FEAR. It is the most basic human emotion and in Aidens case the most common too. He was pretty much scared of everything, but his fear increased ten fold after he met Dylan Hunt.
CONTROL. It is the one thing which Dylan needed in his life. Whatever he did he wanted the things to be in his control. He never listened to anyone not even his parents. So, the moment he laid his eyes on Aiden he had the urge to control this fearful innocent boy.
LOVE. The most beautiful emotion. It is said that when one falls in love everything in this World seems beautiful. That same feeling was experienced by Noah when he first met Aiden. Aiden had built up walls of fear around his heart and would not allow anyone to enter, but Noah had decided he would break those walls and fill it up with his love.
So who would win? Fear, Control or Love?
It was a chilly winter day. 8-year-old Aiden was hiding under the bed of his small bedroom, shivering in the cold as well as in fear. He was hiding from his parents to avoid getting beaten. They were too drunk today from early morning itself and Aiden had also seen them inhaling some white colored powder. On such days, they were extra violent and often vented out their anger on Aiden. As soon as he saw them with that powder thing he immediately looked for a place to hide. He shuddered thinking about the last time the abuse he had to take from his parents. They had beaten him black and blue until he lost consciousness. The next day when he woke up his body was covered with purple bruises. It was aching all over and he got up with much difficulty. He wanted to tell someone about his abusive parents but they often threatened him if he told anyone they would not hesitate to kill him. His parents were small-time thieves who earned their livelihood by pickpocketing and stealing from others. They often asked Aiden to drop out of school and assist them in stealing. They knew that people can easily get fooled by kids, but Aiden always refused to result in being beaten up.
Aiden heard a loud crash sound outside in the living room and hid further inside as much as possible. He could hear his parents fighting hurling curses against each other. Aiden was silently praying to God, his parents shouldn come looking for him. He heard more crashes and banging sounds and whimpered in fear. Then he heard footsteps coming towards his bedroom. He clamped his mouth tightly with his hand to avoid making any sound.
Suddenly he heard his mom call for him creepily ”Where are you Aiden? Wheres my baby hiding? Won you come to Mama? ” Aiden shuddered at his moms sickly sweet voice taunting him. Tears started pooling in his eyes and he cried silently staring at his moms footsteps around his room. He heard the bathroom door open and close, then the closet. Now he knew his mom would surely check under the bed as his house was quite small and there were not many places to hide. He jumped up in fear as his mother appeared in front of him and gave him a creepy smile and said ” Found you. You can hide from me ”.
Aidens mom held his leg and tried to pull him out from under the bed. He was now crying hysterically desperately trying to pry his mothers hands off him. He was so thin and malnourished and did not have enough strength to get rid of his mothers steely grip on him. She easily pulled him out and dragged him to the living room where his father was sitting on the sofa, smoking. Aidens mom threw him on the floor beside the sofa where his Dad was sitting. His dad gave him a death glare and he started moving back trying to escape from him, but it was too late. His dad held his arm tightly and placed the burning cigarette on his arm. Aiden screamed in pain but his dad did not stop, rather he got angrier and said: ” Stop shouting you freak, its so irritating. ” Aiden clamped his hand on his mouth again to muffle his scream. Aidens Dad looked at his mom and said ” Get my belt, we need to teach this ungrateful kid a lesson ”.
Aiden was so scared and stuttered out ” PPP…Please Dad, I I I… ammm… Soorrryy… Pleaseee ddon hit me with the belt… IIItttt hurtssss. ” His Dad scoffs and says angrily ” You deserve it. We should have killed you the day you were born ”.
Aiden whimpers and starts crying again when he sees his mom coming out with the belt. She gives the belt to his dad. He swings it hard and a hit lands directly on Aidens hand and back. Aiden screams so loud in pain and he couldn stop the tears which were now flowing from his eyes like a river. Aidens Dad raises his arm again and Aiden was about to get up and run when suddenly the main door bursts open.
All 3 people in the house look towards the door and see few policemen enter holding guns. One of the officers shouts ”Freeze ”. Aidens parents are suddenly scared and his Dad drops the belt which he was holding.
