A repost of my story, which was almost lost in the recent technical difficulties. Thank you Heidegger, for taking time out of your day to re establish my account. You must have a lot of people asking for this, so I felt obligated to express my gratitude.
Chapter Description: We see John taking things surprisingly well all things considered. I meant upload a while ago, but something always stopped me from doing so. Enjoy!
Melanie was on her way home with a bundle of new clothes in the back seat for John to try. Right now all he had was a small little suit with a clip on tie that he had worn to the adoption hearing, and while he looked alright in it, they did have to guess on the size and he couldn’t exactly wear that every day now could he.
He needed school clothes and clothes for playing, he’d probably want to go swimming at some point, and the there was winter coming along, you can’t go wrong with a well insulated winter coat. She had also picked up a surprise for him, she didn’t know how he’d react, she hoped well, but still.
He’d been having episodes lately. It was to be expected, but it still made her feel so very sad to see him like that. At one point he’d be happy as a clam, then within a couple of minutes he’d remember everything he’d lost, and start to cry. He seemed a bit old to cry, but then he’d been through more than most twelve year old children had. He was still getting used to this body, still getting used to the turbulent emotions of a child. Call it maternal instinct if you like, but she didn’t like it any more than Derek did when he went into one of his moods.
She rounded the corner and pulled into their driveway. The house was a fair sized split level with a nice back yard. It was a good neighborhood with a few other kids John might decide to play with if he ever wanted to.
She parked carefully in the garage and went inside to get Derek or John to help her with the bags. Derek was busy with the dishes, but John was eager to come out and help. He was a bit surprised by the size of the bags. They were rather light but they were very big, Melanie couldn’t help hut crack a smile at the boy’s attempts to get it inside without touching the ground. She bundled a few in her arms and carried them in after him and before too long the car was emptied out.
"Wow," John said, "You sure did get a lot of stuff."
"Well it’s all for you, buddy," She said happily, "Now you take this stuff into your room and see if it all fits, okay?"
"Sure thing, mom!" he said excitedly before grabbing as much as he could and carrying it off down the hall.
"Mom?" Melanie said disbelievingly, "Did he just-"
"Well he decided today that he’d start calling me ’dad’, maybe he just wanted to extend the same courtesy to you." Derek said as he closed up the dishwasher and set the dial.
"Seems a bit odd to me. I mean, we’ve known him for years, we’re friends not... parents."
"Well, we’re his parents now, and besides, maybe its just his way of coping. He lost his family, now he’s trying to build a new one."
"It doesn’t make much sense to me. It doesn’t seem at all like the John we know."
"Well he isn’t the John we knew, he likes peanut butter, he’d been allergic all his life before, but now he can eat it by the jar full."
"Oh yes, I’d forgotten that allergies were determined by personality." she said sarcastically. Derek smiled a little with a raised eyebrow, she smiled back, "Well anyway, I’d better get his surprise from the trunk before he comes back down."
"Surprise? What surprise?"
"You’ll see." Mel said as she went out to the car again. When she came back, a look of despair came over Derek’s face.
"Oh, Mel, you didn’t."
"Well, it’s that time of year and it’s not something we can avoid."
"I know, but... I just don’t know how he’ll take it."
"Well, who knows? He’s taken to calling us mom and dad now, maybe he’s adjusting faster than you think."
"Maybe, but maybe not." said Derek calmly, "He had another episode today. I got him to calm down and get back to normal, but I don’t think he’s quite ready for this yet."
"Ready for what?"
Derek turned around somewhat startled to find John standing there in a new t-shirt and cargo shorts. "Aren’t you wearing shoes anymore?"
"It’s still pretty hot and I just felt better barefoot." he said, "Now what were you talking about?"
Melanie stepped out from in front of the table to show him a new backpack stuffed with fresh notebooks, a three ring binder, a packet of mechanical pencils, a little calculator, stickynotes, and an eraser.
"Ta-Da!" she said a bit weakly in an attempt to get him excited rather than upset.
"School?" he said just as weakly, "Your gonna make me go to school?"
"It’s not so much us, John, as it is the state." Derek said, "We’ve adopted you as our child and as responsible parents we cant let you go without school, or we’ll have the state on us about your welfare."
"Oh, no, I know about that its just..." John glanced at the calendar that proudly proclaimed it to be near the end of August, "It’s the middle of summer, you can’t go school shopping this early."
Derek smiled, "Don’t worry, son, we haven’t given up on Summer yet."