directly in front of my door, I saw John, fidgeting and impatiently waiting for me to let him in.
He seemed to be very nervous, all the time hopping from foot to foot and fumbling with his fingers.
    He looked up at me, with a desperate face and teary eyes:

    "Sorry, sir, for bothering you at this time; but, may I have a talk with you, please?"

    "Of course you may, and I assure you that YOU are never bothering me! Please, come in, and be my guest."

    I went back to my living room, on the way switching on a couple more lamps.
John followed me, heaving a couple of sighs and almost stumbling over the doorstep.
I sat down on my couch; and invitingly patted the empty space next to me.

    John looked at me with a pleading face, while his eyes again filled with tears.
Then, he just threw himself onto my lap and desperately clamped onto my chest.
Of course, I wrapped my arms around him and held him close; trying to give him all the support I thought he needed.
He started to cry immediately, trying to muffle his sounds into my shirt.
Again, he felt like a forlorn and desperate child, craving for love and support.
    After a moment, he started to cry and talk at the same time, and I could barely understand him:

    "Harry doesn't believe me any more..." I heard his mumbling sobs,
"I told him you didn't freak out on him, but he won't listen and keeps on crying."

    He tried to tell me more, but I couldn't understand his muffled words.

    "Shush, shush," I tried to comfort him, slowly cradling my desperate friend,
"Now, calm down, and tell me what is on your mind; but, please, talk a bit more slowly, so that I will be able to understand you."

    I looked around for my tissues; but where had I left them...
I was sure I had found a huge packet of them in one of my cardboard boxes!
However, where had I put them, so that I would be able to find them easily?
I tried to search my memory...
Had I put them in the kitchen, or maybe in the hallway closet?
Again, rascal Thomas seemed to be right.
I was really becoming an old and forgetful grandpa...

    Still trying to remember where I had left them, I offered John a handkerchief.
He looked up at me gratefully; and tried to produce a faint smile, despite his tears.
Next, he blew his nose in it and gave it back.
His sobs slowly diminished, and he pulled himself together again.
    Then, John told me what had happened during the day:

    After he left me this morning, he met the other children who were playing hide and seek in the backyards.
Of course, they immediately crowded around him, being very curious about what had happened.
John told them what I had asked him to do; and, in unison, they decided to help him.
Together, they started to look for their scared little friend.
They supposed he would be somewhere close, because he had always been very good at hiding and sneaking.

    After some time, they found Harry in my backyard, cleverly hidden in some thick bush!
He had positioned himself so that he could see into my windows; and curiously stared at what I was doing inside...
At first, Thomas started to make fun of 'the nosy little spy', until he saw tears welling up in Harry's eyes.
Then, he apologized, and said he forgot how much Harry missed his Big Friend and that he wouldn't tease him any more.

    Now, John told his little brother about his spontaneous visit to my house.
He assured him that I was a really nice and friendly man, and I had personally asked my little namesake to pay me a visit!

    Harry just stared at John with a blank face, as if he didn't believe him; and he kept sniffling and didn't say a word.
Again, John told him that I really wanted to be their friend...
    Suddenly, Harry blurted:

    "Why was that man angry when he went inside? Why did he curse and kick a chair around? Wasn't that because he didn't want to see ME in his backyard?"

    He hid his face in his hands; and didn't want to listen any more.
John sat down, grabbed his crying little brother, and pulled him onto his lap.
Next, he tried to get Harry's attention, by relaying everything I had told him about Joshie's burnt face and my awful ordeal.
Immediately, Harry started to listen intently, open-mouthed, and now and then getting even more tears in his eyes.
The other children finally understood why I had left them alone all of a sudden!

    John told his little brother everything about my difficult youth; and that I was used to having a little boy with a burnt face around, because of my own brother!
Finally, Harry accepted that my anger had nothing to do with him, or with his little herbs garden in my backyard.
I DID want to have him around, and I was even willing to give him his own room back...
    He heaved a deep sigh of relief, and confessed:

    "I was afraid that, after you told him about my burnt face, he wouldn't want to have me around any more.
"I was also afraid that I had to give up my herbs garden, because he had already kicked a couple of cobblestones."

