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He didn't like how long it was for him to just see Ara. [b "It was. I missed you so much"] he told her, feeling sad that he didn't want to leave her again. He just wanted her to always be with him. [b "I don't want pokeys either, but they always give me some. They hurt"] he pouted and then he thought about Ara getting pokeys. [b "You shouldn't get any pokeys"] he told her, rubbing her arm after he kissed her booboo.
When she pulled out more bandages, he smiled, feeling like she did a great job taking care of him. [b "You always take care of me. I like it"] he smiled and would head to the cafeteria with her. Luke and Clyde followed, thinking that the two were really nice. They all went to sit a table together and Sylus held his tray of food. He sat at the table and took a bite. He was growing used to the goop, but it still never tasted good. [b "It's not good Ara"] he told her, but saw her taking a bite.
She thought it was gross, but when the attendant got mad at her, he looked at him [b "Don't yell at her"] he frowned and the attendant told him to shut it. Sylus frowned and would hear Ara whine. When she started to look sick, he rubbed her back [b "Ara...."] he held her hand, but the attendant saw her throw up on his shoes and everyone was giggling. Sylus grabbed a napkin and helped her, but the attendant pushed him back. "SIt down!" he ordered him, seeing another attendant come by.
"That's the girl!" he told the other attendant.
The man held ARa's arm and was going to take her to the punishment room. "What girl? She's going to be punished"
[b "No!"] Sylus went to take her hand, but the attendant shoved him back and he fell against the floor. He ended up with a bruise on his knee, but he wouldn't cry. He saw the other attendant come over and he pulled the other guard. "That's the daughter of the boss" he whispered.
The other attendant froze and then he released Ara's hand. He looked down at the crying little girl. "Take her away" he told the other guard. He held Ara's hand. "We're going to take you to the doctor's. Come here" the attendant led her to the doctor's room.
Sylus watched them take her away and he felt really sad. He hoped Ara was okay, but the minute he got up and started to follow, the other guard pulled his arm "Finish eating!"
[b “It was a long time.” ] Ara sighed. Four days really did feel like forever. She wanted to see Sylus everyday. She didn’t like hearing them getting scolded for getting happy. It wasn’t fair. She didn’t understand why they were like that. It wa sture, she didn’t have any pokeys. [b “I don’t want pokeys too. But, I don’t like you getting pokeys or other kids.” ] She remembered Sylus saying it hurt. She never thought that poking would hurt so bad until Sylus said so.
Ara hit the target and grinned when she saw Sylus clapping for her. Sylus did so good too. She gave Clyde a high five, and even gave one to Luke. She watched who Sylus pointed to. Ara frowned, [b “They…really are.” ] Why were they so mean? She saw one kid getting hit for getting it wrong. Ara gasped, and squeezed Sylus hand tighter. Why? She wanted to yell but she was also afraid.
She showed Sylus her booboo. Ara smiled once he gave her a kiss. [b “Thank you.” ] She wanted to play more with him. But she told him that she wasn’t strong. She worried he wouldn’t like her too much because she wasn’t. Ara gasped seeing his booboos on his hand and his cheek. [b “I got more bandages.” ] She told him and then would kiss his cheek, to make it feel a bit better too.
Ara pouted, looking so concerned. [b “They made me too but I don’t get too many boo boos.” ] She said. She saw the other boys look sad too. She saw Sylus patting their heads. They looked sad. [b “It’ll be okay.” ] Ara said, she hoped. She knew she was supposed to go with the girls but she wanted to go with Sy. Sylus held onto her hand too. Ara nodded. [b “Okay!” ] She smiled. They walked to the cafeteria. She linked up with them. Ara sat down. [b “It looks like soup.” ] Ara said, [b “Soup is not too bad.” ] She said and took a spoon. She put it in her mouth and tried to swallow it down. She made a face and realized just how bad it tasted [b “Yucky!” ] She said. She gave it another try and she couldn’t stomach it. The attendant went by and noticed Ara saying that “Eat it, and don’t complain.”
Ara made a face, “But it’s so gross. This isn’t fair.” She whined.
“Eat it.” He told her, narrowing her eyes.
Her eyes warmed up. He looked scary… She didn’t want to get hit. She forced herself, and it was so nasty. She would never try eating food hear again. EVER. She was going to tell daddy. She stomached it and started to feel really sick. She would get up and go to the attendant to get some help, [b “I feel sick.” ] They attendants normally helped her out so, she said it.
“Spoiled little brat…” He mumbled, and clearly said “Just sit down.”
