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The Girl With A Bicycle 31


The girl With A Bicycle - 31 By Wandering Lanes

story code (no-sex, slow)

John looked at me as I breathed a sigh of relief. "Don't raise your
hopes Mike, I did say the adjudicator would have to be fair within the
bounds of the Social Services act"

I nodded and said, "Yes, I know, but seeing you sitting there does mean
that I can expect a fair hearing - I didn't know how anyone would react to
my request."

He nodded, and pressed a button on his desk, then started to speak.
"Mr. Michael Moore, this is an informal meeting, however I will be
recording so that notes can be taken. Any information given here will be
held in strict confidence. Except where a major felony may have taken
place in which case it will be up to the officer to decide on the action
taken - Do you agree to these conditions?"

I spoke for the microphones that were obviously listening out, "I

John smiled, "Now Michael Moore, tell me. Why exactly do you want to
adopt Becky?"

I spoke quickly, without thinking, "Because I'm responsible for her
current situation, if it wasn't for me she'd still have a family."

John shook his head. "Would she have been happy? I've read the
official police and Social Services reports, I've heard Kylie's testimony
and Sharon's as well - Becky wouldn't have had a happy family life, I think
you showed her what her life should have been like."

I shook my head, "But I interfered! All I did was to hurry the process
along. If I hadn't stopped Darren then Becky parents would still be

"And still not believe that their son would do such a thing to his own
sister." John countered. "But you're skirting around the question. Why do
you want to adopt Becky?"

I was at a loss to answer. I'd already said that I was responsible.
Wasn't that reason enough? "I. . I suppose I feel sorry for the girl. I
thought she deserved better."

John leaned forward. "So you felt sorry for her, if that was the
criteria for adoption then the third world would find millions of homes in
England for their children. That's not good enough, I might as well stop
this now and let Social Services find someone who's more able to cater to
the child!"

I stood up. "No way, Becky doesn't deserve that, she knows me and
trusts me, should I just roll over and play dead, just because I can't say
that I love her!"

John leaned back and smiled. "THANK YOU! You finally said it. You
love the child." He saw the look on my face and motioned me to sit again,
"There are several versions of love, sexual, paternal, all are confusing to
the mind, and people will confuse one for another. Sharon was quite frank
about you, so I know you're not speaking of sexual love for the child, to
be honest Sharon was overflowing about your actions with both Becky and

He smiled at this, "I could let you read her statement, but that
wouldn't be right." He considered matters for a moment, then said. "Lets
start from the beginning. When did you first meet Becky?"

I recounted my first encounter with Becky, at Sharon's house the way she
was so quiet when she saw me, Kylie bringing her round to my house that
afternoon. I was talking away when John asked me a question I didn't
expect. "Mike, what's Becky's safeword?" when I told him he said, "Why
would she need a safeword? Isn't that something that fetishes use?"

I started to get annoyed, why did people always think the worst? "No, I
wanted Becky to know that if I ever did or say something that frightened
her she would be able to say the word to stop me!"

"And has she ever had to use it?"

I couldn't see what this had to do with Becky's adoption, "No, of
course. . Oh wait, yes she did, while I was making love to Sharon, Becky
thought I had a problem and wanted to stop me before I infected Sharon." I
smiled at the memory.

John asked, "Do you normally invite children to watch you when you make

I was scandalised, "Of course not, what type of person do you think I
am, it was just the girls were frightened that Darren would break in and
attack them, they just ran into the bedroom at the wrong time."

John asked slowly, "So did you order them out of the room, so that you
could continue?"

I shook my head, "No, the mood was destroyed, anyway I had to convince
Becky that there was nothing wrong." He looked at me so I expanded on the
answer, "Becky had seen I was wearing a condom, as she didn't know what one
looked like she thought it was all me, and that something was wrong with
me. So I had to explain what a condom was and how it was used!"

John summed up. "So in the middle of the night, after being interrupted
while making love, you held a sex education class? -You know that's the
daftest thing I've ever heard!" he chuckled.