    "I think he stumbled on them by mistake; and didn't know what they were...
"But, now, you know he WANTS to meet you! Come on, let's go to his house!"

    The children persuaded Harry some more, until he hesitantly agreed to join his friends.
However, he was still very afraid that I would reject him, once I really saw his so awfully devastated face.
Too many people had panicked, fainted, called him a 'freak', or wanted to call for an ambulance, when they saw him for the first time...
Finally, Marrie threw her arms around Harry and determinedly pushed him forward.
In rank, they marched off towards my house.

    In my kitchen, the children were elated to see everything going so well, when I asked Harry for a hug and kissed his forehead.
They hoped and prayed that Harry had found himself a new Big Friend, and that we would be together from now on!
That is; until I brought a crying Harry towards the table and took him onto my lap.
They had no idea why Harry suddenly screamed and ran away.

    After some searching, the children found Harry in John's bedroom.
He had slumped down onto his bed, sobbing and burying his face in a pillow.
John asked him what had happened, but Harry refused to talk about it and cried louder and louder.
John persisted, and he told his little brother that nobody had any idea why he suddenly ran away!
Had big Harry done something he didn't like?
Suddenly, Harry screamed that he had lost everything and wanted to DIE.

    The children were shocked at the sudden outburst, and didn't know what to do.
John pulled Harry into his arms again, and begged him to tell what had happened.
He also told him that Big Harry didn't have the faintest idea why he ran away!
    Finally, Harry surrendered, and sobbingly told them why he was so desperate:

    He had decided to join his friends towards my house, because of what John told him about my own burnt little brother.
However, he was still afraid that I would be too disgusted after I finally saw his very burnt face.
He felt better when I invited everybody into my kitchen for a drink, without trying to have a look at him!
He thought that I seemed to be a friendly man, and decided to give me a chance and trust me.

    Much to his relief, I didn't seem to be upset at all when I finally saw his burns.
I even knelt down, opened my arms, and asked him for a hug!
My friendly eyes told him he could trust me; and that I didn't fake my feelings, but really cared for him.
I pulled him into my safe arms; and, immediately, he felt wonderful.
 accepted him as he was; just like his big friend Jack had accepted him from the very beginning.
He could trust me!
He had found a new Big Friend!
He let himself go and melted into me, feeling safe and happy.

    Then, I kissed his forehead, as if we already were best friends.
Now, he felt all mushy inside, and he was sure I was going to love him as much as Jack had done.
He wanted to let me know how he felt, trying to express his own love for me.
Then, he made the biggest mistake of his life.
He kissed me back, as he always used to do with Jack and with his own parents.

    At the same moment, all my feelings of tender loving care shut down completely.
My body froze; and I waited impatiently until those ugly lips withdrew from mine, because I was too disgusted by those terrible things that suddenly touched my mouth!

    Not knowing what to do, Harry left my lips and slumped down onto the floor.
He felt utterly disappointed, rejected, terribly ugly, and just wanted to die!
He started to sob involuntarily, but tried to muffle his sounds so as not to alarm his friends.
What should he do now?
The only man he trusted, next to Jack and his own parents, didn't want to be his big friend...

    I lifted him off the floor; and carried him to the table without saying a word.
Without asking him why he cried or what he wanted, I just sat him onto my lap.
I even turned him away from my face, so that I didn't have to look at those awful scars and those ugly red marks and his terribly shriveled and wrinkled mouth...
Now, Harry thought he had lost everything that could be worth living for, and he wanted to die!
That is why he ran away, feeling less than worthless, and thinking about leaving this world as soon as possible...

    John collapsed onto my lap, again clamping onto my chest and sobbing desperately.
Again, I took my young friend into my arms and started to comfort him.

