Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: FAMILY (01/21/16)
- TITLE: A New Family?
By Trudy Newell
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The Texas heat slapped Doug in the face as he got out of the car with Miss Linda, his Social Worker. He knew exactly what to expect. This was his eighth foster home. Doug had groaned inwardly when he learned about Tim, the ten-year old boy in the family.
Mr. Jim came home early to be at the four o-clock meeting. Then Doug could meet the whole family at once. After introductions and a few instructions, Linda gave Mr. Jim a file folder and left.
“We want you to feel at home here, Doug.” Mom Stacy opened the door to his room. Doug couldn’t help but be impressed when he spotted the Dallas Cowboy’s cap on the desk. “This is your space. I’ll let you get settled. If you need anything, let me know. We’ll talk more later. Supper is at six.”
After Mom Stacy shut the door, Doug took off his shoes, threw himself on the bed and pounded the pillow in frustration. He picked up a shoe to throw at the wall. Suddenly he stopped. Man, this bed is comfortable. It’s a queen-size, too.
He found a new pair of jeans, the right size, in the dresser. He spied a new Cowboy’s jacket hanging in the closet. Linda must have told them I’m a Cowboy fan. When he saw the dish of bite-size Snickers on the desk, Doug chuckled to himself. Maybe this isn’t going to be so bad. Snickers are my favorite, but what’s with the bite-size pieces? I guess that’s better than no Snickers.
He stuffed his belongings into the dresser, and hung up a couple of shirts in the closet beside the Cowboy’s jacket.
Tap, tap echoed at the door. Doug jerked the door open. There stood Tim.
“What do you want?”
“I hope you like your room. I helped Mom fix it up.”
Silence filled the air.
“Doug, this use to be my foster home. They adopted me, and now I’m a real member of the Everton family. Dad and Mom are great.”
“So, that’s all.”
Tim tried to give Doug a hi-five, but he slammed the door. Just what I need! A kid trying to mess with me.
Doug could hear Mom Stacy’s voice, “Tim, are you bugging Doug? Leave him alone.”
Later Doug followed the aroma of lasagna to the table. They cook real food around here.
Doug frowned. These guys actually sit down at the table together for supper?
He was in shock when Mr. Jim said, “Doug, one thing you may find different around here is that we thank God for the food before we eat. Tim, would you thank the Lord for the food?”
“Thank you Lord for supper, and I’m happy you brought Doug here. I always wanted an older brother. Help him to like me. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Doug shock his head as his thoughts flited back and forth. This is so weird. Why would he pray like that? Why would he want me to like him? Why aren’t they shouting at each other? They actually seem to like each other.
Dessert followed – home-made apple pie with ice cream. Doug’s lean, near six-foot frame found room for it.
“Timothy Paul, would you please rinse the dishes and load the dishwasher.” The tone of voice made it clear that this was not a request, but a statement of reality.
Tim made a face when his mom wasn’t looking, but obeyed. This was new to Doug. No one ever made him do anything. He was blown away that Tim obeyed when it was obvious he didn’t want to do the job. He felt sorry for Tim, and decided to help.
As they loaded the dishwasher Doug spoke, “Timothy Paul is your real name?”
“Know your last name before you were adopted?”
“Don’t remember, but mom knows. I have a picture of me and my birth mother when I was a baby. Want to see it?”
Tim came back into the kitchen. Doug’s face turned white when he saw the photo. On the back was written Lila Mae Barclay with Timothy Paul Barclay.
“You won’t believe this,” said Doug, as he pulled out his wallet. He handed Tim a photo. It was the same lady in the photo wearing the same dress, and she was holding the same baby. A boy about four years old was standing beside her. The name of the boy written on the back was Douglas Alexander Barclay.
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