Ok, so I know I have not been very active on the forum, but some of you may remember “The Little Girl.” A story I wrote a few years ago. I finally started getting some writing in this summer, and of the few stories started, this is one of them. The first few parts of the story that I will post is the first day (22 pages worth). I won’t post them all right away, I like to keep people waiting ;D. It’s long because it sets up the theme of the sequel. I hope you enjoy!!
Chapter 1 - Part 1
Thursday morning rolled around a lot faster than Barb had wanted. After being up all night with thoughts racing through her head, she was extremely exhausted. She looked over at Annie sleeping peacefully next to her. Barb sat up and looked at the clock and sighed.
“I suppose I should get some motivation.” She mumbled as she got out of bed. Trying to be as quiet as she could, she grabbed clothes and tiptoed to the shower.
Lora opened her eyes and looked at the clock, “6:30 already,” she yawned. She got up and made her way into the kitchen to throw something together for breakfast.
Barb got out of the shower and dried off, she threw on her bathrobe and made her way to the kitchen for her much needed coffee.
“Good morning Lora,” Barb said softly as she prepared the coffee.
“Hey Barb. How did you sleep?” Lora asked as she examined Barb’s puffy undereyes.
“Oh ok, had a lot on my mind all night. I just need to get used to going back to work, I guess.” Barb sighed.
Lora nodded, “It will get better in time Hon. Just remember that Annie is in good hands and safe.”
Barb smiled, “I couldn’t ask for a more perfect person for Annie than yourself. I just need to let myself trust that Farrah will be a good fit for Annie too. It really has been nice having you here while Leanna has been at her father’s house.”
Lora smiled and nodded and turned back to flip her French toast slices.
Barb poured herself some fresh coffee and made her way back to the bathroom to get ready.
As she was nearing the bathroom there was a faint knock on the front door, Barb realized it was 7 O’Clock and ran to the door.
Farrah smiled, “Good morning!”
Barb smiled, “Good morning Farrah. Come on in and make yourself at home. Lora is in the kitchen and Annie is still sleeping. I need to finish getting ready for work.”
Farrah slipped her shoes off and made her way into the kitchen and sat down.
Lora smiled and brought a plate piled with steaming French toast. “Hey Farrah, good to see you! Can I get you some coffee or anything?”
Farrah shook her head, “Absolutely! That would be wonderful!”
Annie opened her eyes and rolled onto her back to stretch. She plopped her nuk back in and laid under the warm soft blankets listening to the birds chirp. The sun peeked through the blinds giving the room a warm dim glow. She looked down at bink and gave her a hug and held on tighter. She closed her eyes and lightly dozed.
She was awoken minutes later as Barb kissed her forehead. She opened her eyes and smiled.
“Good morning precious.” Barb said softly. “I am leaving for work now, Lora and Farrah are in the kitchen and breakfast is ready. Do you need a change before I go?”
Annie nodded and crawled over to Barb giving her a hug.
Barb laid her down and swiftly but gently changed Annie into a fresh dry diaper. “How’s that sweety?” Barb winked and lightly tickled Annie’s tummy.
Annie smiled, “Good.”
“Are you hungry or would you like to lay down a bit longer?” Barb asked.
“Lay down.” Annie said, still feeling a little unsure about Barb being gone all day.
“Ok baby, I will tell Lora.” Barb said as she tucked Annie and bink back in and kissed her one last time on the forehead and made her way out of the room.
Barb closed the door and walked into the kitchen. “Annie is changed and still laying down. I think she may be just a little nervous. Please call me for anything at all.”
Lora nodded, “Don’t worry a bit Barb, we will be just fine today.”
Farrah smiled, “Have a wonderful day!”
Barb smiled and rushed out the door.
“So, Lora, ready to show me the ropes?” Farrah asked.
Lora nodded and smiled. She put the plate of French toast in the oven and set it to warm.
“We can start by checking on Annie. Barb thinks she might be nervous, so right now is her most vulnerable time. It might be good to be there.” Lora said as they made their way down the hall to Barb’s room.
Annie opened her eyes when she heard the doorknob click. She looked over and saw Lora’s smiling face peeking through.
“Hi sunshine. Did you sleep good?” Lora asked.
Annie shyly smiled and nodded.
Lora walked in and sat on the bed. Annie saw Farrah and her smile faded. She pulled the blankets up closer to her face.
“Do you remember Farrah? She has come to visit us today.” Lora assured.
Annie nodded shyly and looked at Lora with a slight insecurity in her eyes.
“Annie, it’s ok.” Lora assured as she wiped a strand of hair from her fearful face.
Farrah smiled and watched quietly.
“Are you hungry?” Lora asked.
Annie nodded and sat up slowly and inched her way to Lora’s side.
Lora stood up and held her arms out, and Annie quickly crawled up and nestled onto her side.
