We’ve all heard of orphans, have we not? This particular story is about an orphan, which it precisely why I mentioned orphans at the beginning. All his life, Fergus Lopez had been picked on by the other children in the orphanage.
Eleven people in total lived in the orphanage. Fergus was the one of the first to arrive. When he arrived with Ms Gibbons, Julian Scott decided to make his house an official orphanage. To start with, it had just been Julian, living in the mansion by himself, getting lonelier and lonelier by the day, when he made up his mind that he wanted to look after children; he put up posters around the small town he lived in if they knew any children who needed a home.
After a while, Julian had Bonnie, Eleanor and Mitchell living in the house. Of course it took a few weeks to sort out the legal stuff and whatnot but eventually they knew each other inside out. They each had a room but they usually came together to talk or watch television in the massive sitting room where they sometimes shared stories about their lives (not that they needed to, they lived with each other, so naturally, they knew everything each of them did). All of them went to the same places which they could walk to and Julian paid for. Julian paid for everything for the children: food, new clothes, school supplies when they were old enough, sometimes toys if they wanted them.
Bonnie had been two and bouncing from uncles to aunts to other relatives for the first years of her life. When her relatives found Julian’s place, they jumped for joy as none of them would have to look after the little bitch.
Eleanor was dropped on the doorstep of Julian’s at one when Bonnie had been still been two. Her father had driven off without saying goodbye. Eleanor had just lay on the pavement outside Julian’s house, wrapped in a basket. As she started to cry, Julian came back from shopping for himself and Bonnie, he found Eleanor and took her inside. After a few weeks of not hearing anything from her father, Julian had decided he wanted her stay with him. Julian was delighted and heart-broken; how could someone just leave their daughter in the road to find her own way at a year old?
Mitchell had run away from his home at four a few months after Eleanor had arrived at Julian’s. He had always been a problem child, according to his mom. His mom had given Mitchell everything he’d ever wanted, until he turned four when his father died shortly after Mitchell’s birthday. That was when she became stricter about things. Mitchell had to deal with losing his father, whom he had idolised, and not having his way like he was used to. Things changed too much for him, so he had decided to change. He began his change by flushing his mothers horrid and rusting jewellery down the toilet, which he thought was doing her a favour-she thought very differently.
Mitchell and his mom had been living only a few towns away when he had decided to get out. He caught the first train he saw and never looked back. The train brought him to the town of Povolo. And, luckily for him, Julian lived near the train station. So as Mitchell stepped off the train, waving his middle finger at the ticket collector, it was one of the first houses he saw. He could see Eleanor with a doll through the window which meant the guy living there must like children. He knocked reluctantly as it began to rain. His mother had never come for him.
The four had lived together in perfect harmony until Fergus arrived two years after Bonnie, Mitchell and Eleanor had arrived, Fergus had been one.
* * *
Fergus was one of the youngest and was by far the smallest (except from Baby Charlie) after fourteen years of living at Julian’s. He had been abandoned at a few days old on the doorstep of Ms Gibbons’ house in the middle of the night, where she then took him to Julian’s.
* * *
Fergus’ mother wrote a note which she had placed gently inside of Fergus’ blankets which had surrounded him as a baby. It read:
I am sorry to do this to you, but this is Fergus Lopez. He was born three weeks ago. You do not know me and you probably never shall. I am leaving him here in your hopefully capable hands. I read about you in the newspaper the other day, in case you were wondering. Please take care of my little boy.
Don’t send him to the orphanage; he won’t survive without someone in his life to protect him. I really hope you look after him. I shall be looking over from time to time. Thank you with all my heart.
On the next day, after Fergus had been left on the doorstep, when Ms Gibbons had gone to put out her old milk bottles, she found him. She had picked him up with no gentleness at all and he had started to cry.
Ms Gibbons noticed the note a few minutes after bringing Fergus inside. She had unwrapped the blankets holding him tight and the note flew out onto her vacuumed cream carpet.
She had read it with despair and horror.
The person who had written the note had not signed their name. The writing was scruffy and curly; the purple paper it was written on had been dotted with what looked like water. Ms Gibbons assumed the person had been crying as they left.
She had the money to raise a child, but a woman in her fifties who had just recovered from heart surgery had nor the patience or time to look after him.
She had reread the note carefully, tracing every word with her eyes.
The parents heard about her in the newspaper. Ms Gibbons had forgotten she had been in the newspaper for something outrageous, she couldn’t remember what though.
Fergus started wailing and fresh tears ran down his chubby cheeks. Ms Gibbons looked at him and she cocked her head, staring at him as he bawled.
A thought suddenly struck her: he was hungry. She rushed into the marble kitchen in a matter of seconds with the baby in her arms.
She set him down on the island in the middle of the large room. The blankets were still half wrapped around him as she began looking for any sort of food a baby could eat.
She went through all her shelves and cupboards, finding nothing.
Maybe Julian will have some food for you, she thought.