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The Girl With A Bicycle 29


The girl With A Bicycle - 29 By Wandering Lanes

Codes (no-sex, slow)

We were seated in the courtroom - Sharon and Kylie were still crying
away, I felt numb, victory and defeat in one foul swoop. I'd managed to
get Maria re-established as Becky's caseworker, a person I trusted to act
in Becky's best interest, only to be told that I couldn't see Becky until
the question of her guardianship had been settled.

We were waiting for Hugh to return, and hopefully tell us what had gone
wrong. I thought I'd had everything worked out, I didn't even see this
coming, Sharon turned to me, and buried her head into my shoulder, Kylie
also came to me, "Doe.. does that mean I'll never see Becky again?"

I hesitated over my answer, and then said forcefully. "Oh no, we'll see
Becky again don't you worry." but I was still uncertain as to when.

After a while Hugh, Morgan and the judge reappeared, Morgan approached
us and, after taking a dark look at the judge said. "Mr. Moore I have
been directed to offer you an apology on behalf of my clients. I have been
told that you have offered full information to the local office of the
Social Services in accordance with the Magistrates court orders." He gave
another dark look to the judge. "Furthermore, I have been instructed to
say that my clients will agree that the results of the adjudicator, I wish
you good luck and goodbye." Somehow I didn't think he meant that, but I
accepted it with forced good humour.

Morgan left the room, not storming out - but I think he would have done,
if he dared. Hugh came up with the judge. "Mike this is John Mortimer, QC
and Judge, in fact he used to be my senior at Georges office's, we were
quite lucky he was present on the Bench this morning."

John said hello then looked at Sharon and Kylie. "Waterworks? I'm
sorry but I did all that I could to help." He turned to me, "I know this is
hard for you, I realise you've done so much for the child, Hugh's been able
to pass me the details of your rescue, I know that my judgement may seem
draconian, but if I wasn't seen to be following the law there was a chance
that my ruling could be questioned."

Kylie spoke up, "So you're being selfish, that's not fair!" Sharon tried
to quiet Kylie but John smiled.

"I'm sorry young Kylie," he said, "but I'm afraid life isn't fair, let
me explain. Morgan, a terrible man don't know how he got so far in his
profession, had said that Mr. Moore here had been seeing too much of
Becky," Kylie grinned at this point, but kept quiet, 'he didn't know how
much of Becky Uncle Mike had seen' she thought, John continued "Although I
know much about the case I have to judge on the information given - that
was the reason for meeting Hugh and Morgan in my chambers. I have warned
Morgan that his conduct was not that of a competent solicitor and that I
would be having a word with his chambers regarding his work, as well as a
letter to the Bar Association,"

He turned to Kylie, "That is the people in charge of solicitors and
lawyers in England." He continued, "From the information given I had to
give the ruling," again he turned to Kylie, "Yes I could have waited for
Hugh to provide counter evidence but I've learned since sitting on the
bench that for every argument there is an equally convincing counter,
please think of this as a cooling off period, you can still send letters to
Reb . . I mean Becky, I know Maria, she's been in my courts several times
and strikes me as a fair person, and she'll pass the letters on. As for
the adjudicator, I know him, he is also a fair man, he will listen to all
the witnesses and come up with a fair solution."

Kylie cried out, "Yes, but will it be the right solution, Uncle Mike
wants to look after Becky, she doesn't want to be with strangers for the
rest of her life!"

John sighed. "Kylie, do you believe that justice will always prevail?"
She nodded, "Do you trust me?" She shook her head, he sighed again. "Will
you believe me when I say things will turn out for the best?" She thought
for a moment then slowly nodded. He exhaled a long breath of air, "Thank
you, now all I can suggest you do is to go home and wait, you'll get your
chance to speak for Becky. I have to get in touch with Maria, she'll have
to be prepared and she'll also have to get Becky prepared." With that
cryptic ending John got up and left the courtroom.