I had to smile at that. "I had to reassure the girls that there was
nothing wrong, I couldn't just say we'll leave it until the morning, they
would have pestered me all night, and Becky would have been worried all the

John kept smiling, and asked. "So, how did you feel while you were
doing this?"

I remembered my feelings exactly "Embarrassed as hell, I mean it was bad
enough with Kylie but with two girls there now, well I didn't know where to
put my face."

He arched an eyebrow, "What was bad enough about Kylie?" I realised that
I'd said too much.

I tried to look surprised. "I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean."

He sighed, "Mike you said 'it was bad enough with Kylie' I just need to
know what had happened with Kylie."

I tried to be nonchalant. "Oh that, its was just one night, several
weeks ago, actually the evening before I met Becky, Sharon invited me to
stay over with her, he husband had died some months before, we 'clicked' I
suppose, anyway we were in her bed when Kylie attacked me, she thought I
was hurting Sharon, we ended up that night giving a brief explanation of
sex as well. But this is nothing to do with Becky, has it."

John shook his head, "Not in itself, no. But it is part of the greater
picture; if Becky is allowed to stay with you what type of family is she
going to be a part of? Would she be happy in such a family? Would you be
able to cope with such a child like Becky in your family? Remember she has
been abused and is used to being abused, as far as anyone can be said to be
used to something. I believe there is a psychiatric report, not on Becky I
hasten to say, but a general study of such children, they are sexually
precocious at an early age, and seem to regard sexual matters as a general
and indeed normal thing. Would you be able to cope with this?"

I tried to consider a rational answer, but before I could speak John
started again. "Mike, I know it's a difficult subject, and to help you let
me add, I seen Maria's and Nancy's official reports - the ones the Social
Services keep, I have also seen their own reports on you, Becky and Kylie.
Yours was especially interesting, you managed to coax a withdrawn child
from never talking to anyone - to the bright bubbling young lady I spoke to
on Friday, does she still have problems?"

I nodded, "Yes, she misses her father - understandable I think, there
are nights when she can't sleep, she has problems travelling in cars, but I
think I have a solution to that. But she's thrown herself into the
Brownies and is trying now to help others, Becky in particular."

John nodded, "She was the one who introduced you to Becky wasn't she?"

I smiled remembering the two girls arriving on my doorstep, how
different Becky was then to now. I looked at John and started the whole

I don't know how long I talked, I stopped at times when John asked his
secretary to bring in tea, then carried on afterwards.

When I finally finished John said. "That's quite a story, do you know
how many crimes you've committed in that?"

I was worried at that question "No. But in my defence it was in the
interest of the girls, and I never forced them, they knew that when asked I
would stop."

John smiled. "Oh don't worry, I was only asking. I agree, although
there was sexual molestation - which society will always frown on, there
was no, how can I put it? Predator action involved, it was purely for the
pleasure of the girls. As a legal judge I would be shocked, as a human
being I would think it was what Becky at least needed, an unconventional
but loving environment." He continued, "Mike, I must say you do seem to be
doing the best for Becky, but I would ask you to consider this, there are
foster parents trained to look after children with the same problems as
Becky, it may be that she would be better looked after by them." I started
to protest, but he held up his hand. "I haven't made any decisions at this
time, but remember I also have a duty to Becky, I have to decide what will
be best for her, and believe me I will do that."

I must admit that I did believe him, so I nodded my head, he stood up
and shook my hand, "I will say this, Don't worry about her. What ever I
decide I will ensure that she will be happy."

I said, "I truly hope so."

John nodded, "I'll convene a court next week when I'll give my
judgement, I hope it will satisfy you as to my intentions to Becky's well

I was shown out of the office, to find sitting on the seats were Joan
and Becky.

Becky looked at me, "Hello Mr. Mike, why are you here?"

