This story full of Love is my gift to YOU.


Chapter 9. Supermarket; and a fight...

     After some time, I tried to remember where the supermarket was.
John had told me; but I had been too busy feeling happy about little Harry calling me 'Dad'...
    Feeling a bit embarrassed about my forgetfulness, I asked:

    "John? Where do I have to turn now? Is it to the left or to the right?"

    "Just drive straight, forgetful old man, to the next square..."

    I drove to the next crossing, and immediately saw the gigantic square and a huge supermarket.
I turned our car into the square, where I entered an enormous and crowded parking lot.
Now, I started to drive around, looking for an empty space...
Fortunately, just in front of us, one of the other visitors entered her car and drove off.
I raced towards the empty spot; and backed our car into it.
Obviously, I was just in time, because somebody else was already on his way to the same spot.
He hit his horn a few times, and glared at us...
The boys cheered loudly, and gave the other customer the finger.

    Of course, I acted as a good parent, telling them to stop their antics and that, next time, we could easily be the losers!
That seemed to calm them down, at least for a moment.
I turned off the engine, we left our car, and I locked the doors.
What should I do now, about little Harry...
    My brave boy smiled at me, and announced with a proud face:

    "I am coming with you."

    He turned towards the supermarket, crossed the parking lot all on his own, and went in a beeline to the sliding doors.
John and I looked at each other with surprised faces, and hasted after him...
Our spirit friend, Jack, had really been right about our boy coming out of his shell!
Little Harry went through the magically opening doors, and entered the supermarket without looking back.
We followed him inside at a small distance; feeling amazed and proud, but also a bit wary...

    Little Harry took a few steps inside, stopped, and looked around hesitantly...
Furtively, John took my hand and held on to it, squeezing it from nervousness.
I held my breath, and didn't know what I should do.
How would our brave little friend react now, seeing all these curious people?
A couple of them already stared at him; looking surprised, chuckling, and nudging each other...

    Slowly, little Harry turned around, obviously looking for us...
The moment he saw John and me, he raced straight up to us!
    Impatiently, he held up his hand and asked me:

    "Please, do you have a coin? I want to drive our shopping cart."

    Feeling very relieved, I released my breath, unintentionally making a hissing sound.
I smiled, fished my wallet out of my pocket, and handed him a coin after ruffling his hair.
He took the coin, galloped to the pile of carts, and joyfully unlocked one.
Enthusiastically, he drove it towards the entrance and entered the crowded shop...

    A couple of surprised customers stopped dead in their tracks and stared at him with surprised faces.
Obviously, they didn't know how they should react, trying not to get caught gawking at his burns...
Little Harry looked at them, and chuckled.
He lifted his hand in a greeting gesture and waved at them, while a big smile crossed his face.
    With a proud voice, he told the staring customers:

    "Don’t look too much at my burnt face, but try to see who I REALLY am.
"I am PROUD of myself! Are you?"

    Most customers looked ashamed, shook their heads in disbelief, and shuffled away.
A few of them started to giggle, didn't know what they should do, and finally hurried towards the isles.
A tall man with a heavy beard and moustache came up to little Harry, nodding approvingly...
    He smiled warmly at our brave boy, tousled his hair, and told him:

    "That's my boy. Always be proud of yourself, and I am sure you will achieve many wonderful things in your life!"

    "Yes, sir. I am, and I know I will!"

    Little Harry smiled at him, pushed his cart forward, and headed for the first isle.
He looked around, took a couple of fresh vegetables and a bag of potatoes, and put them into his cart.
He went to the next isle, took a carton of eggs and a packet of sliced cheese, and added them.
Next, he went to a cooler, looked at me for approval, and took a huge fillet of fresh salmon.
He added it to the cart, and headed for the next isle.

    Working together, we started to fill our cart with all the foodstuffs we thought we needed to survive the upcoming week.
Every time, little Harry carefully placed the eggs and other breakable things on top of the other stuff!
He and John also added several other useful items I had never thought of.
Clearly, I wasn't used to shopping for my new household with two growing boys.
Well, I hoped I wouldn't be too old to learn, yet!

