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Extrait ajouté par Scarlett62790 2018-06-27T10:26:45+02:00


“I believe now, there’s a reason why I’m here.

It’s to try to do good, it’s to try to do better.”

—“Free Now” by Sleeping with Sirens

Six years later . . .

I’m sure everyone’s curious about what it’s like to be married to me. It’s awesome, if I do say so myself. In many ways we’re just like other couples.

She gently scolds me for leaving dirty dishes all over the house, and I have to sit through cheesy chick flicks. But it’s so much more than that.

Anna was there for me when I typed an anonymous letter to the FBI and

Atlanta police department, detailing the work of Marissa, her location, and as many of her accomplices’ names as I could remember. It was a risk, even anonymously, because if Marissa caught wind of the letter she could have easily tried to find me, to kill me.

I spent seven months worrying, listening out, watching for her goons, and not letting Anna out of my sight. And then the news hit, causing an international media blitz. It was the largest bust the world had ever seen. It shed light on sexual slavery around the world. Anna stood behind me squeezing my shoulders as we watched the news that night. Tears streamed down her face as Marissa was led away in handcuffs. Then Anna wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed my cheek, whispering, “I am so proud of you.”

Six weeks later I held Anna as she cried against my chest when we lost

Marna. Baby Anise was born healthy and thriving, but she would never know her mother.

“She’s in heaven,” Anna said, wiping her eyes. “An angel came down and took her.”

I’d swallowed hard as I held Anna, both relieved and saddened. While some curses for our kind were lifted, others remained. We still feel the weight of our sinful Nephilim natures, but we’re no longer condemned straight to hell when we die.

Like other couples, Anna and I are a sounding board for each other on work issues and other problems. As a social worker, Anna is still trying to save the world, but she’s held back by the system of rules and regulations. I comfort her when she cries about frustrating cases of child abuse, when it becomes too much for her to bear.

As for my job, in Lascivious’s fourth year of success, Raj went off the deep end and OD’d on a mix of drugs. An accidental death, but the band never came back after losing him. We went our separate ways, and I’m now working with Jay on the business end of the industry, making music and learning about producing. I do miss the rush of being onstage, but at least

Anna doesn’t have to deal with girls grabbing at me after events.

Though it was a complete turn-on when she once grabbed a girl’s arm backstage, saying, “Excuse me, but that is my husband you’re trying to grope, and I suggest you keep your hands to yourself.” She’d said it with Southern charm, but I could see in her stance that my girl had been ready to throw down.

I rewarded her well that night for saving me from the groper.

And I suppose that’s where we differ from other married couples.

We spend a lot of time in the buff. It’s not really fair to compare, since we’ve been through so much together, seen so much in our lives. We don’t have the same worries that other people do.

But what can I say? Life is good. Every time I see Anna’s little arse wiggling as she washes dishes, or see her bending over the tub to scrub a corner, I become more and more glad she refuses to hire a maid. I know, I’m swine. I am a master of the sneak attack from behind. I prowl as she’s stirring or baking or rinsing, and then I pounce. I’m all over her and she’s screaming,

“Kai—!” and trying to get back to doing whatever thing she’s doing at that moment.

But I’m quite persuasive.

One year ago, as we lay together on the couch, she ran her fingers through that small patch of hair in the middle of my chest. A pang of old worry crept in.

“Do you suppose I should get rid of that?” I asked. “Shave it off or laser it or something?”

She’d looked at me with confusion. “What? This hair? Why? I like it.”

She’d laid her head back on my arm, and I held her tighter. I am a lucky bastard.

That’s why I tried not to blanch when she hesitantly brought up the idea of adopting from Malawi. She puts up with a lot of shit from me, so I fought back my initial instinct to run screaming at the idea of a tiny person invading our content little bubble. A lot would change.

No more walking about naked.

No more shagging Anna anywhere and everywhere I pleased.

No more playing the drums at night as loudly as I want.

No more blasting music with colorful language.

No more shagging Anna anywhere and everywhere—oh, wait. I said that.

But it’s worth repeating.

I’m still a selfish bastard who doesn’t care to share, especially where

Anna is concerned. But I long ago learned that she doesn’t belong to me. She allows me to hold her heart, but she’s not fulfilled if she isn’t sharing her love and kindness with as many people as possible.

I know she misses Patti like mad. I do as well, so I can’t imagine how it is for her. I know Anna is craving a family, and the more she talks about it, the more I start to vaguely see her vision as something . . . nice.

You can teach him drums and music, and dress him in tiny rocker clothes, and show him how to skateboard, and . . .

Then she mentions a set of brothers, instead of just one child, and I think she’s trying to kill me. She claps her hands, and her face is so filled with joy that I throw my hands up and sigh. Why the hell not? Let’s do it.

And that’s how we ended up here in Malawi at the orphanage owned by Kope and Zania. They’re looking well. I suppose if caring for loads of children hasn’t aged them terribly, Anna and I can handle just two.

I’m far more nervous than I care to admit, so I hold Anna’s hand tightly.

She smiles up at me when Kope goes to get them. Her eyes are already damp with emotion, and I think to myself that these two boys are the luckiest lads in the world to be getting Anna as a mum.

Kope comes back in with a toddler and a baby, one on each hip, and they’re bloody cute as can be. A burst of excitement I hadn’t planned to feel flares through me, followed by even more nervousness.

These are my boys. My sons.

My God, I can’t believe this is happening.

Anna goes to the baby, who takes to her straightaway, and I’ve never seen my woman smile so big. She is radiant. The baby flaps his arms, making bubbling sounds and grabbing her hair.

“Hi, Onani,” she says to him, laughing.

