The Little Girl (all 21 parts)

Ok here are all the parts that were posted on the old forum

“Come here little girl! I am gonna give it to you this time! You’re 5 years old, it’s time you start learning some responsibility!” The man grabs his belt and whips it through the loopholes. "No daddy! Please no! SLAP “Get over here! SLAP SLAP SLAP That’ll teach you! SLAP You know the rules! SLAP SLAP “Owwwwwwww daddy pleeeaaaasee iiiimmmmm soooorrrryyy!” SLAP The drunk man began to tire and stumbled back to the chair, grabbed his bottle of whiskey and slammed the remains of the bottle. The little girl quivered and watched him in fear from the kitchen floor as he googled his eyes at her. “Let’s try this again little girl” She felt a sudden queasiness as he stumbled his way to her and she closed her eyes”

“NO!” Annie woke up in a cold sweat and realized where she was. As she sat there on the wet cold pavement near the dumpster. She leaned back against the stone wall and looked up into the sky. Annie was just another homeless 5 year old out on the streets in the city. People walked on by and never noticed her or they would push her out of the way disgusted by her appearance. All she had was her dingy-once-pink-now-brown jumper and white canvas shoes that were now dirty. Being small for her age at only 3’2" tall and maybe 40 pounds she was easy to step on and ignore. She carried her rag doll still with her which was in no better shape than she. It was about 2 weeks ago that Annie was “misplaced” on the streets.

She stood up and realized that once again she was not only wet because of the wet pavement. She had been having terrible dreams that brought her back home in the hell she was raised in. Mom died when Annie was only 2 leaving her in her father’s care. After her mother died her father began to drink away the hurt and lonliness. Annie then became not only a burden but a ragdoll to her father as well. She had no childhood, she didn’t experience what most babies and children do in her short 5 years. But now she was free and very alone and very hungry.

She began to walk clinging tightly to her ragdoll who she referred to as bink. Her legs cold and slightly itching and stinging from sitting in her own urine. She walked to the park and sat down watching the other children playing. Watching the parents hugging and kissing away their children’s boo-boos and pushing them on the swings and catching them from the slides. She leaned up against a tree and closed her eyes.

Barb was a quiet, reserved woman. Everyday around 9am she would take her walk and stroll through the park to see the wonderful children. She never had any of her own because of infertility. Barb and her husband split up 5 years ago and she was very alone. At 38 she came to the realization that she would be alone and was as content as she she could be.

When she turned the corner on Gilmore Avenue she could hear the childrens laughter and she smiled to herself. As she neared the park trail she slowed her pace a little to watch. She began to pick the pace up again as she passed by. “Oh how I wish I had children of my own!” She said to herself. She looked over and saw the little girl she saw everyday about this time sitting alone watching the children. She noticed the little girl was always propped up against the same maple tree with her ragdoll. Yesterday she noticed that she had seen this little girl 4 times prior and decided one more time and she would talk to her. So she veered off the path and sat down on the grass a few feet from her.

She noticed how small this child was. She could be no more than 4-5 years old. Her tangled brown hair in a ponytail that really was just half out and one big knot. Her clothes were worn slightly and dirty. Her face was masked with dirt and remnants of dried tears. Her eyes were sunken in and dark.

“Hi little girl, Im Barbra.” The little girl obviously startled popped her eyes open and inched back a little.

Awakened from her nightmare again. She heard a woman’s voice. She looked at the woman, and felt very uneasy. She had not had any attention unless she was being shooed away. This lady was smiling though. She had curly brown hair with a few blonde highlights pulled back into a ponytail and a baseball cap over. She had very nice tan skin and beautiful brown eyes. Annie just sort of gave her a half smile and clung on to bink.

The woman sat there quietly and watched the children with Annie. About 20 minutes passed and Barb got up, “would you like to swing too?” Annie shook her head. “Ok well I have to go on now then, have a good day sweety.” Annie watched the woman walk off and felt a slight relief that she was gone. But in a way wanted her to come back. She got up and began to follow her.

As Barb slowly walked home she could not get the little girl out of her head. How little she was and how someone could not want this little girl. “She is way to little to be on her own” She thought. “Maybe I should call some one about it, they have to do something at least!” But there was a knot in her stomach that wanted to turn around and go back and scoop her up and tell her she would never be thrown away again. She felt a tear and kept walking towards home.

Barb neared her front door went inside. She walked into her bedroom and stripped to go take a shower. As she felt the warm water hit her skin relaxing her, she almost felt guilty. Thinking of the girls ratted hair and her dirty face and legs. “I wonder how long it has been since she has washed” she thought to herself.

“What a big house!” Annie whispered to herself as she hid across the street watching the woman walk inside. Although it was a simple 2-story, it seemed like a mansion compared to Annie’s trailer she grew up in. As she thought about that trailer, she could still smell the stale smoke and whiskey remnants. The rotten garbage and the smell of urine emanating from Annie’s room. Annie had no bladder problems until her father began to molest her a few months ago. Now she could have a dream or a similar feeling or even a man who had a familiar face would stop Annie dead in her tracks and with a puddle underneath. And now that she had been on the streets, it happened often. She didn’t even have her panties anymore because they were so icky.

She got up and walked back towards the park to go back to her “home” She was getting hungry and she was sure the park garbages would have fresh food from the picnics this morning.

Barb got out of the shower and changed into fresh clothes and wandered into the kitchen to make herself a light lunch. As she was smearing mayonnaise on her sandwich, she thought again about the little girl in the park. “Maybe I should take a couple over there” She made two more sandwiches and packed them in some plastic sandwich bags and into a brown sack. She got into her car and drove to the park.

Annie trudged her way slowly through the park. She could feel the sun getting hotter by the minute as noon approached. She began to feel very dizzy and nauseated from hunger. She began to dig into one of the trash cans and found remnants of a half eaten banana. She wandered off with her banana and drug her way to the next one. She found a bag of half eaten chips and half of a fast food burger. She took her prizes and went back to her home in the alley by the dumpster. She could hardly wait to eat, this was the most she has found lately. But the dizziness was really beginning to over come her. She started to feel very weak and sat down.

After a few moments she regained her composure and strolled back to “her spot” She finished her lunch and decided to go back to the park and take a nap in the shade. As she neared the park she saw a familliar person by her tree. It was that woman again! She came and sat by another tree close by and watched the woman eat her lunch.

Barb was disappointed she didn’t make it back before the girl was gone. She really felt a heart tug with this girl and wanted to know more. She finished her sandwich and left the bag with the other 2 sandwiches near the tree hoping the girl would find it before it went bad. She brushed her bottom off and began to go home. She stopped when she saw the little girl sitting only 20 feet from her.

Annie’s stomach growled as she watched the woman eat. How she longed for something fresh and whole. She could feel the wetness spreading under her and realized what happened. Annie was beginning to lose control down there partially from not having to use the toilet and partially from destroyed nerve endings. She saw the woman stand up and then her heart stopped when she seen the woman look at her. She didn’t know if she should run away but she was frozen where she was as the woman came near.

Barb walked up to the little girl and saw a terror in her eyes. “It’s ok, I’m not going to hurt you! I would like to be your friend.” Barb softly pleaded.
The little girl squeezed her rag doll and scooted herself back some. Barb stopped, she did not want to make the girl uncomfortable. She put the brown sack in front of her and backed away a little.

Annie just stared at this woman. “Why is she being nice? What does she want?” She did not know what to think or what to do. She squirmed uncomfortabley as her soked jumper was beginning to irritate her skin. She leaned forward and opened the brown sack. She pulled out 2 sandwiches, an apple, a little carton of milk, and some carrots. She looked up at the woman and felt a tear. She tried to smile but could not.

Barb watched the little girl desperately pull the food out in amazement. The little girl looked up at her teary eyed. Barb’s heart melted right then and there. She sat down next to her as she gobbled up the food. She wanted to help this girl but knew how risky it can be to take in a broken child that is accustomed to life on the streets. She did not know it had only bee a couple weeks.

As Annie finished up the last of her milk, she turned to the woman and choked out a weak and raspy “Thank you lady”

“My name is Barb, little girl, what is yours?”


“Well Annie, it is great to meet you!”

Annie just let out a weak and unsure smile. “I better go now.”
As Annie got up she forgot about her “accident” and revealed a very wet behind to Barb.

Barb saw the wet spot and stood up as well. “Annie, do you have some place to go?” Annie nodded. “Well be sure to change out of those clothes and take a nice warm bath ok?” Annie looked down and nodded again.

Barb watched the little girl trudge her way down the path. She knew the little girl had no where to go. But couldn’t just make a child come home with her as much as she wished she could.

Barb went home and watched TV for the rest of that evening thinking about Annie and how she could help her.

Annie sat next to her dumpster and daydreamed of a normal life. She closed her eyes in hopes of something other than a nightmare and wet pants. But as she drifted off, she had the same recurring dream she had everytime she closed her eyes. Annie slept as the sun went down and was awoke by an odd sound. Somebody was in the alley, some man, and he was drunk. She froze in fear as floods of memories and pain from her father washed in. Until she was staring him right in the face.

“My little Annie, daddy has missed you! Come here, come to daddy little girl. Be a good girl for your daddy.”

“NO!” Annie jumped up and took off running, feeling the stream down her legs as she ran. She kept running and running. She could hear his voice behind her trailing off.

“Get back here you dirty little girl! Get back here to daddy! Youre gonna get it this time!”

She kept running until she realized she was in front of Barb’s house. She wanted to knock, but she was scared. She could hear her father’s voice ringing in her ears. She could smell the rotten breath of alcohol and cigarettes. She could still feel his hands running across her arms. She closed her eyes, she could not shake these images. They were so transparent in her mind she began to cry. She kneeled down and rocked herself to sleep in the grass.

Barb heard something outside. She was a little nervous as it was pretty late for any visitors. She looked out the window and discovered something. She couldn’t quite make out what or who was there. She went from window to window to figure out what this was. Then she saw it. The little feet of a child. She gasped and knew who was there. She flew outside and noticed she was sleeping. Barb did not want to wake her nor did she want to scare her. She went inside and grabbed a blanket and put it over Annie. She stepped back and sat down on the front step. She heard some commotion down the street. “Hmmph some drunken old unhappy man” Barb thought. But then she heard a familiar name. Annie? Was this man yelling for Annie? She got uneasy and decided to take her into her house. Barb picked her up and wrapped her in the blanket and brought her in, laid her on the spare bed.

“Come here little girl! I am gonna give it to you this time! You’re 5 years old, it’s time you start learning some responsibility!” The man grabs his belt and whips it through the loopholes. "No daddy! Please no! SLAP "Get over here! SLAP SLAP SLAP That’ll teach you! SLAP You know the rules! SLAP SLAP “Owwwwwwww daddy pleeeaaaasee iiiimmmmm soooorrrryyy!” SLAP The drunk man began to tire and stumbled back to the chair, grabbed his bottle of whiskey and slammed the remains of the bottle. The little girl quivered and watched him in fear from the kitchen floor as he googled his eyes at her. “Let’s try this again little girl” She felt a sudden queasiness as he stumbled his way to her and she closed her eyes. She felt his sweaty body on top of her, her bottom began to hurt and she couldn’t help but scream “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DADDY STOP! DADDDYY NOOOOOOOOO!”

“NOOOOOOO PLEAASSSSSSEEEEE DADDDYY!! OWWWWWEEEE!” Annie jumped up and opened her eyes. Only she wasn’t outside. As she felt the similar warm wet feeling she knew what was happening.

Barb awoke to screaming and flew out of bed and down the hall, she opened the door to where Annie was and turned on the light and stared into the eyes of a bawling terrified child.

Barb walked over to the bed and sat down, she could tell Annie was confused and frightened at how she had gotten here. Annie pulled the covers up to her mouth and began to cry.
“Heyyy, what’s the matter sweety?” Barb asked.
Annie just kept crying. Barb reached over and pulled her into a hug and seen the wet spot on the bed.
“It’s ok, everybody has accidents, we’ll get this cleaned up and get you all cleaned up and everything will be plenty fine dear!”
Annie nodded and wiped her eyes.
Barb walked into the hallway and grabbed some fresh sheets from the closet, unfortunately she did not have rubber sheets as she never had any use for them. “I guess we’ll just clean up again in the morning.” She thought. She walked back into the room and stripped the bed, she noticed the mattress was pretty wet as well and decided to leave it as is to dry. She carried the sheets down the hall and into the washer. She came back into the bedroom where Annie was sitting on the mattress looking down and very ashamed.
“Should we get you washed up hon?”
Annie nodded and followed Barb into the bathroom. Barb began to fill up the tub and put some bubbles in the water. She came over to help Annie with her clothes and Annie backed away. She would not let Barb near her.
“Don’t be scared, I won’t hurt you. Would you like to do it yourself?” Annie nodded.
“Ok, just call me if you need anything ok?”
“Ok” Annie whispered. And Barb walked out. Annie took off her clothes and got into her bath. She washed off her body but not her hair, she wasn’t sure how to on her own. Back at home daddy gave her her baths, which definitely was not a fun time like it should be for little girls.
She grabbed a towel from the basket next to the tub and dried off. She went to grab her clothes and realized they were still wet from her nightmare. She walked out of the bathroom and into the living room where Barb was watching some infomercial.
“All cleaned up?” Barb asked, noticing the dirt on her face and her still knotted hair. Annie shrugged. “My clothes are icky still” Annie said quietly. “Thats ok, Ill give you a Tshirt to wear” Barb chirped. She took Annie’s hand and led her into her bedroom. She found a smaller tshirt and handed it to Annie. “Here I will leave for a minute I have to grab something anyways.” Barb said and shut the door behind her.
Annie slid the Tshirt over her head and pulled it down, it went halfway past her knees and the sleeves hung down her arms almost all the way. Barb walked back in carrying a box.
“Annie I noticed you have no underwear and I certainly don’t have any in your size so I am going to use a cloth diaper.” Barb said. She had diaper rags because she used to be a house cleaner and they worked best for cleaning.
Annie just nodded, her face reddened a little. "Why don’t you lay down on the bed and I will pin one on quick so we can go to sleep. Annie backed away again. “No” She said quietly. “Sweety I know you are scared, but I promise I will not hurt you, I only want to help!”
Annie shook her head, “I don’t need that, I promise I won’t have any accidents.”
Barb didnt want to scare the girl so she agreed.
“Lets go make a bed for you then ok?”
Annie followed Barb back into the spare bedroom and watched as Barb laid a blanket on the floor. “Here you go why don’t you lie down and I will cover you up” Barb said as she handed her the pillow. Annie laid down and Barb covered her up with another blanket. “Goodnight, Ill see you in the morning!” Barb said as she turned off the light and went to bed.
“I wonder what this child has been through” Barb thought to herself. She got into her bed and and went to sleep.

Annie opened her eyes. She sat up and looked around and remembered where she was. She felt a familiar feeling underneath her and realized she had wet the bed again. She began to feel panic as she remembered she told Barb she would not have an accident. Just then Barb peeked her head in. “Good morning Annie. Are you hungry?” Annie nodded but quickly stopped and began to shake her head no. She couldn’t get up, Barb would then see what she did. She did not want to make her mad.
“Your not? Are you sure? I made some waffles and sausage, and I have some fresh fruit and juice out there!”
Annie’s stomach growled and she looked up and she felt tears begin to stream out.
“What’s wrong honey?” She said as she walked over to her. She knelt down and smelled the urine and realized what was wrong. “Annie it’s ok, it was just an accident! Im not upset at all! Let’s get you another shirt and we can eat breakfast and then we’ll get you cleaned up ok?”
“Ok” Annie mumbled. She stood up and followed Barb to the bathroom and waited while Barb ran to her bedroom for a shirt. She came back and handed it Annie the shirt and walked out. Annie threw the wet shirt into the tub and put on the clean one and walked out into the dining room. She could smell the food and it smelled amazing. She heard her stomach growl again.
“You can sit here.” Barb said as she set a plate down in front of a chair. Annie climbed into the chair and stared at the food. This was gourmet compared to the moldy bread her father would toast for her. And way more gourmet than the day old pizza she would find in the garbage cans in the park. She dug right in and barely tasted a thing or chewed it for that matter.
Barb watched Annie eat and felt so bad for this little girl. “How long have you lived in the park?” She asked Annie. Annie shrugged, “My dad brought me there 10 days ago, and then he told me I couldn’t come back home with him. He drove away and I got scared so I slept behind some buidings by a big garbage.” she mumbled.
“10 days? All by yourself? How did you do that? You are just a little girl!” Barb exclaimed.
Annie shrugged again and kept eating. She didn’t want to think about the park again or even that she would be back there agian tonight. She felt the feeling of dread knot up in her stomach again.
“Would you like to take another bath Annie?” Annie nodded and walked into the bathroom and watched Barb fill up the tub again for her.
After a few minutes Barb turned the water off and grabbed the shirt that was in there before and walked to the laundry room. Annie got into the tub and she began to wash her body again like she knew how to do. She heard a knock at the door.
“Annie? Would you like me to help you wash your hair?”
Annie called out, “No I will do it”
Annie laid back and put her hair back into the water and scrubbed it. She pulled out the hairtie that was still hanging onto barely nothing. She sat up and grabbed the shampoo bottle and squirted some into her hands. She lathered her hair up and leaned back again let her hair go under the water and she sat back up. She got out of the tub and grabbed another towel and walked into the living room. Barb was sitting there reading and she looked up and smiled.

Barb looked at Annie huddled in her towel shivering shampoo suds still in her hair and her face still dirty. She got up and walked over to Annie.
“Honey let me help you, its ok, I promise.” She grabbed Annie’s hand and led her back to the tub. Annie began to feel nervous and scared about Barb being in here. She began to back away but Barb held out her hand again. “It’s ok, I am not going to hurt you sweety.” Annie inched near her and grabbed her hand. Barb pulled the towel off of her and helped her back into the tub. She grabbed the cup and turned the water on and filled it. " Look up!" She said as she pured water over Annie’s hair. She grabbed the shampoo and scrubbed her hair and filled her cup up again. “Ok, look up again sweety!” Annie tilted her head back and Barb poured a few cupfuls of water over her hair. She then grabbed the conditioner and repeated the process. She then grabbed a washcloth and poured some soap into it and lathered it up and began to wash Annie’s face, and then her neck and as she got to her arms Annie began to cry. “Please stop, please!” Barb stopped and asked her, “What is wrong, am I hurting you?” Annie just looked down. “May I please get out now?” Barb helped her up and out of the tub and handed her the towel. “Im sorry Annie, I know you are scared.” She whispered as she pulled the girl into her chest and hugged her. “Let’s get dried off and dressed, and I’ll take you to get some clothes that fit ok?” Annie pulled her shirt over her head and handed her towel to Barb. Barb ran into the laundry room and switched loads and came back to the bathroom. She began to comb Annie’s hair and helped her dry it and pull it back into pigtails.
Barb ran out and got Annie’s clothes that she had washed from last night and handed them to her. “Here, put these on till we can get you some new clothes.” Annie changed into her clothes and came out. Barb was on the phone with someone so Annie sat down onto the couch and waited. She heard her talking about police and her daddy and her and the park. Barb hung up and came around the corner, “Ready?” Annie nodded.
They walked out the door and got into Barb’s car. Annie had never ridden in a car this nice. It had soft leather seats and it was clean, it didn’t smell of old food and stale cigarettes. It also was not as loud as her father’s was. She could actually hear the radio without having to have it blasting in her ears. They arrived at the mall and Barb helped Annie back out of the suburban. She grabbed her hand and they walked to the doors. Barb led Annie to a children’s store and they went through and looked at the clothes. Annie could not believe how nice these clothes were, and how many there were. She usually got her clothes from neighbor’s hand-me-downs and garage sales. She was excited to be able to get something new!

Annie followed Barb through the aisles admiring all the bright colors and pretty dresses. They tried on shoes and hats. Barb would turn around every once in awhile and hold clothes out for Annie to see and choose. After about an hour Barb turned around, “Are you ready? I think we got what we need for now! Is there anything else you would like to get?” Annie shook her head no. So they walked up to the register and Annie watched the clerk scan the clothes. “$56.78” she said to Barb. “This lady must be rich!” Annie thought to herself thinking back to the garage sales when her father and her would have just as much and it came to 5 or 6 dollars which seemed like a lot for her then anyways. Barb paid and grabbed her bags and held out her hand and smiled at Annie. Annie just looked at her for a moment, then embraced the hand and let out a half smile. They walked back out to the car, as they were walking she felt a tingle and knew she had to go but as soon as the thought came so did the wetness. She was so used to not holding it for the last few days that it was almost habit. She began to cry in shame again. Barb looked down and realized what happened and she stopped and knelt down beside Annie. “It’s ok, you don’t need to be ashamed Annie, but let me know when you have to go so we can get you to the potty. It’s just an accident and we’ll get you cleaned up and changed in no time ok?” Annie looked down and nodded, she wiped the tears from her eyes.
Barb led Annie back into the mall and into the bathroom. She handed her some underwear, only they were different, they were thicker. She handed her a pair of pink overalls and a white tshirt with a pink flower on the front. Annie went into the stall and took off her wet clothes and put on her new ones. She came out and handed the wet clothes all balled up to Barb, Barb just threw them out since they were stained and wearing. She helped Annie wash her hands and tie her shoes and they went back out to the car.
“We have one more place to stop ok Annie?” Annie replied, “ok”. So they drove off and within minutes Annie saw a big “Wal Mart” sign. They pulled in and parked and Barb came around to help the little one out of the suburban. They walked inside and Barb grabbed a cart. She looked down at Annie, “would you like to walk or sit in the cart?” Annie pointed at the childs seat and Barb lifted her into it. They walked in and Barb started with the groceries, she grabbed some fresh vegetables and fruits and a few other things. Then she turned the corner and came to the baby section. Annie looked around “this is not my kind of clothes” she thought. But Barb pushed past the clothes and formula and bottles and came to the diaper aisle. “I am going to get you some pull-ups for night-time ok sweety?” Annie nodded, she was confused, was she staying at Barb’s again? If so, she didn’t want to wear the pullups but did not want to have any more accidents either. Barb grabbed a couple packs and they went on to the bedding section and grabbed some plastic sheets. Then they made there way up to the registers. Annie waited as Barb paid for the items and then she helped her back down out of the cart and they walked back out to the car. Barb lifted her in and put the stuff in the back. Soon they were heading back to Barb’s house.
“Are you hungry, Annie?” Annie nodded. So Barb ran through the McDonald’s drive-thru. “What would you like honey?” Annie couldn’t read the menu but knew what she wanted. “Happy Meal” Annie whispered. “What kind?” Annie shrugged. “How about chicken nuggets then?” Annie nodded. Barb ordered their food and paid and set the bags on the backseat floor. Annie could smell the french fries and her stomach was growling now. She was excited, McDonald’s was a huge treat for her! They got back to Barb’s house and she helped Annie out. She handed Annie the McDonald’s bag and drinks while she grabbed the other bags. They walked into the house and Annie followed Barb into the kitchen. Barb set the bags down and grabbed the food from Annie and set it out on the table. Annie climbed up onto the chair and sat down. She opened her happy meal and took everything out. She was going after the toy first, which was just a plastic barbie that didn’t even mover her arms and legs like the ones she had at home. Although this one had clothes and she also had hair. She ate her food and played with her toy quietly.