I smiled at her, "Just talking to Mr. Mortimer, I think he wants to
talk to you, and Becky?" She looked at me, "Please be honest in what you
say, I've told him everything about you and me, don't try to hide the truth
from him, understand."

She looked puzzled at my words, "Okay Mr. Mike, if that's what you
want, but what if he asks about, about?"

I smiled, "If you feel uncomfortable use your safeword, you do remember
what that is don't you?"

She grinned, "Yes Mr. Mike, teapot, but I still think it's a daft word!
And how would he know about it?"

I hugged her, as if I'd never see her again. "I said I've talked about
us, I included your word."

The secretary then spoke up, "The adjudicator will see you now Re. .,
I'm sorry, Becky!"

She got up and reached apprehensively for Joan's hand, they both entered
the office.

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

I walked back to my car and I realised that I never really answered the
first question John had asked me, Why did I want to adopt Becky? I got to
the car and sat in it, I looked in the mirror, I could see the empty back
seat, but in my mind's eye I could see Becky sitting there, and I felt a
warm happy feeling spread over me. I looked again, no Becky - my world
seemed to crumble. Yes I loved the girl and would do anything to keep her.

I drove to George's offices and asked to speak to Hugh, he invited me
into his office and I sat down. "What do I do if John decides against me?"

Hugh thought for a moment then said, "I don't think there is anything
you can do, legally Becky is a ward of the court, should the court decide
to place her with a foster family, then it's able to do so. There is,
however one thing you can do!"

I was on my feet in an instant, "What? For god sakes tell me!"

Hugh looked amazed. "But I would have thought it was obvious." At my
blank look her continued, as if talking to a child. "The courts follow the
Social Services guidelines, they will be quicker to adopt children to
married couples, they rarely foster children to single parents - they don't
have enough time to look after the children properly. By the way how is

I didn't want to be distracted, "Sharon's fine, I spent some time
yesterday with Kylie, Becky and some Brownies at her house, due to John's
stipulations she didn't want to spend any nights with me since Friday, but
I think that should be okay now, but why did you ask?"

Hugh smiled, "Just trying to focus you onto the right course. You do
know what to do about Becky, I'd advise you to take the leap and go for

That sounded too cryptic for me to work out, yes I know I'm getting dim
in my old age. Then Hugh asked me. "Are you going to the Smith's funerals
on Thursday? Its all been arranged by his firm."

How could I have forgotten them? "I think I'd better." The last I had
seen of Mildred was in the Intensive Care Unit, and then I had a thought.
"Hugh have you managed to find the nurse in the ITU? The one that might
have heard Mildred ask me to look after Becky?"

He shook his head, "No a group of them went on holiday abroad that
evening, until they get back we're stuck." He was apologetic as he said
that. "If we could have got her statement beforehand it could have been
used! Which may have solved the problem, but if wishes were horses we'd
all be riding by now!"

He showed me out, reminding me as I left, "Don't forget you do have the
means to keep Becky, all you have to do is think!"

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

I left his office with the words echoing in my ears, it was all well and
good to say think! But about what? They were all saying the answer was
obvious, perhaps it was but I wasn't going to rush things just because I
wanted my own way. To me it wasn't right!

Talking about things not being right, how could I have forgotten about
the Smiths? I did read about the funeral in the papers, but with worrying
about Becky I hadn't really taken any notice, I went to a florists and
ordered a wreath, they already knew where the funeral was taking place, and
gave me the address and time.

I returned home and was going to sit down when the front door was opened
and Kylie walked in, "There you are Uncle Mike! I was beginning to get
worried. Did you talk to John?" Her hand went in front of her mouth, "Oh
I'm sorry, mum and I was told not to say his name until after you saw him."

I managed to smile. "Yes Kylie, I've seen John, I've told him all about
us as well."

Kylie's eyes went round, "You mean even about the bath times Becky and I
had?" I nodded, "But that means that everyone will know." She started to

I shook my head. "Why do you think that? Did John strike you as a

She stopped and thought for a moment, then brightened up. "No, he
seemed a nice man, well once we were able to talk to him, he treated me
like an adult, not a child, and he listened to me. I liked him!"