Ara couldn’t hold it anymore and threw up all over the attendants shoes. “Ewee!” Ara said after. Her eyes warmed. Everyone was looking. There were little giggles. Ara looked up at the man and saw him looking so angry. Ara whimpered, and she felt so weird after throwing up. Her eyes filled up with tears, and she was stiff. She saw him leaning in to pick her up, “That’s it. You’re getting punished for this.” Ara gasped looked around for the attendants she trusted to run to them, but she wasn't fast.
He was surprised to see Ara there with the other girls. It was amazing to see that she was actually here with them, but she didn't have any pokey holes in her. Why was she taken care of. He also didn't see her getting into any trouble like he was. Still, he was really happy to see her. He held her hand and would smile brightly as they sat together and were in the same group.
[b "Me too. It felt like a long time"] he pouted and then he saw the other boys and waved at them. They were pretty nice. Sylus has talked to a few of the other boys as well and it seemed like they were all in the same position. No parents and no one to care for them. They got scolded for showing emotion or for just having fun. [b "I don't know why you don't have pokeys....but that's better. I don't want Ara getting pokeys"] he told her, watching her shoot. She was pretty good. When she hit the target, he clapped his hands and would smile as he kicked his feet back and forth.
Sylus shot the target once and he sat beside her and hug her back. [b "I did!"] he also gave Clyde a high five and then he pointed to the attendants. [b "They're mean"] he frowned and would smile when ARa promised to play with him.
When she said she had a booboo, he saw her elbow and then he leaned in to kiss her arm. [b "There. All better"] he told her, seeing that it was only a bruise. He wondered why she asked him that. [b "I like you. You play with me and you're really nice. IT's okay. I'm not that strong too"] he told her, showing his booboos on his hands and his cheek. He was beaten up by the other guys a lot during sparring. [b "I don't want to fight...but they make us fight and everyone gets booboos"] he sighed a bit and then he would look at the other two.
The other boys were also a bit down after they were scolded and Sylus would walk over and pat their heads. [b "IT's okay. We just need to practice"] he assured them and then he heard the lunch bell. They were soon lead to the cafeteria, Sylus held onto Ara's hand and wouldn't let go. [b "Ara, let's eat together? Maybe they have something good today"] he told her, walking with her inside to the tables. All of the boys were eating first the girls were led to a different room.
He got into the line and was given some goop. HE pouted [b "See Ara, this goopy stuff. It's not as good as the stuff you give me"]
The moment she saw Sylus, she beamed. A boost of happiness overwhelmed her. She went to take his hand instantly. She swung there hands a little. She felt so happy to be holding hands and sitting next to him. He whispered to her too. She was part of his group which made her really happy. [b “We do! I missed playing with you. I got, I got more stuff to play.” ] She said. Then she realized there were two other boys.
Ara waved to them, “Hiii.” Ara smiled. They seemed nice. She set up her gun. Her new bodyguard showed her how a day ago. She listened to Sylus and frowned. [b “Everyone here…has pokes…I don’t.” ] Ara didn’t understand why they did. She tried it and she almost stumbled. Her first and second shot hit the target but not close to the center, it was only her third shot that she really focused and got lucky and hit in the center. Ara grinned, [b “Yay!” ] She treated like it was a game, like it was a water gun.
Sylus had his turn. She watched him and Sylus did well. She saw him jump. She wondered if he was okay. Ara gasped when he hit the target. She clapped [b “You did it! You’re so cool!” ] Ara cheered. The attendant told him to be quiet. Ara frowned. She had went back with him and then she’d give him a hug. [b “You did.” ] She watched Clyde and Luke go too. She didn’t like how the attendants scolded the for being happy. She put her hand up [b “Clyde, give me a high five.” ] She told him. She hive fived him.
Sylus held her hand again. [b “Me too… What guys?” ] She asked. She saw him fold his arms and pout. Ara pouted, [b “I will try to play with you.” ] She said. She looked at the other girls. [b “I did work with them for two days! And karate too. But…” ] Ara frowned [b “I’m not…I’m not strong. I fell down and got a boo boo on my...here" ] She pointed at her elbow where was a slight bruise but barely. [b Do you still like me?” ] She asked, thinking he wouldn’t like her or might not want to be friends because she wasn’t strong.
He thought it was amazing to be a chef and to make good food. HE was still such a young boy, but he had a lot of dreams already. It did saddened him to hear that pudding wasn't good for you. He liked the taste and he wanted to eat more, but even food was limited for him.
He'd rub the top of her head, not liking to see ARa looking sad. She was so kind and sweet to be treated poorly. All Ara did was make him smile, so he wanted to see her smiling as her friend. They had some fun together talking about animals, but the minute he showed her his scar, he could see the fear in her eyes. Sylus gasped a bit and put his shirt down, not wanting to scare her. [b "He was mean. I don't want to see him again"] he admitted and then he gave her his drawing.
