Chapter 1 : Prologue
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“Hello Jayson.” Mrs. Granger said while smiling at him. “Jayson, this is Hermione Jane.”
“She’s pretty.” Jayson managed to get out as he held out a finger to the little girl. The infant reached up and gripped the finger for just a second. Jayson felt a twinge run through his body as they made contact. “She’s special.”
“We like to think so…” Mr. Granger replied.
Suddenly they heard screaming coming out of the house Jayson lived in.
“WHERE ARE YOU BOY? GET IN THIS HOUSE RIGHT NOW!” Jayson’s father bellowed. Jayson waved to the Grangers and ran towards his house. He went inside where his father was waiting for him. “Where have you been, boy?”
“I was next door, looking at the baby.” Jayson answered.
“Baby? What Baby?” His father demanded.
“The one the Granger’s just brought home. A pretty baby girl named Hermione Jane.”
Jayson’s father looked at his son like he didn’t believe a word that he said. “Baby, huh…well get to your room, now!”
Jayson went immediately to his room and shut the door. He knew better than to go back out the rest of the night. His parents did not even want to see him after dinner…period. He locked the door and walked over to the other side of the room. He then pulled out some money from his pocket and set it on the table. He then reached down and pulled out a drawer from his desk. He opened the false bottom and put the money in the hidden compartment of the drawer. After which, he replaced the false bottom and slid the drawer back into the desk. He was saving all the money he could and hiding it from his parents. Someday, he was going to save enough to leave this house and go live on his own. He couldn’t really say he was being abused by his parents. Abuse took effort, and his parents were not going to put forth the effort. They did just enough to keep Jayson from looking neglected to everyone else, especially the Granger’s. Jayson often wished that Philip and Eloise Granger were his “real” parents. They were a loving couple who always had kindness to show him; something that the “biologicals”, as Jayson called them, never showed to him at all. He was a little envious of the infant, because she had two loving parents, which was two more than he had.
His mother pounded on the door. “You better not be doing any of that weird stuff in there boy!” She shouted.
“No, Mother! I’m just sitting here reading a book. Nothing weird about that.”
“Keep it that way!” She yelled as she walked down the hallway. They both were always screaming about Jayson doing “weird” things. For example, he would wish for an apple and one would appear even though neither parent had bought any apples for a while. Another item was his hair, for it was always shoulder length; no longer, no shorter. If either parent cut it or had it cut, it would be back to shoulder length within a day or so. There were many other little “oddities” that happened around Jayson which made his parents nervous. For this reason, they preferred Jayson in his room when he was not at school. That way, no one could discover his “weirdness.”
Jayson lay on his bed for about two hours as he waited for his parents to retire for the night. Then he got up and opened his window as quietly as possible. His parents bedroom were on the other end of the house, so they would not hear the window going up if he slid it open ever so slowly. He crawled out of his window and out his front yard and crept softly next door. When he reached the window near the back of the Granger’s house he saw Mrs. Granger rocking in a chair while Hermione was lying in a crib. He just stared at the infant girl with wide eyed wonder. This was the most wondrous thing he had ever seen, this tiny little person. He also remember the spark that went through him when they touched for the first time. Mrs. Granger looked around and saw Jayson staring at the baby with a mesmerized look on his face. She wasn’t really surprised, Jayson made a habit of coming over in the early evenings when he was feeling particularly lonely or miserable. She moved the crib closer to the window and opened it so that Jayson could lean in.
“I am willing to wager you’re supposed to be in bed.” She said softly.
“If the biologicals had their way, I’d always be asleep or in school.” He reached in slowly and ruffled the infant curly hair. “She’s so tiny. Pretty, but tiny.”
“Why don’t you watch her for me while I get some milk for her?” Mrs. Granger asked.
“I can do that.” Jayson replied and sat on the window sill and looked down at Hermione while Eloise went into the kitchen. Jayson looked into the chocolate brown eyes of the baby. She looked so innocent, so trusting, and so little. Finally he got up the courage to say. “Don’t you worry about nuthin, Hermione Jane; you always have a friend with me. I will be there when you need me, I promise.”
From the kitchen, Eloise Granger simply smiled on hearing Jayson’s oath…