I smiled. "And he liked you!" I then changed the subject. "So what
have you done today?"

She sat down and started to talk, it seems that she had arranged to meet
some of her Brownie friends, and they played hide and seek for a couple of
hours, then the girls introduce Kylie to some of the policemen who helped
them find Becky. Kylie told me that several of the girls had never talked
to policemen before as they found them frightening, but now they've found
out that the police are human after all! Kylie added, "And they're all
looking forward to the visit on Sunday." It seems that Becky's escapade had
created new bridges between the Brownies and the Police.

When Kylie had finished, she said to me. "Uncle Mike, can I sit in your
lap please?"

I said yes, and she jumped up ran to me and sat down on me, with her
head against my chest. "I used to do this with daddy." She said, "It
always made me feel safe. Do you mind if I stay here for a bit?"

I laughed and said. "No, that's okay pumpkin, I don't mind at all." And
we sat like that for over an hour, when I did look down I saw that Kylie
was asleep, and she looked like an angel.

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

I woke up to a heavy weight on my chest and a voice coming from my
wrist, "Mr. Mike are you there? Please answer!"

I gently raised my hand and pressed the talk button, "Hello Becky, how
did the interview go?" She sounded nervous. "Alright I suppose, he did
know a lot about what happened, and sometimes I didn't want to answer, but
he didn't mind. I'm afraid I told him of my problem and how you helped me,
I don't think Joan knew of that, she squeezed my hand when I spoke about
it. But Mr. Mike he asked me how I would feel if I couldn't stay with you!
I started to cry, I don't want to be without you Mr. Mike."

Again she was crying, I tried to placate her but without success, then I
heard Joan's voice say "It's alright Becky, he only meant to find out how
you really felt about Mike, can you let me talk to him?" The sound cut off
for a moment then Joan's voice came back. "Hello Mike, can you hear me?"

I answered. "Hello Joan how is Becky? Do you want me to come round?"

Joan replied, "Mike, Becky is alright, just a lot of emotion that she
has to get out of her system, don't worry she'll be fine, I don't think you
should come round just at this time, but you're welcome to visit her

I went to answer her but Kylie's voice sounded both in my ear and from
my radio, "Aunt Joan, is it okay if I visit Becky as well. Sorry I can
call you Aunt Joan, can I?"

I could almost see the smile on Joan's lips as she answered, "Of course
you can, Kylie isn't it? I'll be please to see you!"

I then managed to answer, "Hello Joan, Mike again, I don't want Becky to
worry, as I said I'm trying everything I can, all I ask is that she trusts

Becky's tearful voice answered me. "I do Mr. Mike, you were the first
to listen to me and to help me, I. . I'll always trust you!"

I smiled, "Thank you Becky, I hope I never betray that trust. Now I
think you'd better listen to Joan, she does know what she's doing, I'll see
you tomorrow, okay"

I listened to the sniffles as Becky said. "Okay Mr. Mike, I'll see
you, here, tomorrow, bye, and Bye Ky."

We both said our goodbyes to Becky, I was glad she added the 'here' it
put my mind at rest, at least I wasn't going to be involved in a hunt
again, but then knowing Becky she would leave her radio at home this time -
I wonder if there are plans for simple trackers available, just sew them
into clothes and activate when necessary? They'd need to be waterproof,
heat proof, and small?. . . My thoughts were interrupted by Kylie who was
saying. ". . . . Doesn't she Uncle Mike?"

I looked down at Kylie who was still sitting in my lap, "I'm sorry
pumpkin, I was miles away, what did you say?"

She giggled, "I said that Aunt Joan sound nice, I think Becky is lucky
that she has a friendly couple to look after her. I mean compared to who
might have looked after her!"