Lora reached down and checked Annie’s diaper finding it dry and smiled.
The three went back out to the kitchen and Lora set Annie down and grabbed the French toast from the oven.
“Farrah, can you put a bib on Annie, she tends to swim in the syrup.” Lora chuckled. “There are some in the drawer next to the sink.”
Farrah reached in the drawer and pulled out a yellow bib and slid it over Annie’s head. She pulled Annie’s hair out of the neck and tied it back with a hairtie.
Lora brought out 3 plates and forks, and dished Annie up. She cut Annie’s toast into small pieces and slid the plate in front of Annie. Annie disregarded the blue plastic fork on the plate and grabbed two handfuls of the syrupy goodness and began gobbling it down.
Farrah giggled as she watched Annie.
After breakfast, Lora showed Farrah where Barb kept everything in the kitchen and the two of them cleaned up the breakfast dishes. Annie, full of sticky syrup, was placed in the tub. Lora smiled when she could hear Annie softly playing in the tub down the hall.
“Annie usually does better bathing after breakfast. When she first wakes up she is shy and has to re-open herself up, even to Barb. Not to mention, she is a messy eater.” Lora explained.
The phone rang and Lora excused herself. “Could you check on Annie for me please?”
Farrah nodded and walked towards the splashing noises coming from down the hall.
Annie looked up when she heard the floor creak, her playfulness faded and she got a frightened look in her face.
“Hey Annie, just making sure you are getting squeaky clean! I will let you play.” Farrah winked and went back out to the living room.
“…Ok, oh God. I will call you right back! I have to make arrangements!” Lora said in a worried and rushed voice.
She hung up and dialed another number in. “Ohhh… C’mon Barb… pick up! Please pi- BARB! Leanna has been admitted to the hospital. I need to leave. Can you come home? …Ok… I will let her know… Yes I will call you as soon as I hear anything… Bye.”
“Is everything ok Lora?” Farrah asked concerned.
“No, my daughter was just admitted to the hospital. I don’t know anything, no time to explain. Barb will be home in a couple hours. I need you to watch Annie. I will go say goodbye.” Lora said in a panic.
She flew down to the bathroom, “Annie, sweetheart, I know that you will be scared, but please try your best. I have to go, Leanna is very very sick. Farrah is going to watch you and Barb will be home in time for lunch. Please trust me and trust her. I love you baby.” Lora kissed Annie’s forehead and before Annie could blink, she heard the front door close.
Annie sat there in a daze. She didn’t know whether to scream or cry or anything. Farrah slowly peeked her head in.
“Hi Annie, are you ok?” Farrah asked nervously.
Tears welled up in Annie’s eyes and she shook her head.
Farrah knelt down in front of the tub, “You know, I know that you do not know me very well. You are probably scared right now. But I am only here to help take care of you, not to hurt you. I will go slow, but if you feel scared or anything, all you need to say is stop. I will stop whatever I am doing without asking why.”
“Would you like to get out of the bathtub and get dressed?” Farrah asked.
Farrah grabbed a towel and wrapped it around Annie and lifted her from the tub.
Annie, shivering, walked slowly towards her room. Farrah let the water out of the tub and walked into Annie’s room finding her with a pullup on and climbing into her crib.
Farrah sighed. “Can I please dry you off better so you do not get too cold?”
“It’s up to you Hon.” Farrah reassured.
Annie held out her hands and Farrah lifted her back down and began to towel Annie off.
“Annie, if you are going to wear a pullup make sure you use the potty. Those are not as absorbent and might leak. If you want I can help you into a regular diaper.” Farrah explained.
Annie shook her head and pulled her blanket through the crib bars and went into Barb’s room for bink. Farrah came in with an outfit and handed it to Annie.
“Here are clothes if you want them.” Farrah said and she walked out of the room.
Annie slid the shorts and tshirt on and brought her blanket and bink out to the window seat.
She hopped onto the bench and wrapped herself in her blanket and leaned her head against the window.
Farrah walked over and sat next to her. “Would you like to watch a movie, or go for a walk or something?”
“I understand you are a little shy so why don’t we go for a little stroll and enjoy the sunshine?” Farrah hinted.
Annie shrugged and nodded her head slowly and unsurely.
Farrah walked to the front door and grabbed her tennis shoes and Annie’s as well.
“Do you need help putting these on?” Farrah asked.
Annie nodded and dangled her legs down off the seat.
Farrah slid the shoes on and fastened them and put her own on as well.
“Ok Hon, ready?”
Annie nodded and slid off the window seat.
The two of them walked out the door and out to the sidewalk.
Barb finished up the last of her paperwork and went into her boss’s office.
“Excuse me, Mr. Johnson?” Barb quietly summoned.
“Yes, Barbra, what can I do for you?” He said as he looked up from his desk and motioning her in.