    This time, I felt so guilty!
Why hadn't I ASKED that poor little boy why he cried, instead of assuming I did the right things?
Everything I did had been misunderstood, and our first meeting had gone awfully wrong.
What a terrible mess!
How would I ever be able to explain my obvious lack of compassion to that little boy, supposing he would have the courage to come back?

    Another thing suddenly struck me like a lightning bolt...
I was taking on an enormous amount of responsibility, by letting this so vulnerable child into my life.
Little Harry wasn't only severely damaged on the outside, but he certainly was burnt in his soul as well!
I had to be very careful with my desperate little friend, supposing he would come back; and I had to start right NOW.

    I continued to comfort John, until finally his sobs lessened and he pulled himself together again.
Now, both of us tried to dry our eyes, looking for any dry corners of my used handkerchief.
Where the heck had I left my huge packet of tissues?
I was SURE I had put it away somewhere, carefully, to be able to easily find it...
At last, John and I looked at each other, both of us feeling bashful again.
Then, we started to chuckle, remembering the last time we had done the same thing.
    I tried to tease him again, to break the tension:

    "Well, by the looks of you, you are still a crybaby."

    "Yeah, I know I am; and, by the looks of you, I seem to be in good company!"

    "Hmm... This time, you are too witty for me. Next time, it will be my turn!
"But, what do you think... Is your little brother already in bed?"

    "I am sure he's waiting for me. He told me he wanted to know everything about you; but my father told me to be right back, so I think I have to go now."

    "Shall I walk you home, and try to have a word with your little brother?"

    "Oh yes, that would be wonderful!"

    John hopped off my lap, turned around, and offered me a well-meant big kiss on my cheek.
Well, I certainly could get used to this!

    Together, we went to the kitchen, to wash our faces and make ourselves a bit more presentable.
Again, we started to wrestle, trying to have a bit more of the same towel.
It felt good, to have such a valuable and affectionate friend like John by my side!

    Suddenly, we turned towards each other and looked into each other's eyes, both of us basking in our mutual love.
Then, as if we had scheduled it, both of us bent over towards each other, and gave each other a small peck on the lips!
For a moment, I felt shocked; but then, I accepted my feelings of love for my so special young friend.
Our kiss felt wonderful, as if we sealed our friendship!
I also seemed to lose my uneasiness about kissing someone's mouth; and I was very grateful for this.
Maybe, I could even use it, to put little Harry more at ease...

    Both of us smiled, now feeling very close to each other.
John stepped forward and leaned into me, and I put my arms around my young friend and held him.
This time, it felt as if we had a conversation without words.
    I ruffled John's hair, while I told him:

    "Thank you, my young friend! I think we just sealed our friendship."

    "Thank you too, my big friend! I like being with you, and I love you very much. I wish YOU could be my dad..."

    John took my hand and piloted me to his house, being five doors away on the same street.
On the way, he pointed me to the fourth house in the row:

    "That's where Thomas and Chrissy live, our neighbors. Harry always walks to them and to Jack through our backyards."

    He took the key out of his pocket, opened the front door, and we entered his house.
Soft music played in the background, and the house lightly smelled of incense.
It made me feel welcome, while John took me into the dimly lit living room.

    Little Harry had stretched out on the floor, playing a game of cards with Marrie and Mark.
He saw us, and immediately looked up at me, obviously feeling very surprised.
Again, I felt his bright blue eyes burning straight through all my defenses, piercing right into my soul.
Again, I was able to read him like an open book; and what I saw made me very happy and warmed my heart.
His eyes still showed a hint of fear; but they also showed some regret, and a deep longing to be with me!
He didn't look away, but held my gaze...

    "Hi, my friend!" I told him, looking into his beautiful eyes and sending him my love,
"It is good to see you again. I want to return the kiss you offered me this afternoon."