I nodded, "Yes she's very lucky, I hope she realises that herself." I
took a deep breath. "Kylie I don't want Becky to know this." She looked at
my face, which I hope showed how serious I was, I continued. "It's
possible that I might not be able to adopt Becky, she may have to stay with
the McGruder's until she really settled."

Kylie looked at me, tears glistening in her eyes. "Uncle Mike, don't
even say that! I trust you and Becky trusts you, we know you'll succeed!
And I won't listen to you if you say that again!" and with that Kylie ended
the conversation, she held onto me, softly sobbing, I couldn't speak the
conviction in her voice had quieten me. I just sat there stroking her hair
and trying to calm her down.

It was later and we had the dinner prepared and waiting for Sharon to
arrive for dinner. When she did arrive Richard was with her, both were
smiling, I put the dinner on a low simmer and we sat around the table.

Richard started to speak, "Well that's it. We've managed to close down
the local mob's influence in the insurance business. Thanks to DC Jones,
or rather ex-DC Jones's, statement we got the lot. And with the evidence
we were able to get the Insurance Association has agreed to pay up the
monies owed."

Sharon spoke up then, "I've had a word with George. He's sent the list
of people to the Association, and expects to hear from them in a couple of
weeks, isn't it wonderful news?"

I smiled for her, "That's marvellous news darling, I'm very glad for

She noticed my reaction was forced and frowned. "Oh, I take it the
meeting didn't go as you thought it should?" I shook my head - she smiled.
"Oh well, I wouldn't worry. John did say that if you thought about it
you'd say the right thing."

A shiver went through me - I remembered my dream. The two girls playing
and Sharon saying to me 'aren't you glad you said those words?' and I never
did find out what the words were!

Sharon was smiling at me, "Penny for your thoughts"

I smiled back, "I haven't any change with me!" She laughed.

Richard got up. "Well I mustn't hold your dinner up any longer, I've
got to give Isabel the go ahead to start printing the story, Sharon when
I'm in tomorrow please remind Isabel that they can't print everything just
yet." He turned to me, "They still think we're mad at the press for
interfering, to tell you the truth they helped a lot!" He turned back to
Sharon, "But please don't tell Isabel or Rob that!"

Sharon smiled at him. "Of course not Richard, or else you'd arrest me!"

We all laughed at that and Richard showed himself out, we turned the
oven up to heat the meal, which was later devoured by all.

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

That night Sharon relented and decided to spend the night, as we relaxed
in post-coital bliss she turned to me. "What happened with John?"

I sighed, she did know me by now and could feel that I was worried, "He
said that I might lose Becky to Social Services, he also said that I knew
how to stop that, but aside from kidnapping her . . . "

Sharon smiled, (how could she smile at such an important point in my
life!) and said, "Oh Mike, of course the answer is simple - just get
married! I know! - Will you marry me?"

I shook my head. "I know that's the answer, but I don't want to force
you un-necessarily. I wanted to win Becky without causing you problems, I
mean you might not even want to marry me!"

She raised herself up on her and looked at me. "Michael Moore, how can
you say that? Where would I be without you, a lonely widow trying to raise
her child, who I might add would be finding her way to a psychiatric ward
due to her withdrawal from life. You are the influence on my life, and
Kylie's. Why do you think I'm here now?"

I though for a minute, "Well, I thought you were taking pity on a poor
old man, or trying to wear him out to protect your only child!"

She picked up a pillow and started to hit me with it, well two can play
at that game, and I picked up mine and retaliated, it was the most fun I'd
ever had, regressing to childhood, no real worries, just two people with
pillows, but the fun had to end, which it did with the demise of my pillow
in a flurry of feathers as the seam split along one end.

We both burst into laugher, which was interrupted by a sleepy voice
saying, "Mum! Uncle Mike! Now what are you guys doing? Look at all the
mess in here." Kylie was standing in the doorway, rubbing her eyes and
watching the feathers floating in the air.

