Kilantus Park, Orlando, Florida, 0800 hours | Mon., 01/02/2019
A scream can be heard as a boy falls to the ground. His purple orbs stare at the man who is supposed to be his father. Before he can utter a word, the man slaps him across the face again and grabs him by the neck.
"I've had enough of you!"
The man screams as he throws the boy into the nearby wall. The child lets out a scream as he reaches the wall. He gazes up at his father again and coughs as blood seeps down his cheeks. The man smiles, unaffected by the pain he's just inflicted on the boy.
"Weakling, just like your mother."
With that said the man strikes the boy again. "Don't know why she named you Kilo, don't mean nothing now though."
Kilo looks up to his supposed father and collapses to the floor. The man chuckles and leaves the house. Fortunate enough for the boy, angels are watching over him, and someone calls the ambulance, which rushes the boy to the hospital.
Meanwhile, the police have arrived at the home and have arrested the man who just abused the child that was sent to the hospital. A man the color of tree bark walks up to two officers.
They salute and the man nods. "Captain, this man was called in as the child abuser."
The captain stares at him, shock and disgust decorating his face. This man that was the child abuser is one of his own officers, Lt. Richard Delany.
The captain furrows his brow and turns to the other officers. "Boys, get him out of my sight. I can't stand child abusers. I furthermore, can't stand those abusers that are part of my own force!"
The officers step back at the captain's outburst.
The captain flashes his golden eyes at them and stands in their faces."GO! NOW! GET-HIM, OUT-OF-HERE!"
The officers nod and upon entering their car they speed the culprit away. The captain looks to the ground and closes his eyes. He prays for the child that was abused, he prays that the boy would be okay. Upon finishing his prayer, he hops into his car and speeds off into the city center.
Orlando Children's Hospital, Orlando, FL 1000, | Mon., 01/02/2019
Kilo groans as he opens his eyes. He looks around to find blue wallpaper with trains racing across it greeting him. Before the boy can say anything, a man the color of tree bark walks in his red cloak sweeping the floor with his movements. Beside him is a doctor clad in white. The doctor turns to the man.
"This child suffered serious injuries, Mr. Centriany. His name's Kilo. You were the only relative we could contact. I'm sorry your brother did this to your nephew."
Anthony nods and is shocked when the boy speaks.
"Kilo…. Is that my name?"
Anthony's eyes flash revealing sun at their center. He knew when a person asks for his or her own name that would be a bad sign.
Kilo trains his eyes on the doctor and smiles. "Is this nice man, my daddy, doctor?"
Anthony looks to the doctor. He had never had a son before, and was considering adoption. He just didn't expect one of his fellow officers, his own brother no less, to abuse his own son. He looks back to the boy and thinks,
"The child needs someone to care for him. Since his father decided to be a low-life child abuser, I'll step up to the plate."
Anthony smiles at the boy and nods. "Well, though I'm your uncle, I am now. How old are you son?"
Kilo shrinks back when Anthony walks closer to him. He stops and kneels by the boy's bedside, sensing his fear. Kilo smiles and looks to the doctor, then to Anthony.
Anthony scans the terrified boy. "Don't worry, kiddo, we'll get you in tip top shape."
Kilo nods. "Okay, um….never mind."
Anthony turns to the doctor who smiles at him and speaks.
"Can I speak with you outside?"
Anthony nods and steps outside with the doctor.
Once outside, the doctor closes the door and faces Anthony. He sighs as he speaks, "Well, I have some things to tell you. You see… Kilo's body is in rather good condition. It is clear that God was watching over him…but as he hit the wall, he fell pretty hard on the backside of his head. The part in his brain that is responsible for the memory is currently…set out of place, and it isn't functioning. It was a blessing that it was not badly hit because that could have led to permanent damage. However, he seems to have lost his memory. Amnesia is what we call it. He did not even remember his name as you have seen! His type of amnesia is a combination of neurological amnesia and retrograde amnesia. Neurological amnesia occurs when the cortex and hippocampus of the brain is damaged. These areas are where the nerve pathways to stored memories are created, and when these pathways are cut off there is no way to retrieve memories. New memories also cannot be made because there is no way to form long-term memories. Fortunately for you, he seems to also have forgotten his past memories of his old father as well, this type of memory loss is known as retrograde amnesia. With the tests that we've done we found that he's completely forgotten his past. It was only a matter of time before this happened considering the amount of injury his brain has suffered due to the repeated blows he's received to his head for the past three years. He fine physically, but…I'm not certain when or if he'll ever be able to retain his full ability to remember long-term events. It could take weeks or months…."
