Blank Slate Chapter Two

Blank Slate

France Gamble

Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing.

Chapter Two

His brain rushed through all of the information he had been gathering from his doctors and nurses for the last week. He would be leaving the hospital today for his new home. The hospital he had been rushed to by a good samaritan who had found him on the side of a highway in a ditch. He had been beat badly and left to die from all the reports that he could gather. His body did have a lot of old scars along it, as well. The doctors said that from what they could tell he had been through a lot of hell in his young life. He had obviously been starved, beat and suffered a lot. Anger rose up inside of him as he thought about it, because he didn’t understand why anyone would want to hurt him.

The white haired nurse who cared for him during the dayshift came in to see him brooding on the bed in his oversized borrowed clothes. They had had to discard the clothing he had come in with. She carefully knelt down in front of him and lifted his chin with her fingers to look into his fiery eyes. His violet eyes met her brown ones with rage boiling inside them. She knew it wasn’t anger at her, “What’s the matter child?”

“Why would someone hurt me? What did I do to them?”he ground out through his clenched teeth.

The older woman sighed and sat next to boy on the bed. She pulled him against her into a hug and said, “We don’t always have explanations for why people are cruel. I am happy to see some emotion coming from you, but holding onto that anger will just make you just as cruel as the people who hurt you. I know it will be difficult right now, but you will need to forgive them to move on. Especially difficult for you since you don’t even remember what happened.”

“I just don’t understand, Nurse Rachel,” Daniel sighed and loosened his body from its tense grip.

“We do not want to understand cruel people, child. Cruelty understood would mean that you justify it. We cannot justify abuse to anyone. Do you understand that?” He nodded against her.

“Do you think anyone was kind to me?” he asked. His eyes shut as he started to feel sorrow overcome him and the anger leave.

“Even if you do not think anyone has, you need to live life now. Remember kindness now,” with this she gave him a big squeeze, “Remembering kindness now will let you escape what hate, anger and cruelty can turn you into.” She let go of him and stood up. Reaching into her pocket she turned to him again and knelt in front of him. “This was on you when they found you.” She held out her hand and put something cold into his palm.

She smiled and said, “Trust in it and trust in what it represents to guide you from now on.”

He looked up her with watery eyes now. “I don’t want to leave here.”

She gave him one last hug and left the room. He stared down at the cross sitting on his right palm. He felt the tears disappear and strength return inside his heart. He can do this. He can survive. It was now time to face many unknowns, but he could do it.

~*~Ma~*~

The house was painted a light blue color on the outside with a nice brown as the trim around the blue painted door and windows. The yard was beautiful with flowers everywhere and what looked like a vegetable garden in the back. There were pathways with stones instead of a concrete walkway everywhere. Daniel felt awkward going on the stone path to the front door behind his social worker. He didn’t have any bags and no other belongings than the oversized clothes he wore and the cross he kept fingering in his jeans pocket. They stood in front of the sky blue door and waited for the lady who would be caring for him. His heart was leaping in his chest and he felt a strong urge to turn and run away. He fought against it and wondered why he had it.

The woman was older but very much active looking. She wore a nice blouse and a long skirt with flowers on it. Her white hair was long, almost as long as his and it was tied up loosely into a high pony tail. She smiled at him and invited them into her front room and to the couch that leaned against the wall on the far side. He sat carefully down and straight backed. He knew he looked a mess, but he tried to make sure not to act like one.

The woman sighed and said, “My name is Christine Snow, you can call me Ms. Snow or Mama Snow, please. I will be caring for you while you are under foster care, at least for the moment. I am used to older kids, but I don’t think that should be a problem. I have a few ground rules to go over with you for your stay here. There will be no tolerance for lying, cheating, stealing or contraband use. Please no swearing either. I request respect and I will give respect as well. We are both people and thus should treat each other as such. You will be responsible for your area, which will need to stay neat and clean at all times, and I expect you to pick up after yourself. Do not leave something lying around unless you want it to end up in the bin for the refuse men, because that is exactly where I will put it. You will also be expected to do one light chore a week, which will rotate every week so that you do not get bored with it.

“I am here to raise you to be productive to society. My rules are for a reason. Any questions?”