Sharon said to Kylie, "Oh we were just talking," Kylie looked at the
feathers, and then back at her mother, Sharon smiled. "Well, we started
off by talking, but Mike didn't want to marry me, so I thought I'd try to
convince him."

Kylie's mouth was wide open, I was almost worried that she'd swallow a
feather, "But Uncle Mike, everyone's saying that if you were married then
you'd be able to adopt Becky, why didn't you say yes?"

I was trying to collect the many feathers to put back into the
pillowcase - I looked at Kylie and said, "Because it seems too much like
blackmail - I didn't want to make your mother feel responsible. It's my
problem not your mothers."

She shook her head. "But Becky is my friend, I'm the one who brought
her to you." She smiled and then added. "Maybe you should marry me, that
way we'll be able to adopt her, and I'd be her mummy!"

We all laughed at this, but I had to shake my head. "I'm sorry Kylie,
much as I appreciate your offer, I think I'm a little bit too old for you,
you should find someone more you age." her look change to a thoughtful
aspect, so I added. "When you're older that is, not now!"

She pouted, and said "Oh now you're being mean!" and she poked her
tongue out at me.

Then she was suddenly serious. "So what are you going to do? I mean if
you won't marry mummy, and then you can't adopt Becky . . . " she started
to cry as the unspoken thought had run through her head.

I gathered her to me. "Kylie listen to me." she looked at me, I then
beckoned Sharon over. "Now this is what I want you both to do. I want you
to be present at the court when the decision is announced . . . . ." and I
started to outline my plan, which I was hearing myself for the first time!

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

After we tidied up the room, we gave up using our hands and resorted to
the vacuum cleaner, but still found feathers the next day, Kylie went back
to the 'girls' bedroom to sleep and Sharon and I laid down and slept as

The next day Sharon went off to work, and I was going to take Kylie with
me to the McGruder's, we were about to start off when Kylie's radio came up

"Hello this is Marilyn, is there anyone listening? I've got nothing to
do today."

Kylie was about to answer when another voice replied, "This is Susan,
you could come round to me, but I've got nothing to do either!"

Kylie looked up at me, I said, "Well, if their parents agree, and Joan
doesn't mind I don't see why not!"

I used my radio while Kylie talked to her friends. Joan said the more
the merrier and the girls said their mothers didn't mind, Paula had
listened in and said I could be trusted - which was nice of her!

We picked up the girls at Marilyn's house, gaining Theresa as well - as
the girls were getting in the car a policeman turned up and asked, "I hope
you girls know this man?"

Marilyn spoke first, "Yes officer, he's Mike Moore, it's okay."

He straightened up and spoke to me, "I'm sorry sir, if I had known who
you were at first I'd never have questioned you. I hope Becky is okay?"

I smiled, "That's okay officer, I'm glad you did. It's nice to see
you're watching over the girls, and Becky is fine, in fact I'm just
visiting her with Kylie, the others were bored and I thought they might
have fun."

He was smiling now. "That's good of you Mr. Moore, ever since last
Saturday we've all started to keep a special watch on the Brownies, they've
become sort of mascots to us."

I thank him and as I drove off the girls all waved goodbye to him,
saying 'see you on Sunday!' It was good to hear that from all the girls.

I said. "So are the police all bad."

Susan said. "No, they're really wicked, it was cool the way they
listened to us on Saturday." The general reaction was the same from all the

Kylie kept quiet, as she hadn't wanted to 'grass' on her friend - I
ruffled her hair. "Don't worry about it, you did what you thought was
right." I said quietly just so she could hear but the girls behind

We arrived at the McGruder's house - Becky was waiting outside on a
swing slowly going back and forth, the girls all piled out of the car and
ran up to her, I went up to the door which was opened by Joan.

She welcomed me in, "That was good of you Mike, to bring her friends

I shook my head, "She's only met three of them on Sunday, they're part
of Kylie's pack in the Brownies, they didn't have anything to do today so
I'm afraid I've lumbered you!"

