Baby Mine

By: Matrix Taylor

Inspired by the song from Disney's Dumbo

A side story for Dark Silence

Gabriel came home from school, covered from head to toe in mud. His expression looked so hurt, it seemed as if he was going to cry at any moment. The brilliant, dark haired child looked over at his adoptive mother. She let out a horrified gasp as she saw him, moving to rush over to check on her only child, but Gabriel stormed off into the bathroom to clean himself up.

The brunette woman winced as she heard the door slam. Although Gabriel could not hear, both of his parents knew that their son could still understand sounds. Unlike most who were hearing impaired, Gabriel could speak words clearly as well as read lips. However, both she and her husband was aware that many, including those at school, were unaware of Gabriel's level of comprehension.

Kalynn Monroe, a petite brunette, and her husband had adopted Gabriel after his real 'parents' left him in the hospital. It sickened them to later learn that, not only had Gabriel's 'parents' abandoned him at the Safe Place hospital, but his biological mother had dropped him down a laundry chute where a nurse found him crying to be fed many hours later. The mother, nor any other relative, could be found, so he was put into an orphanage until someone claimed him or someone decided to adopt him.

When Kalynn and Daniel, her husband, first laid eyes on Gabriel, they fell in love with him. Even when they told her and her husband of Gabriel being deaf and him needing blood transfusions for the rest of his life because of his blood disorder, they still wanted him. To them, it did not matter at all what 'faults' or 'handicaps' the child had.

She and her husband, who was five years older, had always wanted children. However, with the death of their first child, the couple learned from their doctor that she was unable to carry a child to full-term because of cystic fibrosis. This broke their hearts and nearly dissolved their budding marriage. Even though they were reluctant to consider adopting at first, after adopting Gabriel they felt that it was the right decision. They never regretted it, even though they didn't think they could go through the hassles of adopting again.

Kalynn checked on Gabriel in the bathroom to see the six-year-old in the tub silently scrubbing his skin. Although she knew Gabriel was aware of her standing there, he ignoring her, focusing on the task at hand. It simply broke her heart to see her Gabriel upset. It frustrated her that the kids were being so cruel to him. She wished she could beat those bullies up for him; however, being an adult, she knew she could not. She had followed the school counseler's adviced and talked to the parents of the children, suggested activities to the teacher to make the children more accepting of Gabriel's deafness, but it only seemed to have made things worse. She and her husband also suspected that the teachers and parents may also be saying mean things to Gabriel, thinking that he is unable to understand them. Many were the nights that Gabriel had come home, written down a particular word, done his homework, and went promptly to the dictionary. More often than not, the words were derogatory. However, neither parent could prove the suspected involvement of the adults. It hurt more because every time Gabriel gave them a hard stare, it held accusations, as though it were their fault Gabriel was deaf.

For the rest of the day, Gabriel remained silent, only signing when he needed something. He refused to speak. The only questions he would answer consisted of yes and no answers. Daniel was working late tonight so it was only Gabriel and Kalynn at home.

As she tucked her little dark haired angel into bed, Gabriel decided to talk, though still using sign. If I was normal, then would everyone like me?

It broke her heart again as he asked this. She silently swore at those responsible for his heart ache, cursing them to unknown levels of hell. Those blue eyes staring intensely, looking into her eyes as they searched for an answer.

What do you mean 'normal?' You are normal, she replied quickly, her hands flying through the signs.

No, I am not. At least that is what others say. They say I am a freak and I think they are right, Gabriel quickly signed in distress. They say that I am a vampire, but I am too stupid to get even that right. Whoever heard of a deaf vampire?

You are not a freak. You are a sweet, special little boy who have just as many people to love you. And people like them who says those things are just being selfish, petty, and jealous, she signed to him, emphasizing every word.

Was God being selfish and jealous? He did make me this way, Gabriel asked, surprising the petite brunette. They say that God makes no mistakes, but what can be His purpose in making such a failure?

Of course not! God made you the way you are for a reason. Sometimes we just do not know why until we grow older.

Gabriel studied his mom for a moment before stifling a yawn.

"Good night." he says, knowing that his mother was indeed telling the truth, and not just trying to simply make him feel better.

His eyelids slowly drooped shut, feeling something both warm and wet on his forehead. His adopted mother silently knew that they would soon have to tell him of his real parents and she dreaded that day... His self-esteem was already so low, how could the young one cope with knowing that his biological parents hadn't wanted him? Especially since everything that the adoption agency and the hospital knew pointed to the abandonment being because of Gabriel's unique needs...?

"But, for now, I'll keep you by my side a little longer. Don't grow up too soon, baby mine," she whispers to her sleeping child as she smiled and watchedher son like a guardian angel.