Barb finished cleaning up for lunch and helped Annie find some cartoons to watch while she made a few phone calls. She wanted to call about Annie and her father and what she could do about it. She really wanted to adopt Annie but she knew that would be a fight knowing how the law liked there to be two parents and so on.
She noticed Annie rubbing her eyes and figured she must be sleepy. “Are you tired Annie?” Barb asked. Annie nodded as she yawned. So Barb grabbed her pillow and pulled the blanket off the chair. “Let’s get a pullup on you first ok sweetheart?” Annie whispered, “ok” Barb grabbed the package and pulled one out and handed it to Annie. “Just put it on like you would your underwear ok?” Annie nodded and walked into the bathroom and pulled off her overalls and her underwear. She slipped on her pullup which felt similar to her underwear Barb bought for her. She smiled at the Disney Princess designs on it. She grabbed her overalls and underwear and walked out to the living room. She handed them to Barb, who folded them and laid them on the chair. Annie climbed up onto the couch and laid down, Barb covered her up and turned the volume on the TV down a little so she could make her calls and Annie could nap.

When Annie awoke she sat up and rubbed her eyes, familiarizing herself once again to where she was. She looked around but did not see Barb. She laid back down and watched the cartoons on the TV. She then heard Barb saying thanks and good bye faintly from the back bedroom as the door opened. Annie sat back up to look. Barb came out and down the hall, “Hi Sweetie! Did you sleep ok? You must have, you slept for 3 hours! How about a snack?” Annie nodded, “yes please” She pulled the blanket off and remembered she still had on her pullup and it was wet. She felt her face redden. “It’s ok Annie, let’s get a snack then we can change ok?” Annie mumbled “ok”
Barb poured up some grape juice and took out some cookies and set them out on the table.
Barb put a napkin in front of Annie and held out the plate while Annie grabbed a cookie.
“Annie, I would like to talk to you about some stuff. That will require you to talk to me though. I know you are confused and scared, but I am not here to hurt you, I am here to help you and care about you. I know it will be hard to trust me but if you can try that would be great. Do you understand?” Annie replied, " Yes that is ok"
“Annie, I would like to take care of you, I would like you to live here now. And it is something that I am working on with the county, its a hard process and I am not sure if I can win it. The county would rather you go into a foster home or a center. Now, I have to tell you something else as well. I need to know where your dad lives or your last name so I can turn him in. And you will have to tell me and/or the police what happened the day he left you and what happened at home ok? I know that it will make you feel sad but please know that I am here to help you ok?” Annie nodded. She could feel the knot tense up in her stomach and the tears burning to come out of her eyes. “I don’t want to go back to daddy” She whimpered. Barb came around the table and knelt down in front of her chair, “Annie, you don’t ever have to go back there, but you have to tell someone what went on there so we can make sure you never go back.” Annie slid off the chair and into Barb’s arms and began to cry. Barb pulled her in close and felt tears in her own eyes.
Barb stood up still holding Annie, who was still whimpering on her shoulder. She went and sat down on the chair and rocked with Annie until she calmed down.
Annie sat up and looked at Barb, “I have to go potty.” Barb picked her up and set her on the ground and led her to the bathroom. Annie looked up at Barb, “Not anymore, I can’t hold it.”
“You just wet now?”
Annie nodded. “I don’t know how to hold it in long. It just comes.”
Barb knelt down, “That’s ok, we will just keep you in pullups until we can work on holding it ok?” Annie nodded. Barb went and grabbed another pullup and handed it to Annie.
Annie took the wet pullup off and threw it in the garbage and pulled the dry one up. And came back out to the living room. Barb was folding the blanket and putting back over the chair. She handed Annie’s overalls to her, “We are going to go over to one my friends houses tonight Annie, is that ok with you?” Annie nodded, “Yes its ok” Annie put her overalls on and then went to finish her cookie and juice.

Annie watched out the window of the suburban as Barb and her drove out of town. “I think you will like Lora! She has a little girl who is 4, I know its a little young but something to do! We will be there in about 45 min ok?”
Annie nodded, “ok.” And she drifted off to a light sleep.

“Annie…Annie sweety, wake up!” Annie heard in her half asleep dream mode. Annie opened her eyes groggily and Barb lifted her down from the suburban. “We’re here!” Barb chirped. Annie smiled and followed Barb to the door. The door opened and there was a middle aged woman who was slightly bigger boned with short dark hair and glasses. She smiled and knelt down, “You must be Annie?” Annie smiled and nodded as Lora patted her head and stood back up to give Barb a hug. “Come in ladies! Make yourself at home, I’ll finish up dinner here. Leanna is still asleep but she should wake up soon, ok Annie?” Annie smiled and simply nodded. She looked through the french doors of the living room and saw what looked like a play room, “Can I play with those toys?” She said shyly. Barb patted her back, "Go ahead dear, do you need a new pullup first? Annie nodded. Barb grabbed her bag and excused herself, “Come with me honey.” She whispered to Annie. They went into the bathroom and Barb knelt down beside Annie and reached into her bag and pulled out a bag with some pullups in it. “Would you like me to help you?” Annie shyly refused, Barb picked up her bag and walked out. Annie decided she would as well relieve her bowels while in the bathroom. After a couple minutes, Barb was knocking again, “Annie are you ok in there?” Annie called back, “Fine, I am using the potty.” “Ok” Barb said back. Annie heard her walk away. She finished up and got her new pullup on. She threw the other one in the trash.

Annie walked out and into the play room. She couldn’t believe all the toys this other girl had and felt a pang of jealousy towards her. She went over and started playing.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Barb was sitting at the table with her coffee talking to Lora. She was explaining the night she found Annie in the yard and how she had seen her 4 days in a row in the park. “I just feel so angry that someone could hurt a little girl, don’t parents realize how wonderful they are? That there are people everywhere who would give anything for a little girl like Annie. She is malnourished, underweight, practically mute, and distant. She won’t let me near her barely. She has been so hurt, and I am destined to find out what she has been through. She has not had a childhood for sure! Look at her in there.”

Annie was playing with a contraption you had to find the shape and the hole it went into. She knew her shapes, she was very smart in fact. She had learned how to plenty on her own. But these toys still fascinated her, she remembered having them as a toddler, in a way they reminded them of her mother still alive. She felt her eyes burn as the tears welled up.

“I really believe that you should let her live out her inner childhood, Barb. Who knows what went on, if she was always neglected or hurt in any way. But she shows signs of dissociation, which obviously means that somewhere, sometime in her past she stopped growing mentally and emotionally. She may be smart, but her mind is still in the state she left it at and thats where she will be until she is allowed to live it out. Does that make any sense?” Lora said with seriousness. “Yea, it does.” Barb replied. Lora got up and checked the oven. “About 10 more minutes and it should be ready ok?”
“Ok.” Barb replied, “Ill get Annie washed up.” And she walked into the playroom. Lora, on the other hand, went into Leanna’s room to wake her. As she walked in, Leanna was already awake and had climbed out of her crib, and she was playing with her poohbear toys on the floor. Leanna was still in her crib due to attachment issues. Lora didn’t mind though. "Leanna, it’s time for supper, let’s wash up, I want you to meet Annie.

Leanna jumped up and ran into the bathroom, she pulled her stool out and washed her hands and sang ABC’s. Thats how she knew she washed them long enough.

Barb walked into the playroom, she seen Annie’s sunken eyes and knew she was upset about something. “You ok, baby?” Annie nodded and rubbed her eyes. “Dinner’s ready, and Leanna is awake, would you like to meet her?” Annie shrugged and took Barb’s hand. She wasn’t really excited about it but she wasn’t scared either. They went into the kitchen and Leanna was sitting at the table waiting. Her eyes were still puffy from sleeping and her ponytail was hanging and loose and her curls were dangling wildly. Barb helped Annie into her seat next to Leanna.

“Annie this is Leanna, this is Lora’s little girl.” Barb said. Leanna smiled, Annie smiled back. Barb walked over by Lora to help her bring over dinner. Lora walked in with a green bean casserole and Barb followed with the fruit and bread rolls. Leanna crinkled her face, “Ewww mommy I don’t like that green stuff!” She whined. “Well, you can at least try it, otherwise there is bread and fruit!” Lora sternly said back to Leanna. Barb dished up Annie, “Annie would you like some casserole?” Annie nodded, “Yes please” Lora smiled, “See Leanna? It’s not that bad, Annie wants some!”
Leanna stuck her tongue out and made a gagging face.

After they were all dished up, they quietly enjoyed their meals, with an occasional conversation. When they were all finished, Lora shooed the girls off to go play. Leanna jumped down and tore into the playroom and Annie slowly got off her chair, “Can I stay in here with you Barb?” Barb smiled, “Yes you sure can, but I bet that play room would be way more fun than dishes and cleaning!” She said winking. Annie shrugged and walked into the playroom where Leanna was singing as she was playing with her mini kitchenette. “Would you like some coffee Annie? I have pizza with jellybeans too!!” Annie smiled and took the plate and cup from her hand and sat at the little table. Leanna pranced over with hers pretend meal and she began chattering away. Annie felt in a daze. Leanna was your usual hyper 4 year old who could daydream and make believe just about any situation. Annie was a daydreamer but not in a fantasy way, more just her mind would disconnect from the situation and she would find herself evaluating every aspect of a person or place……“Annie…Annniiieeee… earth to Annie” piped Leanna. “Did ya hear me or what?” she scoffed. Annie shrugged, “Sorry”
“That’s ok, what do you wanna play now?”

Annie just shrugged her shoulders and looked out the window. The sun was beginning to set and Annie was tired and most of all, her pullup was cold and wet. She wanted to go back to Barb’s. She got up and walked away towards the kitchen. “Hey where are you going??” Leanna asked. Annie kept walking.

Barb put away the last plate and dried her hands and the countertop off. She was backing up and tripped over something. “Oh dear! I am sorry Annie, I didn’t see you behind me, are you ok?” Annie nodded and whispered, “When are we gonna go to your house?”
“We will get going here in about 20 minutes ok sweety?” And Annie nodded and went into the TV room and sat on the chair to wait. Lora came out of the bathroom and smiled at Annie as she walked past. “Where is that little monster Leanna? I hope she didn’t scare you away!” She giggled. Annie just shook her head no. Lora went back into the kitchen.

“Well I think we better get going, we have an hour drive ahead of us now. Thanks so much for dinner! It was delicious!” Barb said as she hugged Lora.

“Anytime hon! I love having you over, and Annie too, it was nice to meet her!” Lora said back.

They walked into the next room where Annie was sitting quietly. Barb noticed her overalls were wet. "Uh oh, your leaking sweet heart! As she helped her off the chair. “At least its only on your pants.” She handed Annie another pull up and led her to the bathroom.

Leanna peeked around the corner and piped in, “Did she pee her pants? Ew!”

“Leanna Marie Larson!” Lora snapped. “Shhh, we will talk about that later! For now, keep quiet!”

Barb smiled and knocked on the door. “Annie, you all set?” Annie opened the door, with glazed eyes, Barb knew she was crying. She picked her up on her hip and walked to the door. She grabbed her bag and Annie’s shoes. “Thanks again Lora! Byebye Leanna!!”

“Bye” Leanna mumbled.

As the door closed behind them, Annie rested her head on Barb’s shoulder. “Im not sure if these pullups are going to work tonight Annie, I don’t want them to leak again!” She felt Annie nod on her shoulder. She opened the car door and strapped Annie in. “We may need to get you some sort of car seat. You are too light to not have one.” Barb said and closed the door.

Annie woke up to Barb carrying her back into the house. She sighed in relief to be somewhere comfortable. Barb carried her into the bathroom took her overalls off her, they were still a little damp and she didn’t want Annie to get a rash on her legs. “We may need to use the cloth diapers tonight honey. I know that you are uncomfortable with that.” Annie shook her head and opened her eyes wide, “Please no.”

Barb sighed, she so wanted this little girl to give in to her but she knew it would take time. She went and grabbed the plastic pants they got earlier and handed Annie a pullup and the plastic pants. “Put these over your pullup, it will catch any leaks.” Annie nodded and took the pants and pullup.

Barb was sitting in the living room when Annie came out. “Well we better get sheets on that bed so you can go to sleep huh little one?” Annie nodded. She didn’t want to go to bed as tired as she was. She didn’t want the nightmares or accidents. Together they walked into the bedroom. Annie could smell the urine from last nights accident and felt embarrassed. Barb went into the bathroom and came back with the febreze and sprayed the mattress and air. She put the rubber sheet on and the clean sheets over. “Ok sweety jump in, I’ll tuck you in.” Annie crawled into the bed and Barb handed her bink tucked her in. She sat down next to her and swept her bangs from her face and kissed her forehead. She whispered, "Sleep tight, little one, you know where I am if you get scared or if you need anything! “Goodnight Barb.” Annie said, she squeezed her doll close and closed her eyes.

[/i]Come here little girl, come to daddy, that’s a good little girl, daddy’s little girl. “NO DADDY NO! STOP! PLEASE STOP! OWY DADDY YOUR HURTING ME! YOUR HURTING ME! STOP!” Shut up! Be a good little girl!"[i]

NOOOOOOOOOO!!! MOMMMMMMMYYYYYY!!! Annie woke up in a puddle of sweat. “Mommy! Mommy!” she cried. She opened her eyes and realized where she was. Mommy was not here. She began to wail. Barb came in half asleep, “What’s wrong Annie?”

“I want my mommy!” She sobbed.
“Where is she, Annie?” Barb said as she pulled Annie into her arms and began to rock her.
“She went away, she is in heaven, she went away when I was really little” Annie whimpered, “I want her to come back now. I want my mooommmyy” she began to wail again.

It all of a sudden clicked in Barb’s head what was said earlier, Annie had stopped feeling and growing mentally and emotionally when her mother died. She wondered if that meant that if she was a happy toddler, then maybe she would be happier if she relived being a toddler. Barb continued to rock Annie as she started to cry softer and drift off. She noticed she was soaked. “Annie, can I change you? You are soaked.” Annie sleepily nodded. Barb laid her back on the bed and ran to get some plastic pants and cloth diapers and she found some pins. She came back in and Annie was still half awake holding her doll and to Barb’s surprise, thumb in her mouth.

She picked her up and laid her on the floor and pulled the plastic pants and pullup off her. She was covered in a huge rash, she noticed bruising around her thighs and began to feel nauseated. She gently wiped Annie off, who winced every time she was touched. In pain and fear both. Barb gently rubbed on some rash ointment and sprinkled powder on her. She lifted her up and place 2 diapers under her and pulled them up and pinned each one. She pulled her plastic pants up over her diapers and sat her up. Annie was a little more awake but still very groggy. Barb pulled her shirt off from earlier in the day and put a pair of her new jammies on her, A longer tshirt with ruffles on the bottom hem that slightly showed off her diaper. Barb giggled, She looked like a 2 year old only a little taller. She picked her up and hugged her again and laid her back into her bed. She tucked her back in and began to walk out when she heard Annie whimper.
She looked at Annie who was obviously beginning to cry again. “What’s the matter sweety?”
“Dont leave me to!” She whimpered. Barb walked back over and sat down. She lightly caressed the side of her head as she pulled the hair behind her ears.
“Im not going anywhere baby, I am here for you, I am waiting for you to trust me.” Barb whispered. She sat there and rubbed her head and back until she was asleep again. Thumb in her mouth and her doll pressed to her little body. Barb leaned down and kissed her forehead again. “Goodnight Precious.” She turned out the light and went to bed.

Annie woke up later in the morning. It didn’t take long for her to remember where she was this time. She wondered if she could just get out of bed, or if she had to wait for Barb to come in like she did with her father. He would get so angry if she didn’t wait for him to tell her to come out. She decided she would wait a little longer but she needed to relieve her bowels soon. After about 20 more minutes, she began to cramp up. She called out Barb’s name but there was no answer. She crept out of her bed and went to the door. She peeked out. The house was silent, “Maybe shes sleeping still” Annie thought. She went into the bathroom when she realized she didn’t have a pullup underneath and she remembered last night. She pulled her plastic pants down and fiddled with the pins but couldn’t get them down. She tried just pulling the diapers down but they were pinned on tightly. She pulled her plastic pants back up and walked into Barb’s room.

Barb was still asleep.
“Barb?” Annie whispered. She waited and a little louder, “Barb.” Barb opened her eyes, “Morning sweety, are you ok?” Annie shook her head. “I have to use the potty bad!”
“Annie you have your diaper. Might as well use it.” Annie shook her head again, “No not that kinda potty, the other.”
“ohhh ok baby, I’ll be right in.” Annie rushed into the bathroom, practically bent over trying to hold her stomach. Barb came in and saw her struggling. She rushed over and quickly pulled the pants half down and unpinned the diapers and lifted her up on the toilet just in time.

She grabbed the diapers and rolled them up and threw them in the basket and pulled the plastic pants off her and left the bathroom so Annie could finish up. She went and grabbed a pullup and brought it back to Annie.

Barb went into the kitchen and tried to decide what to make for breakfast. Just then the phone rang.
“Hi Ma’am, I need to speak with Ms. Barbra Sullivan please.”
“This is she”
“Ms. Sullivan-”
“Barbra, please” she insisted
“Barbra, this is Officer Schwanke, I am calling on behalf of the complaint you put in on a missing girl named Annie.”
“Yes! What’s going on?”
"A man by the name of Roger Lampert was arrested and detained in detox the other night. He claimed that he was chasing his daughter who ran away. She is 5 years old, brown hair, 40-45 pounds. A little over 3 foot tall.
Just then Annie walked into the kitchen by Barb. Barb held out her hand for her to stop.
“One moment officer”

Barb leaned down. “Sweety is your fathers name Roger?” Annie nodded.

“Officer Scwhanke, his daughter is in my care right now.”
“Ok ma’am, why don’t you give me an address so I can come pick her up and take her home.”
“Excuse me?”
“I said no!” Barb snapped.
“Ma’am, you could be arrested for kidnapping if you refuse to let her go.”
“Officer, let’s start over and re-phrase. This little girl is not a “run-away” but she was running from her drunken father. This little girl is traumatized by her father who dumped her in a park for almost two weeks. This little girl has been molested for God knows how long and neglected and malnourished. If anyone needs to be arrested, its that man!”
“Ok ma’am, I understand that you are worried. But I am going to need to sit down with you, and Annie, her father and a social worker. For now, I will need to pick her up and bring her home. If I see a threat in that when I bring her home, there is a local center for abused and neglected women and children and she will be safe there.”
“Officer, please, I have finally gotten her to talk. To trust, she is beginning to trust me. Let her stay with me until the meeting. I am begging you.”
"Im sorry Barbra, I understand that you may have some emotional ties with her becaue of the situation, but it is the law she come with me.
Barb felt the tears well up.
Annie stared at her, “What’s going on?” She wondered.
“Yes 547 Chester Wood Ln.” Barb said and she hung up the ohone.
She looked at Annie who by now had tears in her eyes. “Was that my daddy? Is he coming here? Please don’t make me go there, Please!!” She grabbed Barb’s leg and began to cry. Barb pulled her away and knelt down and pulled her into a hug.
“That was a police man, Annie, they have to come here and take you somewhere safe.”
“No don’t leave me!” Annie began to sob.
Barb whispered, “Im here, you’ll be back, Im gonna make everything better, but you can’t stay tonight. Let’s get your stuff in a suitcase sweety. I promise I will fight hard to bring you back here!”

The doorbell rang and Barb opened the door. “Hello Ma’am, I’m Officer Schwanke.”

“I know” Barb said. She was still holding Annie who was crying. “Are you sure this has to be this way right now?”

“Yes ma’am, I am sorry, it is the law.” The officer grabbed Annie’s suitcase and Barb followed him out to the squad car. She helped Annie into the car and gave her a kiss on the forehead. “Don’t you worry about a thing, I’m going to fix everything” Barb whispered.
She watched the squad car pull away and felt the tears well up. “This is not goodbye, baby, this is the beginning of a beautiful life, I promise!” She said as the car turned the corner. She went inside and got on the phone, she needed to find out everything she could about her rights and she wanted to see every possibility. She was not letting Annie go.

Barb stared out the front window as she wiped away the tears. Annie had been gone for only a few hours and Barb felt so completely alone. The last day and a half she had felt important and needed. She felt like something had just been torn from her chest now. “Why am I so connected to this little girl? I barely know her, but she has my heart.” She whispered to herself. She got up off the window seat and went to the phonebook. “I don’t even know where to start!” She said to herself.

She decided to start with the police again. Maybe they had gotten a hold of someone or she could at least know if Annie was safe. She dialed them and waited for an answer…

“Northern Hills Police, this is Harriet, how may I direct your call?”

“Hi Harriet, My name is Barbra Sullivan, I am looking for Officer Schwanke, is he in?”