    I knelt down and opened my arms towards him, as I had done before.
Again, I felt his piercing eyes burning deep holes into my inner self.
At the same time, he opened up and showed me his fear of being disappointed again.
Could he really trust me?
Did I really accept him as he was?
Did I really want to be his Big Friend?

    He tried to probe into my very core, desperately searching my soul for the truth...
Slowly, his beautiful blue eyes started to brighten, and his face lit up.
He left his game of cards, rose from the floor, and stepped towards me.
Suddenly, he returned into a vulnerable little boy, desperately seeking for somebody to belong to.
    He launched himself towards me, leapt into my arms, and mumbled:

    "I am sorry."

    He buried his face into my chest, threw his arms around my neck, and started to cry.

    Words cannot begin to describe what I felt, when this little boy so trustfully committed himself to me!
My heart experienced a strange mixture of fatherly feelings, deep love, responsibility, friendship, and pure joy, all in one...
I was absolutely sure that little Harry and I had known each other for ages, and now we were finally reunited again.
We had been together many times before, in several of our past lives.
We had been dear friends, kindred souls, sworn blood brothers, father and son, teacher and pupil...
We BELONGED to each other!

    Never in my life had I cried as much as today.
This time, little Harry cried with me, but our mingled tears were tears of pure joy.
Finally, our waiting was over.
We had found each other; and were together again!

    We rubbed our faces together, looked into each other's eyes, grinned like crazy, and melted into each other.
Again, we looked into each other's eyes, now almost drowning in each other's warmth and love.
I puckered my mouth, and softly touched his distorted lips with mine...
Immediately, he kissed me back, eagerly and without any hesitation!

    Now, we started to give each other small pecks on the lips; and it felt wonderful, like coming home, like renewing our friendship.
He felt like my long lost son, my dearest friend, and my very best buddy, all in one...
I could clearly see in his eyes that he recognized me too, and that he was just as happy as I was.
I was sure I had found my soul mate, and he certainly had found his!


    After a long time, I finally disentangled my boy from my arms.
I stretched my rusty muscles, rose from the floor, and looked around.
Mark stared at us, open-mouthed, still lying on the floor.
Did I see some jealousy in his eyes?
Marrie sat on the floor next to Mark; also looking at us.
She had tears in her eyes, and wiped them with the back of her hand.
John had placed himself next to us; looking happy but secretly wiping his eyes, again using a sleeve of his shirt.

    On the couch sat a dark-haired middle-aged woman with brown eyes.
She had tears in them, furtively wiping them with her handkerchief.
Now and then, she looked at little Harry and me, with eyes full of love and understanding.
In an armchair, a tall man with hazel eyes and light brownish hair nervously smoked a cigarette.
His eyes drifted from little Harry to me, to his wife, to his children, and back to little Harry and me.
He clearly was not at ease with the situation...

    I put my arm around little Harry; and, immediately, he let himself melt into me.
I ruffled his hair, and he looked up at me with adoration in his eyes.
    Together, we approached the woman, and I apologized:

    "Sorry for intruding on you like this, but I thought it was the best thing I could do to help our friend over here."
    "Please, call me Trudy!" the woman answered with a faint smile,
"I am very pleased you are here. We were at a loss today. We didn't know what to do to help Harry out of his desperation.
"Even my children couldn't reach him any more. They talked and talked to him, but he didn't listen and kept crying.
"There was even a moment when I was angry with you, for bringing him into this situation."

    John jumped up, and angrily interrupted her:

    "Mom, that is not fair! This wasn't Big Harry's fault! Nobody could imagine what Harry thought, or why he ran away like that!"

    His eyes shot daggers at his mother, and he balled his fists in frustration.