    Now and then, a few customers stopped next to our cart, staring at little Harry with curious eyes.
However, they didn't really bother us, and we tried to ignore them and just went on shopping.
Little Harry didn't pay any attention to them, because he was way too busy collecting several useful household utensils...
A better can opener, a packet of toothpicks, a handy garlic press, a peculiar egg timer, a couple of small kitchen knifes, and so on.
He walked back and forth between our nicely filling cart and the different isles, and seemed to enjoy the shopping experience!

    Finally, we had everything we thought we needed for our small household.
Our cart was filled to the brim, and we couldn't think of anything else to add.
Little Harry steered it towards the cash registers, where we joined one of the waiting lines.
Many customers were ahead of us, so we had to wait until it would be our turn...

    Two curious girls had followed us for quite some time, staring at little Harry and at what he was doing.
So far, they hadn't really bothered us, and we just tried to ignore them.
Now, they were waiting behind us; staring at our brave little friend, snickering, and now and then nudging each other...
    Feeling bored, they suddenly started to giggle and point at his burnt face:

    "Do you see that? Just look at that face... What kind of weird creature is this? The freaks have landed... Hey, alien, you are on the wrong planet!"

    John immediately swooped around, balled his fists, and stomped towards them with blazing eyes!
Fortunately, before he had a chance to attack the girls, the tall man with the beard and moustache showed up.
He stopped John just in time, by grabbing his arm and pushing him back into the waiting line...
Next, he turned towards the suddenly muted girls.
He took both of them by their ear lobes, and dragged them towards the exit.
    He pushed them through the automatic sliding doors, lecturing them:

    "Now, go away, and don't let me see you here again. You may come back when you have a better understanding of the words 'compassion' and 'respect'.
"This small boy has more humanity in his soul than both of you combined!"

    The girls ran away without looking back, red-faced and tripping over their own feet.
A couple of waiting customers started to applaud, telling the man he had done the right thing.
Some of them even smiled at little Harry, and tousled his hair!
Our brave boy grinned back at them, and didn't seem to mind at all...

    The bearded man returned, came over to us, and introduced himself:

    "I am sorry for this annoying interruption. My name is Christian, and I am touched by how your son is coping with his inconvenience. He has a strong spirit and a beautiful aura.
"In this life, he will be a competent leader. He is predestined to help others; and, after a couple of years, he will be known all over the world...
"I also want to compliment your other son, who so proudly stood up for his smaller brother. He has a big heart, full of love, but he is a little bit short-tempered.
"And you, sir, may be proud of yourself, because you really care for your boys. In this life, you are turning into a beautiful soul with a lot of love and compassion."

    He smiled at John and little Harry, and again playfully ruffled their hair.
Little Harry showed him a smile from ear to ear, obviously liking his rescuer.
John seemed to be very impressed by Christian's sudden appearance, and looked a bit thoughtful.
Then, he started to smile, and playfully pushed the ruffling hand away.
    The bearded man grinned, and turned towards me again:

    "I hope I am not imposing too much, but I have a message for you. I am acting as a psychic medium; and your spirit guide wishes to contact both you and your youngest son.
"He tells me it is important to listen to what he has to say; so, please, don't hesitate too long with your answer."

    To say that I felt thunderstruck was not strong enough to express my feelings.
This strange man suddenly approaches me, claiming to be a 'psychic medium'...
My 'spirit guide' seems to tell him, here in this supermarket, that he wishes to contact my youngest son and me, to tell us something important...
How... when... what spirit guide?
Does this man really mean that Jack wants to talk to us, by using him as a 'medium'?
Who is this stranger, can I trust him, and what does he really want from us?
Maybe, he only wants to earn some extra money...

