Three Finger Cove – Robert
Copyright © 2012 - 2015
All rights reserved
All rights reserved
Later that evening, Robert wore some of his new clothes to dinner.
"My, don't we look stunning this evening Master Robert," announced Mr. Ken.
Robert's face turned a bright red from the embarrassment he felt from the accolade he received from his new foster father. And thinking of the title 'foster father', Robert was beside himself as how could this man be called that since he was only twice his age and not even old enough to be his actual father. It was a conundrum he couldn't figure out right then but now wasn't the time, he told himself, so he just smiled back at Mr. Ken as Momma Maria placed their plates on the table.
Surprisingly, Momma Maria made meatloaf with mashed potatoes and creamed corn, instead of gravy, for dinner that evening. She also made a salad for the first course and a yellow cake with white icing for desert. Both the man and preteen left the table with very full stomachs that night. Then, after seeing Mr. Ken giving Momma Maria a great big hug for her hard work, Robert went over to the lady and gave her one, too. Momma beamed the rest of the night as she cleaned up the kitchen. She hadn't expected the lad to hug her so soon, after coming to live there, but in his doing so, Momma Maria knew that the boy was a 'keeper'.
After dinner, Mr. Ken asked Robert into his Study so he could talk to the lad some more about what occurred that day and also to get to know the boy a bit more. The two talked about the crying incident and what brought it on and how Robert might be able to overcome those horrible moments. In the back of his mind, Ken Thomas knew he needed to call up Doctor Douglas Jennings and make an appointment for the lad but he didn't think the lad would accept that suggestion so soon in his acclimation to the Cove. Mr. Ken decided to wait for the 'right' time to offer that as instead he asked Robert if he felt ready to start school on Monday.
Robert hemmed and hawed over the decision but, smiling, he quickly agreed that he was ready to begin school come Monday morning. Ken saw that smile creep into the lad's face as he said the last part and was happy to see it. That small 'tell' gave Ken some hope that the boy was beginning to adjust, despite his run in with Mildred.
The two continued to talk about themselves to each other. Robert talked about how well he'd done in school before he was taken away from his parents but that how his uncertainty of a stable place to live caused his grades to falter.
Mr. Ken, for his part, explained some of the goings on at The Cove, such as the Easter Egg Hunt, and political rallies and of course the Summer 4th of July Picnic, and what involvement Robert could expect to play with those and others in the future.
As the evening progressed, and the two continued to talk, Mr. Ken got the feeling that Robert just wasn't ready to reveal any of the more 'relevant' particulars of the events that had him in his current predicament.
"Robert," began a smiling Mr. Ken, "I understand your reluctance … to talk to me about certain things right now … and I can respect that. But … I want you to know, though, that eventually I will need you to tell me everything that happened to you that put you in this situation. I need to know about these things so I can help you begin to mentally deal with all those terrible events and begin to help you heal from all you had to endure these past two years. On top of that, I want to help you feel comfortable living here at Three Finger Cove and … well, hopefully you'll decide to call it your home."
"Past two and a half years," corrected Robert.
"Yes … I guess it was two and a-half years. And Robert, my bet is that you constantly rethink those days over and over in your mind. Am I right? … Well, Robert, it's because I believe you are actually replaying those awful days and times in your mind as the reason why I need to know what happened. Today's shopping experience is just one example," explained Mr. Ken.
"Why?" angrily yelled Robert as he sat straight up and stared at the man. "SO, so you can talk to all your … your friends and tell them about the things I had to do and then … then MAYBE get your jollies," angrily said Robert, as he began to cry.
Instinctively, Mr. Ken quickly went to the lad and held him as he would have with Collin. He pulled the crying boy to himself and held him tight and told the boy, "Robert … that is not the reason I want to know. It's because … when I begin to understand the nature of the assaults and the reasons behind them, I … I can find the right person that can truly help you through the healing process.