    Suddenly, little Harry pushed my arm away, and turned to John.
He straightened his shoulders, and again showed his aura of nobility.
    With astonishing pride in his posture, he told John:

    "No, John, of course you cannot know why I ran away. You are not a Gypsy boy with a burnt body and a creepy face.
"They never make fun of you, and they don't point at you in the streets. You don't have to hide yourself, and you don't have to sneak to your friends in the dark through the backyards.
"You can't possible know what I feel every day, and why I am so shy and frightened. But, of course, you can't help it. You just can't feel my pain and my fears..."

    Little Harry put his small arms around John's waist, and hugged him.
After a few seconds, he left John, turned back to me, determinedly took my arm, and draped it back around his shoulders.
At that moment, I could FEEL his powers, forcefully radiating from his aura...
Wow, what a boy!
Did I really think I had to protect HIM?

    He looked up at me; and I looked back at him, staring deep into his beautiful eyes.
I saw a lot of pride in them, but also a vulnerable little boy asking for approval.
I smiled at him, to let him know I appreciated what he did, and ruffled his hair.
Immediately, his eyes lit up again, and it felt like we had a conversation without words.
We understood each other!

    Suddenly, the tall man in the armchair sat upright, after looking at the clock on the wall.
He seemed to be rather impatient, and announced:

    "Time to go to bed. Come on, upstairs, all of you. NOW!"

    Little Harry left my arm; looking up at me with a longing in his eyes:

    "Please, will you take me to your house? I want to be with you from now on!"

    "Yes, Dad," John immediately added,
"That's a very good idea! That way, I can have MY own room back."

    Then, he looked at little Harry and me, hesitantly.
Did we understand the hidden meaning behind his words?
Of course, we did!
I winked at him, and his face brightened with the relief.

    "Well..." Dad answered, now impatiently looking at his watch,
"I am not sure. First, I want to have a talk with this man, and then we will see."

    With a hint of fear in his eyes, little Harry asked me:

    "Will you wake me up when we are going home?" 

    "Yes, I promise!" I answered my boy.

    Reluctantly, he followed the other kids out of the room, looking back longingly...

    Suddenly, I felt some reluctance, to my own surprise.
Was I really willing to take little Harry into my house and give him his room back?
I wasn't Jack, the person who rescued him; but I was a total stranger, who had met him for the first time only a few hours ago!
Wouldn't I be in big trouble, once the neighbors or the authorities found out that I had a small boy living with me?
We were living in a very mistrustful world...

    'Dad' interrupted my thoughts, with a lot of sarcasm in his voice:

    "Sorry, but I think we haven't been introduced yet! MY name is Eric."

    Reluctantly, he extended his hand towards me.
I shook it, and shuddered...
His rather effeminate handshake felt quite the opposite of a 'firm grip'.
I had to be very careful with this man!
I was sure he would do everything to 'prove he was right', even when he was wrong.
For a moment, I wondered how, for heaven's sake, a man like this had been able to father a warm and loving boy like John...

    Impatiently, Eric pointed to a nearby armchair, grumbling:

    "Do you want some coffee?"

    "Yes, please, black with two lumps of sugar."

    Trudy went to the kitchen to get us some coffee; and Eric started to question me.
First, he told me that his wife and he had been inflicted with that troubled Gypsy boy; but without his consent.
Two years ago, his children found their neighbor, Jack, lying next to his car, crying like a baby.
Jack seemed to be very charmed with a burnt Gypsy boy, who had been hospitalized and now was delivered to an orphanage.
He didn't approve at all; but his wife insisted on taking the boy into their custody, so that he could live with Jack.
Now, the boy was back in his custody; and, of course, from now on HE had to decide what was going to happen!
Living with Jack had been no problem, because the boy and Jack seemed to know each other, and the boy had his own room in Jack's house.
However, I was a total stranger, and he didn't know me; and, of course, people would talk again.
To be honest, he also didn't approve of all that cuddling and kissing!
Who was I? Was I married? Did I have children of my own?
Why was I here? What did I want from 'his boy'?