The doctor pauses, noticing the insignia on the man's cloak and finishes, "Captain Centriany, we'll keep the boy three days for observation and then he's all yours."
Anthony nods and speaks up. "Is there anything I can do?"
The doctor nods. "If you mean drugs, Captain, that isn't possible since amnesia can't be cured by drugs. Due to the abuse the child has undergone, it would be best that you care for him. It is imperative for the child to be in the care of someone he trusts, and considering his age it's even more important, since he'll need someone to help him cope with this."
Anthony nods and shakes the doctor's hand. "I'll take care of the boy, I always wanted a son."
With that, the doctor leaves and Anthony reenters the room. Kilo looks over to Anthony as though he is expecting good news.
"So, you're going to be my Daddy, huh?"
Anthony nods. "Yes, but I can't take you home just yet, the doc wants to keep you for a few days for observation."
Kilo nods and yawns. "Are you a cop?"
Anthony regards the boy with agreement as he replies, "Yep, I'm captain of the Orlando Police Department. I promise to protect you."
Kilo regards Anthony with a scared look as the man sits down on his bed.
He chuckles at the boy when he yawns. "Are you tired?"
"Maybe a little bit."
"Do you want to sleep for awhile?"
He nods and wraps himself as a cocoon under the silk of his bed covers. Anthony scans the sleeping boy, noting that he'd need to rest after the ordeal he just went through. He turns to find Samson, one of his lieutenants, at the door. The man flashes his blue pools and walks in.
"Captain, good evening." Samson salutes.
Anthony returns the salute. "At ease, thanks for coming, old friend."
Samson lowers his hand to his side and nods. "So, what are you going to do, Captain?"
"I'm going to watch over him and tomorrow, I'm taking him home as my new son."
Samson regards his superior officer with respect as he replies, "Understood, Captain, I request permission to remain here with you?"
"Permission granted, Samson."
Samson nods and sits in a chair in front of the bed. Soon, he is asleep along with Anthony.
About two hours later, Samson awakens to muffled singing. He looks over to find Anthony singing to a sleeping Kilo in his embrace.
Anthony gazes over to Samson and speaks, "He just started crying and thrashing. He had a nightmare, but I just hugged him until he fell back to sleep. I'm guessing the doctor was right, he does need me. I just don't believe why my brother would have done this to his son. I mean other than us being separated as children, I don't see how….wait...maybe it was my father. Maybe he had something to with Richard becoming the monster he is. I was raised with my mother and he was with my father. We were apart since we were seven. Then, I meet up with him on the Orlando police force and years later this happens. I just don't get it, Lieutenant."
"Yes, sir, I understand what you're saying. Sometimes it is difficult to determine what makes a person commit an act of violence. With all due respect though, I do think it might have something to do with your father, maybe he has the key to the door of your question."
A scoff escapes the captain's lips as he replies, "Yeah, good luck with getting an answer out of my father, he's dead. He passed two months ago, remember?"
Samson regards Anthony with acknowledgement as he yawns. "Yes, Captain. I remember that well."
He sighs as he faces the floor. "I'm sorry that I can't be of any more help in this matter, Captain."
"You've helped me by being here, old friend. That's all I ask."
Samson trains his sleepy eyes on the man. "May I request permission to return to sleep?"
Anthony chuckles. "We're not in the army Samson," he yawns and continues to speak, "but permission granted."
With that Samson falls asleep.
Three days later Kilo is released from the hospital. Lt. Samson offers to drive Anthony and his new son home, to which he accepts.
When they arrive home, Anthony gives Kilo a tour of his new home.
