Sami had woken up as Julian rushed with her inside. She looked into Julian's turquoise eyes and smiled. Julian had known she would be a pleasure to have.
But just a few weeks later, another came to the house. He had been found on the streets, wondering. He didn’t know a thing. He didn’t know how he got there, who his parents were or where he lived.
Julian found him and took him inside, asking questions. Poor kid, Julian thought as he found out the boy didn’t even know his own name. He had said he was born without one. He set Sami next to himself on the couch.
“You probably do have a name. But for the meantime, would you like to name yourself? You could do it based on things you do know about yourself.” Julian patted his shoulder as they sat on the couches in the sitting room, Bonnie, Mitchell, Eleanor and Jimmy were in other rooms and hadn’t heard the new boy in their house.
“I’m Jewish.” The boy reached inside his grubby t-shirt and pulled out a golden necklace of the Star of David.
“Do you want a Jewish name? How about Eli?” Julian suggested timidly.
“Eli?” The boy juggled it on his tongue. “I like Eli.” He beamed.
“Okay, Eli. Do you want to stay here while we find your parents?” Julian asked Eli, also grinning.
“Yes. I like you. What’s your name?” Julian had forgotten to tell Eli his name. He had just taken him in asking if he knew who his parents were or where they lived.
“You can call me Julian. Or you can call me anything you want, Eli.” Julian tried to use Eli’s name more than he would’ve done if he had had it from birth as he wanted Eli to get used to it.
“Okay, Jasper... You said I could call you anything.” Eli smirked cheekily. Julian ruffled his hair and laughed.
“Right. Let’s find your parents.” Julian headed to the kitchen, beckoning Eli to follow him.
“Hello? I need the police. I have a lost child here. He says he doesn’t know where or who his mother and father are or what he was doing when I found him in Povolo. He’s about four or five. He can’t remember a thing, poor kid.” He rambled down the phone.
“One moment.” The same calm woman's voice who always answered 999 calls said.
Julian muttered for her to hurry as he heard the phone go silent.
“Hello. I am the police Chief, Alonso Diaz. I am aware of the situation but I’m afraid there is nothing more we can do other than putting posters up and alerting the media.” A strong, faintly Spanish accented voice came through on the phone moments later.
“Okay. Okay.” Julian repeated quietly.
“We will send someone over to collect him in a few moments.” He continued but Julian interrupted.
“Oh, can... can’t he stay here?” He said, stroking his jaw.
“If you are really sure. Can I take your name and address please?” Alonso said, confused.
Julian went on to tell him his name, address, phone number and about the other children who lived with him.
“Well that all sounds very nice.” Alonso chuckled and Julian smiled.
“Thank you for letting me look after him.” Julian said, wanting to round off the call.
“No problem. Thank you, Julian. Goodbye.” The police chief hung up.
“Eli!” Julian called through the huge house. Eli had wondered off.
“Here!” He said coming down the stairs, followed by Eleanor and Jimmy.
“Julian, he says he's staying with us now. Is it true?” Eleanor said loudly as they trampled down the stairs hurriedly.
“Yes, but maybe not for long. Did “he” tell you his name?” Julian nodded, grinning.
“Eli.” She said, proud for remembering.
“Yep. That is Eli’s name.” Julian gestured for them to sit on the couch as he stood up. Eli sat slightly uncomfortably between Jimmy and Eleanor.
“Mitch! Bon! Fergus!” Julian yelled. Suddenly two pairs of feet came herding in.
“What?” Mitchell said, folding his arms as Bonnie stood next to him.
“I’ve got someone I want you to meet. Where’s Fergus? I thought I left him with you to look after.” Julian eyed them.
“He’s still upstairs.” Bonnie ran up and fetched Fergus.
“Guys, this is Eli. I don’t think he’ll be staying long. But be nice.” Julian aimed the last part at Mitchell. “Eli, this is Bonnie, Mitchell and Fergus.” He pointed to them.
“Nice to meet you.” Eli said politely and Mitchell gave him the evils.
“Why are you here?” He demanded, strutting over to the new boy who was now standing.
Mitchell stepped so they were face to face. He looked Eli up and down judgingly.
“Hello.” Eli said nervously, not looking Mitchell in the eyes.
“Hi.” He replied bluntly.
“Mitch. Be nice.” Julian warned and Mitchell stepped back. “Good boy.”
“Why, though?” Mitchell complained to Julian, more quietly.
“I found him on the streets. He had to choose a name as he doesn’t have one, I suggested Eli. He seems to like it.” He smiled at Eli from a few metres away who smiled back.
“You chose the name Eli?” Mitchell marched back over to Eli, who nodded, shaking.
“Why didn’t you choose a cool name? Like... Superman? Or Mitchell?” He chuckled, but Eli didn’t seem to find it funny. Julian tip-toed behind Eli and whispered in his ear.
“Don’t worry about Mitch. He’s a big bully.” Eli seemed content with this and left Mitchell laughing at himself.