“No ma’am I’m sorry he is not in, he is on street parole right now. Would you like his voicemail?”

“Yes please, that would be great!”

“One moment Ms. Sullivan”


“This is Officer Bill Schwanke, I am sorry I am not in my office right now, please leave me a message and it will page me so I can get back to you soon. Thanks.”


“Hi Officer Schwanke, this is Barbra Sullivan, please give me a call as soo as you get this, my number again is 719-8629. Thanks.”

Barb hung up the phone and sighed. She went into the kitchen to make herself some lunch.

Annie laid on the bed assigned to her in the shelter. She was wet and tired and sad. She had a long morning. First the police came and took her away from her “safe haven” , then he brought her home where she refused to go. When the policeman saw the trailer he grabbed Annie and put her back into the car. She could still see it in her mind……

“Come on Annie, This is your home” Bill said.

“NO! Im not going! You cant make me! I want Barb! Please!” Annie squealed.

The policeman grabbed her hand and practically drug her across the yard to the door. He knocked and nobody answered. Annie was wailing by this time, trying with all her might to get out of his hold.

“Hello? Mr. Lampert?” He knocked again. No answer. He opened the door and began to gag. The trailer was a disaster, dirty clothes, dishes, garbage everywhere. It had a sour smell to it like sweat and dirty skin. He saw Roger sleeping in the recliner. An empty bottle of whiskey next to him. Roger looked closer. It didn’t look like he was breathing.

“Annie step outside for a moment please.” Annie backed away.

He walked in tripping over empty bottles and cans and clothes. The smell was almost unbearable, Roger was in his underwear and a white undershirt.
“Roger?” Bill poked his shoulder. Nothing. He shook him a little more. Nothing. He looked again next to his empty bottle of whiskey and right there was an empty bottle of Vicadin.
“SHIT!” He shouted. He ran to the phone and dialed 911 and all Annie could hear was a bunch of squabbling. She looked back inside and saw the officer on the phone and her dad still sleeping. She shuddered at the sight of him and ran off to the cop car. Within minutes she watched Ambulances race in and out with her father on a stretcher. She closed her eyes, she did not want to know what was going on, she didn’t want to hurt.

Annie woke up in a bed that was not hers, in a place she did not know. She began to cry, when a younger woman in her mid 20’s rushed in.
“Hi Annie, Im Stephanie, I work here with children who have no parents. There are a few others as well. I will be your assigned house mother for the next few days.”
Annie buried her face in the pillow, she didn’t want to be here, she wanted to be with Barb.
“Annie, would you like to come meet the other children? Maybe have some lunch?”
Annie shook her head no. “I don’t want to be here!” She whimpered.
“I know you are confused but until we can find a foster home, you are assigned here. Annie can we talk right now?”
Annie shrugged. “Why can’t I be with Barb?”
“Sweety, that I do not know. I don’t know Barb. But I do know that you are under the county’s care now. Your father passed away this morning Annie.”
Annie looked up. “What?”
“Im sorry Honey.”
Annie didn’t know how to feel or what to say or think. She was completely blank. “Please go away” Annie whispered.
“Ok, Ill be in the other room if you need me.” Stephanie walked back out.
Annie sat there and just stared out the window.

Barb was finishing up her lunch when the phone rang.

“Ms. Sull- Barb?”


“Officer Schwanke here.”

“Where is she?” Barb snapped.

“She’s ok, she’s at the local women’s shelter for a few days. Then she will be moved to a center and available for foster care or adoption.”

The Little Girl (all 21 parts)

Thanks Jayme Ann.

The Little Girl (all 21 parts)

This doesn’t seem like all of it.

It cuts off in mid sentence.

The Little Girl (all 21 parts)

I suggest that you went over the posting limit and the rest got cut off, Jayme…

The rest

“Why can’t she just come back here with me?” Barb felt the tears well up.

“Ma’am that is not up to me, but I wanted to let you know there will be no meeting”

“Why not?” Barb asked puzzled.

“Her father overdosed on medication and alcohol. He wasn’t found until this morning.” Bill said quietly.


Barb didn’t know what to say except, “Can I see her?”

“You will have to call the shelter first, I am sure you can.”

“Thanks officer Schwanke.”

“Good Day”

Barb hung up the phone. She felt awful about Annie’s father. She went to the phone book and looked up the women’s shelter.

She dialed the number in and waited for an answer.

“Hello, You have reached Northern Hills Family Shelter. Please leave us a message with your name and number and your emergency or how we can assist you. Thank you.”

“Hi, my name is Barbra Sullivan. A little girl was put into your care this morning. Her name is Annie, please I would like to talk to her and if possible come see her. My number is 719-8629, Thank you.”

She hung up.

Annie woke up to Stephanie calling her name. “Annie… Annie…”
Annie sat up and rubbed her eyes.

“Annie, I think your friend Barb called, is her last name Sullivan?” Annie nodded and smiled.

“Ok, let’s go call her then.” She grabbed Annie’s hand.

“Stephanie?” Annie shyly whispered.


“Where is my bag? I need a new pullup.” Annie stared at the floor.

“Oh I had no idea! No worries! It’s right here sweetheart! Do you need help?”

Annie backed away and shook her head. She grabbed her bag and looked around.

“Bathroom right there sweety” Stpehanie pointed to a room to her left. “I’ll wait right here ok?”
Annie nodded and trotted off to the bathroom.

The door opened and Stephanie was still there waiting. She smiled at Annie and held her hand out. Annie took her hand and followed her into her office. She sat down and pulled a stool by her and helped Annie onto it. She dialed some numbers and fell silent for a moment.

Barb ran to the phone. “Hello?” She asked desperately.

“Ms. Sullivan?”

“Yes! This is her!”

“This is Stephanie Homan, from Northern Hills Family Shelter.”

“Oh thank God! Is Annie ok?”

“Yes she is right here and would like to speak with you.”

Stephanie handed Annie the phone and walked out of the room.


“Annie! Sweety are you ok?”

“I want to come back with you” Annie began to cry.

“I know honey, Im working on it.”

Annie couldn’t even talk, she just kept crying. Stephanie saw this and walked back in. She picked Annie up and sat down with her on her lap and began to rub her back. Annie handed the phone to Stephanie and buried her head into Stephanie’s shoulder.

“Ms. Sullivan, can we meet somewhere?”

“Great! I’ll see you in 25 min!”

Stephanie hung up and held the crying girl for a moment. Annie looked up and asked, “Is she gonna come get me?”

“We are going to go meet her. Come on let’s go!”

The two of them walked out of the office grabbed Annie’s bag and out of the building. She helped Annie into the backseat and shut the door.

Within 15 min. Annie looked outside and seen the suburban parked in front of the park. She smiled and began to feel better. Stephanie parked her car and helped Annie out. Annie got down and looked all over and she seen Barb and took off running. Barb picked her up and held her close and hugged her as they both were teary.
“Today felt like months!” Barb exclaimed. She squeezed her again.
Stephanie walked up to the two of them.
"Barb, the shelter is for people who do not have a safe place to go. Annie needs to be back in 4 days for her appt. for foster care. She will be placed according to who I recommend. She winked and walked away.

Annie watched as Stephanie pulled away. Barb looked at Annie and squeezed her again. “How’s my baby? I bet today was rough huh?” Annie snuggled up to Barb and closed her eyes. She did not want to lose Barb again. “I was scared” replied Annie. Barb carried her to the suburban and helped her in. They drove down the street back to Barb’s home. When they got there, Annie watched the house come into sight and felt her body relax a little, knowing she was safe right now.

Barb pulled her out and carried her inside. She slipped her shoes off and then Annie’s. “I bet you are hungry too?” Annie nodded. “Well let’s get you changed and we’ll make something, sound good?” Annie nodded again. Barb set her down and reached into Annie’s bag and pulled out a pullup and handed it to her. Annie pushed it away and shook her head. “What’s going on Annie?”

She watched her toe trace the carpet and kept her head low, “Can I have the other kind?”
Barb smiled and put her finger under Annie’s chin to lift her face up. “You can have whatever kind you would like, don’t ever be afraid to ask for anything.” She held her hand out to Annie.

Annie took hold of Barb’s hand and followed her to the spare bedroom. Barb scooped her up and laid her on the bed. She dug in the closet for the box of diaper cloths and pulled them out.

Annie laid on the bed and snuggled her bink and put her thumb in her mouth. She was nervous about this but she knew Barb loved her. “She wouldn’t hurt me right? She is a good person.” Annie thought to herself. She squeezed her eyes shut and sucked her thumb. She remembered parts of her childhood before mommy died. It was fuzzy but Barb reminded her of her mom. She remembered she never liked to be changed when she was sleepy because the cold air on her bottom woke her up, but mommy would put her pacifier in and lightly tickle her tummy to soothe her. Sometimes she would hum twinkle twinkle to cheer her up. Annie sucked her thumb and tried to remember mommy. She opened her eyes when Barb pulled her pants off.

Barb watched Annie, “Should I be doing this? Am I hurting her more? She is scared I can see it. She wouldn’t have asked if she didn’t want it right? She’ll tell me if she wants me to stop.” Random thoughts were running through Barb’s head. She ripped the sides of the pullup which revealed Annie had a rash still, a little worse than before.

“Ohh Annie, your so raw, you cant sit in these wet pullups, they dont absorb like diapers do. Maybe you should take a bath and let your skin breathe a little ok?” Annie nodded and sat up, she took Barb’s hand. “Would you like me to help you or do you want to do it yourself?” Annie pointed at Barb and Barb nodded. She took her into the bathroom and started the water, checking it to make sure it was not too hot or cold. She went into the closet to grab bubbles and poured them in.

“Let me help you out of that shirt, sweety.” Barb said as she walked over to Annie. Annie raised her hands as Barb pulled off her shirt. Barb took her hand and helped her step into the tub.

“Should we wash your hair first little one?” Annie nodded. Barb grabbed the cup, “Look up sweety.” She said as she poured warm water over Annie’s hair. She grabbed the shampoo and lathered up Annie’s hair, massaging her head. Annie closed her eyes in comfort. After her hair was all washed Barb grabbed a washcloth, “Let’s start with you face and ears and neck ok? We’ll take it slow.” She lightly wiped Annie’s face and behind her ears, moving down to her neck and arms. She washed her back and chest and stomach. She looked at Annie, “Ok let’s get those feets!” She chirped as she lifted Annie’s leg out of the water and ticked her toes a little. Annie giggled and lifted her other foot out for Barb to tickle and giggled again.

“Ok Annie I need to get your bottom and your legs, can you stand up for me?”
Annie stared at Barb for a moment, she felt like crying, hesitating a bit she stood up and put her hands on Barb’s back while Barb leaned in and scrubbed her legs. She lightly cleaned her bottom, careful not to irritate the rash anymore. She helped Annie back down, “There that wasn’t so bad right baby?” Barb said as she tickled Annie’s neck lightly. “Would you like to stay in for awhile or get out?” Annie thrust her hands out to Barb. Barb smiled, she looked like a toddler pleading for her life before the drain sucked her in. Barb chuckled and grabbed a towel and lifted Annie out and into her arms.

They went back to the spare room and Barb dried her off and towel dried her hair the best she could before she scooped her up and laid her on the bed. She pulled out 2 diapers and lifted Annie’s bottom.

Annie closed her eyes and sucked her thumb as Barb diapered her. She felt like a little girl inside and when she felt this way it brought her back to happy times.

Barb graciously applied the cream and powder to ensure no more rash. She pinned the diapers up and grabbed a fresh pair of plastic panties and slid them up. Barb looked at the clock, “6pm, Are jammies ok right now sweety?” Annie nodded.

Barb grabbed a zip up sleeper, it was a little chillier out tonight. She sat Annie up and Annie leaned on her shoulder and back while Barb put her feet in and then her arms. Barb zipped up the sleeper and patted her behind. “OK, you hungry?” Annie smiled, “Yes Im really hungry.”

“How is pizza delivery and a movie sound tonight? Im a little worn out and I know you are too.” Barb said as she brushed away the strings of wet hair from Annie’s eyes. Annie gave her a quick nod. “I’ll call and order, then I’ll meet you in the bathroom to dry your hair ok?”
Annie walked into the bathroom. Within a few minutes Barb joined her and helped her dry her brown curls.
Barb let the water out of the tub and cleaned up a bit while Annie helped her.

30 minutes later the doorbell rang. Annie ran to grab bink and a blanket while Barb answered the door. When she came back out she could smell the heavenly aroma of the pizza. It was very rare she had pizza, especially delivery. She jumped onto the couch and Barb ran to grab some plates napkins and milk. Within minutes they were quietly enjoying their pizza.

“Ready for that movie?” Annie smiled and nodded. “Well I hope you have room for one more under that blanket!” Annie moved away from the side so Barb could sit there and got up on her lap to share the blanket. “We can stay up later tonight, I am going to take the week off of work, although I am sure you won’t make it very late!” Barb said. Annie leaned her head on Barb and they watched their movie. It’s a good thing Barb liked some of the children’s Disney movies. They watched “A Little Princess” and as they watched Annie felt connected to Sarah, the little princess. She was alone, rejected, used, sad, and Annie had been there too. She still felt sad alot but she was happier to have found Barb.

When the movie ended, Annie was sleeping just like Barb predicted. She scooped Annie and her blanket into her arms to bring her to bed. Annie awoke, but barely stirred, Barb decided she had better change her before she went to bed. She laid her on the bed and switched a dim lamp on. She unzipped her sleeper and pulled herlegs out. Annie began to whimper, “It’s cold, I don’t wanna change”

“Sweety your going to get a rash” Annie plopped her thumb in her mouth and still whimpered and shivered. Barb rushed to get her changed and warm again. She put her feet back in her sleeper and zipped her up. She picked her up and laid her on her pillow and tucked her in. She kissed her forehead, “Goodnight Precious”

Annie was fast asleep, Barb shut off the lamp and walked into the living room to clean up. When she finished, she went into her own bedroom and changed and laid down, she turned around and seen a shadow in her doorway,
“Annie? Is that you?” She asked.

“I was scared” Annie whispered.

Barb patted the bed for her to come up and lay down. Annie crawled in and inched her way close to Barb. Barb leaned over and kissed her forehead again and within minutes, they were both asleep.


Barb flew out of the bed and grabbed the hysterical child. “Annie… ANNIE! Wake up! IT’s just a dream, you’re ok!”
Annie opened her eyes and she was still crying, Barb sat down and rocked with her to calm her down and hummed a song gently to soothe her.

Annie looked up at Barb with her red eyes and blotchy face, “Why won’t he stop hurting me?”

“Annie he can’t hurt you anymore, you are safe now, he can never touch you again!” whispered Barb.

She walked back over to the bed with her and laid her down and crawled in next to her. She continue to rub Annie’s back until they were both fast asleep.

Barb awoke around 9am to Annie stirring in the bed. She looked over at her, “Good morning little one.” She noticed she was squirming, “Do you need to go to the potty Annie?”

Annie nodded. Barb rolled out of bed and rolled her on her back and unzipped her sleeper and pulled her feet out and pulled down the plastic pants. She unpinned the wet diapers and pulled the sleeper off. Annie took off running to the bathroom and made it just in time.
Barb threw the clothes in the hamper and laid down again.

Annie came prancing in a few minutes later, Barb had to giggle, she looked like a 2 year old proud they made a poopy in the potty. Barb got up and grabbed a pullup and helped Annie into it. “Well, I certainly don’t want to be doing all this laundry, we’ll have to run to the store again today and get diapers. These pullups just are not gonna work out!”

Annie grabbed bink and skipped out to the living room in just her pullup to watch cartoons.
Barb knew she had better get her some toys today too, TV would only rot her mind more. She also had to make a few calls, one being to Stephanie to find out more about foster care/adoption. She sighed and walked out to the kitchen to make some breakfast.

“Annie, finish up your breakfast so we can get a bath and get going soon!” Barb called from her bedroom as she finished making her bed. She walked into the laundry room and threw a load of towels and diapers in.
Annie came skipping down the hallway she stopped by the doorway and Barb looked at her.
“Look at you! Maybe we need to get you a bib too, you are covered in syrup! Good thing your taking a bath now and not before breakfast, huh?”

Annie smiled and giggled. Barb walked across the hall into the bathroom and started the water. She didn’t fill it up full or put bubbles in this time as they had to get going soon. She helped Annie into the tub and began by washing her fingers and chest and face that were covered in her breakfast.

“It’s in your hair! Maybe I need to feed you from now on!” Barb giggled as she lathered up Annie’s hair and scrubbed.

Barb finished washing Annie up and pulled her out into a towel and dried her off. She scooped her up and took her into the spare room.

“Let’s get you into a pullup for now, we can get diapers today, ok?” Annie nodded.

Barb set Annie down and helped her into her pullup.

“Let’s see, what should we wear today?” Barb said in her singsong voice as she went through the clothes they bought a couple days ago.

“How about this?” She asked as she held up a pink jogging suit. Annie smiled and nodded.

Barb grabbed a pair of plastic pants and pulled them up first. She grabbed an undershirt and helped Annie into her jogging suit. She patted her bottom as she stood up, “Ok go get your shoes on, I’ll be out in a second.”

Annie pranced to the front door to find her shoes. She sat down as she pulled them on and strapped the velcro straps.

Barb came around the corner, “Ready, doll?” She asked as she lifted Annie into her arms and grabbed her purse. They walked out the door and to the vehicle. Barb strapped Annie into the backseat and closed the door.

As they drove along Annie watched out the window. She watched the different houses pass by and the people out walking, children playing. She smiled, she had never felt so free.

After 20 or so minutes they pulled into the parking lot of Target. Annie sat there patiently as Barb compiled a quick list of things she needed. “Ok all set!” Barb chirped as she shut the car off and came around to help Annie down.

They walked into Target and Barb grabbed a cart and put Annie into the child seat. “Ok Annie, rules of the child seat are: that you are in charge of my purse and keeper the list now!” She winked and chuckled. She started in the grocery section and went through her list of items and she would point to the word Annie needed to cross off.

She started in the grocery section grabbing necessities here and there. She got to the cereal aisle and Annie’s eyes widened. “You pick out what kind you want to eat Annie.” Annie pointed to the Honey Nut Cheerios and Barb grabbed them and placed them into the cart. They headed down the next aisle where Barb noticed the baby food.

Barb kept thinking about what Lora had said about regression and debated whether or not to try some things out. She didn’t want to scare Annie though. She decided she would wait it out a little and wait for sure signs of regression. She already had seen a few signs but wanted to make sure it was right.

They moved onto the baby section to grab diapers and wipes. “Might as well stock up huh?” Barb said as she grabbed 4 packages of Pampers. She grabbed 2 more packages of refillables for the wipes as well as more powder and desitin. She smiled at Annie, “Should we get you a bib then, too, my little messy girl?” Annie smiled back. They went to the next aisle to look at the variety of baby stuff. Even though she wanted to wait it out, she also wanted to see Annie’s reactions to the baby items in front of her.

Annie sat in the cart as Barb was looking at bib sizes, and right to her side was a few rows of pacifiers. She just stared, she remembered when she had one but daddy took it away. She wanted it badly. She looked at Barb who was busy with bibs. Annie grabbed a package with a pink and orange pacifier. She looked again at Barb who was not looking. Annie tore the package open and plopped the pacifier in her mouth. She was instantly comforted by this. It brought her back to her younger days.

“Where did you get that?” Barb asked as she looked at Annie. Annie just shrugged. Barb looked at the shelf next to her where the open torn package lay.

“Annie if you would like something you need to ask, ok? We have to pay for these items before we can use them.” Annie got teary eyed. She hated being in trouble.

“Awww honey, I am not mad, we just need to follow the rules. If you would like anything at all, you just ask me ok?” Annie nodded.

Barb threw the open package into the cart, she grabbed the pacifier from Annie’s hand and put it back into her mouth. Annie looked around at the other items. She watched as Barb grabbed a couple sippy cups. Annie looked at the baby bottles. She picked one up and handed it to Barb.

“Would you like this Annie?” Annie nodded. Barb placed in the cart, secretly smiling. She knew now that her and Lora’s assumptions were right now. “Im going to let Annie decided when and how much though” Barb thought to herself.

They went to the carseat section. Knowing that a child had to be in a carseat until they were 4 years of age and in a booster until they were 7 years of age or at least 4ft 9in according to the New York car seat laws. But Annie was under that. She was very petite and undersize to begin with. Barb decided she would get a car seat rather than a booster. She went through them and found one with a reasonable price but not too cheap. She grabbed the box and realized it would not fit into the cart. She looked around for some assistance and like usual there was no one around. She went back to where the seats were and found a button for assistance and pressed it.

About 4-5 min later a young man walked up, “Can I help you ladies?” He asked.

“Yes please, I need this carseat brought up front for me if that is possible?” Barb asked.

The young man smiled, “No problem, just go to aisle 8 when your done shopping and I’ll get it up there for you ma’am.”

“Thanks sir!” Barb replied and pushed the cart onwards. She wanted to wait for the end of the trip for the toy section. She looked down at her list in Annie’s hands, “Ok, I think we only have a few more things to get.” She said, “But first, I bet you need a change huh?” Annie’s face reddened as she realized she did. She felt a little different though. Barb thought Annie would probably need to use the potty too from the smell she occasionally smelled eminating from Annie. She got into the bathroom and lifted Annie onto the changing table.

“Annie! You messed your pullup!,” Barb exclaimed. Annie felt embarrassed and ashamed. She didn’t even realize she had done it. She began to tear up as Barb ripped the sides of the pullup down. “Awww baby, it’s ok, Im not mad, just surprised! Don’t worry, we’ll get you cleaned up ok?”

Annie pulled her pacifier out. “Sorry I didn’t know I did it.” She whimpered.

Barb put her pacifier back in her mouth and smiled, “It’s ok, I don’t mind!” She finished wiping her up and pulled a new pullup up and put her jogging pants back on. “Come on let’s finish up our shopping!”