Sylus watched her leave and felt lonely again. He liked Ara's company.
Over the next few days, he did everything he was told to do. They did training, running, classes, sparring, and given more drugs. SYlus felt a bit woozy when they gave him the drugs, but he tried to push through because he wanted to see Ara again. She hadn't visited in a few days and it had him worried.
When they were taken to the shooting range, Sylus would stand beside the other boys and would follow behind them until he saw the girl's group next door. It surprised them to see the girls. They've never seen them before. He heard someone's voice and he recognized her. IT was Ara. She was okay! Sylus smiled and would hold her hand in his as they listened to the instructor.
He whispered to her [b "I missed you!"] he told her, seeing that they would be using guns. SYlus had never used one before, so when they showed them how, he would take the gun into his hands and was put into a group. They made their way to their row and he'd stay beside Ara [b "It's okay. I'm glad you're here now! We get to play together too!"] he smiled and would see the other two boys in their group.
THey looked at each other and then greeted Ara. "I'm Luke" one said with blue eyes.
"I'm Clyde" the other smiled and waved. They all held their guns and they'd all take their turns shooting.
Clyde and Luke would watch Ara as Sylus would try to figure out how to set up his gun. He'd show ARa when he had it loaded and then he'd tell her about his day. [b "I got more pokey's....but I'm happy to see you"] he went up for his turn and he'd follow the instructor to hold up his gun. When he fired a few shots, they were far from the target. The recoil made him jump back a bit.
He tried again, getting the hang of it slowly as he fired and hit the target. He'd jump and smile [b "I did it!"] he smirked and the attendant gave him a look. "Quiet. Back of the line" he told him.
Sylus sighed a bit and went to the back, always remembering he had to keep quiet. He walked back to Ara [b "I did it"] he whispered, feeling proud.
Luke shot a few rounds and he missed the target a few times and looked a bit sad when his turn ended. The attendant . Clyde got one shot in and he cheered, but was also scolded by the attendant. Some of the other kids were getting hit and beaten for missing. A few others were also escorted out. When Ara and him were both sitting an waiting, he'd hold her hand. [b "I want to play with you, but these guys are so mean"] he folded his arms over his chest and would pout a bit.
[b "Do you visit the girls too Ara?"] he wondered, looking over at their side. There were a few girls that were really good with the gun. One of them especially had blonde hair.
[b “Chefs have magic. Because, because they make really good food. So it would be fun. But I don’t know. I don’t think that much pudding is good for you.”] She warned. Talking about their moms made her sad. She missed her so much. She’d feel him pat her head, while she rubbed her eyes. She nodded, [b “We do.”] She sniffled and tried to settle down.
Ara smiled brightly when he said he liked it. [b “Me too!” ] She beamed. She looked at all the different animals, and listening to his favorites. She was having fun talking abuto animals. [b “I don’t like it too. I want to have fun with you al day.” ] She decided.
She was mortified seeing what Sylus daddy did. It looked horrible. The fear crawled down her skin. She whimpered, looking at the scar. [b “But my daddy is mad at me too. You have such a mean daddy.” ] She started to cry a little. She never knew daddys could do that. She felt so scared. [b “But it’s still there.” ] Ara said. She made a promise to herself that she’d never cry in front of daddy, she didn’t want a boo boo like that.
She got distracted by the idea of having a funny. [b “That would be fun. We should get a puppy, kitty and a bunny.” ]Ara decided. When she had the guts to ask a grown up. She patched up his boo boos for him. He looked much better. She got sad about him drinking. She got a hug and she would hold onto him tightly too. [b “You promise?” ] Ara’s eyes were puffy. She didn’t want him to leave her like her mom did.
Sylus gave her a picture and it made her so happy. She never got one before. She loved it. [b “I love it!” ] She squealed, [b “Thank you for your gift.” ] Ara said. She would put it in her backpack and tried to think about where she would put it in her room.
The attendant came. She gave him a hug and was so happy when he made the pinky promise with her.
Next two days she was kept at home and was told to study. She felt really lonely. She stopped bothering her dad all together and Allister still didn’t want to play with her. She got herself ready, dressed and her chef made her food. Every one of the workers, and teachers looked at her with pity but did nothing. The next two days, she was allowed to go to the facility, and her dad even let her go to the classes with the girls…or well sort of forced. She didn’t mind, she made a lot of friends but they all had boo boos like Sylus. She didn’t have enough candy, and bandages for them. She couldn’t even see Sylus, which made her cry. But the instructor got really mad at her when she looked like she’d cry. One girl with blonde hair told her not to cry because she will get in trouble. She wasn’t as fast as them, and they even had karate and she definitely was behind, but the instructor took extra care in helping her.
