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It began one early June. The girl hung upside down on the monkey bars. Her long brown hair flowing everywhere, covering her dark brown eyes. She laughed heartily showing off for her mom. Her mother, a single mother, smiled and took a picture of her beautiful daughter.
“Try to move your hair out of your face silly girl. I want a good picture of you,” said her mom.
The child looked up and brushed her hair away from her face. She gave her mom a big smile, making it obvious that she was missing two front teeth.
The mother laughed. “Ok, I got it! I think this one will be just perfect! ” She examined the pictured on her digital camera.
The child carefully picked her body up and managed to quickly get down from the monkey bars. She’d been at the park since ten that morning and now it was almost noontime. Her tummy began to growl.
“I’m hungry mom,” she said.
“We’ll leave in a few minutes. I’m just going to go over the pictures I took.”
The child shrugged and turned to see what she could play next. She was going for the slide when she spotted him. He was skinny, a bit taller than her and had brown curly hair and big blue eyes. He was playing with his Hot Wheels, rolling the cars around rocks and dirt. She felt her heart almost skip a beat. She didn’t understand why and will never understand why she suddenly got the urge to go over and hug him. As if she’d known him forever.
The boy rolled his monster trucks over the smaller cars pretending it was real. He made the car sounds and all. Suddenly, he felt someone kneeling next to him. Before he could see who it was, she covered him. She was hugging him tight. He panicked not knowing what to do.
The man quickly threw down his newspaper and almost spilled his coffee. He rushed over to the boy and laughed as he saw the pretty little girl with her arms around him.
“Well, well,” the man said trying hard not to laugh anymore. It wasn’t easy to hide a smile “and who are you?” He asked the little girl.
The girl finally let the boy go and giggled sweetly. “I’m Hallie. Who are you?” She asked man.
“Well, I’m Simon’s father. Oh and he’s Simon,” the man pointed at his son.
Simon was collecting his toys and trying to catch his breath. “Tell her to go away dad!”
The man laughed this time. “Simon, she was just hugging you. What’s wrong with that?”
Simon nodded. “I don’t like girls! Girls are gross!”
Hallie blushed. “I didn’t mean to scare you. I though you looked like a nice person. I wanted to play with you. I’m sorry.”
The man was touched. “Sweetie it’s ok. He’s just…well, he’s shy.”
“I’m not shy! She just scared me! I hate girls!” Simon held his toys to his chest. He tried to look away but often found himself wanting to look at the girl who had held him.
“Hallie! What…uh…what’s going on?” The woman asked as her eyes met with the man’s.
He laughed. She liked his laugh. “Hello, I’m Sam and this is my son Simon. I have already met Hallie. Your daughter scared my son for a moment.”
The woman frowned and gave the child a cautious look. “I’m sorry what do you mean she scared him?”
He laughed again. Such a sweet laugh. “She was hugging him.”
The woman looked confused. “What? You mean she just went to him and-“
“Yes mom! I hugged him. I’m sorry ok? I’m sorry Simon,” Hallie searched Simon’s face for a sign of forgiveness but the boy only turned away.
“Honey, why did you do that?” The woman put her arms around her daughter.
“I-I don’t know. I just wanted to be his friend. I wanted to play with him.”
“Simon, tell Hallie you accept her apology,” Sam ordered.
Simon was upset. Hallie could feel her heart breaking.
“Simon?” Sam continued to try to get his son to forgive Hallie. He found the whole situation amusing. Not to mention Hallie’s mother quite a beautiful woman. She had the same brown hair as her daughter but dark green eyes. He wondered if she was married. He saw no sign of a ring, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t be married or have a boyfriend.
“Oh give him time. He’s just shaken up I suppose,” the woman said softly.
“I didn’t get your name by the way,” Sam said casually. He was dying to know her name, her status!
“I’m sorry, I’m Jane. I’m a photographer for a children’s magazine.”
He looked impressed. “Is that so? Sounds more exciting than being a cop.”
She couldn’t help but smile. He was gorgeous! She began to wonder if he was single. Someone as charming as Sam couldn’t possibly be single. “No I think being a cop has more adventures. We were…we were just about to go get some lunch. Hallie is hungry and I guess so am I.” Jane said quietly.
Sam couldn’t stop looking at her. “We were a bit hungry too. Do you mind if you join you? I know this great deli about two blocks from here if you want to meet there or we could all walk there together.”
Jane looked nervous. “Uh…well…” she began.
Sam understood. “You’re wondering if I’m married aren’t you?”