    I looked at little Harry, who seemed to like the man; and at John, who seemed to trust him.
John's mother once said that John was a very good judge of character...
Could I really trust this stranger, Christian; who called himself a 'psychic medium' and waited for my answer?
Who was this man, and how the heck did he know about our spirit guide?
That is, supposing he was talking about Jack...
Should I take the risk, by inviting this strange 'medium' into my house?
Our spirit guide, Jack, really seemed to want us to meet each other, to be able to give us some important message...
Well, okay, let's go for it!

    Christian responded immediately, as if I had told him my decision aloud:

    "Thank you. Shall we meet at your house, let's say, at eight o'clock? May I have your address? I will give you my business card in return.
"To alleviate any remaining doubts, your spirit friend now tells me that your youngest boy isn't your real son in THIS life, and the other boy is a very good friend to both of you."

    What? Had I really heard this correct?
Christian told me that little Harry was not my real son in THIS life...
Did Christian mean that little Harry HAD been my real son, in one of our past lives?
Now, I wanted to know everything about him and me!
How many times had we known each other, and where did we live?
I felt very curious; and handed Christian my business card without any hesitation.

    Christian took my card, put it away, and handed me his own card in return.
He turned around without saying a word, and disappeared through the sliding doors.
Had I unintentionally offended him, or was this normal behavior for a psychic medium?
He didn't look angry or disappointed, but just shut us out completely.
My heart told me he had to close himself off, as a medium, to protect him from any intruders.
However, my mind was in doubt again.
Had I done something wrong?

    Finally, we could pay for our purchases at the cash register.
I paid the store with my credit card, while little Harry wheeled our cart through the sliding doors towards our car, helped by John.
On the way outside, John thoughtfully snatched two empty cardboard boxes from a huge pile of litter.
Working together, we put our groceries in the boxes and into the trunk of our car.

    Little Harry wanted to return the shopping cart on his own, and happily disappeared inside.
John and I waited next to our car; still feeling very grateful about our brave little friend.
He had certainly changed quite a lot, since this morning!
It was amazing to see how 'normal' he behaved, despite his terribly burnt face...
Our happily smiling boy returned and handed me my coin.
I put it back into my wallet, and we entered our car.
We buckled up, I started the engine, and we left the parking lot and drove home.

    On our way home, all three of us were unusually silent and deep in thought.
What a peculiar experience we had!
A total stranger approached us, knew the decision I made in my mind, and told us a couple of things he could not possibly know...
This was eerie!
Nobody could fantasize this, and I was almost convinced this could be for real...

    The more I thought about it, the more I looked forward to Christian's pending visit.
What did Jack want to tell us?
Christian told me it was important.
Was John allowed to join us, because Christian explicitly talked about 'you and your youngest son'?
Would we see any 'ghosts', or 'spirits'?
I hoped it would not be too creepy...

    Soon, we were back home, and I parked our car in the driveway.
Little Harry snatched the keys out of my hand, raced to the house, and proudly opened the front door.
In the meantime, John opened the trunk and helped me carry one of the heavy cardboard boxes.
We put it onto the kitchen table, returned to the car, and carried the second box inside.
John asked little Harry for my keys, went outside again, and locked the car doors.

    Both boys helped me unpack our groceries and put them away.
John restocked the refrigerator, while little Harry crawled around on the sideboard and put everything I handed him into the various cabinets.
Finally, we were done; and both boys carried the empty cardboard boxes outside.
Working together and having a lot of fun, they tore the boxes into small pieces and dumped the pieces into the trashcan.
Still giggling and pushing each other, they reentered the kitchen and went straight to the refrigerator.

    Without asking, John grabbed a loaf of bread and started to make a huge pile of buttered toast.
At the same time, little Harry disappeared into the refrigerator, and returned carrying a couple of eggs, some tomatoes, and a head of lettuce.
    He put them onto the kitchen table, and asked me:

    "Please, could you boil the eggs for us? Six minutes will do."

