WARNING: The characters in the following story are creations of fiction; any semblance between them and any persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
This story contains the following: mentions of child abuse, infantilism, the wearing and use of diapers because of a MEDICAL NEED TO. If any of that is offensive to you, please click back and find something more suited to your tastes, I won't hold any personal grudges. This story is not a pedo-fic and hopefully done in a tasteful way as it focuses more on the characters and their development throughout the story.
I already knew it was going to be interesting as I stopped at the curb in front of Fosters Home, the only orphanage in a three city area. The brick building was two stories tall with glass windows hazed over with dirt and who knows what else. I made my way up the sidewalk to the front door of the small mansion where children could be heard having a good time inside. Even before I could reach out and press the button to ring the bell, the door opened to reveal a shorter older woman with dirty blond hair that was also thinning at the top of her head. She had dull tan eyes and stood a few inches shorter than I, as I stood a mighty six foot even.
"Mister Armington. Right on time I see." With this, she stepped aside to reveal an eleven year old boy standing behind her. The boy had stringy black hair and frost blue eyes that were as cold as death itself. When I first met him, I refused to believe he actually was eleven because he was unusually small and scraggly for his age. Perhaps I would even go as far as saying that he was scrawny much like a wounded puppy that was drenched from a heavy rain. He looks just like any of the seven or eight-year-old's there instead of his actual age of eleven. He stopped fiddling with the bottom hem of his shirt and looked up to see me eye to eye. It was the very same look he had when I first met him two weeks ago. During those two weeks of interaction, we came to know each other a little better. It seemed that with every visit I made, he came that much more out of his shell, but now he stands as he did the first time we met - small, timid, shy, very...very skittish.
His name is Nicholas Stentson, but he liked to be called Nick. He was eleven years old and, as I just mentioned, very small for his age. He learned that my name is Bryce Armington, that I lived in a house that could easily rival the orphanage and that I was a well published author by trade. Now that I ponder it, I find that it is an great help to be able to work from home, have a steady income and still provide Nick as much attention as he wanted.
"Are you ready, Nick?" I asked softly. He nodded, reached down and picked up a black backpack. I found it strange that he didn't bother to say goodbye to the other kids or to the two whom run the orphanage or the six college aged young adults that help to care for the residents. Nick quietly stayed at my side as we moved to my bright orange Pathmaker 4X4 with tinted windows parked at the curb.
He looked at it and smiled; his focus went over the entire vehicle and his smile grew bigger. Mounted on the front bumper was a large bumper guard plated in chrome with several high intensity lights and a small yet powerful winch affixed to it. On the top of the beast were even more spotlights mounted on rails for easy adjustment. On the back and sides were dozens of smaller lights. Red ones were used for indicating braking along with normal parking lights and yellow was used for turn signals. The tires were larger in diameter and wider with protruding treads that easily handle mud, snow and god knows what else. Steel bar sidesteps hung low enough to help with getting in and out but were high enough up to avoid the typical obstacles they depict on commercials.
"You like?" He turned to me and nodded slightly – all the while his huge smile stayed in place. He didn't need to know it yet, but there was a reason why I went and bought a vehicle such as this one. I wasn't ready to tell him about the accident and that I wanted him riding in something that could take a beating and keep going. Maybe I'm being paranoid. Perhaps I'm already becoming overly protective of my soon to be son. But I never want to go through a repeat of that fateful night when I lost my dear Pamela and precious Micheal. Then I thought about the reactions I received from the dealer when I asked him if it could be painted that bright orange and customized with the additional lights. Even though there was a substantial fee for doing it, I signed all the papers. Not only did the stock show room suv have all the upgrades on the outside, there were also some tweaks under the hood. Because of the added stress of the extra lights, they not only had to use a mess of relays but also replace the alternator with a beefed up version and upgrade the battery to something with a little more oomph.