Barb came in and sat down. “I know that I was off for a few days, and I have a lot of work to catch up on. I am wondering if I can possibly do it from home?”
Mr. Johnson leaned back in his chair and rubbed his balding head. “What’s going on?”
Barb sighed, “Well, as you know, I am going through an adoption process with a very troubled young girl. I am also in the process of finding suitable childcare. Her caretaker’s daughter is very sick and in the hospital. I need to get home and reorganize my childcare situation.”
Mr. Johnson nodded. “Barbra, I understand your situation. But I also need to know that you are reliable. You have proven to me over the last fifteen years to be one of my best employees. I trust that if I send you home with the necessary equipment to fulfill your duties here, that I can expect the same level of work you do here in the office?”
“Most definitely. I promise I will not let you down.” Barb promised.
“Ok. I will give you today and tomorrow as a trial, and if you can satisfy my expectations, we can talk about a position working from home with some office time. I will have my secretary put a package together with the necessary equipment and have it sent to your home this afternoon.” Mr. Johnson said.
“Thank you so much. You will not be sorry.” Barb promised.
Mr. Johnson nodded and motioned the ok for Barb to be on her way.
Barb rushed back to her office and grabbed her paperwork and assignments. Along with her desktop items and contact list. She rushed out to her vehicle and was on her way.
Farrah finally broke the ice after walking for fifteen minutes in silence.
“So, Annie, what is your favorite food?”
Annie looked up at Farrah and smiled, “I like pizza. I like it a lot with lots of cheese.”
“Mmmm pizza is one of my favorites too! Maybe we will have to have a cooking day and make some yummy homemade pizza for dinner!” Farrah chirped.
Annie nodded excitedly. “I am a good cooker.”
Farrah chuckled. “I bet you are!”
Annie smiled proudly, and took Farrah’s hand.
Farrah looked down and smiled.
“Annie do you know how to swim?” Farrah asked.
Annie shook her head.
“Would you like to learn sometime?”
Annie shook her head again. “I only swim in the tub. Because I am taller than the water.”
“I bet you would like the beach then. You can stay in the shallow water and play.”
Annie looked up. She had never been to a beach. “Where is the beach?”
Farrah answered, “Well there is a nice one about twenty minutes from here. Unfortunately I do not have a car yet, but maybe one weekend we can all go together in Barb’s vehicle.”
Annie smiled with anticipation. “I can ask her when she gets home!”
Farrah smiled, “Yes you can. But don’t be upset if she says no this time. She might have a lot going on with Lora and her daughter too.”
Barb pulled into the garage, and ran inside. “Annie! Farrah! I am here!”
Barb looked around, with no sign of either, she got a bit nervous. She got back in her car and drove down to the park. After scanning the park numerous times and not seeing either girls, she began to drive around the neighborhood. About 6 blocks up she recognized them and pulled up to them.
Annie looked over and saw Barb pull up. She let go of Farrah’s hand and took off running, “Barby!” Annie called out happily.
“Annie! Stop! There is a car!” Barb screamed as she waved her hands at Annie.
Farrah startled Annie as she grabbed her from behind and pulled her back up the curb. A little sports car zoomed by without slowing down. Farrah let out a sigh of relief, “Wow, girl, you need to be looking both ways before crossing a street.”
Barb walked over to Farrah and Annie and gave Annie a big hug. “Annie you are not to go in the street unless you are holding an adults hand. Do you understand?”
Annie nodded embarrassed.
“I just got home, and there was no note, so I got worried. Would you like a lift home?” Barb asked.
Annie nodded. “I wanna go with you.”
Farrah shrugged, “Sure, that’s fine.” She was a little upset that her time with Annie was shortened when there seemed to finally be a small connection.
Barb fastened Annie in her carseat. Farrah slid into the front passenger side and Barb came around to the drivers side.
“Wow, what a day!” Barb exclaimed.
Farrah nodded, “Is Lora’s daughter ok?”
Barb’s face faded and she shook her head. “I don’t think so. They are still doing tests. Right now it’s looking like it could be Neuroblastoma.”
Farrah’s face sunk. “I am so sorry.”
Annie listened to the two of them talk solemnly and knew that whatever was going on was not good.
When they were home, Barb said goodbye to Farrah and came around and let Annie out of the backseat. “Come on baby, let’s make some lunch.”
Annie followed Barb into the house. She walked over and grabbed bink and came into the kitchen where Barb was attempting to prepare something for lunch.
“Why don’t you jump up in the chair and I will have lunch ready in a minute sweety.” Barb ordered.
Annie sat up to the table and waited. Just then the phone rang. Barb ran to the phone in a panic. “Hello?… Lora… What is going on?…” Barb sat a plate with a sandwich and carrots in front of Annie and walked back to her bedroom.