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Chapter 37note- I would just like to take time out to say, that I love all my fans nearly to death. Thank you so much for being so supportive and reading my stories. BUT for those of you who send me IM's with that unreadable font (Sickness is the name of it I think) I will ignore you. There is nothing more annoying that having someone IM you with a font that is NOT readable at all. I don't get it. I will ignore you. I've had about 20 IM's going at one time in that same font and I'm going to say right now. I think that is just childish to use the gibberish looking font. Sorry to sound crappy, but I don't have time to deal with such things =) My time is so limited I don't have time for me anymore.

She felt something tickling her skin. Her arms tightened around Jade because she was in an unconscious state of sleep. She figure she was dreaming the disturbing movement. She brought her knees up higher, making herself into a ball around the baby. The tickling increased, and something felt like if fell off of her bare leg. Kim's eyes blinked opened. She sucked up saliva, which was attempting to exit her mouth and gazed around with her sleep-sunken eyes. Rose petals were everywhere. Pink and red ones. She sat up quickly. "What the hell?" The petals were on Jade too. She looked to her right and she immediately saw the smiling Justin.

He covered her mouth with his hand and felt her silenced scream vibrate against it. "Don't wake, Jade."

She wasn't screaming because she was unprepared to see him. She was screaming because...she pulled his hand from over her mouth. "Oh my GOD, Justin. You CUT your hair! You CUT your hair?"

He sighed and ran his fingers through the few strands that remained attached to his scalp. "I know. Yeah, I cut it. My hairstylist said it was time for a new look, and that I needed a 'different' look for the new album photos."

Her eyes expanded. "But you cut the fro..." She rubbed her eyes to make sure she wasn't seeing things.

"Oh God! Don't tell me it looks bad! Does it look bad? Kim, did I make a big mistake?"

"No. No! It doesn't look bad. You just look so different...younger. The medium blond color looks so good on you. I just have to get use to it."

He gave her a hug, and they held each other. "I didn't mean to wake you, baby girl."

Her voice was somewhat soft because she was still overcoming sleep. She tugged on his head full of half curls. "Oh my God, you cut the fro. Anyway, it's okay that you woke me." She released him in the hug and he knelt down. "What time is it anyway?" She asked looking at him for the answer and not the clock.

He placed a hand on her knee as he thought. "It's about one. I just got home. The photo shoot took all DAY!"

She giggled at how he enthused 'day'. "You poor thing." 

He was very serene and held her hand. "So, how was your day? You were sleeping so beautifully."

She instigated her hair behind her ear with her available hand. "To wake up surrounded by rose petals makes it wonderful no matter what." She admired Justin dearly for all he had done. He was an extraordinary person, who's wits and determination could make anyone's day. He chose the perfect days to do the perfect things at the perfect times. He devoted so much to her that she began to feel she was not worthy of him. What had she done to prove how much she loved him? Besides telling him? She never spread rose petals on him while he was sleeping.

"Rough day?" He asked.

She shook her head. "Huh? Oh, my day was okay. The doctor accepted Jade and I toda,y at the last minute. So, of course she got more shots. Turns out, I'm not pregnant. Oh, and the doctor gave me a new birth control shot. I don't know why. Because now I have to see him every two months instead of three. I don't know. He said it was a more effective drug. Jade is perfectly healthy. She is thirteen pounds now. Can you believe that? She's growing so much, Justin."

He became uncomfortable kneeling and decided to accept a seat next to her. "I know she is. He said examining the drowsed baby. "I bet she's been crying a lot because of her shots and things, huh? That is probably why you have her in the bed with you..."

She sighed. "Yeah. She's been crying ALL day. She doesn't feel well at all, and she was hard to deal with today. That's okay though. She's fine now."

"I'll take care of her if she wakes any tonight. You get some sleep, sweetheart." She was so tried and drained for some reason. And she really didn't do anything to be feeling so restless. His offer sounded great to her.

She nodded. "Alright. Thanks, Justin. I don't know what I would do without you." He got up just so she could get under the covers.