Hugh watched him go. "You should have seen the way he tore into Morgan.
Incorrect procedure, trying to affect the normal course of justice, not to
mention missing out the vital fact that Becky was already a ward of court.
I don't know what he thought he was doing? Even the most junior clerk
would have known it would be thrown out. John was patient with him, but
even so I don't think he'll be around these parts much longer." He looked
at Sharon and Kylie. "Believe me John is aware of how you feel, but he is
trying to help, we all want the best for Becky, I have to convince the
adjudicator that Mike here is the best she can look forward to, please take
Johns advice, the adjudicator will be sending out subpoena to those

I asked "Why subpoena the witnesses, why not just invite them?"

Hugh sighed. "Well some of the people are like Morgan, and would only
appear if we twisted their arms, oh by the way once you have given evidence
you're not allowed to repeat anything that occurs in the office. This is
to ensure that there is no collusion between the witnesses, I understand
that Kylie will be questioned but Sharon is allowed to be with her," he
held up a hand to stop the inevitable questions, "don't ask me what to say,
or what you'll be asked, I don't know, all I can say is speak truthfully,
and anything you say will be between yourselves and the adjudicator. The
last thing I must ask you is this; do not tell Becky about this, well not
until later, it's best not to raise her hopes just yet. Remember the
adjudicator has to work within the confines of the Social Services'
doctrine so you will have to consider the fact that your application may
fail. Now I have to go, all I can say is don't worry." And with that he
left us sitting in the courtroom.

Kylie broke the silence, "We might lose Becky! Is that what he meant?"
I nodded, "No! I don't want to lose Becky she's my friend, I don't want a
stranger to tell me I'll never see her again!" And she burst into tears
again crushing her head into my shoulder - I held her and rocked her until
her tears subsided.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - -

We walked out of the empty courtroom, with its drab memories, and
started to return to the paper's offices, we escorted Sharon back to
Isabel's office, she looked up as we entered.

"How did it go?" She asked.

Kylie replied, "Rotten! We're not even allowed to see Becky! It's not
fair!" Isabel looked at us, I nodded, she sat down frowning.

"Tell me," she said, "Did they say anything about talking to her?" she
said pointing to her empty wrist.

Kylie was the first to react, "Oh. I'm stupid." She moved her radio to
her mouth, "Becky, are you there?" we waited a few minutes. "Becky this is
Kylie are you there? Please answer"

We waited again, finally a male voice could be heard, "H. . Hello, can
you hear me?"

Kylie spoke to the voice. "This is Kylie, where is Becky?"

The hesitant voice replied, "I'm Paul McGruder, I'm the foster parent
taking care of Rebecca Smith. I don't think it's a good idea for you to be
talking to Rebecca at this moment, she's upstairs crying and I think she'd
rather be left alone at the moment."

Kylie was almost in tears at this, "But Mr. McGruder, I'm Becky's
friend she needs to talk to me that's why she's crying, can't you let me
talk to her."

Paul sounded as if he understood Kylie's plea. "I'm sorry Kylie, I've
been told not to let anyone bother Rebecca, she has to recover on her own,
I'm going to switch off now, goodbye."

Kylie made one last attempt, "Mr. McGruder, even if you don't want me
to talk to Becky just do this. Her name is Rebecca but she prefers to be
called Becky, she has suffered bad treatment as Rebecca and that name
always reminds her of it, please call her Becky."

A final response was heard, "Thank you Kylie, you are right in that,
I'll let Becky know that you called after her. Goodbye." And the voice was

Kylie was back into full flood, I held her until they subsided again, I
spoke to her, "He sounds like a good man placed in an awkward position,
don't think too harshly about him."

She looked up at me, "But he was being mean, he could have let me talk
to Becky, he didn't have to say no!"

I shook my head, "Yes he did, you heard him say he'd been told not to
let anyone see Becky, I think that's what the people behind Morgan told
him, with any luck once Maria gets on the case she may give different

Kylie shook her head, "No she won't you heard John, we can't see Becky
until after they've decided who's looking after her."

Isabel stepped in. "Who is John? Why isn't Maria on the case now? And
why are you not doing anything about adopting Becky?"

I was still holding Kylie, I sat down in a chair and pulled her onto my
lap as I gathered my thoughts. "John is the High Court judge who was in
charge of the case that the Social Service brought to gain custody of
Becky, even though the Magistrates had already assigned her a ward of
court, he managed to get the case thrown out, but not before stopping me
from seeing Becky - something to do with my exerting pressure on the poor
girl. Maria is now Becky's caseworker - something that John was able to
direct the Social Services to do, beforehand their head office was dealing
with Becky, but they didn't have a single person assigned, which I think
annoyed John, and I'm doing all I can legally to adopt Becky, but at the
moment its in the hands of the adjudicator -whoever he is going to be."