Annie’s eyes widened as she looked up at the aisles towering with bright colors and toys and games. Barb helped her out of the cart, “Ok Annie, I want you to pick out 3 toys” Annie wandered in front of the cart and looked at the toys. Barb occasionally grabbed a couple smaller things for Annie, she grabbed some flash cards with numbers and letters. She also placed some stuffed animals and candyland into the cart. Annie came back by Barb with her toys, she picked out a baby doll that came with high chair and a bottle etc. She had some Play-Doh and a bookset of 3 Winnie the Pooh books. Barb nodded and Annie dropped them over the side of the cart.

Barb helped Annie back into the cart and proceeded to the checkout counter. “Here’s aisle 8!” Barb chirped. She turned in and pulled up to the counter, where a sweet lady in her 70’s smiled at Annie still sucking on her pacifier. Barb put everything onto the belt and pushed the cart to the end of the belt where she could pay. “We also have that carseat behind you,” Barb added. The woman nodded and she scanned it with her gun. “Assistance to Aisle 8 please” the old woman muttered into her microphone. Barb proceeded to hand the woman her money and a bigger burly man came up. “Take this out for the ladies please.” The old woman said and smiled at Barb and Annie, “Good day”

Barb got out to the car and pulled the carseat from the box. She carefully read the instructions and pulled the plastic off Annie’s new carseat. She installed it according to the pamphlet and within 10 min had it all fastened in the suburban. She lifted Annie up into it and belted her in. She shut the door and unloaded the rest of the items into the back of the suburban.

Annie felt different in her carseat. She could see outside better, she felt safer and best of all she felt so small again. She closed her eyes and dozed off.

Barb pulled into the driveway and looked back at the sleeping Annie, she decided to let her sleep while she unloaded the groceries and items from the back. She decided she would pull into the garage where Annie would be safe out of Barb’s sight for a few moments.

Annie woke up to the dark garage, somewhere she had never been or seen. She felt her heart begin to thump. “Where am I? What’s going on?” She thought to herself. She began to panic but she was stuck in her carseat, just as she was about to cry, she saw Barb walk out the door of the house. She felt tears of relief stream down as Barb peeked in the window to see if Annie awoke. She opened the door and seen the stray tears. “Awww baby, Im sorry, were you scared?” Barb asked as she pulled Annie from the suburban to hug her. Annie nodded and laid her head on Barb’s shoulder.

“Let’s make some lunch huh?” Barb said in a lighter tone, trying to cheer Annie up. The two went inside the house.

Annie went and laid on the couch with her pacifier and bink and watched Dora as Barb prepared lunch.

“Come eat Annie” Barb called. Annie got up and set bink and her pacifier on the couch and pranced into the kitchen. She climbed up onto the chair and Barb set a bowl of Macaroni in front of her. She had a toddler’s bowl and spoon with it, “When did she get these?” Annie wondered, she guessed she must have missed it when she was getting into the pacifiers. Barb then walked back over and put a bib over her head and sat down next to her. Together they ate silently. Barb looked over at Annie, “Annie! You silly girl! You have cheese all over the floor and the table and, of course, yourself! Am I going to have to get you a high chair and start feeding you myself?” Annie giggled and held her messy hands out to Barb.

Barb chuckled and grabbed a paper towel and dampened it to clean Annie up. After she wiped Annie down she brought her into the bedroom to change her into a diaper. “These will be better than those pullups and less cleanup for laundry! Also you can get these off yourself when you decide to use the potty.” Annie thought about earlier at Target when she pooped. She wasn’t sure she liked the potty. It was just easier this way.
Barb pulled the plastic pants up and patted Annie’s bottom. “Would you like to go lay down on the couch? You look like you are ready for nap, I’ll be out in a second with a blanket ok?” Annie pranced out to the couch and laid down with bink. Sesame street was on, just as she was getting into the elephants bathing themselves she heard Barb.

“Here you go sweety,” Barb said behind Annie as she handed her a blanket and a bottle with apple juice. Annie felt odd but comforted and took the bottle. She stared at it for awhile, feeling like she was naughty to want it. She tried to shake those thoughts from her mind.
“Don’t you want it Annie?” Barb asked. Annie looked at her and nodded but shrugged at the same time. Barb picked her up and cradled her and her blanket and doll and put the bottle into Annie’s mouth.

Annie felt strange but so comfortable and began to suck the juice down. She closed her eyes and thoughts raced in and out of her mind. She felt so little, so loved by this treatment. She felt alive in a way. She felt a tear stream from her eye and creep into her ear and she nestled into Barb and dozed off.

Barb looked down at Annie who barely finished any of the bottle before she was completely out. Barb pulled it from Annie’s mouth and plopped her pacifier in and put the couch recliner back. She situated Annie so they were both comfortable and then dozed off herself.

Barb woke up when the phone rang. She carefully but quickly got up and tried to leave Annie undisturbed and ran to the phone.

“Hello?” Barb answered.

“Hello, Is this Barbra Sullivan?”

“Yes it is!”

“Hi Barbra, this is Stephanie from Northern Hills Family Shelter.”

“Hi Stephanie. How are you?”

“Good! Thanks,” Stephanie answered, “Listen, I am going to need you and Annie to meet me today instead of 2 days from now. The judge wants Annie placed now. I am not saying she can’t stay there, but the judge just wants the case settled so Annie does not get too attached. You have a very good chance of taking Annie home tonight, but the judge wants to talk to Annie.”

“Ohh. Ok, what time?” Barb answered solemnly.

“Can you come now?”

“Annie is asleep, we will be there in an hour.”

“Ok, 4pm it is. Just go to the courthouse.”

“Thanks, bye.” Barb hung up. She looked over at Annie, for once this girl is in peaceful slumber, she is loved. She has been broken, beaten, walked on. And Barb took her in her arms to hold her together. And now there is a chance that she might lose her. Barb felt the tears well up and quickly wiped them away. She walked into the spare room and grabbed a couple suitcases to put Annie’s things in.

Annie opened her eyes and rubbed them. “Where did Barb go?” She thought as she realized she was alone. Suddenly she felt helpless and alone again. She sat up and looked around. Too shy to speak, she began to cry.

Barb heard Annie crying and rushed into the living room, “What’s wrong sweety?” Barb asked as she scooped Annie up and sat down with her in her arms. She rocked back and forth and Annie stopped crying.

Barb pulled Annie away a bit to look into her eyes, “Annie, we have our meeting today. We will find out if you can stay with me.”

Annie just stared, blankly. “I don’t wanna go no where” She whimpered.

“I know, I know, me neither. It’s going to be ok though I promise.” Barb whispered as she laid Annie’s head back into her and slowly rocked.

“Let’s get you changed and ready ok?” Barb said quietly.

Annie nodded and Barb stood up and propped her on her hip. They went back into the spare bedroom. Barb laid Annie down onto the bed. Annie looked over at her suitcases packed and ready to go. Barb went into one of them to grab a fresh diaper and the wipes, powder and rash cream. She pulled back Annie’s diaper and wiped her off. She placed the clean diaper in place of the old one. She began to rub desitin on and finshed by powdering her generously.

Annie still felt funny about being changed and being vulnerable. But she felt so comfortable around Barb that she tried to ignore that fact. She liked feeling like a little girl, she loved the way Barb talked to her like she didn’t know what anything meant, she loved that Barb cuddled her and held her when she was sad. Nobody had shown her that since she was little. Even then her mommy was not like Barb. Her mommy definitely loved her, she hugged her, kissed her, told Annie “I love you” all the time. She played with her and never hurt her. But there was something about Barb that drew Annie right in. Something that soothed Annie and began to heal her.

Barb pulled Annie’s pants back up and helped her off the bed. “Well I suppose we should get going then huh?” She grabbed Annie’s suitcases and carried them into the living room and set them down. She walked over to the couch and grabbed Annie’s doll and pacifier, she grabbed her almost half empty bottle too. She handed bink and the nuk to Annie, who immediately plopped the pacifier in her mouth. “Annie, when we get there, I need you to put the pacifier away. I am not sure how they would react to a 5 year old in diapers with a nuk in her mouth. The diapers they could understand I know, or at least hope.” Barb said. Annie took her nuk out and handed it to Barb. Barb put it in Annie’s suitcase, “Ok you ready?” Annie nodded and sat down to put her shoes on and Barb brought the suitcases into the garage and into the suburban.

She came back in and picked up Annie and shut the TV and light off.

Barb placed Annie into her carseat and strapped her in. She handed Annie the bottle of apple juice from earlier. .

Annie watched out the window and sucked on her bottle. She felt comfortable although she was scared about going to the meeting. But she felt safe with Barb by her side.

“Annie, I want you to know whatever happens today, I love you, and I will always hold you special in my heart ok?”

Annie nodded in confusion but returned to staring out the window, drinking her bottle.

When they arrived, Annie finished her bottle and felt the butterflies in her stomach. Barb came around and helped Annie out of her car seat and set her on the ground. Annie immediately held her arms back out to be held. Barb was unsure if that would make a bad impression but couldn’t say no to her heart melting inside, she picked Annie back up and shut the door.

They walked through the parking lot and up the steps to the doors. They went inside and Annie’s heart began to race. Not to mention, Barb’s stomach was in knots and her mind was running a million miles a minute with “What if’s”

“Let’s see,” Barb said as she scrolled her finger down the courthouse map. “We need to go to the 3rd floor.”

They walked to the elevators and Barb pressed the “up” button. They waited for about 7 seconds before they heard the “ding” telling them to get on the elevator. Annie and Barb along with 4 others piled into the elevator.

“4th floor, that’s us!” Barb said in her singsong voice to Annie, trying to break the tension that was building as they neared the moment of decision.

They walked into the waiting area clueless as to where to go or what to do.

“Barb! Annie!”

Barb turned to her right to see Stephanie sitting down, waiting.

“Hi” Barb chirped back as she walked over to sit down.

She pulled Annie from her hip and sat down with her on her lap.

“Judge Williams will be out here in a minute or two. She is just finishing up some paper work.” Stephanie explained.

“She?” Barb asked, stereotypically humans thought judges to be a male.

“Yes, she. We would not put Annie in a situation where she would be afraid or uncomfortable. Obviously she was hurt by her father, who is male, and most people would be uncomfortable facing a male that hurt them in such a way Annie was. It wouldn’t be right.”

Barb nodded and leaned back.

“Hello Stephanie, sorry about the wait. You must be Barbra and Annie, yes?” said Judge Williams as she walked into the room.

Barb stood up with Annie, “Yes, Im Barb, this is Annie.” Barb reached her hand out to greet the judge.

“Ok, well let’s step into a conference room here.” Williams said as she opened a glass door and held it open for them. “Stephanie and I have had a chance to sit and chat on the situation. I know the situation with her father, although I do not know what went on at home with Annie and her father. I know that you found bruises and made your own assumption. But because there is no fight for custody with a parent, there is no reason to bring that situation up, being she will have no risk of going back to that. What I would like to know is how you and Annie came upon each other and why I should let Annie be placed into your home, where there is only one guardian and one single income, rather than placing her in a center where she is guaranteed a stability or in foster care where she would have 2 parents and most likely foster siblings.”

Barb was very intimidated by this woman. It was almost as if she had no compassion. She felt her eyes begin to burn, she wanted to cry for Annie right now, did this woman not talk to the police man? Did she not care that Barb brought a broken, dirty, hungry, scared little girl into her home and gave her the love she deserved? Did she not see that Annie wanted to be with Barb?

After a moment of silence Barb replied, “Judge Williams, I understand what you are saying. But that is only from a legal point of view, from a book of rules. I don’t mean to say that the law is wrong, but if you could have seen Annie before you see her now. She was “dumped off” by her father, the one who molested and neglected her, the one she looked up to for security and nurturing but never recieved it. If you could hear the screams from Annie’s mouth in the middle of the night, terrified! If you could have seen her stare at the children in the park, in awe of the laughter and playing. If you could have seen her eyes when I handed her something to eat besides what looked fresh in the garbage cans. If you could have seen her little body curled up when I found her outside of my house, broken, hurting, scared, tired. If you could have seen her face when I tried to get close and she pulled away in fear. If you could have seen the tears she has shed over the past few days. If you could have seen the healing she has experienced just by being loved. If you could have seen her hold her little arms out for me to carry her because she is afraid I will leave her too. If you had to promise a little child you would not throw them away, would you go by a “book” of rules? My heart breaks for this child, I have never EVER experienced a miracle until now. That miracle is Annie. Her and I are connected on a very real level, its not out of pity, its not out of neediness. It’s from the heart. I love this little girl. She is beginning to talk, she is beginning to giggle, she is beginning to smile not only from her face but from her heart. I understand its been only a weekend and there is pain that will take years to heal! But she has learned that I am there for her, whether she is fully trusting or not. She is trusting enough to let me hug her, because she knows its out of love and I am not going to plow her over and hurt her. No child should ever have to live through what Annie has. Please don’t take her away.”

The judge nodded as she was jotting down notes. She then turned to Annie, “Annie, I know you don’t like to say much, but it is important that you tell me what you want.”

Annie stared for a moment and then looked at Barb, who winked and nodded for her to go ahead.

Annie bottom lip quivered as she began, “Mrs. Judge, I want to be with Barb. She likes me and she doesn’t get mad at me when I have a accident. She lets me eat good food. She doesn’t look at me with icky eyes. I dont wanna go away from her ever.” Annie began to tear up.

The judge smiled and and looked at Stephanie.

“Judge Williams, Im sorry but my heart is overtaken by this and I can only say one thing. Annie is a special little girl, she deserves to be loved, she deserves to be happy and I see that happening with Ms. Sullivan.”

The judge nodded, she looked down at her notepad and back at Barb.

“Ms. Sullivan you have told a heart wrenching story, anyone would be tearing up and going on their heart’s motive. But unfortunately we as human beings have rules, we have laws. We want people to be safe and most definitely want to make the right choices. And in Annie’s case, you have no grounds for Annie’s custody. You are single, you have one job. How am I supposed to know that Annie is stable? Ms. Sullivan I would love for Annie to stay with you as much as yourself and everyone else. But Stephanie is right, Annie is a special girl. She is going to require more time, more love. She has been neglected of these things and she is going to take everything you have to give and more. I have to know that you know that. She is going to require counseling. Children are a huge responsibility, they are not like picking a stray cat from the street.”

“Judge Williams I am fully aware of all this! I know I am single, but better there is not a man for Annie to be afraid of during her healing process. I know I have one job, but let me assure you I have never missed a payment and I was taught to save. I have money to support Annie, I have enough saved to send her to college right now. I understand she will require alot from me and I am willing to give it all and more. Trust me I am not looking at Annie like she is a stray cat I can take in and get rid of when I can’t take care of her.”

The judge nodded and everything was silent for a few moments. She looked at Annie, she then looked at Barb.

“Well, Barb, Annie, Stephanie, here is my decision……”

Barb lifted her head up in anticipation and anxiousness. She had a million outcomes running through her head and she had begun to lose hope. Judge Williams seemed set in her ways and very strict.

“This is a really hard decision to make and requires time. Time that I don’t have. Time that would require Annie to go back with Stephanie and be placed in the children’s center. Time that would make the both of you miserable while waiting and most likely wouldn’t come out the way you are dreaming. So I am going to make a decision right now,” Williams looked at Annie, “Come here Annie.”

Annie slid off her chair and walked slowly towards Williams. She was nervous and scared of what this lady wanted her for.

Williams took a hold of Annie’s hand and walked her to Barb’s chair. “Annie I want you to take a good look at this woman sitting here. She loves you with all her heart and has taken you in with open arms.” Annie nodded, “I want you to look at her because she is now your legal guardian.”

Annie’s eyes widened as well as Barb’s. Barb scooped Annie into her arms and began to cry. “Oh babygirl, I told you we could do it!”

“Is she wearing a diaper Ms. Sullivan?”

Barb looked up at Williams, "Yes, Judge, she has had bladder problems and this was the way I thought to fix it. I wasn’t sure if it was the nightmares or if it was nerve damage from her father or something.

“Well first things first. You are going to be under a 3-month probationary period. In that time Annie can be placed somewhere else if I have reason to believe she is not healthy, happy or taken proper care of.” Barb nodded.

“Also, I am going to order that she be taken to a doctor to check out the cause of her bladder. A 5-year old should not be in diapers unless it is medical. Along with that, the county will pay for therapy. So I would advise and recommend she recieve that. It will help the both of you. I know things are seeming bright right now, but there will be rocky times, especially with behavior. Most children who are traumatized young have behavioral problems, night terrors, dissociation and in worse case multiple personalities. I believe Annie is still young enough to overcome most of this. She is a beautiful child and she has everything to look forward to, especially if she is living it with someone like you in her life.” Williams nodded and patted Barb’s shoulder. She handed her the paperwork she needed to fill out and bring back within a week.

Barb stood there in utter amazement. With Annie still in her arms, she pulled away, “Ready to go home, little one?”

Annie smiled, “My home” she thought. She nodded and smiled, “Yes, Im ready.”

The two of them said their goodbyes and Barb thanked Judge Williams and Stephanie profusely. The four of them walked out of the conference room and to the elevator. Judge Williams and Stephanie continued walking past the elevators chatting.

Barb was so relieved, she still felt tears streaming down with happiness. Annie rested on Barb’s shoulder as they continued back out towards the vehicle. “Do you need to be changed before we take off?” Annie nodded sheepishly. Barb grabbed a diaper from her purse and laid her on the seat and quickly swapped diapers and strapped her into her carseat.

Later that evening after a delicious dinner of Spaghetti and Meatballs. Barb decided to put Annie down earlier, she was tired and so was Annie. It had been a rough day of tangled emotions.

“Annie, let’s get you changed and into your jammies,” Barb said after she was finished with the dishes. Annie was dozing off on the couch watching cartoons. Annie nodded sleepily and sat up. She followed Barb to the spare bedroom to get changed.

Barb picked her up and laid her on the bed to change her. “Maybe tomorrow we can decorate your new room, we can paint and rearrange.” Annie smiled and nodded. Barb got her changed and into her pink jammies. “How about a bottle Annie?”

Annie smiled and spoke softly, “Yes please.”

Barb smiled, “Wait here, I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

Barb laid the sleeping girl in bed and kissed her forehead. “Goodnight Little One.” She whispered.
She walked out and shut out the light. She went out into the kitchen and sat at the table. She went through a few of the papers for legal guardianship but couldn’t take anymore questions. She did have one question, though, and that was her and Lora’s conversation this past weekend about Annie and regression. She figured tomorrow would be a good day for the library. Then she could do a little research and Annie could look at books in the children’s section or play with the toys.

She turned out the lights and walked back to her bedroom and changed into her PJ’s. She turned out the lights and laid down. Within minutes Barb was asleep as well.

Barb woke up to the sun peeking through the blind and into her eyes. Blinking away the black spots she could still see, she thought to herself, “Is Annie ok? She’s not in my bed, She’s not making any noise, she didn’t wake up last night? Did I sleep right through the screaming? Or did she finally sleep through the whole night?”

Barb got up and stretched, she straightened the waistband of her twisted jammie bottoms and walked into Annie’s room. Annie was not in her bed, instead she was tangled on the floor in between the sheets and blankets but fast asleep still. Barb smiled at the sight, although she was concerned that if Annie had fallen she could be hurt.

Barb walked over to the tangled mess and swept Annie’s curls back, “Annie?” Annie opened her eyes. She seemed a bit disoriented, she looked around and noticed she was on the floor.

“You ok? Did you fall?” Barb asked. Annie nodded. Barb helped her up.

“I used to have bars on my bed so I didn’t fall out at daddy’s” Annie said shyly.

“That’s ok, We are going to get you a bed just your size anyways. This one is pretty high.” Barb replied as she pulled the bundled blankets and piled them on the bed.

“How about some breakfast?” Barb chirped.

“Ok” Annie said quietly.

Barb heard more words out of Annie this morning than the past couple days. She figured the reason was probably because Annie was beginning to feel safe. They walked into the kitchen and Barb helped Annie into the chair.

Barb popped 4 slices of toast into the toaster and pulled out the cereal. She set two bowls on the table and poured Annie some Cheerios and then poured some Special K into her own. “What would you like to do today Annie?” Barb asked as she buttered the toast. “We can go to the library, we could go to the park, we can go shopping or to a movie, we could…”

“Can we go to the park?” Annie asked interrupting Barb.

Barb smiled, “Of course Sweety! We will go after breakfast. We can have a picnic there for lunch! Sound good?”

Annie smiled and nodded as Barb poured the milk into Annie’s bowl.

Barb sat down and they ate their breakfast, with very little talk.
“Annie, did you have any bad dreams last night?”

Annie shook her head no, “I don’t remember my dream.”

After breakfast, Barb took Annie out of her jammies and wet diaper. “Ready for a bath?”

Annie nodded and walked with Barb into the bathroom.

“Why don’t you try and use the potty while I fill the tub up ok?”

Annie nodded and sat down.

Barb finished filling up the tub. She looked at Annie who was holding herself up on the toilet watching. “Did you go?” Barb asked as she walked over.

“No I don’t hafta” Annie muttered.

“Ok, jump down let’s get cleaned up.” Barb said as she helped Annie down.

Barb got Annie all bathed and cleaned up and helped her back out of the tub. She dried her off and brought her back to her room. She helped Annie up on the bed to get her into a fresh diaper, Annie lifted her bottom up and slid a fresh diaper underneath. She rubbed some rash ointment in and powder and pulled the diaper up. She fastened the tabs and sat Annie up.
“It looks like it might be nice today. Maybe we can do shorts instead of pants.” Barb said as she ripped the tags off Annie’s new shorts. She helped Annie into the shorts and pulled a plain yellow shirt over Annie’s head. She patted her butt and stood up.

“Ok, why don’t you play with your toys or watch some cartoons, I am going to jump into the shower ok?” Annie nodded and pranced out into the living room.

Barb went into the bathroom and started the shower.