"This is the kitchen, complete with fridge, stove, sink, dishwasher, and a walk in cupboard. I swear you'll get lost if you aren't careful."
As they walk out the kitchen, Kilo yawns. Anthony kneels down to his son.
"I guess now is as good a time as any to show you to your room."
Anthony chuckles as they leave the kitchen to a hallway in front of the kitchen.
"Straight down this hall is my room." Anthony points straight down the hall. "Your room is the first door to the left," he pauses as he points to the left, "and the bathroom is to the left of your room."
Kilo nods as Anthony sets him on his new bed. Kilo scans the room, finding a three drawer oak dresser in front of the bed. Panning to his right, he finds a small wooden bedside table. He begins to sniffle as he continues to scan the rest of the room, finding a curtain covered closet at the bed's foot adjacent to a rocking chair resting next to a pane glass window giving the boy full view of the peaceful suburban neighborhood that he's now a part of. He scans the walls of his room finding blue train wallpaper decorating them, almost the same as the one in the hospital room he had resided in. Tears well in his eyes at the sight of this room this man, who called him his son, had given him! Anthony hugs him straightaway before the child can break down. His tears slow the moment he is embraced by the man.
"What's wrong son? Don't you like your room?"
Kilo trains his teary eyes on his father and shakes his head. "No, I…I love my room, but….but I'm scared to be alone. I don't wanna be alone; will you stay in here with me, please?"
Anthony regards the child with agreement. He knows he'd feel the same way if he were in a strange new place with no knowledge of who's taking care of him. He resolves that he will give Kilo the best experience the kid has ever had.
As he tousles the boy's hair and hugs him, he speaks, "Of course little one, I will definitely do that, I don't mind. I wasn't planning on leaving you in here by yourself anyway." He finishes as he wipes the child's tears from his fearful lavender orbs. He promises he'll turn that fear to trust by the end of the week.
He regards the boy with kindness as he kisses his forehead. "Kilo, my wonderful child, you will be given the best life I can offer you, that's a promise."
Kilo nods as Anthony lies down next to him. Kilo scans the man, finding him more peaceful and caring than when he was in his previous situation. A yawn escapes his lips and he falls asleep.
Anthony chuckles as he watches his new son.
"This will prove to be a great task. I pray God will give me strength in this endeavor."
Anthony's Home, Orlando, FL, 1000, | Mon., 01/06/2019
Anthony trains his eyes on the honey-skinned child sitting next to him. He scans his features, as he flashes his lavender eyes, and makes note of the red t-shirt and blue shorts he just dressed the child in. He regards him with a nod, telling him to begin.
Kilo nods as he speaks, "Thank you for allowing me to become a part of your family. Mister...you...you promise you'll keep me safe and not hurt me like...like I just got hurt right? I also have another question: what's an adoption like?"
Anthony nods as he ruffles the boy's hair. "Yes I promise to protect you, Kilo. And concerning the process of adoption, the first step was talking with the Orlando City Adoption Agency and since I already made contact in finding you in the care of your former father, that step is complete. The second step was for me to complete twenty-seven hours of training in childcare. The third step is the home study, which is ten months long. Alexander Atlantis, your social worker will visit me today and two more times during the ten month period to check on how we're doing. After that, I will go to the adoption agency and sign the papers to finalize the adoption."
"You-you won't leave me here will you?" Kilo asks, fear enveloping his senses.
Anthony regards the boy with kindness as he speaks, "Of course I won't leave you here alone. You'll be coming with me."
Kilo nods as this stranger hugs him once more. He doesn't understand why this man accepted him into his home, much less why he's so nice to him. Maybe this was the person he had prayed for to take him away from the torment that was his previous situation. Upon breaking from the embrace, a knock is heard. Anthony stands with Kilo in his arms and he goes to answer the door. He finds Kilo's social worker standing there, stone faced at them. Anthony motions for the man to enter the home. Once in the living room, they sit on the couch and Kilo and Anthony face the man.
"Hello, I'm Alexander Atlantis from the Orlando City Adoption Agency. I will interview you three separate times during the ten-month period. Also, Anthony I'm glad to say you passed the mental parenting tests. Now, I have some questions for you."