"When Collin came to me … I learned he'd not only been kidnapped but then … that he'd been sexually assaulted over and over before they ... they tried to kill him that night of the big storm. Over time, Collin came to trust me … and he told me many things that made me cry, too. But the thing is … his telling me those things made me go out and find the right person who could help him deal with his demons and get his mind back thinking straight.
Pulling back a bit from the preteen, Mr. Ken continued, "I hope that soon … you will begin to trust me, too, Robert. All I want to do is help you get to the right person who can help you begin to deal with you own demons and everything else that has happened to you."
"What do you mean … that you'll get me a shrink?" demanded Robert.
"No, no that's a Psychiatrist and they're not called shrinks, but what I would like to get for you … well, he is called a Child Psychologist. He's a person who only works with children. His name is Doctor Doug, Douglas Jennings. He's the man who worked with Collin and I must say he did a wonderful job in getting Collin to realize that what happened to him was not his fault. Doctor Doug also got Collin to work through his bad dreams and fears and helped him heal through the loss of his parents and thus got his life back in order."
"Then, why don't you get him for me, if he's so good?" asked Robert.
"Well, I can and I will, but I wasn't so sure if it would be something you'd agree to, only having been here such a short time. But, even as you work with Doctor Doug, I can help you here when you have your bad dreams, like you did this morning. I too need to know some of the particulars so that you and I can talk about it when Doctor Doug isn't available," explained Mr. Ken.
"Do I have ta tell you … ALL the stuff before I meet with this Doctor Doug?" asked Robert.
"No, not really … but if you delay too long in telling me and you have a 'bad day' I won't know what to say or do to help you deal with it. Okay?" offered Mr. Ken.
"Yea, I hear ya," spoke a still disgruntled Robert.
"You don't sound too sure there, Robert," said Mr. Ken.
"I know I don't … but geez, how would you like it to have to tell someone your … your most private secrets? I mean … well, I'm embarrassed enough that you know what I did, and Ms. Turner and the police and the District Attorney, and … and it's hard. I … I just want to crawl into a hole and hide!" responded Robert, who then began to cry and this time very hard.
Mr. Ken immediately pulled the lad to him and hugged the boy tight on his lap and just held the lad as the boy continued to cry. Robert cried for at least ten minutes before he began to settle down. Then, as the boy lay on the man's shoulder, Mr. Ken said, "Robert, I know … I know this isn't going to be easy … telling me about those things you were made to do. And yes … maybe too many people may already know, but please … try to listen to me while I try to explain it better why I need to know what actually happened to you.
"You see … not only do I need to get Doctor Doug to see you but I want you to understand why some of those other people had a reason to know as well. Let's take the district attorney. He will be the man prosecuting your parents and the men, now that they are being caught, and he needs to understand the how and why it occurred as well as to where and how it happened. Knowing all of that will make his case easier to get a conviction against everyone involved.
"The police got involved when they learned what your parents had done to you. The uniformed police officers only knew as much as they needed to know in order to arrest your mom and dad. The detectives had to know everything so they could get all the information to the district attorney about those men your parents sent you with so he could get his case ready to go to trial.
"Ms. Judy, I mean Ms. Turner … well, she only needed to know only the particulars that got you placed into the Children's Protective Services, in the first place. She may have gotten some more info from the detectives, along the way, but as the case worker she needed to know in case there were problems at your foster homes."
Hearing that last statement, Robert pulled back out of the hug and through his tears matter-of-factly said, "Then why did it happen again and again?"
"Please try to understand, Robert … it wasn't Ms. Judy who handled your case from the beginning! It was those other two women who bungled it. They didn't do their job and you, unfortunately, were the one who suffered because of it. Think back some … to when Ms. Judy got involved. You never saw her before … or even knew who she was until it was learned what those two teenagers had done to you."
"And the man!" added Robert.
"The man, your last foster dad … he did some things to you, too?" asked the incredulous Mr. Ken, wanting to make sure that was what the lad told him then and earlier.
