Child Prodigy

I don't remember much of my parents, they died when I was quite young.  I don't remember how they died either.  No one bothered to ever tell me.  I do remember, however, that they loved me very much and I loved them back.

After their death I was taken to a foster home, where a childless couple took care of me.  I was only five at the time, but I knew I hadn't been the first child to enter their home, nor would I be the last.  I also knew they didn't love me, at least not like my parents had.  They cared for me a great deal and did everything in their power to make sure I was happy.  But, that was the extent of their feelings for me.  And the feelings were mutual.

And then, only a year later, I was taken away from them.  Immediately preceding that event I had been given some tests.  They were fairly easy.  However, what I hadn't known was that at only six years of age it was a miracle for me to have aced them.  So, as I previously mentioned, they took me away.  "Child Prodigy."  I heard quite often, though it would be a long time before I comprehended what that meant.

The place they took me to was very different from where I had lived before.  It wasn't anything like a home at all.  No wallpaper, or pictures of family members, or furniture that a child like myself couldn't resist jumping on.  And the people there had no feelings for me at all.

They wore white lab coats and gave me more tests.  All of them were awed by what I could do with my mind.  I wished I were somewhere else.  The place they kept me was stark white, and I couldn't do any of the activities that I had done at my other homes.  This place was not home and never would be.  They say home is where the heart is, and my heart had always been with my family.  For all the years I spent there, wherever it was, it was only a place of residence.  And the people there were not my family, but people who took care of my basic needs.

Two years after coming to this place, the tests changed.  They really weren't tests, but scenarios for me to work out.  Some would take mere minutes or hours, others would last for days.  I wasn't allowed to eat or sleep until I had completed the scenario.  If it lasted a week, I would be given a day's rest, then I would be back at it again for another week or until I had finished my work.

At the age of twelve my schedule changed again.  Gone were the scenarios that deprived me of sleep and nourishment.  Now, they would give me problems on papers to solve, or they would show me blueprints of different gadgets and devices and I would solve them or point out what was wrong and how it could be fixed.  Again, these would take me from minutes and hours to days and weeks, but at least I was able to eat and take scheduled breaks to rest.

There were some blue prints that I would see more than once.  Blueprints in which I had solved one problem, but another had arisen.  And I would spend an indefinite amount of time fixing those new problems.  Sometimes the blueprints came back to me dozens of times before all the bugs and kinks had been satisfactorily worked out of them.

At seventeen, I was given a blueprint.  Not an entire one, just a piece.  I would receive different pieces of the same one, and would be asked to work out a certain problem.  I never saw the blueprint all at once and I was only given information on a need to know basis.  I also never worked on anything else, just that one blueprint, different pieces of it at a time.

It was around the same time that she appeared.  She was young, only a couple of years older than me, extremely intelligent and the most beautiful person I had ever laid eyes on, which was pretty easy since I hadn't been out of the facility since I had been brought here.  Her hair was pure blond and looked so soft and shiny that I wanted to touch it.  And her eyes were blue, I didn't really know if they were because she never came close enough for me to take a good look into them, but I imagined they were.  It would be a crime if they were any other color.

She was an intern, and never worked directly with me.  I still saw her quite often assisting the other doctors.  They would whisper things back and forth and I wished she would come and whisper with me too so I could hear her voice.

One thing I noticed about her, however, was that she seemed to get increasingly sad.  When she had first come she had been happy and enthusiastic.  She did everything and anything asked of her with a smile, and it seemed to me she even got Dr. Grumpy (a nickname I had bestowed a scientist unbeknownst to him) smile once or twice.  Surly she was magic.  However, as time went by, she lost her smile, and a permanent frown became etched into every inch of her being.

Another thing I noticed about her was that whenever she looked at me, something she did quite often, her eyes would soften.  I didn't know what this meant, but I hoped one day she would come and be with me, even just long enough for me to look into her blue eyes.

Then, one day, she was standing outside the door to where I was being kept talking with Dr. Grumpy when they began fighting.  She seemed quite passionate in whatever it was she had been arguing about with him.  But, it seemed to me she was more beautiful than I had ever previously seen her.  I watched as she stalked out of my view in a day dream.

And then she didn't return.  The next day I looked for her, but I never saw her.  I also made a lot of people mad, especially Dr. Grumpy, because I wasn't concentrating on my work.  They kept telling me it was very important.  I asked them why, but never got a straight answer.

This went on for days.  There was an aching in my heart that I didn't understand, but it didn't scare me.  I had never been afraid of the unknown.  It had always been more of a challenge for me, a challenge to make it the known.  So, I asked one of the doctors that were working with me one day.  She gave me a strange look, then began to laugh.  She asked me to tell her the whole story, and by the end of it she wasn't laughing at me, but had a very sullen look on her face.