It was after lunch, and they were brought to the courtyard. Ara saw the boys. Ara’s eyes lit up. The second she saw Sylus, she grinned and ran over to him. She was in a t-shirt and short, with her brown hair in a high ponytail. [b “Sylus.” ] She squealed. The other boys looked at her. She was just focused on Sylus because she was friends with him. They were all told to sit down as they needed to explain. Ara took Sylus hand, half ignorning. She then saw bandages on him, he was still hurt…
One of the instructors was about to pull her back, but another instructor whispered to him that she was that man’s daughter and to leave her alone. She sat down with Sylus, with the other guys. One of the instructors start explaining about gun safety first. That they would be learning how to use the guns, the parts, then be using airsoft guns and then learning how to assemble a gun. Ara didn’t really get it.
They were each given an airsoft gun and were put into groups that would go in turns. Ara told the instructor “I want to be in Sylus group.” She was very upfront.
“Fine.” He said.
Ara grinned and held Sylus hand. The put two other boys in there group. They were going third, so they just had to wait for now.
[b “Sylus, sylus, I missed you. I brought candy, toys and stuff but daddy wouldn’t let me come.” ] She explained to him. Then she saw the other two boys. Ara suddenly felt shy and lightly smiled [b “Hi. I’m Aralyn. Nice to meet you.” ] She then saw that they had boo boos on their arms too. She frowned…everyone did, but her. Why?
He wondered what it was like to have a chef. [b "Being a chef sounds like fun. I want to be a chef and make food"] he liked the idea. [b "Then I can make pudding like this and make it big so I can keep eating it"] he smiled and would talk about his mom cooking food too. Remembering his mom made him just as sad, but he knew Ara lost her mom. He would see her rubbing her eyes and he'd pat her head more, [b "Don't cry Ara. We'll be okay. We have each other to play with"] he smiled, feeling glad she came to see him at least.
[b "I really like it when you visit me"] he admitted and would look at the book, showing her different animals and talking about his favorites and her favorites. [b "I want to stay with you too. It's fun when you're here. I don't like it when you're gone"] he pouted, hearing her talking about her dad. HIs own dad hurt him too, so he showed her his scar.
[b "My daddy did. I don't think your daddy will. My daddy was mad at me. HE left me and mommy a while ago"] he rubbed his eyes, remembering how painful that was. Sylus was about to cry, but he held it in, not wanting to scare Ara. [b "It got better. IT healed up"] he told her, soon talking about being a mermaid. He thought Ara would look great as a mermaid.
[b "I want a little bunny too. I'd take good care of him. I'd pet him all the time and let him sleep beside me"] he imagined. Ara soon patched up his arm and he felt so much better. He gave her a hug [b "I won't go. I'm not going to leave my friend"] he went to give her a picture he drew and then he nodded [b "Yup. That's us playing"] he grinned, feeling so proud as he watched Ara take it with her.
THe attendant soon came in and would hold her hand, making SYlus look so sad. He didn't want her to leave. He waved a little and would hug her once more [b "Okay"] he saw her hold out her pinky and he'd lean in and do the same. HE saw the door close and Sylus felt down again. He didn't like this place. NOt when Ara wasn't here.
The next few days, Sylus didn't see Ara at all. He went through his academic classes, more trainings, and more drug dosage. IT was painful and he would cry the first few times, but the attendants would discipline him in order for him not to feel any pain or to just ignore it. At the end of the week, Sylus felt worn out. He just finished a sparring class with the other boys and got beat up pretty badly. He had a bruise on his cheek, his fists had a few cutes, but they wouldn't heal them.
He went to his room and he'd take the left over bandages ARa gave him and put it on. Sometimes when he came back to his room, his belongings were missing. The candy ARa gave him was gone, and so were the markers and paper. SYlus started to hide his things in a secret place beneath his bed. He figured someone was coming and taking them.
Once he patched himself up, he headed into the courtyard where they were getting ready to go to the shooting range. He heard the girls were joining them. They all headed to the range and half was reserved for the boys and he saw a group of girls there as well. Sylus has never seen the girls side before, so he looked around, wondering if ARa was among them.
[b “For my family.” ] Ara said and wondered if he did not have one before. [b “Oh! My mommy cooked too sometimes…she…let me help her too.” ] She said, remembering stirring the cake batter for her and her kissing her cheek, saying she was a very good baker. Ara frowned, feeling her eyes warm. She wanted her back. She rubbed her eyes and enjoyed the pudding with Sylus.