    I felt totally perplexed, balled my fists, and forgot to breathe from sudden anger!
What kind of an arrogant interrogation was this?
Who was this man, who dared to talk about my little soul mate as being 'his boy'?
Besides, 'the boy' had a NAME, for crying out loud!
For a moment, I thought about leaving the house and slamming the door... but, then, I certainly would lose my newly found friends, and that was the last thing I wanted.
Now, I was SURE I wanted to take little Harry home and give him his own room back!

    However, I also realized that I had to satisfy Eric first, by giving him the proper answers.
Ultimately, little Harry WAS in his custody; and Eric had every right to forbid him to visit me.
I also didn't want to lose John.
    Suddenly feeling very nervous, I started to defend myself, desperately trying to calm down, looking for the right words:

    "I am a retired psychotherapist; and I have been married, but divorced some time ago. I have two grown-up daughters of my own, and they..."

    Suddenly, Trudy stormed into the room, still drying her hands.
She placed herself in between her husband and me, demonstratively putting her hands on her hips.
    Next, she stared Eric down, looking furious, while she barked:

    "I think that will be enough for now! Our John likes this man. In fact, John thinks the world of him, and you should KNOW that John is a very good judge of character.
"Unlike you, my dear! You always try to criticize and belittle people, but I have had enough of that. I trust this man, our John trusts him, and Harry already adores him.
"Harry is free to go with this man if he wants to; and our other children are allowed to visit him whenever they want to.  And, from now on, YOU shut up!"

    She sat herself down onto the couch, like a queen; and smiled broadly:

    "Go get him, he is yours. You and he belong to each other. That boy needs you, and I think you need him as well.
"Harry is allowed to live in your house from now on; if he wants to of course, but I am sure he does!
"Tomorrow, we will help you with setting up his old room, and my children will help move his belongings."

    She pointed to the stairs in the hallway:

    "His room is upstairs, second door to the left; and his clothes are on his chair. Do you need any help dressing him?"

    I shook my head, feeling numb and shaky; and slowly climbed the stairs to John's room.
Hesitantly, I went inside and clicked the lights on.
First, I saw John, sleeping soundly in the nearest bed, with his head just above the blankets and snoring lightly.
Wasn't little Harry sleeping next to him?

    Then, I saw my little soul mate, lying on his back in the other bed.
His damaged face rested peacefully on a pillow, and his distorted mouth showed a faint smile.
He had thrown his blankets halfway back; and, for a moment, I was shocked at seeing his devastated body.
My little brother was burnt on his face, his throat, and his hands; but this boy seemed to be burnt everywhere!
Raw stripes showed on his chest in at least three different colors, together with several scars of operations and lots of wild flesh.
A couple of ribs were showing through his skin, and everything seemed to be strained and too tight.
I could hardly imagine how many operations this poor child would need in the future...

    I lifted the blankets further away, and again I was shocked when I saw the rest of his body.
His small belly looked purple and reddish, and his right hip was an ugly mixture of wild flesh and scars in all different colors.
His little pecker looked reddish and wrinkled, obviously severely damaged by the fire.
Would he ever be able to grow into a normal man and have children of his own?
His left leg seemed less affected by the fire, but his right one also was a real mess of wild flesh and all sorts of ugly scars...

    I started to cry at the terrible sight of such a devastated small body.
What a drama!

    After a moment, I wiped my eyes, and tenderly caressed his little distorted face.
He started to fidget, and I told him:

    "Harry? Here I am. I promised to wake you up."

    Now, he woke up immediately, and opened his eyes.
He rubbed them a few times with the backs of his hands, and squinted at me.
A smile from ear to ear told me he recognized me and was very happy to see me!
He sat upright without any shame about his nudity, stretched out towards me, and tried to put his small arms around my neck.

    I lifted him out of his bed and sat him onto my lap, this time carefully letting him face me.
Tenderly, I kissed his forehead, and he smiled and puckered his lips for a quick kiss on the mouth.
Of course, I happily obliged.

    "Am I going to live with YOU now?" he asked, yawning again.