Anthony regards him with agreement, asking for him to begin.
Well, I already know your background and you passed the Parental Eligibility tests. So, all that remains is one question: What is your reason for wanting to adopt Kilo?"
"Well, I've been considering adoption for some time now. I've wanted a son for a while, but I wouldn't be able to marry and have a child because of an accident I was in a few years ago. With Kilo, I've noticed that ever since he's been in my home, he's been attached to me like glue. He's a little fearful, but I can see that we will have a good relationship. He'll be a good son to me and I'll be a good father to him."
Alexander regards them with acceptance as he pulls a PDA from his waist. It glows blue as he records the conversation they just had. Then, he fills in a report. Once he closes the file, he latches the PDA to his waist. He trains his eyes on the family, and bids them fair well before he vanishes out the front door
Anthony averts his eyes from the door to his lap to find Kilo fast asleep in his lap. He smiles as he carries his new son to his room and tucks him for a well needed nap. He then turns to the vacant rocking chair at the foot of the bed and sits down to watch over his sleeping son.
The following night, a scream reaches Anthony's ears. He rushes toward Kilo's room to find the child on his bed, knees curled to his chest crying.
He walks over to the boy and sits down on his bed.
As he pulls him close, he asks, "Kilo, what's wrong?"
Kilo trains his fearful eyes on Anthony as he asks, "I…I don't know where I am? Where am I? Wha-what happened to me? Where's my Daddy?"
Anthony sighs mentally; he realizes this will be harder than he had first thought.
Facing the boy, he speaks, "Kilo, you were hurt and I saved you from your father, he wanted to hurt you. I couldn't allow my brother to cause you harm any longer."
Kilo sniffles as he nods. "My…my Daddy, wh-where is he? Who-who are you?"
"He's in jail, Kilo. He won't be able to hurt you anymore. I…I am your uncle, Anthony and I promise to protect you for the rest of your life."
"But…but…what if my daddy tries to…" Kilo's words are lost as he begins to bawl.
Anthony hugs the child close to him and whispers a soothing tone in his ear in an attempt to calm him down. He sighs in relief as the chorus of gentle breathing and snoring reaches his ears.
Training his eyes on the now sleeping child in his lap, he bows his head in prayer. "Heavenly Father, I come before You asking that You help me in this endeavor. I pray that You would open Kilo's heart up to me and allow me entrance so that I can change this child's world from one of fear and sadness into one of happiness and love. In Jesus' Name, I pray, Amen."
Anthony's Home, Orlando, FL, 1600, | Mon., 09/13/2019
A knock comes to the door, as Kilo and Anthony are deep in a game of chess. In the months that have passed, Kilo has grown attached to Anthony and Anthony has found both a new son and a child who is a wizard at chess.
Kilo giggles as he places the man in checkmate. "I won!" He giggles as he hops up and runs over to him, only to raise his arms to him a moment later.
He smiles as he lifts his son into his arms and hugs him before going to the door. He opens it, revealing a somber Alexander, holding a small black briefcase at the door. He regards him with a nod as he stands aside, granting him entrance. When they reach the living room they sit down.
Alexander faces Kilo before turning to his father. "This is my last visit. Before I leave, I will give you the adoption papers to sign and the adoption will be finalized. I just have one question..." He pauses as he turns to Kilo. "Do you want to stay with him? Are you happy here?"
Kilo nods as he hugs his new father. "Of course I want to stay! I…I…don't want to leave him. He cares about me very much and… and I can't leave. I won't leave. I love it here, I finally have someone who cares for me."
He regards him with a smile as he removes a clipboard from his briefcase. Upon removing the adoption papers, he hands them off for Anthony and Kilo to sign. When Anthony and Kilo sign the papers they smile. After wiping the tears from his eyes, he hands the papers to Alexander.
Alexander stands and after placing the papers in the briefcase he faces the family. "As of this date, September 13, 2019, 16:30:52, I pronounce you, Kilo Delany, legal member of the Centriany family. With that, I bid you both farewell."
Anthony and Kilo nod as the man bows and leaves them. Kilo beams up at his new father, happy to finally belong to someone who loves him.