She laughed. "It's not a lumber, it's nice to hear children playing
happily, and it's a sound I sometimes miss." She finished wistfully.

She invited me in for a cup of tea, which I accepted - we sat in the
kitchen watching the 5 girls playing a game of 'it' (tag). After a few
minutes Becky rushed in and asked, if it was okay for her to play a game of
hide 'n' seek, Joan was about to say yes when I said that they'd better
keep the range to one mile. Joan looked at me. "ONE MILE? I thought they
were going to play in the house!"

I smiled and explained about the tracker device in the radios, once she
realised about the range she agreed with my proviso, which Becky relayed to
the others, Kylie looked back and mouthed 'spoilsport!' to which I nodded.

Joan watched my interplay with Kylie, "you are fond of that girl as well
aren't you?"

I nodded and told her of how I met Kylie, this time I kept nothing from
her, as I felt that I could trust Joan. When I finished she said, "That
explains the gap in Maria's notes." I gave a questioning look, she
continued "There were almost un-noticeable breaks in the official notes
that we received when we accepted Becky, Maria said that they didn't refer
to Becky and so we needn't worry about it, that's why Paul was questioning
you on Saturday. But coming back to Kylie your approach seemed to have

I nodded, "Yes it did with her, but it could have turned out all wrong,
I shouldn't have done it."

"Now don't sell yourself short!" She scolded, "There's a part inside you
that seems to understand what needs to be done, Paul told you that, and you
should listen, if not to Paul then to yourself. Now how did your meeting
go with Judge Mortimer?"

I told her the whole story, which she listened to - making another cup
of tea while I continued - when I finished she nodded. "Yes that's just
about how I expected it to go. Oh not the details, but the general gist of
the story. Becky's was much the same, she did try to gloss over some
details, but John did straighten her out. We had a break early on when she
didn't want to continue" She smiled as she said this. "Becky started to
cry and then said 'TEAPOT'. John said 'lets stop here for a few moments
until you're ready to continue'. She was amazed at that and John explained
that he knew of the word and what it meant, after that she seemed to
realise that she could talk to him. After that we didn't have any
problems." She reached out and grasped my hands. "She does love you, you
do realise that?" I nodded. "So have you thought about it?"

At my blank look she added, "How you're going to adopt her?"

I smiled and said, "Yes," then adding in a Baldrick type voice "I have a
cunning plan!" she laughed at my poor impersonation and I outlined the plan
as I had with Kylie and Sharon last night.

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

We sat together talking, Joan talked about the previous children they
looked after, and how Becky wasn't really the worst that they'd had, "in
fact Mike she's really well adjusted compared to the life she was forced to
live - she does owe a lot to you." I was embarrassed at that - after all
I'd only known Becky for a short time.

While we were talking Joan decided that she'd better provide some
sandwiches for the girls, I helped to butter the bread as she added the
cold meat, tomatoes and cucumber - Kylie had already given me the frequency
that the girls were using so I retuned my radio and pressed the talk

"This is Mike to Kylie and girls, please end your game and return to the
house, my apologies to any others on this frequency."

Kylie responded immediately - "Okay Uncle Mike, we're on our way." And
so Joan and I waited for the girls to return.

When they did I saw an extra girl amongst them, Kylie noticed and said.
"Oh yes, this is Stacy I hope you didn't mind, but she heard us playing and
asked if she could join us!"

I looked at Joan who smiled and said, "Of course she can."

I had to ask. "Her mother does know she's with you doesn't she?"

Kylie shook her head, "No, her mother's at work and so she couldn't ask
her, but it's okay as long as she's back home before four."

Joan seemed happy with that, and it was her house so she was in charge.
"That's okay then!" She looked at the girls standing in the kitchen. "Well
eat, the food would only go to waste if you didn't."

The girls demolished the pile of food, and ran back outside to continue
playing, this time their game changed to two girls hiding and the other
four searching, Joan was watching them closely, "They're lucky to have
those radios, do you know where they got them from?"