"Your welcome, baby girl. You rest up, okay? Don't forget. Tomorrow we take Jade to the park. Maybe some other places, but definitely the park." He prolonged the covers up to the tip of her neck and kissed her on the cheek. He moved the covers back slightly to place a kiss on Jade's tiny head. As soon as his lips let up, she began to cry. "Whoops. I think I woke her." Justin smiled at the rose petals being everywhere.

"I think she's hungry." Kim mumbled. She managed to get her eyes closed and as soon as she was loosing consciousness she was woken again.

"Are you going to breastfeed her?"

She laughed. "Yeah right, Justin. I've told you a thousand times. After the episode at the party, and all that drinking I did, I cannot give her my milk. She will get sick. And I just don't trust myself. So, I won't be feeding her for several weeks probably."

He reached over her and picked up the crying Jade. "That's right. Well, I'll take her downstairs with me. I'll give her a bottle as I eat my chicken. I've been waiting all day for my chicken." He kissed Jade's warm forehead and she stopped crying at once. He held up Jade's arm and waved it at Kim who was fading asleep again. "Say, bye Mommy. Bye! Goodnight!"

"Goodnight." She said closing her eyes with a smile.

Justin just watched her. He concentrated on the light breaths she took. He loved to watch her sleep. It had become a pleasure of his. His eyes traced down to the kicking Jade. He held her tighter and used a finger to knock away a rose petal that stuck to her. He grinned evilly. "Aww, Jade. Mommy doesn't have milk anymore. She dried up. So, I'm going to have to make you a bottle. I'm sorry. You see, Daddy's been a bad boy. I got to her before you did. I tore her up, girl. Too bad you can't understand me." He began to laugh. Kim cleared her throat. His eyes flicked up at her. "Whoa...hum. Your awake. Let me explain myself..."

"Justin, don't make me get up from this bed and hit you. Why are you standing there telling Jade those lies?"

"I was just kidding..."

She smiled. "Sure you were."

--------------------

"Yeah, so I was saying. When the album is out, and we have to tour again, what are we going to do to top the last one? There are only so many options, you know? That last tour was high tech to the max. We won't be able to top our last tour...I don't think." Justin explained while changing Jade's soiled diaper.

"I know what you mean." Kim said, searching through Jade's plentiful racks of clothing. "That last show that I saw with the extended escalator was awesome. I don't know how you do it, but you really get to the fans in the back rows. I think that is...awesome. Your right. That is going to be hard to top. And the tour before that you said something about a piece of the stage breaks off...I know that had to be awesome. Too bad I never saw that show. Don't worry about it, Justin. I'm sure you guys will think of something. You always do." She held up a green baby dress and gawked at it carefully. It was so cute. She decided she would put it on Jade, along with the bloomers made to go underneath it. As she watched Justin change her, she suddenly felt different. She didn't know what it was, but something seemed different. Her eyes caught the attention of the image she had painted. She loved it more than words could express, because every time she viewed it, it reminded her of how beautiful life could be. She saw something on the painting that she didn't put there. In a place where an empty spot used to be, was a picture of a basketball. It fitted the painting perfectly and it didn't stand out awkwardly at all, because it was pastellic just as the rest of the painting. "Justin...did you paint that basketball? On Jade's wall I mean?" She approached him to hand him the outfit to change Jade into.

He took the items and looked at the area on the wall for a few seconds. "Yeah. I hope you don't mind. No life is complete without basketball." He chuckled.

Kim rested her hand on her hip. "Basketballs are not all that hard to paint, but I must say. Your basketball, and the shadowing, and everything is perfect. I guess your right. Maybe Jade will play basketball one day. She will have the perfect life." She shrugged and froze dramatically. "Sike. Thats cool you decided to be a part of the painting. I figured you would add on to it, eventually."

Justin laughed and he laid his eyes on her. The way she was looking, made him change the subject. "You know, you are so skinny. I didn't realize how skinny until now. And the stomach. I want to know how do you earned such a buff stomach. It's not like you work out extensively!"

She was almost offended. "I run in the mornings. I try HARD to keep my body in shape."

He was done changing Jade, and he placed his full attention on Kim. "I didn't mean like that. You know I didn't. I just know I enjoy looking at you. Especially that stomach. I don't know...your just so hot." He looked back at Jade who was trying to sit up on her own. Justin chocked in awe. "Kim, she's trying to sit up. By herself!"