He thought about them all and then said, “I don’t think I ever lie. I don’t see a reason to. These are all very reasonable rules. I like them.”

The woman opened up finally with a smile. “I will show you to your room now. I already have a few clothes in there for you that I was able to find, but we will go shopping as soon as we can to get you your own style clothes. I understand a little about you already, but whenever you feel you need to, I will be here to listen to you as well.” They started walking down the hallway toward the bedrooms.

~*~Ma~*~

He lay on the bottom bunk of the wooden bunk beds that were in his room. He didn’t have a roommate, but he was explained to that there was always the possibility that she could have another child come live with them. He was nervous today. He rubbed his fingers on the cross that was hung around his neck. It had become a habit to do when he felt agitated, he realized.

He had been here playing son for the woman for a week. They got along, but his lack of memories made some things very difficult. He had to be taught, as a young child would be, how to do some basic cleaning. She had said it was no problem, but he felt the frustrations deep down.

Now, today, a teacher was coming to give him a test to determine where he placed in school. They wanted to make sure to have his transition seamless into the public education system they lived near. Inside he was trembling. He already was learning so much about what he didn’t know that he feared maybe the schooling was also really gone too. He knew a bit of what the doctor had questioned him, but what if he didn’t know enough to enter the grade level his age was? His foot was swinging now off the side of the bed as his agitation increased.

“Maybe you have ADHD?” a voice asked from the door of his bedroom. He looked over and completely stopped moving. His foster mother stood in the middle of the door. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you. Usually you hear me coming from a mile away.” He nodded, his heart still pounding, as he willed his body to loosen from its frightened response. They had already found out that frightening him wasn’t a good idea and that it took a lot to startle him in the first place. He seemed to know where she was at all times in the house. That one other time that she had snuck up on him, though, he’d run straight for a window and was out in the front yard before he could realize what he was doing. He still felt horrible for breaking the screen the way he did. He couldn’t explain any of it to her, but she didn’t push. “The teacher is here,” she told him. He again nodded, shoved his cross down the front of his shirt, and got up from the bed.

He walked out and into the living room where a male adult was sitting on the couch in front of papers and a tablet laid on the coffee table. Daniel walked into the room and stood waiting to be acknowledged. The man looked up and smiled, “Hello. My name is Mr. Telisch.”

“I’m Daniel Francis,” Daniel answered back. It was nice to be able to give a name to someone. The teacher motioned to the couch next to him and Daniel walked to the right side of the man and sat down on the floral imprint.

“I am going to start your testing today and we will test everyday until I’m done, okay? This can finish today or it can finish by Friday, but we need to see how high you can go. Do not be afraid to push the button that you do not know the answer.” Daniel nodded and the testing began.

~*~Ma~*~

“The thing is Ms. Snow and Mrs. Grahm,” Mr. Telisch sat on the floral imprinted couch once again a week after he first started the testing for Daniel to see where he could be placed in school. “Daniel can probably pass college right now. He is exceptional in all areas and I am not sure what more the school district could teach him. The only problems I see are his levels of inattentiveness can probably get him into trouble. He gets bored easily and has trouble sitting still. I suggest we send him to school, anyway, so that he can make friends and learn how to be who he is truly inside. Since he has no memories he cannot tell us how he has so much knowledge or the fact that really he could probably be teaching the classes he is about to attend, but I think school can only be better for him socially.”

“I wish he could tell us how he got this education… he seems to weird even without memories. His body seems to remember how to do certain things, like he fixed my car the other day when it wouldn’t start, but he cannot remember how to turn on a washing machine,” Christine shook her head, “And he is a danger in the kitchen. I will never have him try and cook again. He is brilliant, but cannot follow a recipe?”

Mr. Telisch laughed a bit, “That could be his inattentiveness.”

Alecia sighed, “We’ll put him in with the seventh graders and we will not tell him what his scores are. We do not want him to know he is ahead right now. I think it would do him good, as well, to be in with kids and learn once again to socialize with children his age.”

They all nodded and started the paperwork to enter him into the school district. Behind them the news continued to rattle away on the television, “Once again we are asking anyone to come forth who might know of a young boy, about 12, who was found on the side of Highway 90 a month ago.”

~*~ Tsuzuku ~*~

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