Isabel nodded, following the answer as I gave it. "So basically you're
stuck, you can't do anything to contact Becky as it would be contempt of
court, this McGruder person won't let Kylie talk to Becky - as he's been
told not to allow contact with Becky." I nodded at her summation, she
continued, "Well, we could - by we I mean the paper could - run a special
on the way Social Services are failing to do their job."

I stood up, almost dumping poor Kylie onto the floor. "No Isabel, it's
not the local office's fault - they had people from head office down when
Becky was kidnapped by Darren, they were over-reacting to the situation, if
you start complaining about Social Services then it would be Maria and
Nancy getting the flax, not the people who deserved it, if you did anything
like that it could jeopardise all the children under their care, and I
couldn't live with that!"

She smiled when I said that, as if I'd passed some sort of test?
"Alright Mike, calm down, I was only thinking out loud, but I guess you're

A quiet voice from beside us, Sharon's, said. "Yes, he normally is, but
at other times he can be blinkered as to what's right in front of his
nose." I wasn't sure what Sharon meant by that, the mental image of my
wearing blinkers showed me that the only things I could see would be in
front of me.

Sharon disturbed my mental musings. "Well if there's nothing more I can
do, is it okay if Sharon gets back to work, oh by the way Kylie, we got
some good pictures from the Brownies meeting on Sunday, we're going to
include them in the special that's coming out soon." Kylie went red again,
I hadn't noticed any photographers, but then I must admit I wasn't looking
- there goes the blinkers again!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - -

Kylie and I arrived at my house, neither of us was hungry, so I just
made a drink for us both and we went into the living room, I noticed that
the answer phone was flashing, I pressed the play button.

"Hello Mike, this is Maria - I'm back on Becky's case and I think I have
you to thank for that. I've heard of the ruling about you're not seeing
Becky I think that sucks, if you need to send her a letter just pass it to
me, I'll make sure she gets it. If you need to talk to me come round any
time, please don't worry about Becky I'll see she's okay, bye." At least
good news travels fast, I was about to turn the machine off when another
voice played.

"Err. Drat it's that blasted machine again! Err. Mike its DS Nichols,
look, err, sorry about the other night, got caught up with something, I'll
come round tonight if that's okay, if not give me a call, alright, err,
bye." I waited to see if any more messages had arrive, I had forgotten that
Nichols was going to come round that night, I hadn't even though about him.

I sat down in an armchair, Kylie sat on the settee, pulling her legs up
underneath her, she sipped her drink then looked at me. "Are you worried
Uncle Mike." I looked at her puzzled, she expanded her question, "about
Becky, are you worried about her?"

I nodded. "Yes Kylie, not for Becky in herself, I feel that she is safe
with the McGruder's but I am worried that she might try something daft that
could jeopardise everything, I mean I'd like to come out and tell her that
I'm adopting her. . . But then I think what if I'm told no? Could she
cope with a rejection like that?" I thought to myself 'Could I?', I carried
on "I mean, she would think that I didn't care about her, that I was just
using her. Yes Kylie I am worried."

She got up from the settee and sat on my lap, throwing her arms around
me. "You know what Uncle Mike?" I shook my head. "I'm scared too, but as
you say everything will turn out for the best." She said that with such
conviction, Oh the naiveté of youth.

We stayed like that, for some time, actually Kylie fell asleep and a
short time later so did I, the events of the day must have overwhelmed us!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - -

A crackling from our radios woke us up and Becky's whispering voice
could be heard, "Kylie, Uncle Mike, Aunt Sharon are you there?"

Kylie was the first to react. "Becky!" she said, "we were worried about
you. Are you okay."

Becky voice replied. "Yes Ky, I'm fine, just bored, the people here
have been told to let me rest, but there's nothing to do, I don't want to
rest I want to do something. Can't you come round and play?"