I remember the first time I parked the suv in front of my home because I knew what I had to do with it. The very first add-on to be installed were two first aid kids strategically placed - one in the cargo area and the second stuck to the side of the front passenger seat. The next to be thrown in were two fire extinguishers – one placed with the med kit in the back, the other placed on the side of the drivers seat. The main reason, ease of access should something happen. Then, in went a couple of packages of road flares. Again, safety first. A couple of blankets, a few bottles of water, and pretty much anything necessary for an overnight stay on the road.
"It's built like a tank!" Nicks voice brought me back from my thoughts. I opened the passenger door and helped him up and in the vehicle; once he was situated, I slid his bag between his feet and moved around to the drivers side. Once inside myself, I slid the key in the ignition then turned to Nick.
"Got your seat belt on?"
"Yep." Then as if to prove it, Nick slid his hand under the passive restraint stretched across his chest and lap then let it snap back into place.
"All righty then, looks like we're good to go."
The drive seemed to take longer than usual. Every so often, I would catch a quick glimpse of Nick staring out the window. His look as blank and distant as though he weren't there at all. The more I saw him staring, the more I wondered what was on his mind. I hoped that sooner or later, he'd open up to me a little more; even if it was bit by bit. I really wanted to get to know him better. Little did I know, that in a few months, I'd know everything about him. I turned the vehicle off the street and onto a concrete driveway that stretched from the road to a two story home that sat square in the middle of a large expanse of land. That's what I loved about my home; it was one of the last few homes on the outskirts of town. There was plenty of room to do as I saw fit and not have to worry about being bothered by pesky neighbors because they would recognize me as Adam Smith...the pseudonym I granted myself when I first started writing, and it's stuck ever since.
"When we get in, I'll show you around and let you get settled in. Then we'll sit down, have lunch and go over what is expected of you, cool?" Hearing this, Nick turned his attention from the passing scenery and nodded. The way he didn't make eye contact told me this was going to be another new series of rules for him to follow. Part of me wants him to have personal freedom, but another part of me also wanted structure. I sure hope that the rules I'm going to give him are the right balance between the two waring factions inside my head.
I slowed to a stop at a length of driveway that looped around the front of the house and turned back to connect in an odd eyelet shape. After the motor had been turned off, Nick unbuckled the seat belt and opened the door to climb out, slung his bag over his shoulder and followed me to the front door. As we entered into the house I heard a small gasp coming from my side. Looking over, I found Nick looking around completely astonished by the sheer size of everything. The living room was huge. A soft tan covered the walls contrasting the salt and pepper carpeting. A couch sat along the wall to the right, a television to the left and a coffee table in between.
The kitchen along the back of the house was large enough to accommodate a good sized table. Bright white tiles covered the floor and counter tops; the cabinets were a rich mahogany with glass fronts to display what was inside of them. The walls were painted a pastel yellow that was bright yet subdued at the same time.
My home office off to the left side was more than big enough for what I needed. The stairs leading to the second floor were wide enough to allow at least three people side by side at any given time. There were two more doors on the first floor, which I lead him to. Once there, I opened the door and revealed a half bath. Light white continued in the space like it had in the kitchen, it was small but also strangely big enough to keep from being confining.
"This way, there's no having to run up the stairs to use the bathroom up there." His eyes widened seeing this, there was relieved expression on his face as he looked at the room designed for it's purpose. The other door I lead him to went down to an unfurnished basement that was nothing more than an empty unused space. Then I turned and lead him upstairs. Once there, the same salt and pepper carpeting continued as did the sand colored paint scheme.
"Last door on the left is the master bedroom with a master bath. There are five spare rooms plus another bathroom here..." I opened the second door on the left and revealed a grand space with tiled floors and walls with shiny white utilities. Again, there was a look of relief on his face. Using this newly acquired information, I lead him back to the first door on the right. "This is your room, it's a little bigger than the rest of the spares, so I think you'll like it." At this, I opened the door to his new room. Along the far wall was a single bed with thick navy blue blankets and a couple of extra plush pillows. A dresser was set on the left side of the room opposite of a window with curtains pulled back at the right side of the space. "I know it's not much now, but that means you'll have plenty of blank canvas to express your tastes. Go ahead and get your stuff stowed away and if you want to, explore a little while I whip us up some lunch." Nick nodded before I left leaving the door open.