Annie pulled out her new books and popped her pacifier in her mouth and sat on the chair. She began to read “Pooh’s Big Day” or rather looked at the pictures and made up her own story in her mind. She felt the pressure in her bowels building. She knew Barb was in the bathroom and she wasn’t sure she could hold it long. She decided to go back to reading and forgot about her need to release. After about 15 minutes she heard the water stop. She stood up to go into the bathroom when she realized what she had done. She pressed on her bottom, sure enough it was full. She began to panic and sat back down in the chair in attempt to hide it. “How did I not hold it in?” She thought to herself.

Barb came out in her robe and her hair up in a towel. She just wanted to check on Annie before she went back into her bedroom to change and get ready. Until the smell hit her nose. She walked over to Annie, who was trying her best to ignore Barb, she leaned Annie forward and looked into the back of the diaper. “Come on kiddo, you need a change.” Barb said as she lifted her up.

“She is not mad?” Annie thought to herself.

Barb laid her on the bed again and pulled off her shorts, “We really need to get a changing table of some sort.” Barb said as she peeled the diaper back. She grabbed the wipes and began to gently wipe her clean. Annie hugged her bink and laid there in complete comfort.

Barb looked at Annie, “It’s one thing to wet because of trauma or a medical condition but she is messing herself now. Does she enjoy diapers? I know that she is regressing a bit but I thought that was mentally not physically. I really need to read up on this” She thought to herself as she fastened Annies diaper and pulled her shorts back up. “She seems to like this, the diapers, the pacifier, the bottle. I figured diapers were logical. The pacifier is comforting. But she wanted the bottle, and she won’t take it unless I give it to her. Is she trying to be a baby again in every way?” Barb shook her head in confusion. She went into her bedroom to get ready and Annie went back into the living room.

Twenty minutes later Barb came back out to the living room where Annie was rocking her baby doll and feeding it a bottle. Barb smiled. “What’s your baby’s name?”

Annie looked up, “Her name is Annie.”

“Ohhh I see, same names huh?” Barb chuckled.

“No, this is me, baby Annie. This is happy Annie” Annie spoke up.

Barb looked at her and nodded, “Oh ok.”

She grabbed the phone and dialed. “Hi Lora?”

Annie went back to playing and Barb’s voice trailed off.

Barb hung up the phone and looked over at Annie playing. “Ready to go to the park?” Annie jumped up and nodded.

They put their shoes on and were out the door. “Annie let’s walk, it’s not too far from here. Of course I am sure you know that.”

They walked together, and Annie began to tire. She slowed down a bit and began to look around and stopping to touch this flower or look into that pond.

“Annie, come on we are almost there. I am going to have to put you into a stroller if you keep dawdling now.” Barb chuckled jokingly. Annie ran up to Barb’s side only to soon be behind again.

They arrived at the park, Annie looked around. It was wierd to be here and not looking for food, or hiding behind trees.

“Can I play over there Barb?” Annie pointed to the playset.

“Well, of course, that’s why we came here silly!” Barb ruffled Annie’s hair as Annie slowly walked to the slide. She had never been past the wooden logs that held the rocks. She had never been this close to the children or the fun. She kept looking around when SMACK Some girl had leaped from the swing and toppled Annie over.

“Im sorry!” The girl said as she helped Annie back up. Annie wanted to cry but couldn’t. Barb came running over within seconds, “Annie, are you ok?” Annie nodded, “Yes.”

The girl introduced herself, “Hi I am Stacey, Im 8 whats your name?”

Annie softly spoke, “Annie.”

Barb walked off seeing as the girls were ok.

“Annie do ya wanna play with me?” Stacey asked.

Annie nodded her head.

“Well whaddya wanna do then? Wanna swing?” Stacey asked.

“Ok” Said Annie. She followed Stacey to the swings and watched her get on and start swinging. Annie went over and sat on the warm black rubber and pushed her feet off the ground. She quickly slowed down, but Stacey was flying high. Annie watched her legs go back and forth and she wobbled hers back and forth but it just mad eher swing shake a little. Barb walked over, “Would you like a little push honey?”

Annie turned around, “Yes please.”

Barb grabbed the chains and walked back to start her out. As she lifted the swing up, Annie screamed, “NO! I wanna get down!” Barb slowly lowered her and Annie slid off.

“Was that too high, Annie?” Barb asked.

“Yeah, but I dont really wanna swing. I just wanna watch.” Annie said as she kicked a few rocks.

Barb sighed, “Ok, that is fine.” She really wanted Annie to make some friends and really have a normal childhood. She knew that was traumatized by her father. But she wanted Annie to learn how to socialize and take small risks. She would be starting kindergarten in the fall, which was only 3 months away. There was a lot of work to be done in that time.

Barb and Annie walked together to a tree in the shade and sat down. They watched the kids play and people walk by.

After 20 minutes of silence Barb spoke up.
“Annie, would you like to stay longer or do something else?”

Annie stood up, “Can we go home?” Being at this park where so many people would shoo her off or trample her brought back memories and feelings she didn’t want to feel.

Barb answered, “Of course, honey.” Barb stood up and they began their walk back home. Barb noticed again Annie was tiring easily, she stopped and waited for Annie and picked her up. She carried Annie the rest of the way.

“Would you like to go to the library when we get back?” Annie nodded.

They walked up the steps to the house and went inside. “First off, do you need to be changed Annie?” Annie shook her head. She, in fact, did need to be changed but for some reason she like the feeling of wearing the wet diaper.

“Ok, well let me know when you do.” Barb replied. She grabbed a few more diapers and put a few more wipes into her baggie. She grabbed the powder and put that in her purse as well.
“Well Annie we are going to have to get a seperate bag for this stuff. My purse is bulging!” Barb chuckled.

She grabbed Annie’s hand and they walked out to the suburban. As Barb was strapping Annie in she noticed Annie had a tiny dark spot on her shorts.

“Annie, why didn’t you tell me you needed a change? Why did you tell me no?” Annie just shrugged and looked down in shame.

Barb pulled her back out and walked to the other side so she lay her on the seat and change her. “Annie, maybe we should work on potty training. You are 5 after all and you’ll be 6 at the end of next month. Not many 6 year olds wear diapers. I am not telling you that you are a bad girl for wearing them. We don’t know if it’s medical yet. Do you know when you have to go?” Barb asked as she wiped Annie’s bottom.

Annie shook her head.

“Well you have an appointment tomorrow morning with Dr. Karen Shokes, we will find out then ok?”

Annie nodded and Barb pulled her shorts back up. She strapped her into her seat and they were off.

Annie watched out the window as they drove along. She reached in her pocket and popped her pacifier in her mouth.

Barb looked at Annie in the rearview mirror. She was concerned about Annie’s behavior, but in a way was amused at how adorable she was. “At least it’s diapers Im concerned about and not screaming tantrums or destructive behavior like alot of children who have been through what Annie has.” Barb thought. But she was still concerned, especially after Annie’s remark this morning about her doll.

They arrived at the library. Barb got out and opened Annie’s door and helped her out. She grabbed the wet diaper from earlier and tossed it in the garbage on their way into the library. Barb lead Annie to the children’s section. Annie sat down by the blocks.

"Annie I’ll be right over there,"Barb pointed at a few computers about 10 feet from the children’s area.

“Ok” Annie said as she began to tower the blocks up.

Barb walked over to the computer and sat down. She logged onto the computer with her library card. She only had 60 minutes to print out the most important info she could. She had to skim and not read.

Barb logged on to the internet and onto yahoo. She entered regression into the search bar, she got so many different types of regression, 1 - 10 of about 12,800,000 for Regression she read at the top. She decided to limit her search, she typed in age regression.

She looked at the definition it gave her. It was so long, it went on about,
Age regression is a frequent plot device in fantasy stories generally, but it is also a fetish for some individuals.
Age regression fetish fiction follows several frequent plots. Often, an arrogant, cruel or otherwise errant character is regressed - in other words, “cut down to size”. Other times, a character who is unable or unwilling to cope with adult responsibilities will have their adulthood revoked by various means, either forcibly or by choice. In either case, the character may be taunted and humiliated by their regressor, or they may be pampered and babied. Sometimes, the age regression is temporary. Other times, the character is stuck as a child or teen and will begin a new life.
The age regression fetish is closely related to the adult baby fetish

“Adult baby?” Barb asked herself. She clicked on the link.

Paraphilic infantilism is the desire to wear diapers and be treated as a helpless infant. [1] One who engages in infantilistic play is known as an adult baby (AB). About one in three adult babies is also a diaper lover (DL)[2][3], so they are collectively known as AB/DLs[4].

She looked at a few more of the links in Wikipedia.

One way to describe paraphilic infantilism is to contrast it with a diaper fetish, and this contrast is most clear in fantasies. Although there is no typical AB/DL fantasy, they often fall within two extremes. One extreme involves the fantasy of being an infant or small child; adorable, sexually innocent, and powerless. The infant fantasy might involve diapers, baby clothes, and toys to help define the infant’s role. In the end, the infant might drift off to sleep in a soft crib.

*Teens whom are infantilists are referred to as Teen Babies (TB). Teen Babies are usually such for varying reasons, but it is thought that it is common place for infantilist teens to come about via stress or choice. Teens often struggle with infantilism when they begin getting urges for

The Little Girl (all 21 parts)

Teen infantile behaviour heavily varies from simply sucking a thumb or pacifier to wearing diapers/nappies and using bottles to even further behaviour such as infantile clothes.*

“It doesn’t sound all that bad”, Barb thought. “She may just want attention like that of a mother.” She went back to yahoo and typed in Age Regression in small children.

It only showed sites for children with autism. “Does Annie have autism? She shows none of the common signs.” Barb thought. She looked back at Annie who was playing like a normal child. She tried something new, she typed in AB/DL.

She went to the first topic, Bedwetting AB/DL
Hello and welcome to Bed Wetting AB/DL. This site was created to be used by people with a bed wetting problem. We know it isn’t fun to wet the bed and we want to do our best to help you through this time in your life. And do it without you being made fun of in any way and to provide you with any support, understanding and anything else we can provide. To access all the services and activities for Bed Wetter’s please click on the “Bed Wetter’s Area” button to your left.
However we also cater to AB/DL’s. Why? Because sometimes, SOMETIMES bed wetter’s look to AB/DL as a way to cope. We are not saying all bed wetter’s do this. But some AB/DL’s have at some point dealt with bed wetting in their lives or are still dealing with it.

“Well Annie was wetting the bed, but she is not an adult. I’ll try teen baby.” Barb whispered. She typed in Teen baby and diapers. She found a personal website…
To all you teen-babies out there I think you are the coolest bunch in the world. My name is Patrick. I am 15 years old. And I started getting introduced to diapers at age 9. When I found some of my old baby stuff I found a some diapers and then tried them on. Then a couple of years past and I forgot about them then in junior high I was re-introduced to diapers at age 13 and I have been wearing them since.

“Wow,” thought Barb, “there is a whole other world out there.” She printed the papers out and went up to pay for them.

Annie was reading a book when Barb came back over,“You ready doll? Let’s go get some lunch, huh?”

Annie put the book down and nodded. She took Barb’s hands and they walked out to the vehicle. Annie put her pacifier back in and leaned back into her seat.

Barb got in and looked at Annie. She knew what was going on, and probably even before Annie realized it. Barb could see more and more of the resemblance of Annie being an infant at heart.

They took off and headed for home. It was nearly lunchtime and close to Annie’s naptime. Barb also wanted to do some thinking. She stopped at a drive-thru on the way home. They ate on the way home. When they pulled up the driveway, Annie was nearly dozing. Barb pulled her out and carried her inside. She laid her on the bed and checked her diaper. It was wet so she pulled Annie’s shorts off and changed her diaper. She left her in just her diaper and tshirt and tucked her in. Annie closed her eyes and pulled her bink close and went to sleep.

Barb went out to the car to grab the papers she had to study them over. She figured Annie wasn’t a teen or adult baby but the past events of her life had forced her to regress back to a state of happiness. She read all about the baby items and babying and etc.

As she was reading she heard a thump come from Annie’s room. She went back there and sure enough Annie was on the floor in a tangled mess again. Although she was still asleep. Barb pulled the blankets down to the floor and covered her up. She went back out to the living room to watch TV and think about what to do about Annie.

Annie woke up and found herself on the floor again. She untangled herself from the blankets and stood up. She walked over to the doorway and peeked out. Barb was sitting on the couch with the TV on.

Barb heard a quiet scuffle across the carpet and looked back to see Annie. Her hair was tangled and her eyes puffy from just waking up. Annie walked over to the couch and Barb pulled her into her lap.

“Did you sleep good?” She whispered. Annie nodded and closed her eyes as she nestled into Barb’s embrace.

Barb looked at the clock, “Lora is coming over tonight Annie. Leanna is at her father’s for a couple weeks. I told Lora she could come stay with us for a few days. How does that sound? She may be watching you for a couple hours too. I have to run and turn in some paperwork.”

Annie looked up worried but just nodded. Barb wanted her to trust her, and she figured that if she left for a few hours and came back it would help Annie to trust that she would not leave her. But she knew that she couldn’t be by Annie’s side 24/7, especially when she had to go back to work next week and Annie started school in a few months. She still wondered what she was going to do with Annie while she was at work. She knew that she would have to make a decision quick so Annie could adjust as well.

“Let’s get you changed and into your clothes. Lora will be here by dinnertime.” Barb said as she carried her back to her room. “Since Lora will be here to help, we are going to redecorate the room and paint as well. So think about what colors you would like.”

Barb pulled the wet diaper back and wiped Annie clean. She was happy as well that the bruises around Annie’s thighs were finally fading. There was only a tint of yellow-brown markings. She could almost see the hand print in it like the man had grabbed her little legs and jerked them open. She shuddered at the thought of this and finished diapering Annie.

“Would you like a snack?” Barb asked as she pulled a denim skirt up Annie’s legs.

Annie shook her head, “No thanks. Can I have juice though?”

Barb smiled, “Of course!”

Annie looked down and mumbled, “In a bottle?”

Barb nodded, “Yes thats fine sweety.” She looked at Annie with concern but with adoration at the little one’s innocence. “It’s just a bottle” She thought to herself.

They walked out to the kitchen and Barb filled Annie’s bottle with grape juice. Annie took it and went out to the TV room and laid on the couch to watch some cartoons. Barb sat on the chair and began to fill out the rest of the paper work for Annie’s legal adoption. Just then, the doorbell rang. Barb ran to answer the door while Annie continued to lay on the couch with her bottle.

“Lora!” Barb exclaimed as she pulled her friend into a big hug.

“Barb, how are you!?” Lora squealed back.

They hugged a little longer and Barb invited her inside. She took Lora’s bags and carried them to the hallway where set them down.

“Annie, come see who is here!” Barb called out.

Annie walked over slowly, bottle in the mouth and bink close to her neck.

Lora smiled at the sight.

Just then the phone rang. Barb excused herself to answer the phone, leaving Annie alone with Lora. Annie started to back away to the other room when Lora stopped her.

“Hi Annie! How are you doing?”

“Good.” She mumbled. She turned around and walked quickly back to the couch and laid down. She could hear Barb in the backround.

“Ok thank you very much. Annie and I will stop there before Friday.” Barb said and hung up the phone.

Lora walked into the living room and sat down in the chair, Barb walked in a few seconds later. She sat down next to Annie and Annie crawled closer to Barb and laid her head on Barb’s lap.

“I can’t believe how different Annie is, Barb, not too long ago, she was so sad looking, so frail looking. She has a healthy glow now, she could stand to gain a couple pounds. But she looks happy. Her eyes still seem to look tired and weary, but that will brighten over time.”

Barb replied, “Yea, funny what a little loved can do right? Would you like a cup of coffee Lora?”

Lora nodded and Barb repositioned Annie on the pillow to watch TV to join Lora.

Annie laid there and continued to watch TV and finish her bottle.

Barb walked over to the coffee pot and started a pot.

“I don’t know what to think Lora. Am I doing the right thing? Annie is acting different. I printed out some information today. Have you heard of infantilism? Or adult and teen babies?”

Lora shook her head, "No I don’t think so, what is it?

Barb handed Lora the papers checked the coffee. She came back out with 2 fresh cups.

Lora looked at Barb, “What is the matter? Do you think Annie is one of these?”

Barb nodded and then shrugged, “Well, she likes diapers and she wanted a pacifier and a bottle. Maybe I added to it by buying her bibs. But she is messy when she eats.”

“Barb, Annie may have the signs of this, but she doesn’t know that she is. What I mean is, Annie is regressing due to the fact she faced trauma. When she is older it could turn into something like this and it may not. The fact that she is in diapers could be medical as well Barb. Let’s look at things from a different point of view. Take Annie’s position, she was hurt, abused. As a child, they dissociate themselves from the situation and go back to a time when they were happy or even in a fantasy world. The child may tend to act out this time as well. Maybe Annie was happier as a young child and in order for her to feel happy is start from where she left off and re-live the trauma years differently. She may only have the knowledge or mind of a small child. Therefore, she is looking for that same acceptance and attention. Don’t take my word for it, I am not a professional. But look into it, I wil as well over the next few days.”

Barb nodded, “This morning Annie was playing with her new doll, she made a comment that makes sense to me now. I asked the name of her doll, and she said it was Annie. I thought it was cute, you know, same name. But she corrected me in telling me that it was happy Annie.”

Lora raised her eyebrows, “Sounds alot like she is regressing. I, as a mother, would allow her to live that out. It is not a fantasy in her mind like in the minds of infantilists or at least most. It is the real thing. She really is only a baby at heart. Just like the infantilists, they are children at heart, but they know that, Annie does not. It is completely normal to her.”

Barb nodded, “Well what do you think I should do?”

Lora shrugged, “Let her be happy.”

“I better start dinner.” Barb said.

Lora replied, “Let’s order in, no sense in cooking a gourmet meal tonight.”

Barb shrugged, “Ok, what are you hungry for?”

“Anything is fine with me.”

Barb nodded and called the Express Waiter. Lora walked out into the living room where Annie was sucking her pacifier and watching Rugrats. Annie looked at her and quickly looked back at the TV.

“So, Annie, since I am one of Barb’s best friends it looks like we will see each other often! And hopefully you and Leanna will become good friends as well.”

Annie looked over again and nodded.

“Also you and I get to spend some time together tomorrow while Barb goes to the courthouse. Anything special you would like to do?” Lora asked.

Annie shook her head. She really didn’t want Barb to leave her. She didn’t know Lora, she didn’t even know if she liked Lora yet.

Lora gave up small talk and watched the cartoon with Annie. After a few minutes, Barb walked back out and grabbed her purse. She began to write out a check, “Hope you guys like Italian!” Barb chirped in her sing song voice.

She came over to where Annie was and smelled the odor coming from Annie’s direction.

“Annie come on let’s change!” She said quietly.

Annie sat up and slid off the couch and walked with Barb to the bedroom.

“Tomorrow after my appt at the courthouse, I am going to run to the bank and look at a small loan for a changing table and a smaller bed. You seem to be falling alot. I didn’t notice that before. Although you slept on the floor your first night and in mine as well. I will have to get a toddler bed with side rails.”

She finished changing Annie and let her down. Annie held her hands back up to be held. Barb smiled and picked her up. “You are such a sweetheart!” Barb said softly as she gave her a quick squeeze.

Lora watched Barb and Annie come down the hallway into the living room. Barb set Annie down and went into the kitchen to grab utensils and beverages.

Annie continued to watch TV with Lora, who had changed the channel to watch “Friends”. She stared at Lora out of the corner of her eye. “She seems nice.” Annie thought.

When the doorbell finally rang, Barb ran to get it. She paid the delivery guy and brought the 3 styrofoam boxes to the coffee table and set them down. She handed one to Lora and then handed her a fork and her soda.

Annie waited for Barb to get her bib and milk ready.

After dinner they put a movie in. Lora moved to couch to get more comfortable. Annie sat between the two. Annie didn’t care so much for the movie because it was not a children’s movie. She still watched though. About halfway through she dozed off. Lora glanced at Annie and realized she was sleeping, and looked very uncomfortable. She pulled the pillow out from her side and placed it on her lap and guided Annie to it.

After the movie was over, Barb and Lora sat and talked quietly about the movie and the outcome.

“Well I’ll take Annie into my room tonight and you can take her bed.” Barb said to Lora.

“Ok well I think I will head there now then. Im beat!” Said Lora

She lifted Annie’s head carefully and placed the pillow on the couch as she got up and laid Annie’s head back upon it.

Barb went into Annie’s room with Lora and grabbed a diaper and some wipes, “Goodnight Lora” Barb said as she closed the door. She went back out to the living room where Annie was still fast asleep on the couch. She carefully picked her up so she wouldn’t wake her. Annie opened her eyes briefly as Barb carried her into her bedroom to change her and put her to bed.

After she was in a fresh diaper Barb tucked Annie in and changed into her own PJ’s and within minutes in bed and dozing off as well.

Annie opened her eyes and realized she was in Barb’s bed. She could smell something amazing making her stomach growl. She sat up and stretched and slid out of the bed. She opened the door and peeked down the hallway, nobody. She tiptoed towards the kitchen where she could hear someone cooking. She peeked around the corner, but Barb wasn’t there. She saw Lora standing over the stove cooking. She turned around and went back to Barb’s bedroom puzzled. “Where is she?” Annie thought. She checked Barb’s bedroom and her own. She looked in the bathroom, no Barb. She went into the living room and looked out the front window. The suburban was gone. Just then she realized Barb had to do some paperwork today.

Annie began to feel a little anxious being without Barb. She climbed up onto the window bay and she decided to sit there until Barb came home. It was thunderstorms all day. It hadn’t begun yet but she could see the black coming over the horizon.

“Good Morning Annie”

Annie turned around to see Lora standing behind her smiling. Annie gave a half smile and turned back around, “When will Barb come back?”

“Not until after lunchtime. She had lots to do today. Are you hungry?” Lora asked.

Annie nodded. She slowly jumped down from the window and followed Lora to the kitchen. She climbed up to the table, there was a plate with scrambled eggs, hashbrowns and bacon. Her stomach growled again.

She waited for a bib, but Lora never brought one over. Annie forgot about it and began to eat.

After breakfast Lora smiled, “Guess we forgot a bib huh?” She grabbed a rag and wiped off Annie’s face and shirt.