I answered Becky's question, "I'm sorry Becky, but the court's told us
that we have to keep away for a little while, look I know its hard but
don't get too down hearted, it's only going to be for a short time, in the
meantime get to know those people, I mean they didn't have to have you, did

I heard the sigh from the radio. "I suppose so, but I miss you, Paul
did say that he spoke to you but he couldn't let me talk, that's why I
snuck down here to talk." A woman's voice could be heard in the background,
"Oh bother! Joan's coming down."

"Becky? Why are down here." It was a kindly voice and she must have
noticed the radio because she continued with. "Ah! I'm sorry Becky but
you were told that you couldn't have that for a while, now say goodbye and
hand it to me please."

Becky's plaintive voice came to us. "What should I do Mr. Mike."

I had no choice but to say. "Becky, you'll have to do as they say, they
are looking after you for the time being, now say goodbye, and we will be
seeing you soon. Okay?"

There was a dishearten sob, and Becky said. "Okay Mr. Mike I suppose
so. Goodbye Kylie, Mr. Mike."

We both said goodbye to her and the contact was lost, Kylie looked at
me, "Oh Uncle Mike it's not fair, its not fair at all!" I had to agree with

Kylie's stomach started to growl reminding us that we'd missed lunch, I
carried her into the kitchen and we started to make sandwiches to tide us
over until dinner.

While we were munching away Kylie said, "She didn't sound too bad, did

I pondered the question then asked. "Who Becky?"

Kylie shook her head. "No that woman, what was her name? Jane? Joan?
Yes Joan!"

I played back the sequence in my head then said. "No she seemed
alright, she didn't shout and moan at Becky because she had the radio, she
asked her politely for it, Becky may find them boring but I think she's
safe with them."

She agreed, and then sighed, "I do hope Becky doesn't do anything
stupid!" I had to agree, who knows what might happen?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - -

When Sharon arrived home we had dinner waiting for her, but like us she
didn't eat much, we did the washing up and were seated in the living room
trying to watch the television when the doorbell rang, Kylie ran to answer

She returned with DS Nichols in tow, he said hello to us and Kylie
ushered him to a seat, which he sat down on. He looked at us all and
beamed a smile at us. "You've made a whole lot of people happy these past
few days." He started to lean back in the chair and then continued. "That
envelope you gave to P.C. Hollis held three main things, one was over a
thousand pounds in £20's all of them as bent as a 3 shilling note - the
other was a quantity of heroin, the last was - of all the stupid things - a
return address, it seems that Darren was trying to branch out and this was
a free sample. I sometimes wish all criminals were so daft.

Anyway, this meant that I had two squads fighting over the rights to
this evidence, the fraud and the drugs office - then I told them how we
received it." He looked at me, "Technically it wasn't yours to hand over
and we could have lost the evidence due to improper procedure, but then we
decided that it could be presented as found by a member of the public and
handed in." He smiled at that, "Which is true, of course, the fact you
found it inside the house needn't be mentioned. Anyway I did mean to come
round here that night, but they decided to raid the place that night and
invited me along for the ride.

Normally they wait for some time watching the target, the house or flat,
but this guy was so stupid that they had to raid for the safety of the
public. I won't tell you exactly what he was doing since we're in mixed
company." He looked hard at Kylie, who just stared back, and then he
continued. "Suffice it to say that we found the villain in what could be
called a compromising position with three women and an abundance of

Kylie's eyes were wide, "You mean they were doing it?"

He actually blushed as he answered her. "Err. Yes, well they stopped
as soon as we arrived of course, a crowd of coppers have that affect on
people." He realised who he was talking to and tried to change the subject.
"We managed to arrest the idiot, he had the cocaine strewn around like
talcum powder, after we went in and arrested him, we had to leave and a
decontamination team had to go in, they were wearing full costumes and
breathing apparatus, they looked a sight I can tell you. We were there all
night long. But luckily for us he kept immaculate records, we're still
making arrests all over the country."

He smiled as he recounted this then frowned as he added. "We also found
young DC Jones was a 'customer' of this idiot, just when we thought we
sorted everything out another bug scuttles from under the rocks, I'm sorry
to say that things look bad for him - I think he now regrets the day he met
Darren Smith." He got up. "But I must say that I'm please that you met
Darren, ever since then my job has been more interesting!"