His question confused her a little. [b “I don’t know. When daddy’s busy I try to be quiet and come here. I only see you.” ] She hadn’t adventured to see others but she knew there were more. She figured she should talk to them too but right now, she just wanted to talk to Sylus.
She thought about hide and seek. [b “Maybe because…because she got sad that she’s not good at playing.” ] Ara mentioned. She told him about her daddy and yesterday. She pouted a little, [b “I think he misses mommy too.” ] She sniffled, thinking about what Allister said and wondered if daddy thought it was her fault too. She felt Sylus pat her head and she rubbed her eyes again. It was good to at least be with a friend right now.
[b “I want to stay with you. You give me hugs, read my stories and play with me.” ] She said. Those were really important to her. She saw him lift his shirt and she gasped. She saw his scar and suddenly felt afraid. [b “Daddies…can do that?” ] She asked. [b “Will my daddy do that?” ] She definitely wouldn’t cry anymore. That looked like it hurt. [b “That’s a really big boo boo.” ] She had to force herselpf not to cry but her eyes stayed warm.
When they started talking about animals and mermaids she was feeling better, but Sylus mentioned his mom and she kept realizing how much she missed her mom again. She’d have a few tears, that would start and then stop, depending on if she was distracted or not. It was nice to hear Sylus thought she was pretty. [b “I am pretty…I can be. I want to be a mermaid. Like…like the little mermaid.” ] She said.
Ara gasped [b “ I hope not!” ] She said and finally saw the puppies and then bunnies. [b “I want one…” ] She mumbled. She thought the pets were so cute. She was too afraid to ask for one though.
Ara took out bandages for him and placed it on his bruises and pokes. She peeked up at him, [b “Red…stuff?” ] And then she recalled it being blood. There was so much of it that night… [b “I don’t want you to shrink. I want you to stay with me. Don’t go, okay?” ] She said. She saw him come out with a picture and it was so pretty. Ara gasped, [b “That’s me and you!” ] She beamed. [b “I love this picture. I never got a picture from a boy before, or a kid.” ] She said. She grinned, looking at the picture. She would fit it carefully into her backpack to bring it home with her.
Ara heard a knock and she covered her mouth when the attendant asked for her. She didn’t want to go. She looked at Sylus and saw that he looked startled. Would he get in trouble? Ara pouted and thought how daddy might get mad too and that might get Sylus in trouble. [ “I’m coming.” ] Ara said. She would hug Sylus tightly, [b “Bye Sylus. I’ll come back. I pinky promise.” ] Ara stuck out her pinky to promise him.
Then she’d try to reach the door. She couldn’t reach again. The attendant opened the door for her and took her hand to bring her back.
He was surprised to hear that she brought something from her kitchen. It still amazed him that she came to visit. [b "You have a cook? Like just for you?"] he looked surprised. [b "My mom used to cook for me too. Her food was always good"] he stared blankly at the pudding and looked a bit confused. When he took a bite, he ended up smiling brightly at how sweet it was. It was definitely yummy. [b "How come you can come to my room Ara and not get in trouble? I see a lot of other boys getting in trouble, but no girls"] he wondered.
He shared in the pudding with her and wanted to play some hide and seek. [b "Maybe. You're right. I was too good, but she always got mad when I called for her and gave her hints"] he told her, feeling sad when she said she cried. [b "Your daddy shouldn't make you cry"] he patted her head again, not wanting to see his friend cry. Ara was so sweet and nice. She was his first friend and he wanted to keep her safe. [b "You should stay with me so he won't get mad at you"] he frowned and then he lifted up his shirt. [b "My daddy hurt me before. I got scared"] he showed her the scar on his side.
He would then grab the book and he'd read with Ara, showing her the animal pictures and then pick out his favorites [b "Oooh mermaids? My mommy read me a book about them one time. They are really pretty. I think you can become a mermaid too Ara. You're pretty"] he told her, feeling glad she thought dolphins were cute too.
They talked about animals and he would think about her questions. [b "I don't know. They're really big! I wonder if they accidentally stomp on trees or people!"] he gasped and then he flipped through more pages of the book. [b "Look Ara!"] he pointed to the puppies and the domestic animals. HE saw the bunny and he'd smile [b "It's so fluffy!"] he wnated to touch it.