And I learned that her name was Rachel.  That was right before the doctor rose and left the room in a hurry.  When she returned it was with Dr. Grumpy and a bunch of the other doctors that worked with me.  He wasn't happy, he almost never was, but at this moment he seemed even less happy than usual.  He began to ask me questions and for some reason I began getting scared.

After the questions were done I was taken to the little room I ate and slept in.  That was strange because I hadn't finished the project I'd been working on.  I knew something was wrong, and I had the feeling I was the person who had done that wrong thing.  I also had the feeling it had something to do with Rachel.  And that made me even more scared than I was before.

And then I saw her again.  In fact, it was that same night.  She had sneaked into the facility and right to my room.  She wouldn't tell me why she was here save that she was rescuing me.  I hadn't known I needed to be rescued, but I couldn't say no to her.  Her voice was so soft and sweet.

And her eyes were blue.

I don't know where she took me.  Somewhere safe she assured me.  And I believed her because anywhere with her was safe.  For many days we stayed where we were never leaving, which was fine with me because that was how I had lived most of my life.  It was a whole week before we left for a new place.  She promised she'd take care of me.  And I had no doubt that she would.

The world was a relatively new place for me, but with Rachel guiding me there was absolutely nothing to fear.  That and the fact that I was determined to change it from the unknown place that it was.  Rachel enrolled me in a school.  I had never been to school, but she told me that I would do fine.  She told me I was already smarter than every kid my age.  She even admitted I was smarter than she was, but I didn't believe her on that one.

She was holding something back from me, however.  And I was determined to find out what that was.  Unfortunately, she was determined not to tell me.  I wasn't about to give up, though.  I could be just as stubborn as she, if not more.

"All right, I'll tell you," she finally relented one day.

It was then that I wished she hadn't, but by then it was also too late.  And maybe it was better for me to know.  She told me that the blue prints I had been working on since I was seventeen were plans for a new weapon that could destroy the whole earth.  Then, in a happier tone she told me that she couldn't have let that happen.  That's why I needed to be rescued.

That day she became my savior.

For the next couple of years I devoted myself to studying science.  After only even the first year more prestigious colleges came knocking on my door trying to suade me to go to their schools.  I wouldn't go unless Rachel would come with me.  I wouldn't go anywhere without Rachel, and she wanted to stay right where we were, so we did.

I never regretted not leaving Rachel and going to those other colleges.  Especially when one night she came home with a man.  She'd left earlier that night with him on a date and my heart had been put through the ringer.  Now that they were back I did my best not to spy on them, but I couldn't help myself.

I loved her.

Which is also why when their voices rose I couldn't help myself from intervening.  The guy seemed surprised, and Rachel quite surprised.  I, on the other hand, wasn't sure how I was going to handle the situation.  The guy was huge and I had no fighting experience whatsoever.

I couldn't back down, though.  This was Rachel I was defending.  When the guy hit me, however, it hurt like the dickens.  And it made Rachel extremely mad.  I'd never seen anyone fight like her.  She was amazing and the guy was amazed.  He was gone like the wind, so to speak.

And Rachel was pretty mad with me.  She wanted to know why I had done what I had done.  I couldn't lie to her.  She was Rachel.

So, I told her the truth.

Needless to say she was even more surprised than she had been before.  So surprised, in fact, that she couldn't say anything.  Our conversation ended right there.  We both went to bed a million things on both of our minds.  Unfortunately, the next morning when I woke up, she was gone.

I hoped she would be back by the time I returned from my classes, but she was a no show.  In fact, I didn't see her for many days.  I was getting pretty worried.  I didn't want to lose her.  Not after all she had done for me, and all she had become for me.  I didn't know if I could go on without her.

Fortunately, she did return.  She explained to me that she had needed some time alone to get some things sorted out.  I didn't pry and ask her what those things were.  But then again, I didn't need to because she told me everything.

And I was the happiest guy in the world.  Because she told me that she loved me too.  For once, my life was pretty good.

We got married soon after.  I finished college earning myself many different degrees in a variety of areas of science.  And I was already making a name for myself.  My mind was filled to brimming with so many different ideas.  I had already proven my genius in college.  Now, I was keeping the reputation and doing a pretty good job.  I made a pretty penny off of many of my inventions.  And I stayed away from creating anything that could be used to harm, kill, or destroy.

After my days in the facility that just wasn't for me.

We bought some property in Florida.  Actually, it was in the Keys.  We had a beautiful house surrounded by some of Mother Nature's finest.  We also had some property in Maine that we were building on.