Kim watched from the distance. "I know. I told you she's growing. She's really been trying to sit up for the past few days. That is so amazing. I could just cry. Our baby is growing up. She growing up right before our eyes." She walked by and scooped up Jade. "Okay, Justin. Almost ready to go. I just need to do my hair, and put my shoes on, and do some other minor things. I'll be ready in a minute."

Justin made an OK symbol with his fingers. "That's cool. If you need me, I'll be downstairs." He departed from the room whistling. It was still very early in the day, and being the food crazed person he was, Justin went to the kitchen to get him something to snack on. Before he had a chance, the doorbell rang. "I'll get it." He said, knowing Kim was still getting ready. He opened up the front door and looked outside. He didn't see anyone. "Hello?" He check each side of him, but still he saw no one. He heard a faint sniffle and just happened to look down. He was shocked to see a small little girl. She twisted her leg in shyness. "Hey, sweetheart. I didn't even see you. Are you lost?"

She bit her tiny finger. "I'm not lost."

He studied the surroundings outside to see if he saw a car or someone else. "Your here by yourself? How did you get passed the gates?"

She bit her finger harder. "The button. I pressed a button and they let me come in."

He knelt down to be at the same level with the cute little girl. "Is there any way I can help you?"

"Well, my mommy says, there is a little girl here. A girl named Jade. Can she come out to play? I don't got no friends. Maybe she can be my friend. Can Jade play with me?"

He reached out and rested his hand on the tiny child's shoulder. "I'm so sorry, sweetie. Jade is a baby. She is not old enough to play yet."

"Oh." She replied looking at the ground sadly.

"I'm so sorry. You don't have any friends? Why? Who is your mommy?"


She shook her head. "My mommy's name is Candy. I don't have any friends 'cause I do school at home. My teacher is a meanie. She's meaner than the meanest. She won't play with me. I'm six and no one in these houses will play. They say I'm young. I have no one to play with me."

Justin felt so sorry for her. "Aww, I'm so sorry to hear that. I've met your mom 'Candy' before. I'm Justin. What's your name?"

She put out her hand. "I'm Cherry." They shook hands.

He didn't mean to laugh. "Oh my God! Your whole family is named foods? What's your dad's name? Spam?" He chuckled a few times and became serious. "I didn't mean that. That was mean of me. I'm sorry. Well, Cherry. Would you like to come in? I am about to go somewhere, but you can come in and meet my girlfriend Kim, and the baby Jade. I'll be happy to be your friend. I think you are too young to be walking around by yourself. Your mom shouldn't let you roam around by yourself. It's dangerous. Anything can happen to you. Do you think it's okay with your mom if you come in? "

She smiled brightly. "I don't think she care. I hate my mommy. She doesn't care 'bout me. I'm going to run away."

He stood up and held her hand to help her small body inside of the house. "Aww, now why would you say something like that?"

Cherry huffed. "Because she's a lawher! Lawher's are always too busy."

"She's a lawyer?"

"Yeah." The girl crossed her arms and pouted. "Humph, she doesn't have time for me no more. I ask her to play, she says she is too busy. Just now, I asked her could she make me a cheese grill. She said she was too busy and leave her alone. My mommy is so mean. She's meaner than the meanist. Just like my teacher."

He couldn't believe his ears and he couldn't help but feel for the precious little girl. "Your kidding? She wouldn't make you a cheese grill?"

She shook her head. "Nope! I don't care. 'Cus when I be a ballerina. I'm gonna have zillions of dollars. More than my mommy and I'm never gonna give her none of it."

He laughed. "I bet you make a wonderful ballerina. Are you hungry, Cherry?"

She nodded giddily.

"Let's see if we have something you like." He held the little girls hand, as he went to the refrigerator. He opened one of the doors of it and looked down at the girl. "Get what ever you want from here. Eat anything you want!"

Her eyes widened and twinkled with glee. "WOW!" She just stood there and was hesitant.

She seemed to be afraid. "Go ahead. Eat whatever, sweetie!"