Once they finished looking through the book, he saw her pull out bandages. [b "Woah"] he saw her putting them on his bruises and the pokes. [b "Now the red stuff is going to stay inside and I won't shrink!"] he told her, hugging his arms around her waist and thanking her. He looked at the colorful bandages and he grinned. [b "You always help me Ara. I wish I could help you too. I want to give you something too"] he got up and hurried to his desk. When he pulled out a picture that he drew of him and her coloring on the floor in his room. He gave it to her. [b "Here, so you can remember that when you stop by, it makes me happy!"] he smiled and would hoped she liked it.
Sylus heard another knock on the door. "Ara! Are you in here again?" the attendant spoke and Sylus would jump a bit.
[b “My kitchen.” ] She answered and didn’t even know what the food place here had. [b “My cook hides it for me so daddy can’t see.” ] She looked at him and it looked like he didn’t know what pudding was. [b “It’s good.” ] Ara told him, to get him to try it. She smiled and nodded once he smiled and enjoyed it. She ate a bit, but not much. She liked seeing that she made Sylus happy.
[b “Or maybe you’re a…uh…a master at hide and sick!” ] She mistakenly said ‘sick’ as ‘seek’. She looked around [b “But, no place to play in your room.” ] There wasn’t much besides a bed and a desk. She realized she needed to bring stuff to help Sylus decorate his room. Ara pouted and sighed, [b “I don’t know. But daddy gets mad when I cry. Really mad. I cried yesterday and he got mad.” ] She beamed the moment he said he’d read her story, [b “Really! You can read big words Sylus?” ] She was amazed. She watched him go grab a book.
Ara got comfy, leaning back into the wall to sit with him on the bed. She would look at the book. He pointed out things for her. [b “I like playing with you.” ] Ara said and then frowned when he asked. [b “I don’t know.” ] At least daddy picked her up, even if he was mad all the time. She liked hearing that he agreed to be friends. She grinned [b “Mine too.” ]
Ara saw him break the sandwich in half. She shook her head, [b “I’m okay. I had a lot of food at home.” ] She watched the dolphin. The water looked pretty. [b “I like pretty colors. I like mermaids too. If I…If saw a mermaid, I would scream and be friends with them.” ] She let him read. She still couldn’t understand some words but she listened. [b “Dolphins are cute.” ] Ara agreed. She saw elephants and giraffes. She saw him raise his arms over his head. [b “Yea! They have a really long neck. Do you think their necks hurt? How do they sleep?” ] Ara wondered. [b “Is there kitties and puppies in the book?” ] She wondered and then gasped [b “It’s a bunny! Bunnies are so cute!” ] She said. She saw Sylus finishing his sandwich and it made her smile.
“Oh!” She gasped, remembering she brought bandages. She went into the pack she dropped on the bed. [b “I got band…bandages for your boo boos.” ] She said. She opened up the pack and placed them whenever she saw bits of bruising. The bandages were purple, blue, pink with stars. [b “There.” ] She put the last one on and smiled. [b “All better!”]
Seeing Ara sure made him smile. She came over and brought some snacks and goodies with her. Where'd she get all of that. [b "How did you get these Ara? I didn't see them anywhere in the food place?"] he held the pudding and looked it over curiously, wondering what it was. It was brown and looked like chocolate. HIs favorite.
He'd see her pull out a few spoons and he'd take one, sitting beside her on his bed as he tried to follow her and open it up. The texture looked a little weird, but the minute he put it into his mouth, he smiled at the sweet taste. [b "Mmm, this is yummy"] he smiled, taking another bite, feeling more hungry than he thought he was. Ara's food was delicious.
He ended up finishing it up pretty quickly. [b "I want to play too. We can play hide and seek? I used to play that with mommy, sometimes she took forever to find me. OR maybe she forgot"] he pouted and then he said he couldn't find her. [b "WHy is your daddy mad? If you want, I can try to read you a story. I know how!"] he said excitedly as he looked around for some kind of book.
He remembered he had a book from class in his desk, so he went to grab it, opening it up. It was a science book and it had a lot of animals and pictures of different countries where they lived. He'd point to a few with her. [b "It's okay. As long as I get to play with ARa, I'm happy"] he admitted and felt sad when she said his mommy and daddy aren't coming. [b "But who's going to pick me up?"] he pouted and then he showed her more pictures. [b "We're friends! You're my first friend Ara"] he told her and would see the sandwich she had.
He took a bite and broke it in half [b "Do you want some?"] he asked, taking another bite and smiling. He loved the taste. IT was so much better than the facility food. [b "Look, see this is a dolphin. He swims in da ocean. It has water and fishies and pretty colors"] he showed her, trying to read her a story.