“Barb said you might need a bath after breakfast.” Lora chuckled.

Annie shot her eyes up. “No.” She protested.

“Ok, well we can wait then till Barb comes back, calm down sweety.” Lora consoled. “I do know, though, that you need a new diaper.”

Annie shook her head.

“Annie you will get a rash, let’s just change quick.”

Annie began to cry, “No! I can do it. Leave me alone!”

Annie ran into her bedroom and shut the door. She climbed on the bed and took her diaper off. She grabbed a new one and attempted to put the new one on. She couldn’t do it right. She finally gave up and grabbed one of the pullups from her closet and put it on. She climbed back on the bed and laid there wanting to cry because Barb left her.
“Why would she go away?” Annie thought. Soon she dozed off.

Lora walked in 20 minutes later and saw she was sleeping. She walked over to cover her up.
Annie woke up when Lora was pulling blankets on her.

“Im sorry Annie, I didn’t mean to scare you. I was not trying to hurt you. I only wanted to help take care of you.”

Annie nodded. She slid off the bed and went into the living room and crawled into the chair to watch cartoons until Barb came home.

Lora went into the kitchen to finish up the dishes.

Barb walked up to the checkout counter to pay for her new items. She gave the clerk 2 tickets, one for the new bed and one for a changing table. They were going to deliver it to her home this evening. She put the rest of her items on the belt, which included a brand new comforter and sheet set for Annie, along with a few groceries for dinner tonight. She handed the clerk her credit card and finished paying. And out the the door she went to head home.

“Come eat Annie, lunch is ready!” Lora called.

Annie slid off the couch and went into the kitchen to eat. Lora set her plate down, it was a cold sandwich and fruit. “It’s a light lunch, we will be having a good dinner tonight.” Lora explained.

Annie ate quietly and did not look up from her food until she was finished. Her pullup was soaked and she could feel pressure building up in her stomach. She didnt want to mess though, it would be difficult to clean herself and there was no way she was going to let Lora change her. She hopped off the chair and went into her bedroom to find a new pullup. She slid the wet one off and pulled the dry one up. Just then Lora walked in.

“Annie, I wish you weren’t afraid of me. Do you think Barb would leave you with someone that she didn’t trust? I am not pushing you to like me, but please don’t be afraid of me. You can talk to me, you can look at me, I am not going to hurt you.”
Lora said sympathetically.

Annie looked at Lora. She could see the tears in Lora’s eyes. Annie nodded and half smiled.

Lora walked out of the room leaving Annie by herself. Annie pulled out the crayons and coloring book and sat on the floor with them.


Annie jumped about three feet in the air when the thunder cracked. She flew out to the living room where Lora was looking out the window watching the storm.

“Hope Barb makes it back ok, there are flood and tornado warnings all over the county. That rain is really coming down good!”

Annie looked out the window and watched with Lora.

“Here come on up sweety.” Lora said as she held out her arms.

Annie hesitated a moment but was very scared of the thunder and reached her arms out to Lora. Lora pulled her up into her lap and they watched the rain.

Barb squinted to see through the rain, but even with the wipers at full speed the rain was pounding down too hard. She pulled over under a bridge to wait for the rain to let up a bit.

Annie watched out the window, waiting to see the suburban pull into the driveway. But there was no sign of Barb. “What if she is never coming back? What did I do wrong?” Annie thought to herself. She could feel her eyes burn as she wanted to cry.

Lora looked at Annie, you could see the desperation in her eyes, the worry, the fear. Annie’s bottom lip puckered out and began to quiver. Annie looked at Lora, “Is she coming back to me?” she whimpered.

“Oh baby, yes, she is coming back!” Lora said as she hugged Annie. Annie cried softly in Lora’s chest.

Lora looked out the window and saw headlights coming down the street, “Annie, this is probably her.”

Annie lifted her head and watched Barb pull into the driveway and disappear into the garage. She leaped off Lora’s lap and ran to the door to the garage. Barb walked in with seconds to prepare for Annie to leap into her arms.

“Hi! Did you ladies have fun today?” Barb exclaimed. She looked at Lora who smiled and shrugged.

Annie buried her head into Barb’s chest and closed her eyes.

“Annie are you ready for your nap?” Barb asked. Annie shook her head and clung tighter to Barb. “Ok 15 more minutes then. I need to bring stuff in from the car.” Barb said as she set Annie down.

Annie stood by the door and watched Lora and Barb bring in the packages. That’s when she saw the big bag with a pretty pink princess blanket and little pillows to match. She dove for the bag and pulled it all out. She stared at the package with a huge smile on her face.

“That’s for your new bed Annie! Do you like it? Your bed will arrive later on.” Barb said.

Annie smiled and nodded quickly.

“I found a really neat bed, Lora. Its 5 in 1. The bed is a crib that converts easily from crib to toddler bed, bed with love seat, and full size bed. I think it will be perfect. Obviously we won’t need it as a crib, but it will last a few years at least right?”

“Sounds like a good deal! It will have rails to keep her from falling too!”

“Oh no, it doesn’t have the rails. I didn’t even think about that! I will figure something out though.” Barb said.

“Ok Annie, bedtime! You need a nap!” Barb said to Annie who had pulled out her new bedset and was laying on it. Barb could tell she was tired seeing that Annie was dozing off. “You need to be rested for you doctor appt today!”

Annie stood up and followed Barb back to her bedroom. Barb laid her up on the bed, “Let’s get you changed quick.” Barb said as she pulled her shorts down. “Why are you wearing a pullup?” Barb asked as she slid it down.

“She didn’t want me to change her.” Lora called from the doorway. Barb looked at Lora and smiled. “She is a little shy, she’ll get to know you though soon enough.”

Barb pulled out a diaper and slid it under Annie’s bottom. “You can trust Lora sweety. I know its hard and I am not pushing you. But I want you to know that at least.”

Annie nodded. Barb fastened the diaper and rolled Annie into the covers. “Sleep good sweety! When you wake up we will get you in the bath and dressed for the doctor ok?”

Annie nodded and closed her eyes.

Barb walked back out to the living room and sighed at the mess Annie made with all the bags. She chuckled and began to clean it up.

“Barb, Annie is a good little girl. But she is very traumatized. You are very lucky to have earned the trust she gives you!”

Barb smiled. “It’s a miracle Lora.”

“I am going to have to stay here and wait for the bed and changing table to come, can you take Annie to the doctor?”

“Oh Barb I don’t know. The doctor is a scary place for children, and she barely comes near me. I think it might traumatize her more!”

“Or it might show that you are trustworthy, that you care, that you can be there for her too.” Barb added.

“I see what you are saying. I am unsure, but if you want me to, I will.” Lora said.

Barb brought the groceries into the kitchen and put them away.

Lora laid on the couch and made herself comfortable while Barb reclined back on the chair. They turned the TV to Lifetime and tried to relax.

Just then, they heard a thump.

“Looks like Annie fell out again.” Barb chuckled. “I don’t think she woke up though, I don’t hear any stirring or whining.”

“Well by tonight she can be in her own size bed.” Lora added.

The two of them dozed off for a quick nap.

At about 2pm, Lora opened her eyes and got up. She had to take Annie to the doctor for Barb. She was not exactly sure how this would go over with Annie either. She went back into the room to wake Annie up.

“Annie, wake up, we got to get going!” Lora said softly.

Annie opened her eyes and sat up. Realizing she was on the floor again, she stood up and put the blankets on the bed.
“Where’s Barb?” Annie asked.

“She is taking a nap, why don’t you go wake her so she can get you ready to go.” Lora added.

Annie nodded and walked out to the living room.

Barb opened her eyes and smiled at Annie who was inches from her face. “Hi honey!”

“Are you coming to the doctor with me?” Annie whimpered.

“No, I have to wait for a delivery, Lora is going to take you. You will be ok, I promise.” Barb answered.

She got up and picked Annie up and went into the bathroom.

Lora sat on the couch and waited for Annie to finish her bath and getting ready. After about a half hour, Barb and Annie walked into the living room.

“All set Annie?” Lora asked. Annie nodded and looked at Barb with glossy eyes. “Why doesn’t she like me anymore?” Annie thought.

Annie sat in her carseat as Barb buckled her in and kissed her goodbye.

“Thanks so much Lora! I appreciate it!” Barb said, she looked back at Annie,“You’re going to be fine sweety. I will see you in a couple hours.” Barb caressed her cheek and smiled and then closed the door.

Annie just watched out the window and ignored Lora’s small talk. She was upset that Barb was not with her. “She left me this morning and now she is sending me away” Annie thought to herself. She could feel tears dropping from her eyes as she thought about it.

“Annie? Are you ok?” Lora asked.

Annie continued to pretend as if she never heard Lora speak.

After what seemed like forever, Annie saw the plus sign that meant doctor. She wanted to jump out of the car and run away, far away.

Lora parked the suburban and helped Annie out. She began to carry her towards the door.

“Put me on the ground please.” Annie mumbled.

Lora sighed and set her down and held her hand instead. Annie pulled her hand from Lora’s, who quickly grabbed it again.

“Annie I know you are upset that Barb is not here, but I am not the bad guy here. You will hold my hand until we get across the parking lot, I don’t want you getting hit by a car!” Lora snapped.

Annie just trudged in with attitude and disgust for Lora.

Annie sat down and crossed her arms as she waited for Lora to check her in. Lora walked back over and sat next to Annie. She looked at Annie who was cross-armed and pouting.

“Annie Lampert?” The nurse called.

“That’s you, let’s go.” Lora whispered as she took Annie’s hand and walked with her to the door where the nurse was standing. Annie wanted pull out of Lora’s grasp but she couldn’t, she was terrified.

“Annie, I am going to need you to go into this room and take your clothes off and leave your underwear on. You can put this robe on though.” The nurse said as she handed Annie a white robe with teddy bears on it.

Annie looked up at Lora, “Why isn’t Barb here to help me?” Annie thought to herself.

“Do you need help Annie?” Lora asked. Annie shook her head and walked into the changing room. She took her clothes off and put her arms through the robe and realized she had to tie the back. She didn’t know how to tie. She opened the door where Lora and the nurse were conversing. Lora looked at Annie, “All dressed?” Annie shook her head.

Lora walked to the door and pushed it open,“Oh, do you want me to tie that for you honey?”

Annie nodded. Lora bent down to tie her gown and as she finished she grabbed the clothes Annie had strewn in the changing room.

Annie walked out by the nurse with Lora.

“Ok, Annie, I need you to step up here on the scale real quick so that I can weigh you.” The nurse said. Annie stepped on the scale and watched. “Ok, we got you at 35 pounds. Which at your age is in the 25th percentile, and now I am going to get your height as well.”

Annie stood still while the nurse measured her height. “39 inches, which puts you around the 3rd percentile in height. Ok Annie you can step down.”

Annie stepped down and went back by Lora. At this moment she was very uncomfortable but felt better by Lora. Even though she was upset with Lora for taking her away from Barb, Lora was the closest thing to comfort right now.

“Ok Annie, let’s go into the doctor’s office and get your temperature and blood pressure.” The nurse pointed to the office and as Annie and Lora walked in, the nurse noticed the diaper popping out from behind the gown.

She closed the door behind her. “Annie can I have you sit up here.” The nurse asked. She pulled the drawers out into a mini staircase for Annie to crawl up. Annie watched the nurse go through her drawer and pull out a gun like item. “Ok Annie I am going to take your temperature.”

Annie flinched when she felt the tickle of something cold in her ear. “98.6, Perfect!”

Annie looked at Lora who was quietly watching. Lora smiled at Annie and winked. Annie looked back at the nurse. “Ok Annie, I am going to listen to your breathing and your heartbeat ok?”

Annie nodded. The nurse put the stethoscope into her ears and began to reach inside Annie’s gown to listen to her hearbeat. Annie jumped back and backhanded the nurse’s hand. “NO!” She screamed.

Lora stood up and walked over, “Annie, it’s ok. She is making sure you are healthy, thats all.” Annie buried her head into Lora, “I wanna go home” she bawled.

The nurse replied, “It’s ok, I was informed of the “situation” and was told that if she hesitates at all to let it be. Have you gotten her into couseling yet?”

“Im not her guardian, just a good friend. I am not sure if Barb has scheduled anything yet.” Lora answered.

“Well I think that’s enough for Annie today. The doctor should be right in to talk to you both.” The nurse said. She patted Annie’s back who was still buried. She smiled and walked out.

“Annie? What is it that you are so afraid of?” Lora whispered.

From Lora’s chest came a muffled answer, “I don’t want her to look at me or touch me.”

Lora sighed and rubbed Annie’s back to console her until she quieted down.

There was a light knock on the door and then another woman walked in. Annie’s eyes were still puffy and red from crying.

“Hi Annie, I am Dr. Shokes. How are you today?”

Annie shrugged and leaned into Lora as if saying back away.

“Annie I understand you have had a rough time today. You seem to be doing good. You are healthy, a little underweight, not a big deal. What I am concerned about is your bladder. I am not going to worry about that today though.”

The doctor looked at Lora, “I think you should reschedule for that. Annie is a little shaken up still. But I would like to talk to Barb. Besides Xrays and all, I would like to talk to the two of them about the problem. For now, have Barb keep what she has been doing until I can meet with them.”

Lora nodded, “Ok, no problem. I will have Barb call in and reschedule tomorrow.”

“Ok, have a great night! Bye Annie” Dr. Shokes smiled as the Lora and Annie walked out. Lora took Annie to the changing room to get her clothes back on.

“Do you want me to help you Annie?” Lora asked.

Annie shook her head, “Can you just untie this for me?”

Lora nodded, “Ok, how is your diaper? Will it last till we get home?”

Annie nodded with uncertainty. Although she was unsure of that. She knew it wouldn’t be long before she messed her diaper. And if it happened on the way home, her clothes would have a mess too.

“Are you sure Annie?” Lora asked cautiously.

Annie nodded again. She wanted to get changed but she didn’t trust Lora like that. She remembered Barb saying that Lora was nice. But it wasn’t worth the risk Annie thought. She walked into the changing room and took the gown off and put her clothes back on.

She walked back out and the two of them walked out to the vehicle to go home. Lora buckled Annie into her carseat.

Annie could feel her stomach begin to cramp, she had to hold it until she got home. She tried to forget about it. She listened to the music and looked out the window. She looked at Lora, Lora was nice, she was pretty, she looked old because of her short hair and glasses. But Annie like the way her eyes squinted when she smiled. Lora was so delicate about things. She was very good with people, soft hearted. Where Barb was more outgoing and chipper. She always had a love for life and everything in it.

Annie was knocked out of her thoughts when Lora called back, “Annie, did you mess your diaper?” Annie blinked wide-eyed. “I did!” She thought as she could feel her bottom all sticky. She knew for sure it was going to be a mess. Annie nodded.

“Ok, well we will be home in a couple minutes, just don’t move around alot in case it leaks.” Lora said.

Annie thought to herself, “Too late for that.”

They pulled up to the house just as the rain began to come down again. Lora came around back and helped Annie out of her seat. Lora noticed the wet stain on Annies bottom and back. “Oh no, it did leak Annie. Let’s get you inside quick.”

The two of them walked inside, “Barb?” Lora called. No answer. Lora noticed a piece of paper on the table,

[/i]Hey girls, I went for a walk be back a little later![i]

“I wonder what time this was at” Lora thought out loud.

“Well Annie, either your going to have to let me change you or you will have to clean yourself up.” Lora said.

Annie walked back to her bedroom, she was shocked when the bed was moved and a new bed was in place, with her brand new bedset. She looked over and saw a brand new changing table with all her diapers and powder and so on stacked on it. She was amazed.

Lora walked in behind her, “Wow Annie, look at this! It’s like a brand new room! All that’s left is to paint!”

Annie smiled. The look of the bed with bink on it made her day. She went over to sit on her new bed.

“Annie, no! Your messy, you don’t want to get your new bed dirty.”

Annie remembered her messy diaper and sighed. She wanted Barb to get home and change her, but she knew Lora wouldn’t allow her to stay like this.

“Would you like me to clean you up Annie?” Lora asked.

Annie nodded.

“Ok, let me help you onto the changing table.” Lora said as she lifted Annied up. She pulled her clothes off that were dirty.

“Lay back Annie”

Annie laid down while Lora pulled the diaper away. Annie closed her eyes while Lora wiped her clean and put a fresh diaper on her.

“All done!” Lora said as she pulled Annie into a sitting position. “See it wasn’t so bad, now was it?”

Annie shrugged. She wrapped her arms around herself as if she was being exposed. “Can I have a shirt?”

Lora helped Annie hop down and she went into the closet and grabbed the last clean shirt there was. She handed it to Annie who put it on and took off. Lora was looking for some pants when she noticed Annie was already gone.

Lora shrugged, and cleaned up the poopy mess left behind.

Annie went out to the window just in time to see Barb running up the yard through the rain. Annie giggled at the sight of an adult running.

Barb flew into the front door, “What a time to decide to go for a walk!” Barb said, out of breath. “Hi baby! How was the doctor?” Barb squealed as Annie flew into her arms.

“You are going to have to reschedule another one, Barb.” Lora said as she walked out of the laundry room.

“Oh why?” Barb asked, puzzled.

“The doctors just want to take things slow with Annie” Lora winked.

“Ohh ok,” Barb nodded and looked at Annie and smiled. “Where are your pants little girl?” she joked. Annie smiled and shrugged. She hopped down from Barb’s arms and turned the TV on.

Barb disappeared into the shower and Annie continued to watch TV as she began to feel tired again.

Lora finished the dishes from earlier. She walked out to the living room to find Annie asleep, with her bink in her arms, and her thumb in her mouth. Lora smiled and walked back to Annie’s bedroom to grab a sweatshirt from her suitcase.

Barb came out of the bathroom and passed Lora, “I’ll start dinner” Lora said. “Ok, thanks” Replied Barb.

Lora went into the kitchen and pulled out the groceries from earlier. She cut the chicken into little pieces to fry up and season.

Barb came in to help after a few minutes. “So what happened at the doctor today Lora?”

Lora smiled and handed her a bowl to throw the ingredients for alfredo sauce into,“Well next time, you might want to go.”

Barb carried the sleeping Annie into her bedroom. She laid her on her changing table to get her ready for bed. Lora came in to grab some PJ’s from her suitcase.

“I can sleep in here tonight, Lora, and you can take my bed if you want.” Barb whispered.

“Oh no, Barb, I will be fine in here, you sleep in your bed, I’ll take the extra one in here.” Lora replied as she slid out the door to the bathroom to change.

Barb finished taping Annie’s diaper up. She didn’t bother to change her clothes and just left her in her tshirt. She didn’t want to wake her up. She carefully picked her up and laid her in her bed and tucked her in. “Night precious” Barb whispered as she kissed her finger and lightly tapped Annie’s nose.

Lora slipped back in and put her dirty clothes in a laundry bag she brought with her.

“Goodnight Lora!” Barb whispered as she closed the door.

Lora nodded and pulled back her blankets. She slid under her covers and turned out the lamp.

Barb got into her bed and was asleep within minutes.

Lora woke up halfway through the night to a soft whimper, she turned on her lamp and Annie was gone. She got up to find her laying on the other side of her bed tangled in her blankets.

Annie was still asleep but was beginning to stir while dreaming. Lora carefully picked her up and laid her back in her bed. She saw the pacifier next to the bed and placed it near her lips. Almost like instinct, Annie took it. Lora went back to bed, but had a hard time falling asleep. She kept thinking about her own daughter, Leanna, who was a year younger than Annie. Leanna was beginning to talk more and more like an adult. She wanted to be a big girl faster than her body would allow. And here was Annie, who reminded Lora of a toddler. She knew Annie was 5, but her personality, everything about her was that of a 2 year old. As the thoughts kept processing through her mind, she finally dozed off.

Barb opened her eyes, it was still really early. She attempted to fall back asleep, but no luck. She groaned and rolled out of bed.

She peeked into Annie’s room where Lora was fast asleep, but Annie was gone. She looked near her bed where her blankets were tangled on the floor. She walked out to the living room, no Annie, she peeked in the kitchen, still no Annie. Barb got a little worried and went in to wake Lora. As she came near the bed she noticed a small lump next to Lora. She carefully inspected only to find Annie curled up next to Lora.

Barb smiled and tiptoed back out of the room and into the bathroom for a long shower.

Lora woke up a few minutes later. She was surprised to find Annie curled up in a ball next to her. “When did she come over here?” Lora wondered.

She carefully rolled onto her back to stretch which woke Annie. “Good morning Annie!” Lora said softly. Annie sat up and pulled her pacifier out.

“How did you end up here?” Lora chuckled.

Annie shrugged, “I fell and I was scared.”

“Of what Annie?” Lora asked.

“My daddy.” Annie mumbled. She put her pacifier back in her mouth and laid back down.

Lora ran her fingers through Annie’s hair. “He can’t hurt you sweety.” she whispered.

Lora was in shock at how Annie was laying here, when just yesterday she was terrified to be alone with her.

Annie liked Lora, she was not sure about her, but she like the gentleness Lora portrayed. She liked how she did everything with care and love. She absolutely adored Barb, she loved her excitement and positive energy. She was amazed at Barb’s zeal. But there was something about Lora that felt different. Annie closed her eyes and laid there with her back to Lora.

Lora soaked up the attention. She missed Leanna and it felt good to be able to be comfort to someone. She continued to rub Annie’s head.

Barb got out of the shower and dried off. She threw on her bathrobe and walked back to her room. She figured since all was quiet, Lora and Annie were still asleep. She got dressed and ready for the day. She didn’t bother to do anything special since she was going to paint Annie’s room. She also needed to take apart the extra bed for storage. Lora was leaving today so she didn’t need it.

She walked into the kitchen and put some bread in the toaster and began the coffee.

Annie laid in bed dozing off again. Lora rolled out, “You going to sleep longer or are you ready for breakfast?”

Annie sat up and grabbed her bink and slid off the bed. She walked out into the kitchen and Lora followed.

