Mark wasn’t allowed to school for the rest of the week. However after threatening to Nurse Roberts he would run away she allowed him to go back on the Monday. His chest was swathed in bandages and he wasn’t allowed out at break.

More embarrassingly though, some of the girls in his class stayed in at breaks and chatted, naturally they didn’t allow him to sit and read or do work and insisted he join in the conversation, even sitting around him when they came in.

“So why aren’t you allowed out at breaks then?” One girl asked.

Mark hesitated before saying “They don’t believe I fell down the stairs so I have to stay in. sucks”

The girl looked confused “What stairs are there at school? And why wont they believe you?”

“I bruised pretty bad, they thought I’m being bullied.” The girls nodded in understanding, they all new the rule that you don’t snitch and Mr Smith was sat at his desk on his laptop so they understood why he didn’t tell them.

The conversation moved on and Mark was thankful they didn’t linger on it. Unfortunately, they did ask about Marks life.

“What about your parents, what do they do?”

Mark didn’t want to get on to this, he didn’t need sympathy. But they’d ask more if he didn’t say anything “Well my dad, ugh, he died when I was six and my mum used to work in the stock markets. When my dad died she took It pretty bad and hasn’t worked since. I haven’t seen her in a while”

Mark would have given anything to take back them last few words because the inevitable question came next “Why not?”

Mark sighed “She’s a manic depressive with suicidal tendencies. Almost two months ago I went for a walk and ended up lost. I climbed on a roof and was knocked out by something. When I woke up in hospital I had hypothermia and was told I’d been found on the roof with two dead people on the ground directly below. I was cleared but I’ve been staying at the hospital ever since. My mum was good at her job before and has a team of decent lawyers who are following her last sane wishes that I remain with her so there’s a big custody battle.” He didn’t wait for an answer but stood up and marched to Mr Smith determinedly, “Sir, Can I PLEASE go out!?!?”

Mr Smith looked at him thoughtfully, “That depends, you gunner tell me who beat you up?”

Mark grunted “No so stop asking”

“Then no”

Mark sighed and went and sat at another table. The girls were quiet, talking in whispers and shooting him looks.

Mr Smith had done his research and after trawling through obscure legal documents for days he had finally hit gold. Who knew a dream could give him the answer. He headed to the heads office, telling the girls not to let Mark leave.

Mr chantey looked up as he entered his office. He listened carefully as Mr Smith explained and read the documents he had printed carefully before answering.

“But who?” he asked quietly. Mr Smith pointed at himself, “Me”.

“You. Are you sure?”


There was pause while Mr Chantey thought, “Fine I’ll get the school lawyer in touch with social services.

When Mark got back to the ward that night Nurse Roberts and a man in a grey suit looking dreadfully bored were waiting for him. “Mark this is Mr Denali, he’s a lawyer who works for social services.” Nurse Roberts told him.

The man explained straight away “Mark we want to get you into care and your mothers lawyers want you back with her. We’ve been trying everything to win but your mothers lawyers are very good. There is one bi-law however that we think might get us the case. It states that when social serviced feel a child is being neglected by a parent with a mental disability and they are unable to take him into care a close person adult to the child may take him in for adoption. We looked but most of your mothers friends are untraceable these days. We had abandoned this line until earlier when your schools lawyers got in contact with us saying a Mr Peter Smith, a teacher at your school had volunteered. If you are agreeable we need your signature and we can be in court within a week. If not then you’ll stay here for the foreseeable future. This would have the added benefit of legally recognising your mother as mentally disabled and she would be given a proper carer as well as having her assets and funs frozen until you turn 18 when they would be yours. They are significant amounts of money. Do you understand?”

Mark was shocked, Mr Smith? Peter? Why?

“Ummm I understand only, can I think about it?”

“Of course, we’ve reserved a court slot already, you have until tomorrow evening, just sign this and click send and we’re good to go.”

He gave Mark a PDF with a complicated legal document on.

He said goodbye to the lawyer before sitting down, he needed to speak with Mr Smith.