[b "The dolphin is my favorite. He swims fast and waves to people"] he showed her more animals like the elephants and the giraffes. [b "Dis one is big and tall!"] he'd raise his arms over his head and show her how big. Talking about each one and then making the noises they made. He let ARa look at the book to pick out a favorite animal as he munched on the rest of his sandwich.
[b “Hi!” ] Ara cheered, dumping stuff on his bed. She began pointing at the items, [b “Sandwiches, pudding, apple juice, and toy car.” ] She watched him hold the pudding and smiled. It was chocolate. Ara would take out the spoons in her backpack too and gave him one. She sat down with him, kicking her legs back and forth. She would look at him curiously and it didn’t look like had more boo boos today. She pouted, “Icky food? That’s not good. I hope you like this food.” She said and laughed, [b “Me too! Oh wait…not united states. Not today. I did run.” ]
She felt him pat her head. She blushed a little again. [b “I want to play.” ] Ara said shyly. She hoped he would want to. She frowned hearing him. [b “I couldn’t find your mom either. My dad is here. He is mad at me. I don’t know why. He does…he doesn’t give me hugs or read me stories.” ] She felt really sad about that. [b “He used to do that.” ] She frowned, feeling a bit down remembering that.
[b “Only mean peoples…that’s not good. I tried to tell daddy but he doesn’t hear me.”] She said and was wondering where the other boys were. [b “There’s more? I don’t think…your daddy’s and mommy’s are coming. Just like my mom.” ] She felt her stomach sinking. She felt so sad, all the time. She saw Sylus offering her pudding. [b “Okay.” ] She scooted closer and took another spoon and ate some. It tasted good and it made her feel okay again. Sylus was really nice. She really liked him. [b “We’re friends, okay?” ] Ara said. She really liked the pudding but she wanted to give more to Sylus. So she would stop. [b “Try the sandwich too! And then maybe, maybe, we could color again. Or, or, we can say what we like and don’t like.” ] Ara popped in suggestions. She really was so happy to have a friend to talk to, and he was really cute too.
It was sad to see Ara go. The attendant took her away, but he was worried they would take her and poke her. HE ran up to the door, but it shut and he'd try to open it, but it was locked. The thick metal door was too hard for him to open. He ended up just drawing again, hoping Ara was safe and that she'd come back.
The rest of the day went by quickly. They had obstacle course drills where some kids couldn't make it. They'd pass out or even get too exhausted from the effects of the drugs. MOre attendants took them elsewhere and Sylus never saw them again. He'd sit at the cafeteria table, trying to swallow the food, but it had no taste and it was just one texture. He missed eating food his mom used to make or sleeping in his warm bed and having her read him a story. Sure she wasn't doing that much lately, but he remembered it.
The afternoon was classes, math, science, history, english....it wasn't until six that Sylus was back in his room, just huddled up in bed. HE was tired, but at the same time, the constant worry of having to back to the doctor's room scared him. He heard the door and jumped a bit. HE heard Ara's voice and would run over to try and open it. Luckily it swung open and when he saw her, he smiled [b "Hi Ara!"] he saw her put more things on his bed and he would walk over, taking a peek. [b "What is that?"] he held up a pudding, not sure of what it was. He hadn't eaten a single food from the outside in months. He met her blue eyes [b "I'm okay. I ate more icky food today....I ran a lot and learned about the United States"] he told her, seeing her drop off more stuff. [b "Are we going to play today?"] he asked, patting her head because he felt so happy she came.
[b "I couldn't find my mom....or your mom or dad. I tried looking. There's only the mean peoples and other boys like me....we're all looking for out mommy's and daddy's"] he told her, giving her a pudding. [b "Let's share?"]
She cried because she missed her mom and Sylus had boo boos. Ara felt a kiss on her cheek and blushed a bit. It calmed her tears down. [b But I’m sad. I miss my mom and you’re hurt.” ] She sniffled a bit and looked at him when he said he’d protect her, “Okay.” She coloured with him and felt much better. She lifted her head, surprised to hear Sylus mom couldn’t buy it. [b “Maybe she don’t like coloring.” ] It was the only explanation she had because she had no real concept of money.
Ara nodded, [b It’s you. And this is me.” ] She pointed. She saw him smile and it made her happy seeing him smile. [b “I’m happy. We’re friends now.” ] She decided. She liked Sylus drawing. She was so happy to be drawing with someone again, and Sylus was enjoying it. She listened to explain and giggled, [b “It made me happy too.” ]
Then she heard the door. She didn’t want to go but was brought out. She got a lecture from her dad about wandering around. When she went home, she tried to tell her dad that some grown ups were being mean and giving boo boos to another boy. She never said Sylus name, because she wasn’t sure if he’d get in trouble. Her dad wasn’t really listening. She had dinner, and it was really silent.