    Wondering about what my rascals were up to, I did as he asked and put a pan of water onto the electric cook top.
Little Harry went outside, and returned carrying a couple of fresh herbs.
He washed them carefully, and took my old cutting board and the sharp kitchen knife out of the drawer.
Next, he chopped the herbs into pieces, and adeptly sliced a couple of tomatoes and part of a cucumber.
He opened the packet of sliced cheese, and impatiently waited for John and me...

    Finally, the eggs were ready, and I put them under the cold water to cool them off.
Still wondering about what the boys were creating, I peeled the eggs and dumped the shells into the trash.
Little Harry thanked me, carefully sliced the boiled eggs, and took a huge pile of toast.
Next, John and he worked together; piling slices of cheese, lettuce, egg, tomato, cucumber, some of his herbs, and a little bit of salt onto the toast...
Now, I saw they were creating an enormous pile of healthy sandwiches!

    Little Harry leaned into me, and announced with a proud face:

    "We are ready. And, this evening, I want to cook our salmon! John, do you want to help me; and have dinner with us?"

    "Well... I would love to have dinner here; but my mother will be back from town around four o'clock; and she hasn't seen me since this morning.
"I am afraid I will not be allowed today; but I will see you tomorrow morning for breakfast, unless my father has another of his bright ideas and makes me do some chores first."

    We took our sandwiches outside, and sat down in the sunlight to devour them.
They tasted fresh and crispy; with a light flavor, hinting at streaming water and huge mountains in the background...
I couldn't recall the correct words to describe this subtle and exquisite taste, and just smiled at my little soul mate.
He wasn't just an ordinary cook, but a true magician!
    He smiled back at me, and told me:

    "I tried to copy the taste I remember from our mountains, but something is missing and I don't know what it is. I think I need another herb that isn't growing here.
"The plant nursery couldn't help me, and I can't find it in my herbal learning book."
    "Well, I think these sandwiches don't need anything else to better their taste. I've never tasted anything this fresh and appealing! You are a true cooking magician."

    Little Harry beamed, and reached for another sandwich.
In no time, the huge pile completely disappeared into the bottomless pits of my hungry growing boys.
I had to snatch the last sandwich away from them to save it for myself, before it also disappeared...
Both boys rose to their feet and went to the kitchen, while I continued to nibble at my rescued treat.
Soon, they returned, carrying two glasses of milk and a cup of steaming coffee.
They sat down again, slurping their milk and smiling at the slow me.
I thanked them abundantly, and sipped my tasteful coffee.

    How did they do that, working together, knowing what they wanted to do, without using any words?
Had this been their daily ritual, while they were helping Jack and having dinner with him?
Or, were they silently reading each other's minds?
I didn't know what to think of it...

    Suddenly, Thomas and Chrissy showed up in our driveway.
At first, they headed for the front door; until they saw us in the garden, sitting in the sunlight and sipping our drinks.
Enthusiastically, they raced up to us, eager to show off their new skateboards.

    Thomas held his brightly colored board high into the air, explaining:

    "Chrissy and I bought these from our allowances. Aren't they beautiful?"

    I nodded admiringly, and he turned towards John and little Harry:

    "Are you coming with us? We're going to try them out around the block."

    "Yes, absolutely! I will get my own board; and Harry can use Mark's, if he wants."

    "Of course, I want! Mark already told me I could use his; and I've already trained on it on the sidewalk in the dark."

    Little Harry turned towards me, and asked me with beaming eyes:

    "Can I, Dad? Eh... oops, sorry... MAY I? I will be back before dark."

    I was totally speechless, and stared at my burnt little soul mate in wonder...
Suddenly, he behaved just like his 'normal' friends, wanting to play outside! Wow!
    I nodded, and he threw his arms around my neck and offered me a quick kiss:

    "Thank you, Dad, and I love you!"

    He rose to his feet, and raced after John to get Mark's spare board.
Suddenly, he stopped; and slowly turned around, with a confused look in his eyes...
    He blushed, and stuttered before he disappeared towards John's house:

    "Sorry, for calling you 'Dad' again... Maybe, I shouldn't have said it; but I really wish you WERE my Dad!"