She casino siteleri nodded. “Am I that obvious?”
He blushed. “Maybe a little. But to answer your question no I’m not married. I’ve been divorced for two years now. I don’t’ have a girlfriend either if that was your next question.”
She looked surprised. “Really? I figured you probably had a wife who was crazy about you.”
He laughed. “Yes, she used to be then she found someone else to be crazy about.”
She looked sad. “I’m sorry.”
He shrugged. “It’s ok. It’s done and over with. I’m ready to…” He paused and then looked at her. “I’m ready to move on.”
She felt her heart race.
“What about you Jane? You married? Got a boyfriend?”
“Neither one. My husband passed away over four years ago. He was a truck driver and one night fell asleep at the wheel…” she stopped.
Hallie kept looking at Simon who did nothing but look down at the ground as he held his hot wheels in his arms.
“I’m really sorry to hear that Jane. Must be hard for you.
She nodded. “It is but I’ve come to accept it. I’m ready to live my life.”
He smiled at her. “So…what do you say? Shall we go?”
Jane felt excited. “Sure. Let me just go put up my camera in my car and then we’ll walk over there.”
As they headed off, the adults talked and the children were silent. Hallie wanted to talk to Simon but Simon looked mad. She was almost afraid to say anything and get him even more upset.
Over lunch Sam and Jane continued to chat. They had turkey sandwiches while the children ate grilled cheese sandwiches with pickles. Hallie noticed that Simon hardly ate his. He was busy sipping his soda and looking down. She felt awful. She hadn’t meant to scare him. But then again she wouldn’t take back the hug she gave him. It had felt so…wonderful.
* * *
It only took one month before Sam and Jane cut out the polite “accidental” meetings at the park. They were exclusively dating now. When they went out, Hallie and Simon were stuck with the same babysitter at Sam’s house, a 20 year old who spent her time talking on the phone.
Hallie tried to play with Simon but Simon only pushed her away. He spent his time up in his room playing with his cars while Hallie was stuck downstairs listening in on the babysitters phone calls she made to her boyfriend.
One night, Hallie got bored and went upstairs to see what Simon was doing. She knocked softly on his door. He opened it and frowned.
“What?” He asked coldly.
Hallie smiled. “Just wanted to see what you were doing. Can I come in and play with you? I’m bored.”
He nodded. “No. This is MY room. And this is MY house. You are only here because my dad is stupid for dating your mom. I don’t want a new mom. I want MY mom.” With that he slammed the door leaving Hallie in tears.
Jane and Sam got in later that night and paid the babysitter. Once she was gone, they found Hallie in the kitchen sobbing. Jane rushed over to her and put her arms around her.
“What’s wrong sweetie? What is it?”
Hallie didn’t answer.
Jane looked at Sam who was as clueless as she was. Sam went over to the mother and child. “Hallie? Are you ok? Where’s Simon?”
Hallie hiccupped and looked up at the adults with her red teary eyes. “He’s upstairs. He says he wants his REAL mom.”
Sam sighed and looked at Jane. “I’m really sorry. Ever since Tanya left me, Simon thinks it’s my fault. As if I should have fought to keep her. He’s been mad at me for a while but I figured he’d get over it.”
Jane looked sympathetic. “I understand it must be difficult for him. We’ll be leaving now. Go up and talk to him.”
Once they were gone, Sam rushed up to his son’s bedroom. Simon was in bed with his lamp on reading his comic books. “Simon…” Sam began.
Simon looked up from his book. “Hey dad.”
Sam walked over and sat next to his son on the bed. “So I hear you said something to Hallie about your “real” mother.”
Simon looked down.
Simon slowly looked into his father’s eyes. “Yeah so what? I hate Hallie and I hate Jane. You and I are happy the way we are! We don’t need them!”
Sam felt his heart breaking. “You may think that now but-“
“No!” Simon yelled. He threw his comic book on the floor and raised his body up. “Now that you met HER all you do is go out and leave me stuck here with Hallie who is always bothering me. She wants to play and I hate girls I don’t want to play with her!”
Sam frowned. “Look here. First of all SHE has a name. It’s Jane and I like Jane…a lot. Secondly, Hallie is just trying to be your friend. What’s wrong with having friends? You say you hate girls but believe me you’ll grow out of that very soon.”
Simon pouted and turned over away from his father. “I just want us to be here. Just us.”
Sam sighed. “I know you do. And I hope you know that you’ll always come first before anyone. You are my life. I would never choose anyone over you. But, I do need slot oyna a lady in my life. Jane is sweet and beautiful and she cares about you a lot. Hallie is…well Hallie cares about you too.”