“Hi sweety!” Barb squealed and held her hands out to embrace Annie. Annie walked over to give Barb a hug. “Are you hungry?”

Annie nodded, “Yes” she replied muffled behind her nuk.

Barb giggled,“Well you can’t eat with that in your mouth silly!”

Barb patted Annie’s bottom as she walked over to the table.

“We still painting that bedroom today Barb?” Lora asked as she sipped her coffee.

“Yes, I will run after breakfast and get paint. Annie, did you decide what color you would like yet?” Barb asked as she buttered some toast for Annie.

“Pink and Yellow.” Annie answered.

“Great! That will go right along with your new bed!” Barb replied. “Do you want to come with me?”

Annie perked up and smiled. “I can go with?”

Barb smiled, “Of course! Silly girl. We can all go!”

Annie was happy again. She smiled all through breakfast, she was excited that Barb wanted her again. And she was happy that Lora was coming along as well.

Barb lifted Annie from her carseat and set her on the ground. The three of them walked into Sherwin Williams to get paint.

Once inside, Annie stood by Barb and would not let her out of her sight or reach. As Barb was looking through colors, Annie got bored. “I thought this would be fun.” She thought. She looked over at Lora who was looking at wallpaper and sighed. “When are we going home?” Annie asked.

“In a little while sweety.” Barb answered.

Annie sighed again. She looked around and watched the people, bored out of her mind.

Barb startled Annie from her trance, “You ready?”

Annie nodded. They walked over where Lora was. “How about this for a border?” Lora asked Barb.

Barb looked at it, “It seems a little… well… babyish.”

Lora smiled, "But it matches the colors perfectly! She added.

Barb agreed, “Yeah I guess. Ok, we’ll get it then.” Thinking to herself, it fits Annie perfectly as well. “Annie, do you like it too? It’s your room.”

Annie nodded, she just wanted to get out of the store and back home.

They paid for the paint and border wallpaper and went out to the vehicle. Barb unloaded the paint into the back and Lora put Annie into her carseat.

On the drive home, Lora and Barb chatted nonstop while Annie watched out the window.

“You know, Barb, you and Annie can come stay at my house through the weekend. The paint fumes probably aren’t good on either you or Annie.” Lora said.

Barb thought about it, “Yea I guess we can do that. You are probably lost right now without little Leanna anyways.”

“Little? Ha! That child is way to big for her britches. And as hilarious as it is, it is sad too. I hate seeing my baby grow up.” Lora replied.

Barb agreed. “Yeah, I am sad I never experienced babyhood as a mother, but I got more than a miracle with Annie.” She looked back and smiled at Annie.

“Barb, you will make an excellent mother, and I don’t think you have missed out on too much “babyhood” some grow up faster than others.” Lora winked.

Barb chuckled.

“Annie! Come on back and see your new room!” Barb called.

Annie got up from the floor and skipped back. She looked into the doorway and her eyes went wide. She was in awe over the pink and yellow stripes and the border of teddy bears. She smiled at her bed in the corner, new railings so she wouldn’t fall. She glanced at her changing table, completely stocked with her diapers, wipes, and other necessities.

Lora looked at Annie and smiled, “What do you think sweety?”

Annie smiled, “I like it.” She said shyly.

Annie walked around the room to see it from every point of view.

“Careful, baby, the paint is still wet. We are going to put a fan here by the door for the weekend. Let’s get you packed up and ready to go. We will stay at Lora’s this weekend.” Barb told Annie.

Annie nodded, “ok”

Barb pulled out a suitcase and opened the closet carefully.

“Here let me help her pack, you go ahead and pack your own.” Lora offered.

“Ok, thanks Lora” Barb said as she walked out the door.

“Ok Annie, let’s see, we are going to need 2 outfits huh?” Lora asked.

Annie smiled and nodded.

“Oh, but maybe an extra just in case?” Lora asked.

Annie giggled and nodded again.

Lora grabbed a couple shorts and tshirts, along with a sundress. She grabbed sandals from her closet and a pair of tennis shoes.

She then walked to the changing table and grabbed some diapers and her wipes and powder.

“What else are we missing there, Annie?” Lora asked.

“ummm” Annie said quietly as she looked around. She pointed to her nuk on the table.

Lora chuckled and picked it up and put it into Annie’s mouth.

“Ok, I think we are ready then!” Lora said.

The two walked out to the living room. Barb walked out with her bag.

“Alright, Annie, you need a change?” Barb asked.

"Annie shook her head, lying.

Barb turned the lights out and grabbed some snacks for the ride.

“Why don’t I drive Lora? Annie’s carseat is already there and you have to go back this way plus an extra hour when you come back.” Barb said.

Annie looked at Barb, “She is coming back again?”

Barb smiled, “Yes she is. She is going to watch you while I am at work. Leanna won’t be home for another week. And I still need to find daycare. We talked about while we were painting, Im sorry is that ok with you Annie?”

Annie nodded, she smiled at Lora. Lora smiled back at Annie and opened the door.

The girls walked out and got loaded up in the suburban.

On the way there, Lora handed Annie a juice box and some crackers. Annie ate her crackers and watched out the window. She liked Lora, there was something so sweet about her. Something Annie wanted to be around. She couldn’t quite place what it was though.

Annie finished her snack and dozed off.

Barb looked back and saw Annie asleep in her carseat, and looked at Lora who was dozed off as well. She turned the radio on softly and kept on driving.

Barb pulled into the driveway and Lora opened her eyes. “Oh Im so sorry I fell asleep on you!” Lora apologized.

“It’s ok, it’s been a tiring day.” Barb said looking at Annie.

Lora smiled, “I’ll bring her in and put her in Leanna’s crib, you go ahead and lay down too.”

Barb looked at Lora, “Crib?”

Lora smiled, “Leanna had a little seperation anxiety.” She chuckled.

Barb smiled, “I hope Annie doesn’t mind it.”

Lora looked at Barb, “I don’t think she will.” Lora smiled

Barb got out of the car and grabbed some bags, Lora took Annie from her carseat. She put her arm under Annie to lift her up only to find that she had soaked through completely.

Barb saw the spot and winced.

Lora looked at Barb, “You should start checking her, she told me she didn’t need a change either.”

Barb nodded. They walked into the house.

Lora laid Annie on the floor. Annie then woke up.

Barb smiled, “Hi baby. Lora is getting your bag, you need a change.”

Annie nodded.

Lora came back in with the last of the luggage.

Barb grabbed a diaper from her bag along with the wipes and powder. She quickly tore off Annie’s bottoms and her diaper.

When she finished changing her she left her without pants being it was time for a nap anyways.

“Annie, you mind sleeping in Leanna’s crib?” Barb asked.

Annie shrugged, unsure, but not worried. She was tired and she just wanted to lay her head somewhere comfortable. The carseat gets a little crampy.

Lora took Annie’s hand and led her into Leanna’s room. Annie was amazed. The room looked like a baby room only Leanna didn’t have a changing table like she did.

Lora lifted her into the crib and covered her up. Annie put her nuk in her mouth and cuddled into the blankets.

Lora walked out and shut the door.

Annie fell right asleep.

Barb went in the bathroom to shower and freshen up. When she finished she came out to the couch to take a short nap as well.

Lora was already napping in her own bed.

Annie jumped up and opened her eyes. She looked around, this wasn’t her room.

Tired of having the same dream over and over she began to cry, she was scared and wet and uncomfortable.

Lora woke up to a noise. She rolled out of bed and opened her door. She could hear Annie crying. She looked into the living room, Barb was out cold.

She walked into Leanna’s room and went over to the crib where Annie was curled into a ball, diapered bottom up in the air. Lora smiled at the sight.

“What’s the matter Annie? Why are you crying?” Lora asked as she rubbed her hand across Annie’s back.

“Where’s Barb?” She whimpered.

“Barb is on the couch sleeping.” Lora replied.

“I want her.” Annie sat up and said quietly.

“Let’s let her sleep ok? We can go out back though and you can play on Leanna’s swing set.” Lora suggested.

Annie nodded, she held her arms up to be let out.

Lora picked her up and laid her on the floor to be changed.

Annie was shocked, she didn’t ask if she needed to be changed, she just did it. Annie was messy this time as well so maybe that was why she didn’t ask.

Lora changed Annie’s diaper and the two of them stopped in the kitchen for some drinks on their way out the back door.

Annie walked over to the sandbox and sat down.

Barb woke up and stretched as she sat up. The house was still quiet, she hit the bathroom and then checked the bedrooms. Nobody.

She walked into the kitchen and noticed the girls out back.

She slipped out the back door and sat next to Lora.

“She doesn’t know what to do in a sand box” Lora chuckled. “Although you know what? She knows how to play by herself, which is a good and bad thing. Obviously she didn’t get out much.”

Barb nodded. She was beginning to become irritated with Lora’s I-know-all attitude. She knew, though, that it wasn’t worth getting into an argument over. In fact, she really just wanted to go home and be with Annie alone for a few days. She wanted Annie to learn how to trust, but for some reason she felt jealous at how Annie was taking to Lora.

Barb loved the fact that Annie was completely dependant upon Barb. And now Annie was able to look to Lora for some things too now.

“I’m being selfish,” Barb thought. “Annie is not a posession, she is not mine, she is a little girl, deserving of love from everyone and not just me. Lora is only trying to help. I want Annie to be happy and she likes Lora so I won’t let that get to me.”

Barb looked at Lora, “Well what should we do tonight?”

Lora shrugged, “Doesn’t matter to me! We could go out for dinner!”

Barb nodded, “Sounds ok to me!”

Lora stood up, “I’ll jump into the shower and we can get going soon.”

“Annie! Let’s go inside and get dressed.” Barb called.

Annie stood up and came running up to Barb, she jumped into her arms and hugged Barb.

Annie felt like she hadn’t been close to Barb for a while now. She just want Barb to rock her in her arms again.

Barb took Annie to her bags, where she grabbed out the sundress. She slipped Annie’s shirt off and pulled the sundress over her head and arms. She helped Annie strap on her sandals as well. Barb then grabbed her bags and stood up, “Im going to go change fast, be right back ok?”

Annie nodded.

“Ok ladies, decision made yet?” Asked the waiter.

“Yes, I will have the Chicken Ceaser Pita with Coleslaw and a cup of broccoli cheese soup” Lora replied.

The waiter looked at Barb, “And you?”

“Hmmm, I think I will go with the Honey Mustard Chicken, but please no pilaf, just double the veggies.” Barb answered.

"Cornbread or dinner roll ma’am? He asked.

“Cornbread please and I will take the side salad with French and Blue Cheese.”

The waiter looked at Annie who was busy coloring her kids menu.

Barb spoke up, “Oh yes, she wants the chicken tenders and dino tots. And a chocolate milk.”

The waiter nodded and finished jotting the notes down. He walked away.

Barb looked at Lora, “I’ve never been here. It’s a cute little cafe.” She said and took a sip of her water.

Lora smiled, “Leanna loves this place. I figured Annie and you would as well.”

After 10 min or so the food came and the three of them ate quietly.

After dinner the three of them loaded back up in the suburban. They drove home quietly, they were stuffed and tired.

“Movies tonight girls?” Lora asked.

“Sure thing, I can’t do much else without bursting anyways” Barb chuckled.

Annie sat on the couch by Barb and waited for Lora to put the movie in. She looked at Barb, “Is my bottle here?” She asked shyly.

Barb replied, “No sweety, I am sorry I didn’t even think to bring it.”

Annie nodded.

Lora turned around, “There are some in the drawer below the silverware. I still haven’t gotten rid of Leanna’s” she laughed.

Barb nodded, “Ok, there you go Annie! Lora was prepared for you!” She teased, “Milk or juice?”

Annie replied, “Milk.”

Barb got up to go get Annie a bottle, still concerned that baby treatment might not be right for her.

Lora laughed to herself, she thought it was absolutely adorable.

Barb came back with the bottle and sat down. She handed it to Annie, who grabbed her blanket and crawled into Barb’s lap to suck on her bottle. Barb, as concerned as she was, loved it when Annie needed her. She embraced the child and Lora started the movie.

Lora looked at Annie, jealous that Leanna was growing so fast, she loved it when Leanna was a toddler and would curl up in her lap.

Annie rolled over, noticing she was again in a crib. She found her pacifier and plopped it into her mouth and snuggled into her covers. She could hear the birds chirping outside and bits of sunlight peeking its way through the blinds.

A few minutes later Barb poked her head in the doorway. “Good morning sweetheart.” She said softly as she made her way to the crib. “Ready to get up?”

Annie nodded and sat up still clutching to the blanket. Barb pulled her out from the crib and laid her on the floor. “Let’s get this soggy thing off you, huh?”

Barb pulled back the wet diaper and slid it out from beneath. She cleaned Annie thoroughly and fastened a clean dry diaper around her.

She helped Annie to her feet and they walked out into the living room where Annie wrapped the blanket around her and got into the chair. She turned the TV on and found something interesting.

Barb proceeded into the kitchen to start some breakfast.

Annie looked up to see Lora walking into the living room. As always, she had a sweet smile on her face and she would scrunch her nose and squint her eyes. Annie smiled back and returned to the TV.

“Mmmm, smells great in here Barb! Whatcha making?” Lora asked as she nosed her way over to the stove.

“Oh just some chocolate chip pancakes and bacon.” Barb replied as she flipped a pancake onto a tray on the counter.

Lora grabbed the plates and silverware and walked to the table.

“Annie, why don’t you come get set up here for breakfast.” Lora asked politely.

Annie slid off the chair, leaving her blanket behind and pranced to the table.

Even though Leanna was bigger than Annie, not by much; Lora still required her to sit in her children’s chair. And being Annie was under Lora’s roof, Lora pointed to the booster seat.

“Right here honey.” Lora said as she pulled the straps to the side so Annie could get in.

Annie slid back off the chair she just got on and obeyed Lora. Lora strapped the small girl in and put the tray on for her.

Annie felt a little awkward with a tray in front of her, she felt as if she was disconnected from Barb and Lora.

Barb brought over the food and set it on the table, she smiled at the sight of Annie. Yes, she was concerned about the way Annie was regressing, but this was too cute a sight for her to frown. She br

The Little Girl (all 21 parts)

Lora nodded and began to clear the plates.

“Well we should probably begin to head back to my house as well. I have to go back to work Monday, and I believe I have a heap of dirty clothes to wash.” Barb explained.

Lora nodded again, “That is fine, I will empty my suitcase and re-pack for a week.”

“Lora, what am I going to do once you are gone, do you think I should put Annie in daycare? Or do I hire a nanny? What should I do?” Barb asked desperately.

“Barb, don’t worry. We will have everything worked out in time ok?” Lora consoled. She loaded the dishwasher and started it.

Barb nodded and walked into the playroom where Annie was delicately placing block upon block into a tower.

“Hey sweety, We are going to get going so- Whew! Are you messy?” Barb asked as she waved her hand in front of her nose.

Annie turned around and stood up and nodded. She obeyed Barb’s finger beckoning and followed her to Leanna’s room.

As she lay there for Barb to clean her up she asked shyly and quietly, “I like to sleep in that crib.”

Barb looked at her and smiled, “Yeah? Why is that?”

Annie shrugged, “I dunno. I just like it better.”

Barb nodded, “Feel a little safer with the rails, do ya?”

Annie just nodded and put her thumb in her mouth.

“Well your bed has the capability, would you like me to change it to the crib setting Annie?” Barb asked.

Annie smiled and plucked her thumb from her mouth. “yes” she answered and returned her thumb to her mouth.

Annie sat in her carseat and watched out the window as they neared home.

Lora drove this time and Barb had been quietly struggling with her crossword.

Annie felt a wave of relief and excitement when she saw the house come into view.

“We’re here!” Lora chirped.

They pulled into the driveway and into the garage. Barb came around to the back door to release Annie from her car seat. Annie ran to the door and then inside. She was eager to look at her new room once more.

Barb and Lora continued to unload the luggage from the trunk.

“Annie wants me to change her bed to the crib setting, she really liked sleeping in Leanna’s crib.”

Lora smiled, “It’s ok. It’s not going to hurt a child to want rails.”

“Oh I know, I thought it was so cute though.” Barb giggled.

Just then, the two heard a young woman’s voice from behind them.

“Hello!” The girl said.

Barb and Lora turned around. “Hi ma’am.” Barb replied.

“I am new in the neighborhood, I just moved in this weekend. I just wanted to introduce myself to my neighbors, you know, get to know everyone.” She said. “My name is Farrah.”

Barb smiled, “Im Barb and this is my friend Lora.”

“Nice to meet you both, Barb and Lora,” Farrah replied, “I am about 4 houses down in 518.”

“518? Isn’t that where… umm… Terry and Debbie live?” Barb asked puzzled. “Did they move?”

“Oh no! I am staying with them actually. That is until I find a job. I met Deb & Terry in North Carolina at a Christian Outreach Program. We did children’s outreaches together. And I told him that I was thinking about the New York area and he offered their downstairs apartment to me for a couple weeks. I am so grateful.” Farrah answered.

Barb smiled, “That’s nice. Well stop by anytime! It was nice to meet you Farrah. I have a little one inside that needs tending to.”

Farrah smiled, “Oh you have a baby? How nice! How old?”

Barb replied, “Annie is almost 6.”

“Oh ok,” Farrah giggled, “It sounded like you were talking about a younger child. Have a good night ladies! Hope to see you soon!”

Lora nodded, “Good day to you!”

The two walked inside where Annie on the floor in the kitchen, coloring.

Barb carried her suitcases to the bedrooms and Lora followed.

“Hey, would you mind giving me a hand Lora?”

Lora shook her head and followed Barb into Annie’s room.

The two of them configured the toddler bed into a crib after a stressful hour. Barb sighed relief and put Annie’s blankets inside.

She looked at the time, “Lunchtime!” She said to herself.

Barb walked into the kitchen and rummaged for an idea for lunch. She settled on hotdogs and chips and threw a few hotdogs on the stove.

After lunch, Barb laid Annie in her crib for her nap and went to take a shower. Lora, on the other hand, laid on the couch and dozed off.

Annie felt so wonderful in the crib. She cuddled into her blankets and sucked her pacifier. She sqeezed bink close to her and closed her eyes.

With her eyes closed she flashed back to her nursery in the trailer. She used soft, pretty colors that gave it a dreamy feel. She had pictures of teddy bears on the walls.

Annie reminisced on one day in her past. She was lying in her crib, staring through the bars at the toybox. She waited patiently for her mother to come get her so she could play. She heard the soft voice of her mother’s singing in the kitchen.

Annie called out. “Mommy!”

She heard the light footsteps down the hallway and the soft turn of the doorknob.

“Well hello angel!” Her mother said, as she smiled down at her precious daughter. “Did you have a good nap?”

Her mother lifted her out of the crib and into her arms. She carried her to the changing table where she delicately swapped diapers, giving Annie light tickles on her tummy. She kissed her baby’s forehead.

Annie felt tears in her eyes as she thought about her mom. “I want my mommy.” She whispered to herself.

Annie rolled to her tummy and drifted off.

Barb came out of the bathroom and checked in on Annie, who was sleeping soundly.

She quietly closed the door and went into her room to change.

As she was changing, she thought about Farrah. “I wonder what kind of job she is looking for. We have positions open at work, and I know alot of people here. I could probably pull some strings.”

She finished dressing and headed out to the patio to sun bathe. She grabbed a book and glass of lemonade and relaxed on her lounger.

Annie sat up in her crib, “Mommy? Mommy!” She began to cry.

Barb walked in, “Annie? You ok? What’s wrong?”

“I want my mommy, she was right there, I saw her and she walked away.” Annie cried.

“Oh sweetie, you must have been dreaming. It’s ok, I’m here.” Barb said as she walked to the crib and lifted the small child into her arms. “You’ve been asleep for awhile. Are you feeling ok?” Barb asked as she placed her cheek against Annie’s burning forehead.

“Oh sweetie, you are burning up!” Barb said as she laid her on the changing table. "Let’s get you out of this wet diaper.

“Lora!” Barb called.

Lora peeked her head in, “Yeah?”

“Can you run a bath for Annie, she has a fever.” Barb asked.

“Yeah, no problem.” Lora said concerned.

Barb pulled Annie’s diaper off and threw it away. She wrapped her in her bathrobe and carried her to the bathroom.

Lora was standing over the tub, “You won’t need much in there, just enough to hopefully bring the fever down.”

Barb set Annie down and felt the water, “Are you sure it needs to be that cool? I don’t think I could even sit in there.”

“It’s tepid, and it should be just right.” Lora replied.

Barb shrugged, “Ok, I’ll trust you. You’re the experienced mother.”

Barb pulled Annie’s bathrobe off and set Annie into the water. Annie winced a little at the temperature and hugged herself.

Barb set down by the tub and gently wiped her down with a wet cloth. Letting the water stream over her body. “I know it’s not a warm bath, but this will make you feel better. I promise.”

After a few minutes, Barb pulled her back out and dried her off. She brought her back to the bedroom and put her into a dry diaper. She put a shirt on her and picked her up again.

Barb was concerned, “Maybe I need to stay home tomorrow with you too.”

Barb walked out into the living room where Lora was folding her blanket.

“How’s she doing?” Lora asked.

“I think she’ll be ok. I’m going to give her some children’s motrin.” Barb replied.

The two went into the kitchen and Barb read the directions carefully and gave Annie the recommended dosage. She then grabbed a bottle and filled it with apple juice.

The two went and sat in the recliner and Barb held Annie while Annie drank her bottle.

Annie dozed off in Barb’s arms. Barb situated the recliner so she could get comfortable as well.

“Dinner should be ready real soon.” Lora said.

“Well she is in bed asleep finally. At least her temp went down. I know I am exhausted. It’s been a long day and I have to go back to work tomorrow. I think I am going to go to bed. Lora do you need anything at all before I do?” Barb asked.

Lora shook her head, “No dear I am fine. Go on, I am going to watch TV for a little while.”

Barb nodded. And with that, she was crawling into her bed and soon asleep.

Lora flipped through the channels, “There is nothing but reality crap on Sunday nights.” She complained quietly. She turned it off and turned in as well for the night.