She opened up a drawer and saw fresh deli slices of cheese. She took a piece of the cheese and ate it with a huge smiled on her face. "I love cheese. Thank you, Jussin. Your a nice friend, Jussin. The nicest friend I've ever had!"

He liked the little girl so much and he didn't even know her. He liked her so, probably because he felt sorry for her. Much like he did for Kim. "Your a good friend too."

Kim walked into the kitchen with Jade attached to her shoulder. "Justin, who was it at the door? And who are you talking...oh." She smiled at the little girl.

"Kim, this is Cherry. Candy's daughter. You know from the people that brought Jade's things?"

"Oh, yeah. Your SO cute! What a pretty little girl. Hey, honey!" She smiled after she spoke.

"Hello. Jussin is my bestest friend. He says I can eat anything I want. My mommy says leave her alone when I'm hungry."

Her eyes squinted and she got a corrupt feeling from the words.. "Well, I'm Kim. And Justin's right. You can eat anything you want from our refrigerator."

"Do you have cheese grills in your refrigerator?"

Kim shook her head. "No. But I'll be happy to make you one, sweetie. Justin, will you take Jade while I make her a cheese grill?"

"Sure." He offered. He gently took the baby from her. "Come on, Cherry. Let's go into the living room while Kim makes your cheese grill. I'll introduce you to Jade. And you can hold her if you like, but you have to be really careful!"

"Okay." She said biting a piece of the cheese.

He led her to the living room and pointed to the couch. It took a while for candy to climb on it, because she was so small. She popped the last of the piece of cheese into her mouth neatly. "Thats Jade? She's so lil'. She's pretty. She looks like you, Jussin. Hehe, but she is girl. Just like me. G...I...R...L. See, I can spell it. I'm a good speller."

She was so adorable. "You are a good speller. Your a GREAT speller."

She giggled and gazed her brown eyes at the baby. "Can I hold her?"

He smiled heartedly at her. "You sure can. Open up your arms a lot more. She's kind of heavy and your already small..." She opened her arms very wide and he slowly eased Jade into her arms. "Be very, very careful with her head, honey."

"Okay." Cherry was almost overly excited because she never held a baby before. "Awwww, she is such a cute baby. She looks just like my baby doll. Is it okay if I give her a kiss, Jussin?"

He shrugged. "Sure. She loves kisses."

She kissed the smiling baby on the cheek. "Hey lil' baby. You are the prettiest baby I ever sawed." She kissed her on the cheek again and Jade laughed.

"She likes you, Cherry." He said with a grin. "She likes you a lot. I guess she is your new friend too."

Kim happily walked out of the kitchen. "Your cheese grill is ready, Cherry."

Her eyes lit up. "Really?"

Kim nodded. "Yup. Come and eat it."

Justin took Jade from her, and followed Cherry, who followed Kim. They walked trough the kitchen and ended up at the kitchen table. The plate with the cheese grill on it stood out, because it was the only thing on the table. Cherry looked up at the table and then at Justin and Kim and wondered how she would be able to reach the food.

Kim caught on to the look. "Oh, let me help you get into the chair." She picked up the little girl by her armpits, and sat her down in the chair. Then pushed it in close to the table.

Cherry was so happy to see the sandwich, which had been cut into two triangles. "I just love cheese grills." She blurted biting into it. Justin and Kim watched her with their eyes wide. She devoured the sandwich as if she never ate a meal in her life. She licked her fingers when she finished off the sandwich. "Thank you. That was so good, Kim."

She moved the shock aside and shook her head. "Um...are you still hungry? Can I get you anything else?"

"No, thank you."

She covered her mouth with her hand. "You are so well mannered. And your just so cute."

Cherry looked away shyly.

"Huh, Kim. You take Jade. We need to be going, and I have to take Cherry home."

"Where are you going?" Cherry asked blinking several times.

"Kim and I are taking Jade to the park." He said with a nod. He didn't realize what he was saying until he saw the expression on the little girls face. The sad thing was, she was not purposely trying to look pitiful, she just suddenly looked the way she felt. And he didn't know why, but Cherry seemed to be a special little girl. She reminded him so much of...Kim. "I mean, we will take you too. If your mom says it's okay. We have to go and ask her first."