But more importantly I now had son.  I was a father and I felt like we were a real family.  Not that we weren't before, but my son's arrival just made it more so.  And the best part was he looked just like his mother.

I loved to just stand back and watch the two playing, or Rachel feeding young Jonathon, named after my long dead father.  It was amazing to see how much they were a like, especially with Jonny at such a young age.

And there was nothing like holding him as he slept, or looking into his sparkling blue eyes and listening to him coo and giggle.  My son was a happy baby.  He didn't cry a lot.  We didn't have to get up every night for him.  I couldn't ask for more.

Except maybe their guaranteed safety.  It was seven years after Jonny had come into our life that there was an attack on our lives.  Rachel and I both knew that it was the people from the facility.  There was no doubt about that.  They were probably still working on that death machine of theirs and wanted my help, because without it they were never going to get that thing finished.

So, we moved to our newly finished house in Maine doing our best to keep a low profile.  We were isolated from the nearest town of Rockport on our little Island surrounded by a small forest.  We had a housekeeper that made sure our basic needs were met.  And we stayed in our little house being our happy little family.

But, I couldn't live like that.  My work was calling.  I wanted to travel and do what I did best, other than love my family that is.  And Rachel understood.  She also let me go.

I wish I'd had better control of myself.  If I hadn't wanted to go out and return to my old life maybe she would be alive today.  I count myself lucky that my son survived the ordeal.  He'd been out with the housekeeper because Rachel had decided she wanted the afternoon to herself.

They destroyed our house with her in it.  I got word from our government that she was dead.  I flew home immediately to be greeted by them.  They took me to a "secure place" where I was reunited with my son.  We were constantly under government watch wherever we went, and we weren't aloud to go anywhere without them knowing and being there.

Finally, they allowed me to take my son back to our home in Florida, which had needed minor repair from the first attack.  But, still not without "protection."

Roger "Race" Bannon was to act as bodyguard for both me and my son.  At first I was quite skeptical, but Race turned out to be just what I needed to help me deal with Rachel's death.  He himself had just gone through a horrible divorce with his own wife.  He said it wouldn't have been so bad if they hadn't had a daughter to battle over.  Race told me he knew that he didn't love his wife anymore, but nothing meant more to him than his daughter.

Unfortunately, his wife had won the custody battle and he didn't know if he'd ever see his precious "Jessie" again.  I didn't know what was worse, not being able to see a loved one again because of death.  Or knowing that loved one is alive and still not being able to see them.

Without realizing it I returned to my normal life, more or less.  Both Jonny and Race even convinced me to let Jonny get a dog.

And then we had another addition to the family.  He was a boy from Calcutta, India who was only a couple of years older than Jonny.  He saved my life.  How else could I repay him then give him another chance at his.

So, now Jonny had a brother.  He and Hadji got along great and Jonny wasn't moping about not having any friends.

Hadji also turned out to show extreme potential in the intelligence area.  He loved to help me in my lab, much to Jonny's ire.  But the boys still spent enough time playing and pulling pranks on me, Race, and each other.

Still, I could tell that not having his mother anymore was affecting Jonny.  He shied away from most females no matter what age they might have been.  I was worried about my son.  I knew he needed a mother figure in his life, but the way my…no OUR life was going, that wasn't bound to happen.

Thank the heavens that she came into our lives.  If she hadn't Jonny might have gone beyond saving.

Jessica Bannon was a year older than my son when she came to live with us.  Race's ex had finally relented and this was a trial visit.  She and Jonny had lots in common.  They both looked like their mothers, both had insatiable curiosity, both were independent, and both were very stubborn.

And not to say that Jessie didn't have things in common with Hadji either.  She loved to learn just as much as he did, and she was just as happy, if not more so to help me in my various experiments.  And more importantly she and Hadji got along right away.

Jonny on the other hand was more difficult.  His little problem was coming out and all he seemed to want to do was torture her into going back to her mother.  And he was pretty stubborn about it.

Yet, as I mentioned before, she was just as stubborn.  And she accepted his challenge.  She wasn't about to leave her father after fighting for so many years just to stay with him for three months.  Jessie turned out to be quite a competitor for my son.

And thankfully Hadji played mediator.  It was him who finally got them to be friends.  He got them to see how much they had in common.  Other than the things I have already mentioned they had both lost at least one parent in their own ways.  And I think it was also that Jessie's charm was starting to rub off on my son.

Gradually, the two became friends.  And who knows, maybe their relationship will grow into something more.  For now however, they're just content to be best of friends, which is lucky for Jonny because Hadji is now the Sultan of his own country and is gone a lot of the time.

So, here the story ends, for now.  There's still much more to be written, but we won't worry about the future.  That's for us not to know and us to find out.

The End