    "That is up to you. Do you really want to live with me?" I answered, crossing my fingers and hoping he would say 'yes'.

    "Of course, silly!" he answered, with a beaming face.

    He slid off my lap, ran towards his clothes, and started to put on his socks.

    He donned his clothes with a little help from me; and, in the meantime, he talked.
He told me he always slept naked, because his scars started to itch in bed.
Jack sometimes massaged him with soothing oil and that helped, but John didn't know where the bottle was.
He could only wear underwear that was two sizes too big, but he was already used to that.
Normal underwear was too tight for his scars; and, whenever possible, he preferred to walk around in his 'birthday suit'.

    He hated to sleep alone, so he normally slept in John's bed.
Tonight, he knew he was going to live with me, and he didn't want to disturb John; so, this time, he decided to sleep in his own bed until I woke him up.
All his belongings were stowed away since he had to share John's room two months ago; but, of course, now he could have his own room back in Jack's house.
Oops, sorry, now he could have his own room back in OUR house...

    I didn't know he could be so talkative, and I was delighted!
My boy seemed to be a very bright conversationalist.
Next, I asked him a couple of questions, and he thought them over carefully before coming back with an intelligent and direct answer.

    Then, he started to ask me his own questions:
Was I married, where was my wife, did I have any plans to remarry, what did I do for a living, did I have enough money to maintain my new house, did I have any plans for the future, and did I have a computer with a lot of games on it because he loved to play them?
My boy seemed to be a thoughtful, bright, and extremely clever boy!

    Finally, he was dressed and I lifted him onto my shoulders.
He squealed with delight, and clamped his hands around my forehead while his legs dangled free.
Together, we went downstairs, both of us giggling and trying to tickle each other.

    Eric seemed to have left the living room; and everything in the house was silent except for some soft background music.
Trudy sat on her couch; now showing a sad face and having tears in her eyes.
I put little Harry onto his feet, and he went to her and consolingly put his small arms around her neck.
She hugged him tenderly, and told him he was a lucky boy.

    "Yes, I certainly am!" he answered, happily returning her hug,
"But, I am sleepy, and I want to go home."

    I got tears in my eyes, at hearing my boy say 'home'.
However, I tried not to show them, and swallowed a couple of times to clear my voice.
Then, I thanked Trudy for trusting me, and invited her for a drink and a talk the next day.

    After we went outside, I lifted little Harry onto my shoulders again.
With his feet dangling free, and his little hands clamped around the top of my head, I took him to my house.

    Oops, sorry, I took him to OUR house.


Thank you again, for all your wonderful and stimulating emails!
I will still try to answer them all; unless I am getting too many of them.
Here are a few (maybe abbreviated) excerpts:

    Thank you so much for this story, it sure was needed here! Yesterday, I read one of the most vile and disgusting stories that I have ever read! I sent the writer an e-mail that he will never forget, telling him to either seek help or a rubber room!
I cannot tell you just how much I loved reading your story about love and compassion! I cried more than once while reading it, and howled with laughter too.God, I love this story and its hope and love!
Strange though, I had shunned Nifty stories with huge amounts of chapters. Until I read one. I soon realized that these stories were the best ones there. And yours is at the top of the heap!

    I found your story on nifty and at first was very reluctant to read it. I started reading it yesterday and I was bowled over. Nifty not being up to date I turned to your site to finish and can't wait for the next part! I longed for a story with so much emotions, understanding and with so many lessons to learn about how live could be if we put aside our petty ideas and just start loving and living in that love. I love children and would do anything to protect them. Thank you very much for the story so far and please keep it coming!

    One of my favorite stories ever written.Thanks for bringing me and the world so much brightness and hope.


Now, I am blushing too much...

Do you enjoy my story? Then, please, send me your approval:

Or, have a look at my site, to read all my stories and buy my book:

Thank you very much in advance, for all your wonderful stimulations to go on!