I recounted the story of the Brownies and how I had supplied them with
the radios, while I was talking I could see something flash across her
face, "Kylie, Kylie, there was a report of a Brownie that helped a girl at
a camp?"

I nodded, "That was Kylie, she's been like that since I've known her,
she even made Becky one of her projects."

Joan nodded, "And she used you to achieve that! She's a bright child."
I agreed with that, sometimes she was so bright she blinded me!

I remained with Joan until Paul arrived home, he was smiling as he came
in, he looked at me, "I thought you were bringing just Becky's friend with
you?" he asked good humorously

I shrugged my shoulders, "Sorry, things just got out of hand."

He shook his head, "I'm not complaining Mike, honestly. I think Becky
needs more kids her age around here," he looked around then added, "Don't
tell her I said that."

I smiled, "your secret's safe with me."

Now that they were both with me I mentioned about the funeral that was
coming up, Paul looked serious as her thought about it.

"I'm not sure if children should have to witness a funeral. They
shouldn't have to think about death at such an age, they should be looking
forward to life, but Becky is mature for her age, she deserves to be able
to say goodbye. I'll bring it up with her later."

I looked at the time, 3:30, where had the time gone? I spoke into my
radio, "Hello Kylie, its half past three, don't forget about Stacy getting

Her voice instantly came back, "That's okay Uncle Mike, and we're at
Stacy's now, I suppose you want to go home now?"

I laughed, "Well I'd better because I'd have three set of parents after
me if I didn't"

It was 10 minutes later when five out of breath and tired girls returned, I said goodbye to Becky as the girls climbed into the car, I'm
glad to say they did remember to thank Joan for the lunch.

We drove away, the girls waving at Becky who was leaning back against
Paul's legs waving back, and then I had to concentrate on the road,
listening to the chattering of the girls as they talked about their day.

I drove the girls to drop them off at Marilyn's house - passing the
police office on the way, the girls waving to him as we passed - he waved

When I returned home I made a drink for Kylie and a cup of tea for
myself we sat in the living room, Kylie looked at me. "We had a lot of fun
today Uncle Mike, thanks for taking us."

I smiled, "I'm afraid I was selfish, I wanted Becky to be happy, but I'm
glad the other girls were happy to play with Becky."

Kylie smiled as well. "Well when I asked them on Sunday they said they
would, I wasn't sure if their parents would let us go, but that's why I got
Marilyn to give her call."

I was astounded, I thought I was helping the girls with their boring
day, just to find out I'd been set up by Kylie. 'Well' I thought. 'I was
told Kylie was bright!' All I could do was to shake my head in admiration.

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

Note: Baldrick is a character in a British comedy program 'Blackadder' -
one of the catchphrases used is 'don't worry for I have a cunning plan' to
which the reply from Edmund Blackadder is 'Baldrick you wouldn't know a
cunning plan if it was painted yellow, jumping up and down holding a sign
saying I'm a cunning plan! But let's hear it anyway!' - it may not look
funny written down, but I like it! :) WL

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

- Normal disclaimers apply - this story is fiction - in fact the
characters do not exist, although I'm getting so wrapped up in their world
I'm starting to wonder if I exist? Perhaps I'm a figment of some-one
else's imagination?

- Urgent note - my email address has now been changed I can be reached
at - it appears that AOL is not happy with my
presence on their ISP. Please use this when trying to contact me, as
always I will try to reply to all emails sent.

- I'm going to stop estimating how many more chapters left, from my
reckoning there are three events to go, these to include - The funeral, the
Courthouse, the Wedding - which may mean three more chapters or more.

- My thanks to those who wrote about Savant, yes I should have looked in
the author's section at ASSTR, looks like I'm the one wearing the blinkers.

I'm about to start on chapter 32, which I should be posting during next

Again my thanks to you all for reading this story.

Wandering Lanes - 15th December 2001


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