Nurse Roberts got him in a taxi early the next day. He arrived almost an hour before school and was sat in Mr Smiths room when he arrived five minutes later. “Why?” he asked.

Peter stopped and then came and sat on the table next to him, “You’re a good kid Mark, 12year olds don’t deserve all you’d had to do. I don’t think it’ll be perfect but I’ll try. “ He tentatively put an arm around Marks shoulder and gave him a half hug.

Mark pulled the PDF out, him and Nurse Roberts couldn’t make much of it but they were fairly sure it was legitimate. Mark signed the document and emailed it to Mr Denali.

“Thank you sir” He said. Mr Smith nodded and Mark sat down with the first of the gang of girls arriving. Mark was starting to like them more as he got to know them. He’d never really had a friend since his father died, to much to do.

The days past in a blur for Mark until suddenly it was a Saturday and he was putting on a suit Mr Denali had bought him with a little of his mothers money. They headed in a taxi to court and Mark was asked questions by a judge in a small room. It was very un-court like. Mr Smith was called in and spoke to the judge, filled out forms and made promises. Finally, after almost an hour the judge was satisfied and declared him official adopted. Ten minutes after that his mother had been declared mentally disabled and her funds transferred to Mark. When Mark saw the number he nearly died, so to did Peter, as Mark had started calling him in his head.

“Three hundred million! When I turn eighteen?” The judge laughed and confirmed it. “Mr Smith here will be given fifty thousand a year to pay for everything but yes around the three hundred million level.”

They were allowed to leave and Peter stooped and gave him a hug. They drove in his car back to the hospital and collected his things. Mark said a teary farewell to Nurse Roberts who wished him well. They arrived back at Peters flat and he gave Mark the tour. Marks room was painted cream with one bright orange wall and an en-suite bathroom. He had a desk with a new laptop on, a present, and a double bed. “Wow Sir, cool place.”

“Mark your going to call me Pete now ok?”

“Err, ok Pete?”


Pete laughed and clapped him on the back. He showed Mark the laptop and told him it was his, as a gift.

“Sir, sorry Pete, you cant give me a laptop, its too much!”

Pete’s heart nearly crushed when he heard that.

“Yes I can and I am so get over it. I’m going to leave you to unpack, I’ll just go pick up a few groceries ok? I should only be an hour or so.”


He left and Mark quickly unpacked his things, hanging them in the wardrobe. He sat in the squishy leather office chair and played about setting up backgrounds on the laptop. As he lay down he thought he was just about the happiest kid on the planet.

Pete got back and Mark helped him bring bags into the ground floor flat. He handed Mark a wrapped box with a smile “You have spent far too long living an adults life and I’m not having it anymore. I intend to make you have a social life whether you want one or not.” He told Mark sternly.

Mark unwrapped it and instead of complaining it was too much he just gave Pete a hug and simply said “Thank you”

He went and plugged in his new I-phone to charge and set about downloading all the things he needed for it on his laptop. Mark found he was rather good with computers and soon had it done. He spent the rest of the day playing around with the phone, downloading free things and putting some music on it, he bought a little of everything because he didn‘t know what he liked. Pete had given him a number to put in when he registered and had set it to give him £30 a month to download music. Mark had protested but Pete had reminded him about the fifty thousand a year pay rise he had just received. He even gave Mark unlimited internet, texts and minutes.

Mark was really looking forward to school on Monday. He told the girls all about the case, he hadn’t told them before in case they lost. They all gave him their phone numbers and their msn addresses. Susan, the leader of the six girls and now him as well he figured, invited him to hang out at the local park that night.

He went and asked Pete from the staff room door who smiled and told him he could go.

Peter smiled when Mark grinned at him form the door and disappeared. He deliberately ignored the others staring at him until they specifically asked then he told them the whole story. Many of them thought he was just a bit dim because he didn’t really speak. They all looked angry when he told them about finding Mark down the alley and congratulated him on his successful adoption. He thanked them but didn’t really care much. He was glad Mark was happy.

The End

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