Chapter 2 Help Him  

"How is he today?" Doug Duncan asked the old doctor sitting across from him. They both sat in the doctors private office talking about Duncan’s most recent case. A boy beaten so badly by his mother that even the paramedic threw up after coming to the bloody scene.

The doctor pushed up his glasses and opened the case file, sliding it to Mr Duncan. "Here’s the latest updates. We’re at the six month mark now. All fractures, bumps and bruises are healed over. Rehab went well. No setbacks. The physical scars aren’t so noticeable anymore." He sighed. "The mental scars are the real problem. According to his psychiatrist, he still hasn’t spoken. A nod here and there is all we can really get from him."

Mr. Duncan nodded. "It’s the same on our side. The trauma is still recent so it’s understandable." He closed the file and slid it into his briefcase. "We’re going to move him next week."

"To an orphanage or a group home?" The doctor frowned. "Although I’ve said that he’s recovered, I would recommend that he would be closely monitored in case issues arise. Injuries that were so severe might affect his growth in the future."

Mr. Duncan grimaced at the thought of the kid’s injuries. "No, as the ward of the state, I’ve petitioned him to be placed with a foster family up north. We have a lead on the boy’s father, but aren’t too sure." He stood up and the doctored followed suit. They shook hands and gave tight smiles. "Under the circumstances, it’s hard to say it’s been nice working with you, but at least you’ve made it easy on me. Thank you."

The doctor nodded sympathetically. "Good luck to you and to the boy. He’s had a rough start."


Mr. Duncan sighed and left the office, closing the door behind him. As a social worker, he’s use to working with doctors reporting child abuse cases, but not one as serious as this, where the mother was charged with attempted murder. He walked down the hall to get outside to make a call.

"Hello?" A woman’s pleasant voice answered on the first ring.

"Mrs. Atkins? Doug Duncan here. Have you read the case file I sent over?" He asked.

"Oh, hi Doug. Please call me Mary. And yes, my husband and I have both looked over the case file. That poor boy. We have talked about it and agreed that he needs our help. We already told our boys about the new addition and readied a room for him."

Mr. Duncan sighed with relief. "Thank you Mary. I wish all my emergency foster families were as kind as you guys. I’ll be bringing him over this weekend if you’re all set then?"

"That will be just fine. It’ll just be my youngest and me at home this weekend so it won’t be too overwhelming, I hope. My youngest is also fourteen so I’m sure they’ll get along as well."


"I wouldn’t expect any trouble. Jake hasn’t really even communicated with others so it’s hard to say."

"He isn’t talking?"

"Not really. A word here and there. A local psychiatrist will work with him once we get him settled in with you guys. I know it’s not easy to take in a teenage boy that you don’t even know, but you can reach out to me at any time for help."

"No worries, Doug. This is what we signed up for. To help kids in need. Jake is a bit older than the ones we usually get, but my four boys are all near his age and I’m sure that’ll help him."

"Thanks again, Mary. I’ll send you the details via email, but you can expect me to bring him by Saturday morning."