Cherry was very happy by his statement but she was squirming and shifted in the chair as if she was uncomfortable. "I'd...like...to...go...to...the...park."

Justin eyes narrowed at her in confusion. "Are you okay, sweetheart?"

"Yeah, are you okay?" Kim asked behind him.

"I have to go tinkle." She whispered. "I don't know where the bathroom is, Jussin. Can you show me?"

He took her hand and helped her hop from the chair. "Aww, how cute is that? I'll show you. Kim, I'll be right back. I'm just gonna show her where the bathroom is." He directed her out of the kitchen, past the living room, and to the nearest downstairs bathroom. He cut the light on for her. "Okay, honey. Here you go."

She bounced up and down several times. "Thank you." He smiled and closed the door. As he was walking back through the living room, Cherry tugged on his jeans. "Jussin, I can't get the button on my pants. Can you undo it for me? I gotta go really bad. I can't hold it no longer." She jumped as she spoke.

He bent down and pulled up her shirt a tad bit to unbutton her jeans. Once he unbuttoned them, he folded them down, so she could easily deal with them. "All set!"

"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" She exclaimed, bouncing back into the bathroom.

He laughed. Being around Cherry made Justin face the fact that one day, Jade would be a beautiful little girl just like her. She would grow up eventually and be a woman. Kim was right. They didn't spend enough time with Jade. She was growing up so fast, and every minute lost, was a memory lost with her. "

"Jussin?"

He turned around in the middle of the living room.

"I'm sorry to bother you, Jussin. I'm sorry for bothering you so much. I can't reach the seek. The seek is too high up there, and I can't wash my hands."

He waved a finger at her cuteness. "Oh, you are not bothering me one bit. Don't be afraid to ask me if you need help. I'll be glad to help you reach the 'seek'. I mean sink." He slouched some and placed his hand on the little girls back to guide her into the bathroom. It was not typical for him to be doing this...inviting some mysterious girl in his home, but he had a thing for children. He loved them so much. Maybe it was the reason he was involved in so much charity. He placed his hands on Cherry's sides. "Ready?" She nodded and he picked her up and wrapped one of his hands around her stomach as support. He kept her held up, by placing his knee underneath her. "Up we go." He turned the water on and then Cherry screamed.

"OWWWW! Ohhh."

He put her down and she jumped up and then held her stomach and ran into a corner. "Oh my God. Did I do something wrong? I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to hold you so tightly. I know your tiny and everything. I should have been more careful. I'm sorry, Cherry." He approached her slowly. He didn't even know the girl, so he had no idea what her crying meant. She could want attention, she could be getting sick, she could be acting for the hell of it. "Cherry." He said worriedly. "What's the matter? I'm your friend. You can talk to me." He paused when she made eye contact with him.

"My tummy hurts." She whined.

"You ate a little too fast, huh?"

She shook her head. "No, my tummy hurts where Mommy hit me."

If she knew Justin, she would have saw the anger that clicked on inside of him like a light switch. He tried to stay calm even if he could feel is blood begin to boil. "She hit you?" He asked with a questioning look.

She held her shirt half way up. "I'm not suppose to tell, but she hit me with her belt really, really hard. It hurts still, when I touch it."

He saw a huge slash angled across her stomach, and it had a scab on it. It was obvious it was bleeding at one point. He stepped up closer to the girl and his eyes began to water. "My God." He whispered. "Not you too." He cleared his throat and held back the tears that were building up inside his blue eyes. "Your mother hit you? This is the only mark, right? She didn't cut you anymore right?"

"Please don't tell anyone. Can you undo my pants again?" He did as she asked, and she pulled her jeans down to her ankles. Revealing her starry underwear. "See? Mommy did all of that. I told you she was mean. Meaner than the meanist."

She had scares and bruises all over her legs. Some old, some new. Permanent marks were on her skinny legs. "Why'd she hit you?"

She looked at the ground in embarrassment. "Because I wet my bed. I didn't mean to. I did it on accident. I didn't mean to..."

It was too much for Justin. TOO MUCH. He pulled her jeans back up her and buttoned them quickly. He took her hand. "Hey, sweetie. You wanna play Playstation?"