One of the officers tells his colleague ” First, get the child to safety. ”
An officer comes near Aiden and he moves backwards in fear. The officer speaks to him calmly saying ” Don worry kid, we are here to help you. Come with me, I will not harm you. ”
Aiden was contemplating what to do. He looked at his parents who were busy looking at each other contemplating how to get out of this situation. While the officers were busy with Aiden, his parents take an opportunity to try to escape from there, but the officers catch them and put them in handcuffs.
The officer near Aiden goes to him and says ” I am officer Bruce, we came here to save you. We got complaints from your neighbor saying they heard noises from your house frequently and they doubted a child being abused. ”
Aiden felt this man was good as there was hardly anyone who spoke to him so nicely. Also, he had learnt in school the Police always help the people. He thought of trusting him and asked ” Where are you taking my parents? ”
Officer Bruce says ” We are taking them to jail and you are also coming with us for now. ”
Aiden gets scared and asks ” Are you taking me to jail too? ”
Officer Bruce shakes his head and says ” Oh no Kid, you will not be going to jail. Do you know anyone with whom you can stay like an Uncle or Aunt or your grandparents? ”
Alden shakes his head and says ” I have only been with my parents. There was no one else. ”
Bruce then says ” OK then don worry, we will take you to a suitable place to stay ”
Bruce then takes Aidens hand and steps out of the house. Aiden sees two more officers dragging his parents away and putting them inside a car. His parents were looking at Aiden in anger as if to say it was all his fault. Aiden shudders at their glare which Bruce notices and tells Aiden ” You don have to be scared of them anymore, they can harm you anymore. Come, I will take you to the Doctor to look after your wounds. ”
Bruce informs his senior that Aiden needs to be checked by a Doctor and goes to the hospital along with his partner and Aiden. At the hospital, the Doctor checks Aiden and tends to his wounds. The Doctor asks him how he got those bruises and Aiden reluctantly tells the Doctor about the beatings he received from his parents on regular basis. The Doctor calls the police officers and says ”Aiden has many bruises on his body both old and new and has been abused physically, mentally and verbally for a long time. He seems to be emotionally scarred and is very jumpy about his surroundings. Its obvious he is very scared and he needs a good and healthy environment to lead a normal life. See to it that he gets into a good family. ”
Bruce gets angry hearing the Doctors words. He thinks about how can someone harm their own child like that. Aiden was just 8 years old and already had such a hard life. He mentally makes a note to inform his senior to build a strong case against the couple so that they get locked up in jail for a long time. Bruce assures the Doctor that he will send Aiden to a good orphanage for now so that he can be adopted into a good family. He thanks the Doctor and leaves from there with Aiden.
Once out of the hospital he calls the Orphan Shelter home he knew about and asks whether he could get a child there. They agree immediately.
Bruce is very happy and smiles at Aiden saying ” I have found a home for you. Its an Orphanage I know about and they take good care of the kids. There you will find new friends and even many good families come and adopt kids ”.
Aiden finally smiles back at him thinking about his words. The idea of having new friends and family seemed very appealing to him. He never had a friend as his parents never liked him having friends. They drive for around half an hour and Bruce stops in front of a gate. The guard at the gate comes to enquire and Bruce says he has spoken to Mrs. Cecilia who was the head of the Orphanage. The guard opens the gates and Bruce enters inside. They then stop in front of a building. Aiden gets out of the car and looks at the building in front of him. It was a simple three storey building which seemed to be well maintained. On the left side, there was a garden with many flowers and plants. On the right side, there was a huge playground with many playing equipment like the swing, see-saw, slide etc. Aiden was happy seeing those and imagined himself playing on them. Bruce then holds his hand and takes him inside the building.
They enter the building and go towards an office. Bruce has visited this orphanage many times before so he knows it properly. They enter the office and see a middle-aged lady sitting there. She looks up and greets Officer Bruce. Bruce greets her and sits down. Aiden was just shyly looking around not knowing what to do. Mrs. Cecilia looks at Aiden and asks Bruce ” Is this the child you were talking about? ”
Bruce nods his head.