Simon turned to look at his father. He had tears in his eyes. “Are you going to…are you going to marry her?”
Sam shrugged. “I don’t know yet. It’s possible. Then Hallie will be your sister so you’ll have to be nice to her.”
Simon began to cry more. “Don’t marry her. I don’t’ want a sister.”
Sam held his son. “I’m sorry Simon. I have to live my life too. Believe me, you’ll grow to love Jane and Hallie. Besides, you’re four months older than Hallie so that means you’ll have to protect her. Now isn’t that nice? “
Simon nodded. “No! But if you love Jane…I can’t say anything about that can I?”
Sam laughed. “You can but I might not listen. Just give it a chance. That’s all I ask for. Try talking to Jane and Hallie more. If you’re still not happy…. then…. maybe I’ll have to give up on Jane.”
Simon looked surprised. “Really? You’d give her up for me?”
Sam nodded. “Of course. You’re what’s important, always will be.”
Simon wiped his tears and hugged his father. “Thanks dad. Thanks.”
* * *
“Why do you think Simon doesn’t like me?” Hallie asked her mom the next day over breakfast.
Jane looked up from her newspaper. “He’s just a little boy. Boys can be that way with girls at your age. He’ll grow out of that I’m sure.”
“But I like him. I like him a lot,” Hallie said sweetly.
Jane raised a brow. “Really? And what do you mean by a lot young lady?”
Hallie blushed and took a quick bite of her pop tart. “You know like…. um the way you like Sam.”
Jane was shocked. “Honey you’re only seven years old. You can’t like a boy that way.”
Hallie looked confused. “Why not?”
Jane was stumped. “Well…because…. you don’t know what it’s like to like someone that way yet.”
“I think about him a lot. Even though he’s mean to me I still like being around him. I like looking at him. I love the way he smiles, which is not often, but when he does smile…it’s like….” Her voice drifted away.
Jane studied her daughter. She was only seven years old and looked like a teenager in love. That scared her. “Hallie, it could be just a crush that’s all.”
But Hallie didn’t hear her mother. She was smiling from ear to ear as she thought about Simon.
* * *
After five months, Jane and Sam decided to get married. They had a beautiful small wedding and Jane and Hallie moved in with Sam and Simon. Simon had finally opened up to Jane and Hallie and had learned to like them, thought deep down he loved them. Jane was good to him and Hallie turned out to be fun to play with.
“We’re brother and sister now,” Simon told Hallie as they watched TV one later that evening.
Hallie looked down. “Yeah…I know. I’m…glad.”
Simon reached over and grabbed her hand making her heart race. “I’m going to protect you know you.”
Hallie pushed his hand away. “I don’t need YOU to protect me. Your daddy’s the cop he’ll protect me.”
Simon grabbed her hand again. “I know but I have to watch out for you at school.”
Hallie let his warm hand lay on hers for a while. “Ok, whatever you say.”
He slowly moved his hand away and continued to watch TV. Hallie turned to him and suddenly asked. “So does that mean we can’t get married?”
Simon gulped and quickly looked at her. “What?”
She giggled. “Does that mean we can’t get married. Are you deaf?”
Simon felt his mouth go dry. “I uh…I don’t know. Why would we get married in the first place?”
She laughed sweetly. “Because I love you, silly.”
Simon felt slightly uncomfortable. “I think we better just stick to watching TV.”
Hallie blushed. “If that’s what you want.” They remained silent and Hallie reached over and took his hand in hers. Simon didn’t seem to mind.
* * *
The four got along beautifully for the next couple of years. It wasn’t until Hallie had just turned 10, that Sam decided to adopt her. Jane was giving her the news that night just before Hallie’s bedtime.
“What do you mean adopt? Isn’t he already considered my father?”
Jane was brushing her daughters hair. “Yes, but this way you’ll carry his last name just like I do and Simon.”
Hallie turned to face her mother. “But…. so does that make Simon my legal brother or something?”
Jane looked puzzled. “What do you mean? He’s your brother now it’s just this way you’ll have the same last name.”
Hallie stayed quiet.
Jane searched her daughter’s face. “Sweetie? What’s wrong? I thought this would make you happy.”
Hallie bit her lower lip and thought about it for a moment. “That means I can’t ever marry Simon.”
Jane frowned. “Of course not! He’s your brother.”
Hallie nodded. “No, he’s my STEP brother and that would make it ok to marry him but not if he’s going to be my “real” brother.”