There was a reason why I pointed out the bathrooms first. It's so he would know where they are so he would be close to one. I came to that decision after I read through his entire case file and every single copy of his medical records. Even in the first couple of pages there was a disturbing trend; in and out of foster homes since the age of four until I took him in. Every time they sent him back to the orphanage the would be families always said the same thing. Cannot continue caring for him and his day/night accidents.
There was yet another alarming discovery between the homes he went to. None of them bothered to find out why he had trouble getting to a toilet in time. They thought he was doing just for attention. But I don't. I'm beginning to wonder if there might be a medical reason for it. Especially after hearing that his biological father beat the shit out of him when he was four. That man was an animal and unknowingly...or knowingly beat his own son so hard it literally stunted his growth. At least that's the conclusion I've come to after reading every single sheet of paper in the file that was several inches thick.
As I made my way down the stairs, the thoughts continued. The very first time I saw Nick, I knew he was special. There was always a look of longing in his eyes whenever I was around. Almost as though he knew I would never send him back; as though he could read my mind and see the future of how we were going to get along just fine. At least those are the thoughts I harbored every night as I lay awake in bed the past two months as I had to prove myself fit to be a foster father. This day never seemed to get that much closer until sixty one days flashed by in an instant.
I headed into the kitchen and straight lined for the fridge where I retrieved a container of crunchy peanut butter and a jar of jelly. Then I went to the pantry and gathered a loaf of bread and set the items on the counter. I reached into a sliding cabinet drawer and retrieved two plates and two glasses, then in an above drawer I went for a dulled knife. Before I knew it, I had at least four sandwiches done up and cut top corner to bottom corner. As I turned to the table with two chairs at it, I saw Nick standing under the archway separating the space from the rest of the house.
"Well don't be shy; come on in and get somethin' to eat." He came over and sat at the table as I filled the glasses with ice cold sweet tea from a pitcher in the fridge and returned to the table and sat down myself. I waited until Nick took one bite of his sandwich to see his reaction; and as I thought, his eyes lit up as he licked his lips from the first bite.
"Yum!" He exclaimed. "Grape jelly. And crunchy peanut butter. How'd you know that's the combination I like?"
"Amy from the orphanage. She just accidentally let it slip that it's your favorite." The way he looked at me silently stated he picked up the sarcastic emphasis on 'accidentally'. He smiled a little more knowing how close he was with her. To him, she was like a big sister that watched over him.
We ate in something of an awkward silence. Every so often, Nick took a napkin and wiped his mouth, then reach for his glass of tea before devouring more of the sandwiches. In due time, we were done, and to my surprise, Nick took the empty plates over to the sink and washed them off before setting them to dry. This took me completely off guard because it was one of the last things I expected. That was until what he did next. With the plates on a folded towel, Nick turned, stared off into the distance then began to shudder.
"I'll be right back!" Was all he shouted while running out of the kitchen, down the length of the wall on the right side and flew right into the bathroom. I could only blink several times for I thought I saw him keeping one hand on the front of his jeans the entire distance. He may be small, but he's also fast. It was just a blur of a plain red shirt, blue jean-shorts and white socks. Put a pair of wings on him and he might reach thirty-seven thousand feet and a cruising speed of six hundred miles an hour. That thought made me chuckle as I stood and headed for my office to retrieve the appropriate papers.
We both returned to the kitchen at the same time and I told him how much I appreciated that he cleared the plates like he had, and in response, he told me that it wasn't a problem at all. We sat back down at the table and I handed him two of three sheets of paper.
"Just some rules." I began softly as he studied them.