"I'd love to!" She shrieked, forgetting their whole conversation at that moment.

"Good." He brought her into the huge living room and turned the system on for her. He handed her a controller. "Crash is a fun game. It's easy. You collect all of the diamonds. Thats it. You be good and play that. I'll be right back." She was already into the game, and he headed into the kitchen where Kim still was. She was holding Jade and singing to her. "Kim, Cherry has cuts and bruises all over her little body. You should see it, Kim. She's getting abused worse than you were. That poor little girl. You should see it. It's horrible." A tear ran down his cheek. "I just can't take it. I knew something was up with that lady. What kind of moron names their child Cherry? That is so stupid. You eat cherries, not name your children after them." He rolled his eyes and sniffled.

"Are you serious, Justin?" Her mouth was hanging open and she joined him in shedding a tear. "Where is she?"

He pointed to the direction of the living room. "She's playing the game right now...oh my God. How awful."

Kim held Jade closer to her. "What should we do, Justin? I don't know if I can say anything to that woman Candy. First she was hitting on you, but now this?"

His neck reared back. "Oh, you don't have to say anything to her. I'm going to talk to her. I'm going to curse her out. Thats what I'm going to do. I'm going to tell her what is going to happen to her if she hits Cherry again. Let me take care of this. I'm about to take her home and pretend I am just going to her house to ask her mom if it is okay she goes to the park with us." He wiped his eyes then kissed her on the cheek. "I'll be right back. Be ready to go when I get back."

She kissed him on the lips. "Okay, Justin. Don't do anything stupid. I'm trusting you on this. Are you driving?"

He shook his head. "No. Since she walked here, I'm going to walk to see how long it takes. Besides, it cannot be too far." He kissed Kim once more on the cheek them left the kitchen. "Hey Cherry, put that on pause. Lets go ask your mommy if you can go to the park with me."

She threw the controller down and practically ran to him. "Yayyy!"

He held her small hand and cracked a smile. They walked into the one o'clock daylight. It was a clear day and it was nice and hot. But to Justin, the day seemed worse than hurricane weather. He had a right to be upset. Whether he had known someone for two hours or two years, he had a right to be upset if they were abused. Abuse was bad. Simply put. It was something that should never happen. To anyone.

"Jussin. Why you so quiet, Jussin?"

The driveway was bigger than he thought. It was going to be a long walk indeed, and it was too late to turn back and jump into the car. "I'm sorry. I just have a lot on my mind."

"You aren't mad at me, are you?"

He smiled dearly. "I'm not mad at you at all, Cherry...hey do you mind if I call you Cher? No offense, but you don't seem like a Cherry. Cher fits you better. Like Cher the famous singer."

She scrunched her face. "No fence? What does that mean? You can call me Cher."

He laughed. "It means, I don't mean to be mean."

He nodded. "Oh...I learned a new word. No fence!" She thought for a moment. "Jussin, this walk is forever."

"I know it is sweetie. It's exactly why you shouldn't have been walking to my house alone. Your mother should be responsible enough to keep an eye on you, and monitor where you go. Your only six! Your a little girl, and a sweetheart at that."

She giggled. "No fence, but you are the bestest friend." She rubbed her head against his knee. "You are the only friend I ever had. I was gonna get Jade as a friend but she can't play yet. I wasn't suppose to be over and be her friend, but I left because I wanted a friend. I can't stay in the house no more. I just want to play with somebody."

"Your the 'bestest' friend too. You are a special little girl. Remember that." He began to walk faster and Cherry began to slip behind him, and she almost had to run with his fast moving and long legs. When Justin noticed she was struggling to keep up with him, he picked her up and held her to his side.

Ten minutes later, he rung the door bell to a house the same size as his in enormity. Never again was he walking. He put Cherry down on her feet and she seemed to be scared for some reason. The door was being unlocked, and then it creaked. There she was...Candy. The whipped-crème bikini's woman. It shocked him that the most innocent looking people were abusers in disguise.

She unbuttoned her shirt and leaned forward some. "Oh my God." She gasped. "It's your fine ass." She snatched him deeper into the doorway and didn't even see Cherry. "What brings you here beautiful? Here to take me up on that offer with the crème?" Her eyebrow raised sexily and she ran her hands over his chest.