I couldn't help myself. "Remember the old chinese curse. 'May you live
in interesting times.' You may get more than you can cope with."

He laughed. "Well if they all turn out like this I think I'd be happy,"
then his face grew sombre, "I heard about Becky, I'd like you to know that
I've applied to the courts to give my testimony, I really don't think you
have anything to worry about, anyone can see how much you cared for that
poor girl." I thanked him and we all escorted him to the front door.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - -

Sharon and Kylie surprised me when they announced that they were going
home, I thought it might be better if we stayed together after such an
eventful day, but Sharon said that Kylie would want to stay with her all
night, and although she wanted Kylie to learn about 'relationships' she
didn't think that today would be appropriate.

They went home after helping with the washing up, I moved a few pieces
of paper around in a half-hearted attempt to clean up the place.

Later that night, after a nightcap of coffee, yes I know about caffeine,
but I didn't care, I finally went to bed, spending a fitful night sleeping.
Again I had that dream of Becky vanishing from my grasp, and that dammed
voice saying I did the right thing. I woke up in a sweat. I know why I
was having that dream now, but it didn't mean that it would come true! Did

I managed to go back to sleep, this time the dreams failed to appear -
perhaps they thought they had done their job?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - -

I was awoken by a noise - I was in a half conscious state that muzzy
area between almost awake and 'where did that traffic cone come from?'
feeling, I reached over to warn Sharon, when I realised that she hadn't
stayed over last night.

I started to think when I heard the noise again, coming from downstairs
it sounded like the kitchen, I got out of bed pulled on a pair of trousers,
grabbed the bedside lamp - after unplugging it first - and started

The first thing I noticed was the smell of frying bacon - what crook
would stop to make breakfast - I looked at my watch half-past Seven. I put
the lamp down and went into the kitchen. I started to say "Hello Kyli. . .
" to see Becky struggling with the frying pan.

She saw me in the doorway. "Oh Mr. Mike you scared me!" I scared her!
What had she done to me!

I smiled at her. "Good morning Becky, what are you doing here?"

She smiled back. "Making breakfast for you, I wanted it to be a

"Well it certainly was," I replied then added, "but what I meant was why
are you here now? Shouldn't you be at the McGruder's?"

She made a dismissive gesture. "Oh them. I couldn't stay there, it's
boring I'd much rather stay here with you." She pointed to a seat. "If
you'll sit down I'll serve you breakfast."

I sat, just to relieve my legs of the strain of standing and worrying; I
put my head in my hands and just shook it.

Becky came over to me concerned. "Mr. Mike, what's wrong."

I looked at her "Oh Becky, I'm sorry, I know you're having troubles but
it is wrong for you to be here. You have to go back to the McGruder's
before they find out you're missing."

She shook her head. "Oh no. I'm not going back there."

I asked. "Why? What's wrong with them? Aren't they good people? Do
they beat you when you're naughty?"

Again she shook her head. "There's nothing wrong with them as such, I
mean no they don't beat me. I suppose they're good. But they're not you
or Aunt Sharon. I can't hug them as I can with you. I don't like them."

I thought for a moment. "Have you spoken to them about how you feel."
She shook her head. "Well have you spoken to Maria, I would have thought
she'd listen."

Becky started to cry. "I didn't want to hurt her feelings, she likes
them, always saying how well they're looking after me. But they won't let
me have my radio back - I want to talk to Kylie and I'm not allowed to.
They keep making up these rules just to stop me. IT'S NOT FAIR"

I reached out and held onto her. "Oh Becky, Becky I know it isn't fair,
but sometimes we have to take the rough with the smooth. You know I can't
let you stay with me. That's why Maria's taking such an interest. We're
trying to sort something out."

She pulled away from me. "You're going to send me back aren't you?" I
nodded. "Can't you let me stay, I wouldn't be any bother honest!"

I shook my head. "I'm sorry Becky, you've no idea how hard it is for me
to do this, but you have to return to the McGruder's." She shook her head,
I hugged her but she squirmed out of my grasp. "But Becky believe me it
will be for the best." I couldn't tell her about the adoption, John and
Hugh had been adamant about that and it might jeopardise my chances with
the adoption.