“Bed time,” He told her.
Ara smiled and put her hands up, [b “Can you read me a bed time story like before?” ] She asked.
“No, get to bed and sleep.” He said, getting up and putting the dishes away, not really looking at her. Ara pouted and would get off the chair. She was really small even for a six year old. She looked at Allister, [b “Ally, can you read me a story?” ] She tugged on his arm.
“Leave me alone Ara.” He said, getting up and going upstairs himself. “It’s because if you mom is gone.”
Ara gasped and yelled, [b “You’re mean!” ] She tried to stop herself from crying. Daddy didn’t say anything to Ally either. She cried in spot, which made her dad give her a nasty look and warned her not to cry or else she’ll be staying in her room all day tomorrow. She grew quiet, but still had tears in her eyes. She climbed up the stairs and knew she had to get ready for her bed herself. She brushed her teeth, washed her face and got herself dressed. She cried very quietly until she fell asleep.
In the day, her tutor came in, and they started doing math, and then it was French. She had lunch, had English and then gymnastics. It wasn’t until it reached the afternoon where her dad had no choice but to bring her to work because no one would take care of her and he didn’t trust to hire anyone to take care of her. Naturally, Ara packed her bag with other stuff. This time it was sandwiches and chocolate pudding the chef made. She even brought bandages too, juice boxes, and a toy car she took from her brother. She got in the car with her dad and arrived shortly. It was five.
The boys would have a break until six where they would have dinner. Once her dad was distracted again, she tried to sneak out. The attendant caught her, lifted her up and put her back on the chair. She pouted. Once the attendant was also distracted talking to her dad, she snuck out and ran down the halls. She remembered Sylus room number – 17. She tried to reach out for the door knob but couldn’t turn it. She knocked on the door, “Sylus! I’m here.” She got an idea. She put her backpack down and stood on it to reach the door knob. The little boost was what she needed. She opened the door. She grabbed her backpack and walked in, “I got you food.” She said, and dumped the contents of her bag onto his bed and then looked at him “Are you okay?”
He nodded his head and would feel her warm kisses on his arms. It definitely comforted him a lot and he thought it was sweet, so he'd pat her head. Ara was really nice and he felt like he could trust her and be friends. She gave him candy after all.
After he explained what they did to him, he frowned and would see her get teary eyed. [b "I don't know why"] he pouted and would hug his arms around her when she said her mom wasn't coming back. Something must have happened and he could tell she was going to cry. He hugged her and felt like he needed to protect her. HE didn't want anyone getting to ARa. NO one was going to poke her or give her boo boos when he was around.
SYlus rubbed her tears away and would kiss her cheek [b "Don't cry. You don't have any boo boos. I'll protect you from them Ara"] he told her as they laid on the floor and colored. His mom always kissed his cheek and it made him feel better. [b "Never. My mom said she can't buy that stuff for me"] he told her, thinking about how his mom always didn't seem to have that much money. He'd draw the first thing on his mind and would color, having so much fun. He'd look over at her picture and thought it looked really good. Better than his for sure. [b "Is that me?"] he pointed and he'd smile. [b "That lolli made me feel better"] he admitted and showed her his. [b "It's you coming to visit. IT made me happy"] he showed her, holding it up and then hearing the door.
Sylus pulled her beneath the sheets and then he'd hide, hearing Ara tell them to go away. They kept mentioning her dad and Sylus could see her starting to cry. He wrapped his small arms around her again, not wanting her to go out there and get hurt. He mentioned getting Sylus in trouble and he frowned, seeing Ara leave. He waved his little hand and saw the rest of the candy on his bed. He would gather them and put them into the drawer in his desk.
He sat back in his bed and he would color some more. He drew ARa giving him chocolate, then Ara kissing his arm. He put his drawings beside him and would soon pass out from feeling so dizzy. He really wanted to see ARa again.
In the morning, Sylus was woken up and brought out for some training drills. He lined up beside a few other boys that were around his age and they were told to go through an obstacle course. They went one at a time and a few attendants took notes of their progress.
Sylus felt a little sluggish from the drugs. He was able to do the obstacle course and make it to the end, but he was so tired. He wanted to see Ara again, but when he looked around, he noticed that there were no girls around. Did they not have girls here? How did he see her.
During lunch, they all sat at the cafeteria, Sylus sitting at a table with a few other boys as he looked down at the goop on his plate. He'd try taking a bite, a look of disgust showed up and he'd pout, seeing the other kids do the same. "You'd better eat. You don't want to starve!" one attendant said as Sylus tried to shove down the food, having trouble swallowing it.
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