I can’t help but smile. I look down now at the older boy, Mandala, and he’s clearly going to be a tougher sell. He looks a bit untrusting, and I can understand that feeling. But I’ve come prepared. I squat next to him and pull out a toy car, a red hot rod. I hold it out, not getting too close. He takes a tentative step toward me.

“It’s yours, mate,” I say, stretching my arm closer to him. “I brought it just for you.”

I keep my arm extended until he slowly walks forward and takes it from me. He stares at my eyes, as if expecting me to take it back or yell. I nod and smile. I crouch and urge him to roll it on the ground. I even make some awesome engine sound effects and he suddenly looks up at me and smiles.

I have to swallow back a bout of mounting emotion. I want this boy to trust me. I want him to never fear me. I want to do right by him.

It’s funny how even yesterday I was still feeling wary, though I’d never tell Anna that. She was so thrilled, and I felt like a gobshite for not being excited. I couldn’t see how I’d have room in my heart to care for two children, two strangers, the way they would need me to. I’d hoped, over time,

I’d get the hang of it, but it turns out some things truly do come naturally.

Like loving a child. My heart expands and makes room for them without any effort from my mind. And once they’re in, they’re there to stay. They’re mine to care for. Mine to provide for and support.

We remain at the orphanage for hours, getting to know the boys’

personalities, and letting them become accustomed to us. I can already imagine them at our home just outside of L.A. We have a small yard. There is a park down the street. I can see them there. I can see me there with them.

The room opens and other children filter in to look us over with curiosity.

They all seem to be fascinated with Anna’s bright hair, and drawn to her lovely smile. Can’t blame them.

The children are easy to entertain. They mostly just want attention, so I give it to them, and find that they make me laugh.

“Kai,” I hear Anna say. “I think someone wants to meet you.”

I look up to where I sense that I’m being watched. A little girl, maybe four years old, stands next to the door, staring so hard at my face that I go still. Her aura is powerful—much fuller than most children’s. Her negative emotions run deep, and I wonder what she’s been through. Orange excitement zaps like tiny lightning bolts through the gray cloudiness as she watches me. But the strangest part is the top of her aura. It goes fuzzy, then pink, like cotton candy.

She’s staring straight at me . . . and feeling love? I think she must be confused, but that stare of hers is potent, and I can’t look away.

“Hi there,” I say to her. “What’s your name?”

She points at me and says, “Bambo.”

I look up at Zania, whose forehead scrunches. Both she and Kope crouch on either side of the girl, but she pays them no attention. Her eyes are on me.

“Her name is Alile,” Zania tells me. Ah-LEE-leh. “It means ‘she weeps.’”

“Alile,” Kopano says to the girl. “Zikuyenda bwanji?”

“She speaks Chichewa,” Zania whispers. Anna scoots closer to me.

Alile’s guardian angel dips low to whisper, and the darkness in her aura lightens. It is highly unusual for most adults, much less a child, to be this open to the spirit. The girl walks toward me and I hold my breath, curious and a bit nervous.

I remain very still as she reaches out to touch my face with dry, dusty hands. Her face is close to mine, and it’s like she can’t get deep enough into my eyes. She keeps a small, cool hand on my cheek and climbs confidently into my lap, sitting. She speaks clearly up at me again. “Bambo.”

Something is happening here. I don’t know what, but it’s making me dizzy with anxiousness. I can’t look away from Alile, but in my peripheral vision I see Kope and Zania staring at each other.

“What does Bambo mean?” Anna whispers.

Kopano clears his throat. Pauses. “It’s a word for father.”

Holy mother . . .

If I wasn’t sitting down already I might pass out. Father? But why on earth . . . ? I look down at the delicate girl, who is now patting at my shirt, checking me over.

Zania begins to sign. She came to us from another orphanage that shut down because of sexual abuse.

My gut sours and tightens. I look at Anna, whose face is horrified. My teeth grind as I think about this poor little girl. She is so small. She’s been a victim of heinous acts in a world I’m all too familiar with. It’s no wonder her aura is so dark. I want to find and kill whoever touched her.

Kopano speaks to Alile in Chichewa, and Zania interprets.

“He tells her Kaidan is his friend and wants to know why she calls him


I hold my breath as Alile leans against me with complete comfort and familiarity, her head turned toward Kopano as she answers him. Again Kope clears his throat.

“She says, ‘In my dream, he was my father.’”

I can’t breathe. I . . .

This girl dreamed of me. It had to be an angel, or else she has a very special gift that few are given and few are privy to. My eyes dart to Anna and she seems to be holding her breath, eyes wide with wonder. This is huge. This cannot be brushed aside or laughed off or ignored.

I try to imagine leaving this orphanage with Onani and Mandala, leaving this little girl behind. A fierce, urgent, possessive urge rises up in me like a windstorm and I wrap my arms around her. I will not leave her. I will never let anyone hurt her again.

She’s my daughter. A gift. A blessing. Something I never thought I wanted, but now I’d fight anyone who tried to take her from me. My heart stretches wide to let her in, and I am full with the rightness of it. Alile snuggles closer, as if her home is right there in my lap. When the burn begins behind my eyes and the moisture builds, I’m too overcome to bother stopping it.

The tears are hot on my cheeks, and I wipe them away. I don’t feel weak.

In fact, I’ve never felt stronger. Anna takes my hand and I hold tight to her.

Onani and Mandala play at our feet, the baby patting Alile’s bare foot.

My wife. My sons. My daughter.

I will do right by them. I swear it. I am my father’s son, but he does not live in me. This, right here, is who I choose to be. I imagine the Maker, Belial,

Patti, Mariantha, and all the angels smiling down on me, saying, “It is good.”

And I have to agree. It’s damn good.

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