    For the first time in three days, I felt happy to be alone.
So much had happened in such a short amount of time, and I wanted to think everything through.
My head was filled to the brim with thoughts, and I had to deal with them thoroughly before I could be at peace again...

    Three days ago, I had been single and living on my own, with enough money to live in my newly bought house in peace and quiet for the rest of my life...
All of a sudden, a small Gypsy boy bounced into my life and immediately stole my heart and my soul.
Today, he even started to call me 'Dad', and I loved it!

    Why was I so devoted to this boy?
Why was this happening to me; and, of course, to him as well?
Who was I in reality, and who was little Harry?
In addition, who was our dedicated friend, John?
Had we all known each other in our past lives?

    I went to the kitchen, opened the refrigerator, and took a cold beer.
I opened it and took it to the porch, where I sat down on my folding chair.
In the distance, I heard the voices of the skateboarding children, obviously having lots of fun.
I recognized the slightly deeper voice of John, who was on the border of puberty; the somewhat hoarse voice of his friend, Thomas; and the giggly voice of Chrissy.
Now, I heard the clear and pure voice of my boy, resonating in my heart and deeply warming my soul.
I was in LOVE with that boy, but why?

    I loved John. I really loved him very much.
The moment he waved back at me, three days ago, he already felt like a dear friend.
When he threw himself onto my lap and cried his heart out, that felt completely natural, as if we were totally at ease with each other.
That is why I told him everything about my life, without any restrictions.
I was absolutely sure I could trust him, and that he would never betray my trust.

    I was not sure about Mark, who was still shopping downtown with his mother and Marrie.
Sometimes, he seemed to be a bit jealous of little Harry.
Marrie was sort of a little mother, always nurturing and caring.
She and little Harry seemed to like each other, and I felt she was a good person.
Thomas was a real rascal, always up to something daring and testing the boundaries.
He was the first one who courageously climbed the steps to the porch and approached me, three days ago.
I liked him, but I didn't feel a real connection.
Chrissy was just a young lady, happy to be allowed to join the club.
She was a bit childish and giggly, but seemed to be okay.

    Now, about my young friend, 'little Harry'...
After John mentioned his name for the first time, I felt a huge flow of love and happiness tingling through my body, and my heart jumped in my chest with pure joy.
Why did I have such strong feelings about this burnt little boy?
Why did I also have the strange conviction that little Harry and I BELONGED to each other?
It felt as if we had known each other for ages, and were rejoined again three days ago.
Could this be something to do with one of our 'past lives'?
I still didn't really believe in them, but couldn't come up with any other explanation...

    Jack, the late owner of my house, died two months ago; and the family sold the house to me for a very reasonable price.
I had been searching for months, but couldn't find a house that satisfied all my wishes.
Until my eyes fell on a little advertisement in the local papers, and I felt an irresistible urge to phone the unknown realtor...
Within two days, the house belonged to me.
I hired a contractor to make a few minor adjustments; and, two weeks later, I moved to my new residence.

    Why did I feel so much in harmony with Jack?
I had seen him in my dream and in my so-called 'daydreams', a couple of times.
He looked around fifty years old, with bright brown eyes and a warm smile.
In some way, he reminded me of my own little brother, Joshie, with whom I had that same feeling of being in harmony with each other.
He also looked like a grown-up version of John.
I even thought he and John could have been father and son.
How strange...


    "Dad! Look at me!"

    Little Harry enthusiastically waved at me, skating on the sidewalk with a lot of bravery.
Of course, he had to show off when he saw me, trying to perform a couple of difficult tricks.
He almost fell over, but succeeded in keeping his balance at the last moment.
He grinned at me sheepishly, and went on.
John, Thomas, and Chrissie followed him; disappearing around the corner...