She shook her head. "No. I know what it is, you're tired of me, you've
had your fun, you don't care for me. I'm an embarrassment to you aren't

I grabbed hold of her. "No Becky, you're never an embarrassment to me,
I love you as you are, but I have to obey the law, we all do. I'm sorry."

She was in tears again. "But it a stupid law, they're wrong I want to
say here. Please Mr. Mike let me stay here, I'll do anything you want,
even everything Darren did to me I'll let you do them as well, just let me
stay here."

That last made me angry. I grabbed hold of her; this time I did scare
her (and me!). "BECKY don't you ever say such a thing again. Never! You
know how bad that got, and here you are offering to do it all again, I
would never put you into such a position. Now trust me. Please trust me."
I got up and sat her in my seat, I then went into the living room and
picked up the phone, I dialled a number.

Maria answered the phone on the second ring. "Nancy if that's you . .

I answered "Maria it's Mike Moore, I have a problem . . . " and I
explained the situation, I even included Becky's offer and my reaction to
it, there was silence at the other end.

Then Maria said. "Gods, I never even saw that happening! How did she
get into your house anyway?" I explained that I had given the girls a front
door key some weeks ago and that Becky must have used hers. "Okay Mike,
I'll contact the McGruder's and let them know she's safe, I'll be round

I heard footsteps running upstairs and then the bathroom door shutting
and being locked. I didn't follow her, thinking it was best to leave her
to her own devices.

Half an hour passed and Maria arrived, I invited her in and shouted up
the stairs to Becky. "Becky, Maria's here, will you come down?"

The mutinous reply of "NO!" echoed though out the house, Maria looked at
me and raised her eyebrows.

I shrugged my shoulders. "I don't think she wants to go." Was my lame
response to the unasked question. I tried again. "Becky you know you
can't stay here, why don't you talk it over with Maria, and see what she
says about it?"

There was a silence from upstairs; Maria started to walk up the stairs
to talk to Becky.

I sat in the living room waiting for a result, after a few minutes Maria
came back down and sat with me. "She is adamant about staying isn't she?"
I nodded, not trusting myself to speak. "And you want her to stay don't

This time I answered, my voice cracking. "Yes, without her here the
house is empty, Kylie is morose, she rarely laughs anymore. I don't know
what I'm going to do if she is taken away forever."

Maria looked at me closely. "So why didn't you take up her offer, to
use her as Darren did? You could have pretended she wasn't here, people
would never know, and she'd keep you company."

SHE THINK I WAS? - I opened my mouth to shout at her when she held up her
hand to stop me, then she held both of my hands, "No. It's okay. I had to
ask, but your eyes told me the truth before you spoke, I'm sorry I angered
you. Do you want to answer the question calmly?"

I breathed deeply, relaxing, and then I spoke. "How could I? She
trusted me! If I did that I would have been worse than Darren ever was,
and I couldn't live with myself! I would want her to stay here, but that
would be breaking my word and the law! I wish I could tell her how much I
have begun to love her." I was crying now. "Her mother asked me to look
after Becky, and the first thing I do is to give her away - some guardian I
became! Oh Becky . . ." I couldn't continue my tears overwhelmed me.

Maria was at my side holding me. Trying to comfort me, I pulled myself
together. "I'm sorry Maria, I don't know what came over me."

She smiled, "Don't worry about it Mike, to be honest I would be more
concerned if you hadn't shown any emotion. It a myth that men don't cry,
they just don't do it in public that's all. Now what do we do about Becky?
She didn't unlock the door, and doesn't really want to talk to anyone."

I wiped the remaining tears away and got up. "The thing about the locks
on the bathroom door is that they can be opened from the outside, all you
need is a screwdriver." Maria looked at me slightly puzzled, I smiled (I
could still do that!), and said, "I changed the original locks to a newer
style, I think I got scare of being stuck on the loo one day and no-one
able to get to me!" this made her laugh.

I went into the kitchen and found a screwdriver, carried it upstairs, I
knocked on the door, Becky's voice answered. "Go away!" I put the driver
bit into the slot of the lock and turned it, I opened the door at the same
time. Becky was sitting on the toilet, crying away she screamed as I
entered the room with Maria behind me. "NO! I WON'T GO BACK, I WON'T!"
she cried out.