Robert only shook his head up and down in answer to the man.
Now, Mr. Ken had something new he needed to share with Ms. Turner, but he needed to finish his thought process with Robert in order to gain the preteens trust. Ken knew that having that trust, the sharing all of the things that happened to the lad, would be vital in his being able to help the boy come through all of this without too much psychological damage.
"Thank you for trusting me enough to tell me that, but to get back to what I was trying to explain to you about Ms. Judy. When she found out your case workers had dropped the ball on you, she immediately took your case over and brought you to Three Finger Cove. She knew from what I had done with Collin that … well, that she could count on me to help place you where you would be safe and treated well.
"Now, as for me, since I will be a constant in your life, for now, you telling me the who, what, where, when and why of the things that happened to you will help you in the long run when it comes time to tell your story in court."
"You mean I'll … I'll have to tell my story … and everything that those men and boys did to me … in court where everyone will then know?" asked the surprise lad.
"Yes … I'm afraid that you will. … That's one reason why I believe it is important for you to trust me and talk to me about all those things. Hear me out, now, please. With you talking to me … and telling me all those things, I know it will be hard, at first, but you will be also hearing yourself say what they did. Maybe as you talk to me about it first, then when you do have to tell it in court it won't be too difficult as you will be sort of used to saying it by then. Hearing the words, in your own voice, verses thinking them in your mind will reduce any chance for the defense to trip you up and get you confused.
"We both know you know you did nothing wrong, right? … Whatever they made you do or they did to you wasn't your choice. No one will ever look down upon you as if you knowingly asked for all that to happen. I hope you truly understand that!" finished Mr. Ken.
"Is … is that what you did with Collin?" asked a still skeptical Robert.
"Actually, the way it happened was … we used to sit down in the theater, together in my special chair, and while we were watching a movie or whatever. It was then Collin began to tell me about the things that those men did to him. He didn't tell me everything … all at once, but over time … well, over time Collin told me … well, everything" answered Mr. Ken.
Hearing Mr. Ken's reply, Robert looked into the man's eyes and asked, "Everything?"
"Yes … everything," replied a somber Mr. Ken.
Still wanting to know exactly what was meant by 'everything' Robert asked again, but in a different manner, "You, you mean like … what they did and, and the way those people did … what they did to him?"
"Yes, Robert, yes he did," replied Mr. Ken. … "I know he was embarrassed, when he told me those things at first, but he also knew he was going to have to tell everything that happened to him in open court. He told me, after the first time we talked, that it wasn't an easy thing for him to do, but him hearing his own voice … telling me what he did made it easy for him to begin to get it out of his system. Over time, he not only told me everything but he also told it to Doctor Doug. The retelling of his story, out loud, mind you, got Collin comfortable with the story that he knew, so, in court, he would be able to tell it and not be tripped up by the defense lawyers."
"So, so that's why you want me … to begin telling you my … my story so, that I will be able to tell it in court with everyone listening?" meekly asked the lad.
"Yes, my boy, I do. … I also know that you'll be embarrassed, some, the first time or two you tell me. Keep in mind, though, that when you begin to get all those bad feelings and happenings out of your mind and off your soul you'll be able to live with yourself and feel a whole lot better about yourself. And, when the time comes, you'll be able to tell your story without ever being embarrassed.
"Robert, I for one don't now nor will I ever blame you for anything that happened!" said Ken, trying to console the preteen. "I also bet, as we talk, you will tend to remember more and more of the little things, like dates and times and what was in the room and maybe what was said, that will make your testimony believable beyond reproach."
Robert, hearing that last statement, leaned into Mr. Ken's shoulder and hugged the man. Then, pulling back some, so he could look into the man's eyes, he said, "Thank you for talking to me and helping me understand all those things. You are the first person who has ever sat and talked to me like this, ever. My mom and dad never did sit me down and explain things to me. Not even … when they made me go with … with those men," finished the lad who began to cry some more.