Mrs. Cecilia smiles at Aiden and asks ” Whats your name, child? ”
Aiden shyly replies ” Aiden. ”
Mrs. Cecilia then looks at Bruce and asks ” Where did you find him? What about his parents? ”
Bruce then reluctantly looked at Aiden and Mrs. Cecilia understood he didn want to talk in front of Aiden. She calls a caretaker into her office and asks him to show Aiden around the orphanage. A caretaker John comes to take Aiden away. He was reluctant to go and was looking at Bruce. Bruce assures him he will be safe with him and asks to go so he nods and leaves.
Bruce then speaks to Mrs. Cecilia saying ” We rescued Aiden today. We had received a complaint from his neighbors stating there was a couple who were thieves and the neighbor suspected they abused their child. Today morning they heard fighting and banging noises so we immediately went to the location and caught them red-handed abusing the child. His parents were both drug addicts and often beat him up when they were high on drugs. I had taken Aiden to the hospital and the Doctor said there were many bruises on his body and he was abused for a long time. He suggested being extra careful with him as he is a very sensitive child and gets scared easily. ”
Mrs. Cecilia grimaced at Bruces words. She knew such type of kids. It was always a pain to take care of them. For the past 10 years, she was the head of this orphanage which she inherited from her parents. She has seen many types of kids come and go around and knew very well how to take care of them. The abused kids are usually so introverted and difficult to handle. The parents who come to adopt want smart kids who don cause them any trouble. These kids usually remain in the orphanage for a long time without getting adopted. Mrs. Cecilias main goal was to see to it that most of the kids get adopted into good families. Its not because she was too good at heart, its because if the families are happy with the kids they adopted, they usually are very generous with their donations to the orphanage. This kid Aiden was not only abused but his parents were thieves and drug addicts. Lord knows what kind of things he has been taught by his parents. He might also be a trouble for other kids. Mrs. Cecilia didn want to take Aiden into her orphanage, but she could not refuse the Police. Also, she had an image to maintain.
Mrs. Cecilia gave one of her best fake smiles and says ” Don you worry Bruce, I have taken care of many such kids before. But, I want to know one thing, was Aiden involved in the stealing along with his parents? ”
Officer Bruce was about to reply when they heard some noise outside. Few kids were peeping through the window trying to eavesdrop on them. Mrs Cecilia got up and went towards the naughty kids and asked them to leave. She then sat down and asked Bruce to continue.
Bruce nodded and said ” I have got no such reports about the child being involved, and also he is just an 8-year-old who seems to be too scared about everything. ”
Mrs. Cecilia nods and assures him she will take good care of Aiden. By then John comes back along with Aiden. John had already shown him the rooms, dining room, the gardens, playground etc. Aiden seemed to like this place as it was far bigger and better than the small 4 room apartment which he shared with his parents. Also, the people here seemed good as they spoke to him so nicely.
Bruce smiles at Aiden and asks him ”How did you like this place? ”
Aiden brightens up and replies ”Its very nice. ”
Bruce is happy and says ” You can stay here from now. I will collect your things from your house and get them tomorrow. So, I will be leaving now. ”
Aiden thanks him and Officer Bruce leaves. Mrs. Cecilia stares at Aiden. She wanted to explain the rules to him today, but as Bruce will be coming again tomorrow she decides she will talk to him the next day.
Mrs. Cecilia gives a fake sweet smile to Aiden and says ” You must be tired today, so you can go to your room and rest, I will explain the rules to you tomorrow. ”
She then informs John to allocate room no 5 to Aiden. John nods and takes him to room no. 5 which was on the ground floor itself. The room was quite spacious and had 2 beds placed at each corner. Beside each bed, there was a study table and a chair. On the other side of the bed was a closet. Besides the study table was a window which was facing the playground. There was an attached bathroom as well. Aiden liked the room a lot.
John informs Aiden ” You will be sharing the room with another boy Dean who is 10 years old. Dinner will be at 7 P.M, so be on time ” saying this John leaves from there.
Aiden sits on his bed and thinks about the events of the entire day. He looks at the bruises on his hands and is relieved to be away from his abusive parents. He now has a good place to stay with caring people and can probably have proper meals too. He can now make friends like other kids of his age. He smiles and thanks God for finally answering his prayers.