Maria went to Becky and held her letting her flailing arms hit her again
and again until she started to slow down, Becky then wrapped her arms
around Maria and was crying away. "I'm sorry Maria, but Mr. Mike doesn't
love me anymore!"

Maria shook her head. "You're wrong Becky, he still loves you but I'm
afraid that he can't do anything for now! Come on the McGruder's are
worried about you, they'd just found out you were missing when I called
them." Grudgingly Becky allowed Maria to take her out of the bathroom and
down the stairs, I followed them down.

As they were going out of the front door, I called out. "Becky, I'm
sorry but I'll have to ask for your key please. I'll keep it here until
this is all settled."

She turned round to face me, digging her hand into her pocket,
withdrawing the key and threw it at me shouting out. "HERE'S YOUR BLOODY
Hate. . . Yo. . ." the last fading away as she started to cry, I went to
hold her but Maria shook her head.

"Don't worry." She said, "I'll talk her round, just leave her to me."
And she walked Becky back to her car and they drove off leaving me in the
doorway picking up Becky's key from the ground where it laid.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - -

Kylie arrived some time later to find me sitting in the living room
staring at the key, which I was still holding in my hand, she looked at it
and said. "But that's Becky's key, how did you get it? I thought she had
it still!"

I nodded, and said quietly. "She did, but when Maria took her back I
had to ask her for the dammed thing. Kylie I think I've lost her, she
said. . said," I had to rush the next words, "she said she hated me, and
to be honest I don't blame her, I'd hate myself as well."

Kylie came to me and hugged me. "Oh Uncle Mike, you know that she
didn't mean it, don't you remember what you said to me some weeks ago,
'she's going to feel hurt, and will say things that she won't mean, we just
have to be patient with her, no matter how much it may hurt us'. You told
me that, remember?"

She was right, I should remember, but the feelings were too strong to
just let go, Kylie sat with me for, over an hour we stayed there, just
looking at Becky's key.

Finally we stirred ourselves and entered the kitchen, Kylie looked at
the frying pan with its congealed fat and rashers, and she looked at me.
"Ugh, what happened here?"

I shook my head. "Becky did, she wanted to surprise me, and boy did she
surprise me!" I took the pan and started to soak it under a hot tap,
scraping the mess off with a plastic spatula. Kylie took to cleaning the
table. Between us we managed to clean the kitchen up.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - -

It was mid-day and Kylie's radio squawked, "This is Megan, I'm at
Rachel's, anyone want to join us?"

Kylie looked at me, I nodded she pressed her talk button. "This is
Kylie, can I come round?"

Megan's voice sounded happy, "Yes Kylie, come on over." And with a quick
'bye' she was out of the door.

I decided to work on the garden, it was something to occupy myself, I
worked around the borders, pulling up the weeds - at least they were to me.
After a couple of hours I decided to stop torturing the garden and relax

It was later that day when my radio started up, just a whimper sounding,
then Becky's voice said "Mr. Mike, are you there, please talk to me"

I pressed the talk button. "Hello Becky, are you feeling better now?"

The relief could be heard in her voice. "Oh Mr. Mike, do you forgive

"Of course I do Becky," I replied, "Don't you remember? Friends never
have to say they're sorry, I knew you were upset, and sometimes people say
things that they don't mean." I didn't say that the words hurt me even so!

We talked for some time, I trying to lighten Becky's mood, Becky trying
to come to terms with her lot, the good news was that the McGruder's had
allowed Becky to have her radio back and she was going to talk to Kylie
later, I reminded her that I would be able to hear their conversation but
she seemed okay with that.

When she signed off she sounded a lot happier than when I last saw her,
but then anything would have been an improvement I supposed.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - -

Kylie returned later and was overjoyed to learn that Becky was able to
talk to us again, she was going to call her, but I suggested that she tried
later, which she agreed with.

We ate a quick tea, again we'd missed out on lunch, but somehow it
didn't matter, Kylie was saying how much fun she'd had with her other
friends and how she wanted to get Becky to join them.

Then from our radios came Becky's voice. "Kylie are you there, can you
talk to me?" Kylie looked at me, I nodded and turned down my radio, she ran
upstairs into their bedroom, talking to Becky all the time, I felt tempted
to turn my radio up, just to listen to them, but decided not to. If I'd
only known then, but hindsight is always 20-20.