Annie opened her eyes when Lora opened the door.

“Good morning Annie!” Lora sang.

Annie remembered, this was the first day of Barb going back to work. Lora was going to be staying with her all day.

Lora walked to the crib and pulled her out, “How ya feeling today?”

Annie smiled, “Ok.”

Lora nodded, “Well let’s get you all dressed.”

Lora laid her on the changing table and pulled her shirt and soggy diaper off.

“Breakfast is all ready, I have a few places I would like to run to today, sound good?” Lora asked as she wiped Annie’s skin clean.

Annie nodded.

“Good. Well there ya go, all clean.” Loras said as she set Annie on the floor. “Let’s get you in some clothes here.”

Lora pulled out a multi-colored sundress and slipped it over Annie’s head.

The two walked out to the kitchen and sat down for some breakfast. Annie ate quickly and quietly, she was famished after not eating much yesterday.

After she finished, she hopped out of her chair and into the living room. She found her pacifier on the coffee table and plopped it in and laid on the floor to watch cartoons.

Lora cleaned up the breakfast mess and began to load the dishwasher when the doorbell rang. She dried off her hands to go answer it.

“Hello, Farrah right?” Lora said as she greeted the young lady at the door.

“Yes, that’s right. And you are Lora, correct?” Farrah replied.

“Yes, dear. Come on in.” Lora said as she stepped aside.

Farrah came in the door, “I just wanted to stop and ask Barb a few questions. Is she here?”

“Oh no, she is at work, but she’ll be back around 5pm.” Lora explained.

“Oh… ok… you must be the nanny then, huh?” Farrah asked, seemingly let down.

“No, I am her friend, why?” Lora answered.

“Well I am looking for a nanny position around the area, and I remembered Barb saying she had a little girl. So I was going to stop and ask if she was interested. I wasn’t sure if she worked at home or at all or even if her daughter went to daycare or what.” Farrah explained.

“Funny you mention that, Farrah. I am only here this week, but I know that Barb is still working on where Annie will be going for care. But Annie is not her daughter. She was just recently adopted.”

“Oh really? Do you think she would hire a nanny? I would need room and board though as well.”

“You know, I am not sure. You will have to talk to her about that, I am not sure she has another room available. Unless she has her basement finished off. Would you like to come in and meet Annie?”

“Sure, why not!” Farrah answered.

The two women walked into the living room, “Annie, sweety, come meet Farrah.”

Farrah’s jaw dropped as Annie toddled her way over. Annie walked up and partially hid behind Lora’s legs.

Farrah could not believe the sight, “She is almost 6?”

Lora nodded.

Farrah stared at the small child with a pacifier and a stuffed doll. And an obvious bulge on her behind.

“Is she still in… diapers?” Farrah asked curiously.

“Yes, she is.” Lora answered.

Farrah nodded, “Wow, she looks no more than 3 years old.”

Lora smiled, “She’s still small. There’s alot you don’t know about Annie.”

Farrah smiled, “Hi Annie, I’m Farrah. I live down the street.”

Annie continued to peek from behind Lora.

“She’s a little shy, nothing that won’t go away quickly though.” Lora remarked. “Would you like some lemonade?”

Farrah nodded, “Sure. That would be great.”

Lora motioned for them to go out to the patio, “Annie, why don’t you go outside to play.”

Annie shook her head and glued herself to Lora’s leg. Lora chuckled and shrugged, “I’ll be right out Farrah. Go ahead and take a seat.”

Farrah went out the back door and sat down while Lora and her leg companion poured some lemonade in 2 glasses and a sippy cup.

“Can I have my bottle?” Annie asked.

Lora nodded, “Yeah that’s fine, hold on.”

Lora carefully poured the sippy cup’s contents into Annie’s bottle over the sink. She handed it to Annie, “Come on outside, it will do you good to get some fresh air.”

Annie followed Lora out to the patio and sucked her bottle.

Farrah giggled when she saw this sight. “How cute!” She remarked at Annie holding Lora’s shirt and sucking her bottle.

Lora sat down and Annie barely let her situate before she was on her lap. “We need to put sunscreen on you little one, why don’t you run and grab it.”

Annie ran into the house and grabbed it from the bathroom and ran back out.

“So tell me about Annie, she is so adorable, and I have never seen a 6 year old that is treated or behaves like this.” Farrah said.

“Annie has been hurt, that’s where I will leave it. It is Barb’s decision to share anything more. Not to sound rude at all. But I need to respect that privacy, if it is.” Lora explained as she smeared sunscreen on Annie.

“I understand completely.” Farrah replied.

Farrah then said, “I do alot of outreach programs through my church. The last time we went on one it was over in LA. We went to less fortunate neighborhoods. Pretty much focusing on children. We used a neighborhood church and we stayed with host families. It was amazing. We had one guy in our group, Jason, who would dress up like a clown and his younger brother, Josiah carried some music to lure in kids. There was such a wide range of ages and nationalities that followed behind and back to the church where we had games and prizes and dancing set up. It was fun.”

Lora nodded. “That’s nice.”

“Oh and when we went to Mexico and did the same, that was even more amazing! I absolutely loved the children! It broke my heart though when I saw houses made from mattresses and other junk. And the people there were so humble! This neighborhood had NOTHING, but they wanted to give you EVERYTHING! How amazing.”

Lora nodded again. “So you like children huh?”

“LOVE them! I wish my “husband” would appear into thin air and we could start a family.” Farrah joked.

Lora chuckled, “Yea, don’t rush into it though. He’ll come around soon, and you will know when it’s the right one.”

Farrah nodded, “Yeah I suppose.”

Annie listened to the two talk and finished her bottle.

After about a half hour Lora looked at Annie, who obviously was bored senseless.

“Well Farrah, we have some running to do, it was nice of you to stop over. Why don’t you come by later when Barb is home. She would love to talk with you Im sure.”

“Ok, thanks for the lemonade, bye Annie!” Farrah said as they walked through the house to the door.

“See you later!” Lora said as Farrah made her way out the door.

“Well, Barb is in for quite a surprise I guess.” Lora said. “And you,” pointed to Annie, “are in need of a dry diaper!” She said as she reached her hands out tickle Annie.

Annie squealed and took off to the bedroom. Lora chased after.

“I’m home!” Barb called out as she closed the door and dropped her things in the foyer. She let out a long sigh, happy to be home.

Lora peeked around the corner, “Hello! Welcome home. How was your first day back to work?”

“Exhausting! Not to mention, all I could think about was Annie and hoping she was ok. How did she do? Where is she?” Barb asked.

“She and I had a great day today, we went shopping, met the neighbor, and she’s napping now.” Lora replied.

“Ooh, late nap, huh? Which neighbor?” Barb asked curiously.

“The young lady that came over here yesterday, Farrah.”

“Ohh ok, yeah. How was that?” Barb asked.

“Good, we just sat and talked, although… you might want to get to know her.” Lora said.

“Oh yeah? Why is that?” Barb asked as she plopped on the couch and wiped her bangs back.

“Well, I’ll let you talk to her, she is stopping over again tonight.” Lora said and smiled.

“Ohhh, wonderful, company. I guess it can’t be that bad. I have had so much time off I forgot how tired I get after work.” Barb complained.

“Well I’ll make dinner tonight, you should go relax for a bit.” Lora said as she walked into the kitchen.

Barb walked back to her bedroom, stopping at Annie’s room and peeking in. Annie was sound asleep, bottom in the air and pacifier in her mouth. Barb smiled, “My little baby.” She whispered. She closed the door and went into her room for a quick powernap.

“Barb?” Lora whispered. “Barb.”

Barb rolled over and yawned, “Ohhh… yeah?”

“Dinner is ready, you’ve been asleep for an hour. Annie is up and anxious to see you as well, she got a little upset with me because I wouldn’t let her wake you up.”

Barb nodded and rolled out of bed to stretch. “Coming.”

Barb changed from her work clothes and into a denim jumper, attempting to be as comfortable as she could.

She walked out to the kitchen and Annie darted her direction and jumped in her arms, “Hi Honey!” Barb squealed as she kissed her forehead. She set Annie on her hip and walked into the kitchen where she could hear Lora talking.

“Lora? Who are talking to?” Barb asked as she peeked in to see Farrah helping Lora. “Oh, hi Farrah.” Barb smiled.

“Hello Barb. Nice to see you again.” Farrah answered.

“You too. Smells amazing in here ladies, what are we making?” Barb asked.

“Oh, just some bacon wrapped chicken in rice.” Lora answered.

“Mmmm.” Barb said as her and Annie walked out to the living room. “Are you wet Annie?” Barb asked as she patted her bottom.

Annie nodded, “Yeth.”

Barb looked at her with a sideways look. “Yeth? What’s a yeth? You mean yes?”

Annie nodded, “I thaid yeth.”

“Ahh I see, so in a few hours you have mysteriously developed a lisp huh?” Barb asked sarcastically.

“Yeth, babieth talk wike dith” Annie smiled.

Barb chuckled, “What am I gonna do with you?” She tickled Annie’s side causing her to squirm. “Let’s get the baby changed.”

After a wonderful dinner, Barb leaned back in her chair satisfied and very full, “So Farrah, tell me about you. What brings you here to New York all the way from, where was it? North Carolina?”

Farrah smiled, “Actually that’s where I met Terry and Deb. I was there for a children’s outreach program and training. I am originally from Illinois, Chicago area.”

“Children’s outreach? What is that?” Barb asked.

“It’s usually focused on homeless, or inner city children. As well as 3rd world countries. There are so many that need someone to reach out to them, to show them love. We go in these places and talk to teenagers on the streets, or in poor neighborhoods we will gather up kids running around and feed them and play games with them. It is all a christian based program so we intertwine some biblical features.” Farrah explained.

“I see, that’s nice. What made you want to get into all this? I could see it as a very draining experience with traveling and all your attention sucked out.” Barb asked.

Lora looked at Annie, “Let’s go find something to do kiddo.”

Annie nodded and smiled and ran off to her room.

“Well you see, I was one of those children. It was about 18 years ago, I was 10 years old. I grew up in poverty, my father was an alcoholic, he used to beat my sister and I.” Farrah’s eyes teared up. “My sister was 17 almost 18 and ready to take off as soon as they day came. Which meant I would be left alone. My mother was around, but not really. My parents were divorced and my father got custody because of my mother’s emotional well-being. She was into drugs and men and things I still don’t know to this day. Not that I would want to. So she was able to see us every other weekend under supervision. Well she only came around when she was single which was rare. A few months after my sister disappeared, my father was extremely intoxicated and he was chasing me to beat me but I made it to the door. This time I was not going to go back. I ran and ran, ending up downtown. I found an old abandoned bus in the back of some buildings and hid inside. I was only there for a few hours before I grew restless and hungry. I walked off the bus and around the streets, wondering what I could do. Then this woman came up to me, and she asked me if I was lost. I shook my head and tried to ignore her but she was persistant. She asked me if I wanted something to eat and a place to cool off. Being it was around 95 degrees and very humid, I accepted. I was a vulnerable child, thank God she was not looking for trouble. I probably would have gotten into anyone’s car that day with enough persuasion. Anyways to make a long story short, she told me she was with this program that targets children and teenagers that need support or help. I ended up telling her my story after a few days of meeting up and she got me out of my father’s house and into foster care. When I turned 18 I never went to college, but straight to this ministry because I knew that I wanted to help people in my same situation. And that is only a part-time job so on my time off I am a nanny.” Farrah sighed, “Sorry long story I know.”

“Wow, Farrah, I would have never guessed someone like you to have gone through all that. You look happy and seem well put-together.” Barb said, “I hope Annie has a good recovery as well.”

“Lora was saying that Annie had been through alot as well.” Farrah said.

“Yeah, close to your situation, in fact. That is part of the reason she is regressing is because of her trauma. I don’t mind it though at all. I love being able to nurture Annie the way she feels loved. I would do anything for that girl, and if it means letting her sleep in a crib or feeding her a bottle to soothe her I will. At least she is not going through tantrums or violent behavior.” Barb said.

“Yeah, during my recovery I went through a ton as well. I had nightmares my father was after me, I had problems with bedwetting as well as behavioral problems. But thanks to the staff of “For the Children” I overcame alot.” Farrah said.

“Farrah, why did you come to New York?” Barb asked.

“I needed a change, I wanted to go somewhere where I haven’t, I came in hopes for a new job, and to get out on the streets and reach out to more children and teens.” Farrah answered.

“And you say job, are you meaning nanny? Or a new outreach program?”

“Both. Of course I need a job that pays me so I can support my self, but I really want to be that someone for a little boy or girl like “For the Children” was for me.”

“I see, well, I am in need of a sitter for Annie in a week, would you be interested in a trial run, say a week? This week hang out with Lora and Annie and next week a trial?”

“I would love to! But I am in need of room and board.” Farrah said doubtingly.

“That I don’t have right now, but if it all works out, we can figure something out.” Barb said, still nervous to have just met this woman, but her heart went out to her. She was going out of her way to love others that know nothing of the sort.

“Really? That would be wonderful!” Farrah said in relief.

“Why don’t you stick around for awhile tonight, and watch a movie with us girls and be here, say… 7am tomorrow morning?” Barb asked.

“Of course!” Farrah squealed.

“Good, well I’m going to clean up these dinner dishes and stuff, make yourself at home Farrah.”

“Ok, thanks.” Farrah said and stood up. “Where is your bathroom?”

“Just down the hall on your left side.”


Farrah walked out of the dining area and through the living room to the bathroom.

Barb gathered up the plates and brought them to the sink, “Ok, what have I gotten myself into? Is this a good thing for Annie? Is this a good thing for Farrah? I just have so much peace about it. It has to be the right thing.”

Barb heard Annie’s giggles coming from her bedroom and smiled, “I wonder what that little stinker is up to.” She walked down the hallway into Annie’s room where Lora and her were on the floor playing.

“What might you two be up to?” Barb asked smiling.

Annie looked up, “I beatin Wora at candywand.” She giggled as Lora tickled her.

Barb chuckled, even though Annie suddenly began talking in a toddler voice it didn’t worry her. It was just her way of growing. And the fact that she was saying more than a few words was good.

She went back out to the kitchen and began rinsing the dishes and loading the dishwasher.

“I win! I win!” Annie squealed when she landed her peg on the finish line.

Lora chuckled, “Yes, you beat me.”

“Wanna pway again?” Annie asked as she toppled onto Lora’s back.

“You know what, I think you are ready for a clean diaper and a bath. And then it will be movie time!” Lora said convincingly.

“Noooo. Me dont wanna baf. Wet’s pway!” Annie said as she jumped up and down.

Just then Farrah popped her head in, “Hi guys.”

Annie quickly sat down and nudged her way into Lora shyly.

“Hi Farrah. We were just about to play a mean game of candy land, wanna join?” Lora asked as she sat up so the persistantly nudging Annie could get in her lap.

“Sure I would love to! Annie is that ok if I play?” Farrah asked.

Annie nodded and gripped Lora’s hand.

“Oh you silly girl, don’t be shy, you know Farrah.” Lora cackled.

Annie rested the back of her head on Lora’s shoulder.

“Ok, well let’s begin. Annie you want to go first?”

Barb finished loading the dishwasher and made her way to see what all the excitement was about that she had been hearing down the hall.

She peeked her head in again to see Annie jumping up and down. “Ima win, Ima win!” She was giggling.

Barb watched the three play for a few minutes before she came in the room. “Well Annie, you sure are undefeated tonight huh?”

Annie smiled huge and jumped into Barb’s lap. “Im vewy good at dis game Barby.”

“Barby” Barb thought, “I haven’t heard that since I was a little girl.” She chuckled and kissed Annie’s forehead. “Alright little one, win the game so we can get you in the bath.”

Annie’s smile went away, “Me dont wanna baf. Me wanna pway mowe and mowe.”

“Well you can play more and more in the tub while you are getting squeaky clean.” Barb said as she lightly tapped Annie’s nose.

Annie sighed and sat back down to finish the game.

“Yay yay yay. Annie win. Annie win. Mes da winnow!” Annie squealed as she jumped up.

Farrah and Lora giggled. Barb scooped the girl up, “And the little winner needs a bath now!”

“Awwww.” Annie whined.

The two walked into the bathroom. Barb began the water and stripped Annie down to her diaper.

Lora and Farrah cleaned the game up, “Well looks like it’s going to be the three of us again tomorrow!” Farrah said as she put the top on the box.

“Oh yeah?” Lora asked surprised.

“Barb’s going to give me a trial week after this week, but she wants me to get to know Annie this week. I am so excited, Annie will be the most interesting child I have ever taken care of, and the cutest.”

Lora smiled, “Yes she is a doll isn’t she. Well I am going to get the movie ready, you staying?”

“Well actually I think I will take off, and let you guys have your time.” Farrah said.

“Ok, well see you tomorrow morning.”

Lora walked Farrah to the door and saw her out. She went into the living room and sat down to wait for Barb and Annie.

“Ok, stand up so mo-… so I can get you dried off here.” Barb stuttered.

Annie stood up and held her arms out and Barb helped her out. She dried her off and picked her up. The two went into Annie’s room. Barb laid her on the changing table and finished drying her off. Barb taped her into a clean diaper and put her in a clean nightshirt.

“Can me haff baba?” Annie asked as she yawned.

“Yes, baby, let’s go get a baba and rock.” Barb replied.

They walked out into the living room and Barb set Annie down and walked into the kitchen to fix her a bottle. She came back out and saw Lora, “Where did Farrah go?”

“Oh she left for home, wanted to get to bed I spose.” Lora answered.

Annie was reaching and grabbing for the bottle as the two talked. Lora chuckled, “I think you are depriving a certain little girl” She said as she reached out and poked Annie’s tummy.

Annie giggled and Barb reached down to pick her up. She sat down with Annie in her lap. She handed Annie the bottle but Annie pushed it back at Barb.

“Sweety, I thought you wanted this.” Barb asked.

Annie shook her head, “No you feed da baby.”

Barb smiled, although a little shocked with Annie’s bluntness and openness, and placed the nipple in Annie’s mouth.

Lora chuckled, “She’s really starting to come around.” She said as she started the movie.

Barb nodded. “Yea, she really is.” Barb rubbed Annie’s tummy as Annie drank the warm milk down.

Barb looked down and, as usual, Annie was already sound asleep nestled in her arms. Barb set the bottle on the table and pulled the blanket over Annie and got comfortable.

When the movie ended, Barb carefully carried Annie into her room and laid her in her crib. She smiled at the sight, Annie had brought her so much joy inside. At one time she had been lonely and her life had become very repetitious. Now everyday and every night was a new adventure.

She walked out into the living room where Lora was making herself comfortable on the couch.

“I really cannot imagine what my life would be like if Annie had not come into my life.” Barb said as she sat on the chair.

Lora stopped fiddling around and sat on the couch. She smiled, “Barb, I have never seen you so happy. It’s in your walk, your eyes, your smile. I am so happy for you two.”

Barb smiled, “Me too. What do you think of Farrah? Do you think she will be good for Annie?”

Lora nodded, “Most definitely, she is young and experienced with children like Annie. In a way, we can’t be. Just like you are perfect for Annie in ways nobody could even come close to. I think you should give her a try. Tomorrow through Friday I will show her the ropes and all. I am sure she will get the hang of it and Annie will love her.”

Barb shrugged, “I just hate being away from her so much. I know it’s only 8 hours a day, but I feel like I disown her when I leave.”

Lora shook her head, “Barb, that is normal for any parent. But it’s not wrong and you are not doing anything to Annie by it. She will come to understand and accept it as well.”

Barb nodded, “Ok, I guess you are right. I talked to the doctor today, she has an appointment on Thursday and hopefully it will go better than last time. I am going to be there this time though. Also, she starts her appointments for therapy as well starting Friday. I will need you to bring her there at 11am. She will be going Monday and Friday mornings from 11am-12pm.”

“Don’t you think you might want to sit in on her first therapy appointment Barb? That is a scary thing for people and think of Annie, frightened as she is already.” Lora explained.

“Yeah, you are right, I will talk to my boss tomorrow.” Barb decided.

“Well goodnight, Lora. Thanks for everything.” Barb said.

“Goodnight, see you tomorrow.” Lora said and got up finished making her bed on the couch.

Barb walked back into her room and got into her night clothes and laid in bed. Thoughts raced through her head minute upon minute. She tried hard to clear them and close her eyes, but she couldn’t. She sat up and turned her lamp on. She got out a paper and pencil. She learned a while back that sometimes writing can clear thoughts even if they are unanswered.

As she was writing, she heard something in the other room and got up. She opened her door and heard Annie.

Once again Annie was having a bad dream and Barb found her flailing her arms and legs and crying. Barb rushed over to the crib and picked Annie up. She held her tight until she woke up and calmed down.

“Annie, sweety, it’s ok. It was only a bad dream, Im here now.” Barb consoled.

Annie continued to whimper but wrapped her arms around Barb’s neck and squeezed. “I’m scared.” Annie whispered.

Barb hugged the girl and walked back into her bedroom. She laid Annie in the bed next to her and stroked her hair and face. Drying the tears and soothing her back to sleep. Barb looked at the sleeping girl and smiled.

She turned out the light and laid back down to sleep. “Maybe I really am cut out to be a mother” She whispered and drifted off to sleep.

The Little Girl (all 21 parts)

Ok I have fixed that issue and posted the entire story. Now all the parts are here on the forum

The Little Girl (all 21 parts)

I really enjoy reading it. I wish there were more chapters of it.

Re: The Little Girl (all 21 parts)

This is a great story! It has excellent character development and a lot of side-bars to catch your attention.
With a story like this you never want it to end, this story should have had a happier ending but with the writer gone, or unknown, we’ll never know what was in their mind for the development of the characters.
Personally, I would have liked the story longer but the writer did what they thought best. Given the circumstances, it’s lucky we’ve gotten this much of it and it’s fantastic.

Re: The Little Girl (all 21 parts)

Thank you for posting my story on this forum. I actually do have more of this story written up, as well as a new one that will all be coming soon!!