Charlie's Unexpected Present

February 21, 2018
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For about three months, Charlie, a 13-year old teenage boy, lived on the streets, asking for money and food from strangers passing by. However, one lucky day, as Charlie was almost ready to give up and take his own life, a tall, slender man came up to Charlie and gave him some money, food, and clothes.
Asking Charlie why he was on the streets, Charlie explained “I grew up in an abusive household, and I wanted to escape my life so I ran away from home.” Listening to Charlie’s story, the man felt very sympathetic for him, so he took care of Charlie for a couple of days. However, he couldn’t look after Charlie for a long time so he took Charlie to a nearby orphanage. Although Charlie was hesitant at first, he was soon able to adjust to the change and fit in well. He got along with the other kids and made lots of new friends.
Although Charlie was really happy and grateful that he had been able to escape his abusive family and start a new life with people who truly cared about him, there was still one thing that Charlie desperately wanted, deep down in his heart. He had wanted to get adopted. Ever since living in his miserable life at a young age, Charlie was always jealous of his friends at school who would get picked up at school by their parents. Charlie always thought Why don’t my parents come to school? Do my parents even love me? Seeing his friends leaving him one by one, Charlie felt envious towards them, knowing that a family would care so much about them as to take them in as one of their own children. Christmas was coming near so Charlie stayed hopeful and did his chores and was on top of his work. He wanted to show the headmistress how hardworking and what a good child he is, so that the headmistress would recommend him to future families interested in adopting children.
Everyday, Charlie would live his life to the fullest. However, although he worked hard, he was still very closed so it was hard for him to open up to his friends and talk with them about his true feelings. They would talk about small things like homework and their dreams of growing up and getting their dream job, but Charlie realized that he had never thought about what he really wanted to do after he grew up. He didn’t even know if he would ever be able to leave the orphanage. After the night that Charlie and Timmy, his best friend at the orphanage, talked, Charlie suddenly started to fall into deep thought. Night after night, Charlie would lie in bed thinking about what he wanted to do if he ever got adopted by a family. However, Charlie knew one thing for sure. He wanted to get adopted by a really kind family that would treat him as if he was one of their own children.
Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. As the seasons went by, Charlie continued to live hopefully. It was soon December, the busiest time of the year for the orphanage. Especially around Christmas time, lots of families were looking for children to adopt. So when he heard about news that a family was looking to adopt a new kid, his eyes sprung up with hope and anticipation. This had been the first time that Charlie ever wanted something so badly and earnestly. Days went by with no news back from the family. As the days rolled by and became weeks, Charlie started to lose hope and soon became very disappointed and disheartened. It was November, and the leaves started to change color and were falling from the trees. November quickly passed by and it was finally December.
As Christmas approached, Charlie started to lose even more hope and became more sad. Seeing other kids get adopted one by one and receiving Christmas gifts from their grandparents who would occasionally visit them, Charlie became miserable and gloomy. While other kids were receiving such good news and gifts, Charlie hadn’t gotten anything.
However, on the night of Christmas Eve, Charlie was called to the headmistress’s office. His heavy footsteps led him to the large room filled with lots of books. As he opened the doorknob slowly and walked in, he saw a group of people sitting on the couch. A tall, stern-looking man gazed at Charlie as he walked to the headmistress. The man slowly started to speak. He said, “Hi Charlie”.
The headmistress slowly started to inform that he got adopted by the family that was standing right next to them. At that moment, Charlie began to cry uncontrollably. Unable to speak correctly, Charlie said, “Really? I got adopted? I’m going to live with a family now?” in between his cries. He had never thought that a family would ever be so generous as to take him in and treat him as one of their own children.
That night, after Charlie went back to his room, he started to pack for his big day tomorrow. All throughout that evening, Charlie thought Wow. I’m really moving out now. I’m going to live to people who actually want me and will love me. Earlier that evening, inside the headmistress’s room, the family and Charlie had talked for a long time. They went over the general rules and procedures of how everything will be. They told Charlie about the other children and how to behave once he got to the house. After the long meeting, Charlie was exhausted but he was filled with anticipation and excitement. At his room, he bragged to all of his friends of the good news he had just gotten. That night, knowing that at that time tomorrow, he would be sleeping somewhere else in his own room in his own bed, Charlie couldn’t fall asleep. He was too excited for all of the adventures that awaited him.
All night long, Charlie keep tossing and turning in his bed. While he was lying there looking up at the cement ceiling, he thought about his day that was laid out for him tomorrow. After hours of tossing and turning, Charlie finally fell asleep. The next morning, Charlie was so tired, but he was so excited to finally be living with his new family. After brushing his teeth and getting all dressed, he packed up the last of his stuff and headed towards the headmistress’s office.
Once he got to the office, he walked inside -- the family had already arrived and were waiting there. After going over some last minute rules, Charlie was now ready to leave with his new family.
In the car ride home, Charlie looked out the window the whole day, not saying a word at all. Through the mirror, Charlie’s new dad, Chris, looked at him. There were a million things running through his mind. What would my future siblings think of me? Would they like me? Would they bully me? What if they weren’t nice? What if they all hate me? Despite all of this thoughts, Charlie pushed them aside and just thought about how his new life that awaited him.
At the house, Charlie’s new parents, Chris and Helen, helped him unpack in his new room. However, although he was happy and excited to live with his new family, he kept getting a weird feeling that they were getting followed. While Charlie was looking out the window, Charlie noticed a small black car following them the whole way. Thinking that it was just a coincidence, Charlie didn’t think too much about it. However, looking back it now, Charlie felt a little uneasy. The black car had even stopped a couple houses down the block from them and stayed there for a long time. The man inside the car didn’t even come out - he was just inside the car watching Charlie.
That night, at the dinner table, Charlie and his siblings had a lot of fun talking about their life stories. Suddenly, in the middle of dinner, there was a knock on the door. Quickly, Chris and Helen exchanged glances as Chris got up to open the door. The thought about the black car quickly crossed Charlie’s mind. A little skeptical, Charlie froze. When Chris opened the door, Charlie saw that it was the same man that had been in the black car following them home from the orphanage. Charlie’s mind went blank.
Confused, Chris asked, “Hello. How may I help you?”.
In a low deep voice, the man spoke to Chris privately outside. A little while later, Chris escorts the mysterious man into the house.
The man abruptly stops in front of Charlie, and says, “Hi Charlie. I’m your dad.” Confused, Charlie says, “I have a dad already.. And you’re not him”.
Explaining carefully to Charlie, Chris tells Charlie that that man was Charlie’s biological father.
It turned out that when Charlie was younger, he had been abandoned by his mother and was left for Charlie’s real dad to care for Charlie all by himself. Overwhelmed by the burden, Chris gave Charlie up for adoption at a young age, and Charlie’s “parents” had adopted him. For 5 years, Charlie’s biological dad had been trying to find Charlie. However, he had trouble and was only now able to find Charlie, after years of searching for him. Once explaining the whole story to Charlie, Charlie burst into tears, thankful and glad that he was able to find his real family. That evening, Charlie followed his dad home and lived with him.

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