Kylie came downstairs some time later, looking rather subdued, I said.
"Is there a problem with Becky?"

She perked up and said. "Sorry what was that?" then said. "Oh no,
there's no problem, she was sorry about what she said to you, and she was
glad you weren't mad at her"

That was all she said and wouldn't speak about it again - she started to
help to set the table for Sharon's arrival.

That night they stayed with me, Kylie started off in her own bed but
joined us later during the night, not that Sharon or I were engaged in
anything at the moment sex wasn't the main thing on our minds.

The rest of the week followed the same pattern.

On Thursday Kylie and Sharon received their subpoenas to appear at the
adjudicators office that Friday.

When they returned that Friday they seemed to be in a happy mood, Kylie
started off by saying, "Uncle Mike, you'll never guess who. . . " But she
was stopped by Sharon, who said

"Now Kylie, you know what you were told, we cannot discuss any part of
the meeting"

Kylie seemed annoyed. "Oh Mum, that's not fair, I mean he wasn't part
of the thing only in charge of it."

Sharon smiled. "No it wasn't fair, but Mike will meet him on Monday,
when it's his turn." She handed me a letter, it was a subpoena for the
Monday morning. Sharon continued. "Since we're not allowed to talk about
it, I think it's safer for all if Kylie and I keep away from you until
Monday evening!"

I didn't think it was fair. Just because they knew a secret, and might
reveal it during the night! I had to do without their company for the

So on Friday night I had to go to bed on my own, Sharon and Kylie had
gone home after dinner again, leaving me to wonder about the adjudicator,
and why they were so happy after meeting him, or was it a her? I fell
asleep with visions of white judicial wigs flying in the air.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - -

The ringing of the doorbell brought me to my senses, I got up and looked
at the time 8 o'clock, I went to the window and looked out, "Yes, what's

DS Nichols was standing at the door looking up at me. "Mike, is Becky

The question confused me. "Becky? No, at least I don't think so - she
hasn't got a key anymore! Look let me get dressed and I'll come down." I
dressed quickly, puzzled over why Nichols would think Becky would be here.
I went downstairs and opened the door, to find Maria had joined Nichols on
the doorstep - I let them both in.

Maria spoke first, "I'm sorry Mike, but the McGruder's phoned the police
and then me when they found Becky was missing."

Nichols took up the story. "And when I came in and heard your name
being mentioned I said that I'd look into this, I know you wouldn't do
anything daft but my colleagues don't."

Maria agreed with the statement, and then I said. "But although you
know me, you want to search the house, just in case?" Nichols lowered his
eyes and nodded, I continued "Go ahead, I've been asleep until you rang the
doorbell so she might have snuck in without me knowing." Nichols thanked me
and started to search, I sat down in the living room listening to the game
of hide and seek

Eventually Nichols arrived back in the living room he sat down shaking
his head, "Well she isn't here, I'm sorry Mike but I had to do that."

I nodded. "Yes I know it's better to be safe than sorry. But if she
isn't here . . . . Then where on Earth is she?"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - -

- Normal disclaimers apply - if you're too young or not allowed by law
to read this type of story, then shame on you for reaching this far. All
the characters involved in this story are fictitious - no animals were
harmed in the writing of this story either human or mammal

- Another blasted cliff-hanger, don't I ever learn? Maybe I should have
a sign up 'see next weeks episode' (shades of Saturday morning pictures!).

- My thanks to Hopeless Romantic for her advice with Becky's rebellion
against the Social Services (this was given in August but I've only just
been able to include it)

- My thanks (!) to those of you who wrote after the last chapter - yes I
had forgotten about Nichols visiting Mike that evening, I hope this has
covered the problem.

- From the last you would have gathered that I do appreciate emails from
my readers, my address is and I do try to answer all
the emails sent - however persons sending viruses will be reported to their
ISP's for misuse of the email system. - - At my estimate there should be
two more chapters to go - but it may be three? I hope to have the next
chapter out next week - they seem to be taking longer to write, or maybe
that's just me?

Wandering Lanes - 6th December 2001


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