"One, in bed no later than nine thirty. Two, help out around the house where and when needed. Three, homework to be completed as soon as possible." Nick read aloud the entire list of three rules before turning his attention to the second sheet which contained a short list of his appointed tasks. "Keep main bathroom clean. Keep room clean. Take out the trash and help with dishes."
"Perhaps I should go into a little detail. I'll keep the master bath clean, you keep the main one on the second floor clean and we'll team up on the first floor. And we can take turns washing the dishes every night...and since you so gladly took care of the lunch plates, I'll do 'em tonight, then you can get 'em tomorrow. Sound like a plan?"
"And those three rules are subject to change with notice depending on how things go after the first couple of weeks. I want you to have fun, but still be responsible. I hope that this won't cause too much strife?" I watched as Nick shook his head 'no'. Then he looked me square in the eyes then averted his attention to his half full glass of tea.
"Something wrong?" I asked calmly, wondering what was on his mind.
"Mister Armington..." He spoke in a low tone keeping his focus on the glass. "...I-I've got to come clean about something before it's too late." He sighed as if gathering his thoughts. "See, the thing is, and I'm not sure how to say it, so I'll just come right out and say that I have issues with nighttime dryness." He quickly turned away extremely embarrassed about what he just spoke, there was no hiding the bright pink over his face. I already had a hunch that might be the case but I was still surprised to hear him come out with it.
"Well..." I spoke in a calm, understanding and non-judgmental tone. "...that's okay. I read through your entire file and took a couple of precautions just in case this was true. I know it was hard to say, but I appreciate your honesty on this matter. In fact, just so there are no surprises, I'll go ahead and show you what I have prepared." He looked at me as I stood and motioned for him to follow.
We went up to his room where I pulled back the blankets and the sheets from one corner of the bed and motioned him in for a better look. As soon as he was at my side, I took my index finger and aggressively poked at a plastic liner covering the mattress. Nick tilted his head to the side as he joined in and started to make a game out of it. I looked him eye to eye and put my hand on his shoulder.
"So if there are any accidents, it's nothing a quick load of laundry can't fix." If I wasn't staring right at him, I would have missed the faintest of smiles cresting his lips. That was when I grew nervous about what I planned to show him next. He followed me to the dresser and knelt down beside me as I pulled the bottom drawer open. "You don't have to wear these, but they might help with your little problem. From the corner of my eye, I could see his eyes growing bigger and bigger. He hesitantly reached out a shaking hand towards a stack of Goodnites; as soon as they were within his grasp, his hand hovered a few inches over the nighttime protection as though he were unsure of whether or not to pick one up. To my relief, he picked up one from the top of the stack and pulled it close to him for a more thorough inspection. I allowed him a few moments to look it over before adding further comment.
"They slide on like real underwear but they offer the absorbency of a diaper but in a sleek streamline design." Hearing this, Nick looks to me with question, wonder and hope in one glare; his hands slowly stop shaking as he runs his fingers over the material. "It's your choice what you want to do. I can't make you wear them or go without them. The only thing I really can do is simply ask that you think of trying them." He continues staring at me before nodding his head.
"Nobody else has ever thought about doing something like this. You're the first person to be understanding of my situation and offer guidance. I'll..." A few seconds pass; my heart beats thunder in my ears. "...since you're not making me feel like crap, I'll try them."
"That's a very responsible decision to make. I'm very proud of you."
"I think that also fits under rule number too; help out around the house when needed – specifically keeping room clean and taking out the trash."
"You're a fast learner..." I chuckled ruffing up his hair, and before I know it, he leans in and gently wraps his arms behind my neck and gives me a very loose but very sincere hug.
"I really do appreciate this." Hearing him, I carefully reached out and tenderly rubbed his back and within seconds, felt him melting a little while releasing some of the tension he carried.
Even in my most far fetched daydreams, I never thought he'd take to me as easily as he did. Especially knowing his history, and that I lived by myself, and my sheer physical size. It was then, that I knew everything was going to be okay. Little did I know it'd be an interesting experience to say the least, but a good time for both of us.