    Where was that shy little boy, who always tried to hide from the neighborhood, and only secretly slipped to his friends through the backyards?
I was very pleased to see how much he had improved in a day's time.
Now, he radiated a lot more power and self-esteem; and he was playing outside, just like every other 'normal' boy.
I was very proud of him and of his sudden courage!

    I knew almost nothing about little Harry, nor about his background...
Did he go to a 'normal' school; or to a special school for handicapped children?
Did he have any hobbies, or any special things he was very fond of, except for what he told me about playing computer games?
Did he know what he wanted to be when he grew up, and did he have any plans for his future?
John told me that little Harry had to visit the hospital within a week; but where, and when, and who would pay for his operations?
I decided to have a talk with Trudy as soon as possible.

    Who did little Harry belong to in reality?
Did he have any known relatives?
Could anyone claim him, once they found out where he lived?
And, the most important question... was there any chance that I could adopt him as my son?
That little word, 'Dad', had stirred something deep within me, a profound longing to be really connected to my soul mate.
A strong wish, to be a REAL father to my boy...

    Suddenly, the happy sounds of playing children in the distance changed.
An angry voice cursed, and I heard some swearing and name-calling.
A slightly older voice started to curse again, and now I heard a lot of screaming and yelling.
Within a few seconds, four children rounded the corner and rushed to my house, clutching their skateboards under their arms...

    "That son of a bitch!" John cursed, breathing heavily.

    "I kicked him in the nuts, and he screamed like a pig!" Thomas proudly announced.

    "I jumped up and punched his nose!" Chrissy happily giggled.

    Little Harry silently nestled onto my lap, and I put my arms around him and held him close.
He tried to melt into me, and started to sob.

    "Jason is always pestering Harry and calling him names." John raged,
"But I will GET him! Next time, I will take a baseball bat with me."

    All the children started to talk at the same time.
With angry voices, they tried to tell me what had happened, filling in each other's stories...

    Two blocks away, a sixteen-year-old 'big boy', named Jason, left his house without looking where he was going.
Little Harry didn't see him in time, couldn't stop his skateboard, and bumped into him.
The boy cursed, kicked little Harry off his board, and called him a 'freaky alien'.
John didn't like that, took his own skateboard, and forcefully hit the boy on his head.
The boy cursed again and attacked John; but Thomas stepped in and kicked his nuts, while Chrissy jumped up and punched his nose.
The boy fell down and started to scream; and they left the battlefield and hurried to me.

    "Harry is bleeding!" Chrissy told me, looking a bit worried...

    I looked him over carefully.
Everything seemed to be all right, except for a small flesh wound on his knee and a big dent in his self-esteem...
John rushed to the bathroom, to look for my first aid kit.
Soon, he returned, carrying a wet cloth, a bottle of iodine, and a band-aid.
He carefully cleaned little Harry's knee; and put a drop of iodine into the wound, causing a sharp intake of breath.
Next, he applied the band-aid like a professional.

    I took a clean handkerchief out of my pocket, and dried little Harry's eyes.
Slowly, he started to feel better, looking around a bit bashfully.
    Suddenly, he jumped up, grinning at his friends:

    "You got Jason good, and he is a real big boy! Wow, thank you for your help!"



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 for this delightful and touching story, especially as it is written with characters almost unknown in this modern world - the Gypsies. On rare occasions there would be a couple, at most, who would appear in town back when I was a child. Now I gather they are for the most part assimilated into the culture in which they live - at least in this country. It may be otherwise in Europe.Your writing style is personal and warming, making the reader feel as if you were speaking directly to him. Thank you again, and may I wish for you and yours a Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with blessings.

I really enjoy your work. I am very happy you are continuing and I love "born to be a king." You have given me many hours of great reading. Thanks.

I have avidly read everything from your web and have become very involved with Harry's life story. Now I'm embarking on his rewritten stories, and I'm enjoying Harry as much as I ever did. Thanks for writing such a moving tale.

Did you enjoy my story? Then, please, send me your email!:

Have a look at my site, to read all my stories and buy my books:

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

Harry AnderS, writer of 'books with a message'