"I'm here because your little girl knocked on my door." He moved aside and revealed the scared Cherry.

Candy's eyes filled with fire and she stared the little girl down. She gave her the 'you are going to get it later' look. Justin said what he said just to see how Candy would react. And by her reaction and her stare at Cherry, he knew she really was abusive. "Oh... Cherry. I am SO sorry she was at your door, Justin. She is always doing something she has no business. I've told her NOT to be messing with people in the neighborhood. I told her she is the play in yard and that is all.

Justin put a hand up. "Can we talk in a more private place? NOT in front of Cherry?"

She was already switching off to a new location. "Yeah, baby. You know I don't mind that." She went into one of her offices of several. Shortly after, Justin joined her. "Okay, what is it you want me to help you with?" She unbuttoned another button on her shirt.

"Cher walked to my house. SHE WALKED. It took me fifteen minutes to take the same route she used. Your child is six years old. Where were you? You are suppose to monitor your child, and keep up with where she goes. YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HER. Anything could have happened. SHE'S SIX YEARS OLD! HELLO! Your not being a good mother to her."

She was highly offended and buttoned up one button. "When did you receive the right to call me a bad mother?"

He shushed her. "No wait. I wasn't finished talking. I saw the scars. The marks. The cuts. THE BRUISES!" Candy felt as small as a tack and was speechless. "Thats right. I saw them ALL over her body. I KNOW! I know you abuse her. All the cuts she had on her tiny body. I bet you are starving her. She is the smallest six year old I've ever saw. She was eating at my house like she hadn't had a meal in weeks. I know the abuse she goes through. What I SHOULD do, is call the police and have you arrested, BUT! I'd rather give you a chunk of my mind. You are horrible for beating her. YOU beat her for stupid things! Are you crazy? She's a child. No one deserves to be abused. I could see if you tapped her on the hand or slapped her on the butt once, but damn. She has a huge slit across her stomach because you hit her with a belt? You can't do that!"

She swayed her head in attitude. "I'm ten years older than you! How are you going to sit here and tell me what I can and cannot do with my daughter? SHE'S MY DAUGHTER!"

"I have a daughter too. I KNOW ENOUGH! I know abuse is not the answer. And you will never hit her AGAIN. I won't allow it. If you hit her one more time, I'm calling the Child Social Services. OH, and you better bet I will be stopping by to check on her every so often. You need to learn how to love Cher. She's a beautiful, bright, and sweet little girl and you don't even realize it because you are too busy with your work, or too busy hitting her. She needs attention. There is no better attention than from a parent. She need a friend. Where's her dad?"

"California."

"Figures. She needs someone to love her and you need to be there for her. She thinks of you as nothing but mean. When she is old enough to be on her own, do you want her to hate you? Why do you abuse her? Why? Your ruining her. Your scarring her emotionally just as bad as physically. She will never forget where her scars came from. Stop making them. Be her mother and love her."

Candy began to cry. "I never meant to beat her so badly. I get so stressed and I blame all my anger on her. I know she's a amazing little girl. I'll never hit her again. NEVER! Please don't tell anyone what I've done to her. I'm going to get help about it. I swear. I don't want to hurt her anymore. She's too beautiful."

"I know. And you won't be hitting her again. I'll make sure of that. Now, I'm taking my daughter to the park and I wanted to ask you if it was okay I brought Cher along?" The sobbing woman nodded 'yes'. "Good. Thats what I thought." He said heatedly. He went to the door and turned back before leaving. "I cannot believe you Candy. It's disappointing to know your an abuser. Oh, and I'd love to eat some 'Candy', when you enjoy eating jail food." He smiled confidently. "One more thing...don't mention any of what I just told you to Cherry. Don't blame your anger on her because I found out you abuse her. Don't say anything to her about it. If you have a problem and have something to say, you can say it to me. As of now, this conversation never took place, and I was simply asking if Cherry can go to the park!"

(note: I just want to let you know. Cherry will never be moving in with Justin or anything like that. After the day at the park he will just see he a few times! k?)

 


Chapter 38

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