Jane held a serious face. “Young canlı casino siteleri lady what are you talking about? Simon is your brother and you can’t marry your brother. What is this talk about marriage anyway?”
Hallie felt her eyes begin to tear. “Nothing. It’s nothing. Nevermind.”
Jane cupped the child’s face with her hands. “Don’t tell me it’s nothing. Talk to me.”
Hallie began to cry softly. “I think I love him mom.”
Jane smiled. “Of course you do. He’s your brother.”
Hallie shook her head. “No! I mean the way you love Sam. I think I love him that way.”
Jane looked appalled. “Sweetie you are too young to know about that kind of love.”
Hallie sighed. “You told me that when I was seven and now again and still I feel the same way.”
Jane was speechless. What in the world could she say to her daughter? She was hoping it would go away. It was just a crush nothing else. Once she grew up and noticed other boys, this would all go away. It had to.
* * *
Things didn’t go good after Sam adopted Hallie. Hallie seemed to be upset all the time and mostly up in her room, which was right next to Simons. As the teenage years came, Hallie got worse. Her grades kept dropping and she became withdrawn.
Jane and Sam decided to put her in a private school, which helped a lot. It seemed the more she stayed away from Simon, the better she behaved.
Simon was confused. He missed Hallie but every time they started to play she would just get angry and leave the room. It didn’t get any better when Simon got his first girlfriend at age 15.
Jane decided to put Hallie in different activities from softball, to ballet to piano lessons. The more Hallie kept busy, the better she was.
What worried Jane the most was that Hallie never seemed interested in boys. She never came home swooning over her latest crush. Jane would point out a cute boy for her to look at when they were at the mall and Hallie wouldn’t comment. She’d just always say, “He’s ok, I guess.”
Jane wanted to avoid the fact that her daughter was still deeply in love with her brother. She wanted it to think that it would still go away. She even tried introducing a friend’s son to Hallie but Hallie had no interest. The boy would talk to her and Hallie would just nod or hardly talk. Jane kept telling herself it would go away. She could only hope it would.
* * *
It wasn’t until senior year that things got…complicated. Simon had been accepted to college, while Hallie was going to stay in town and go to college there. She had no interest in leaving to a big university. She just wanted to get a degree in something and move far away from Simon.
All the attention was focused on Simon. He was currently dating some girl, who Hallie thought wore too much makeup. He’d taken her to senior prom and now was supposedly sad because they were both going separate ways. Hallie couldn’t wait until Simon left; yet she was heartbroken but figured it’d be best if he left. Once he was gone, maybe then she could learn not to love him. Maybe.
It was one afternoon when Jane and Sam were both at work. School was already out and summer had just started. Simon and Nina (the girl he was dating) were busy making out on the couch. Hallie knew all too well what Simon was up to and she didn’t care. Or at least pretended not to care. She cranked up her radio loudly and paced her room. The girl had been there for over an hour already. Hallie wanted to go downstairs to make herself something to eat. She’d made the mistake of waking up late and missing breakfast. She was going to go downstairs to the kitchen when she heard Simon and his little girlfriend laughing and kissing. She wondered how it would feel to kiss him. She’d always wondered that. Jealousy was all that she was feeling at that moment. She wondered if Simon was in love with this girl or if he just needed a female companion for the summer.
Hallie’s tummy growled. She decided to go downstairs and pass by the lovers as fast as she could, but once she got halfway down, she could see them kissing passionately. Simon’s hands were inside his girlfriend’s shirt, their tongues were touching and she was practically on top of him.
“Ahem!” Hallie said loudly pretending to clear her throat.
Nina jumped up and fixed her button up shirt. Her face was redder than her shirt. Simon sat up and wiped his mouth. “Hallie, this is Nina, Nina my sister Hallie,” Simon introduced nervously.
Nina smiled and waved. Hallie nodded a quick hello and passed them by. After making it into the kitchen she exhaled. It had been a hell of a challenge to keep her cool. Deep down she wanted to slap Nina and tell her to get her slutty ass out but instead she sucked it up and now she felt worse.
She made herself a sandwich and heated up some canned soup. She heard the front door close and figured Simon had left. A few seconds later, Simon walked in with a big grin.
“Why you so happy?” Hallie asked.
He walked over to the fridge and took out the cold cuts ready to make himself a sandwich. “No reason. Why? Do I look happy?” He chuckled.
“Don’t tell me you’re happy over some bimbo who wears too much makeup.”
Simon sighed. “There you go again.”
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