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The Redemption, Book 2

by Joe Writer Man

Chapter 20

*-* Dad's POV *-*

My family had never required the use of a defense attorney. I racked my brain trying to recall the name of one that I call could call to take our case on such short notice, but could not come up with one that was not a shyster simply in it for the money or prestige.

I needed to leave. Yet there was so much at stake with the hard-sell for the major project that would benefit so many people, if it were approved by the financiers. Family always prevails, no matter what.

Curtis Black, the City Commissioner was in his office. I entered. He looked up, smiled, gestured for me to sit in a chair opposite him, and then got up and closed the door but did not lock it.

"What's up, Dave. You look upset about something."

Curtis was an old college fraternity brother from long ago. We had put away quite a few during our partying days, studied city administration, and had worked together and he had, in fact, run my campaign for mayor. He was one of those guys you couldn't bullshit, and he was one of those guys you didn't want to bullshit, and finally, he was one of the greatest guys on earth.

I'd talked to him, friend to friend, about the adoptions of Joey and Nathan. I'd also talked to him about the endeavors to adopt Timmy, and some of the attendant problems with doing it. I had no had to the opportunity to talk with him about the latest difficulties with the boy.

So I told him everything, short and sweet but definitely to the point.

He knew the right guy... in fact he called a top notch defense attorney just starting out in the shark tank. Antonio Mendez was his name; he was available and could be at the justice center within the hour.

Together we walked into the presentation conference room. I told them that I had an emergency family situation, and that Curtis would be taking over, at least for the day.

I decided not to drive myself to the courthouse, justice center because of snarled traffic through construction zones. I walked a block to the train station where I called June to tell her the latest... the call went immediately to voice mail.

About 45 minutes later I arrived at the courthouse and fairly quickly found the juvenile division. A Hispanic gentleman was sitting all alone on a bench outside the courtroom areas. I walked toward him hoping that he was the guy I needed to see. When I was about 30 paces away he looked up then stood and began walking toward me.

He was a really young guy... he kind of reminded me of Dougie Howser but he was quick to maintain eye contact. When we met he said, "Are you Mr. Mauer?"

"I am. And you must be Mr. Mendez."

"Yes... please call me Antonio. Mr. Mauer, time is of the essence so we'll skip the formalities at this time... we will have time to talk later. I charge $300.00 per hour to represent at hearings. The price goes up to $500.00 an hour if matters go to trial. I have done some checking into the situation already. I feel that we have a good case. Please tell me what happened to get Timothy into this matter."

He wasted no time getting to the heart. He was calm, self-assured, yet humble and serving. I immediately felt comfortable so I gave him the Reader's Digest of what may have gotten us to this place.

He told me that getting Timmy sprung might be quite difficult since the state brought the charges, not us, and because of Timmy's tendency toward explosive temper outbursts, propensity to violence, and general difficulties with conducting himself appropriately.

Largely, I agreed with him. But I also disagreed because we'd seen a side of Timmy that is loving, caring, gentle, intelligent, and that he's a giving young man at times. These are the root factors that June and I hung onto when deciding to 'not quit' on him. We were willing to give him another chance.

Tony suggested that I not go into the courtroom. And he said that because he easily saw, through the makeup June had applied to my facial bruises, what Timmy had done to me. He said that it could definitely pose a serious handicap for getting Timmy bailed and released. I disagreed. I disagreed because showing up in Timmy's defense might turn the hearing around to his favor; that my wife and I were willing to go that extra mile to give him an additional opportunity to change.

We agreed to disagree. Tony would present our case with all parties present and hope for the best.

On our way into the courtroom, Timmy had already arrived. He was setting at the defense table with his wrists cuffed and his ankles shackled. He looked sad and beat down and very alone. His stature, small for his age, probably accentuated his sadness.

Court was called into session at precisely 10:30am. Juvenile court hearings are closed to the public and to people not directly involved with each juvenile offender case.

Judge: Timothy Wesley Jenkins, Case number 09-5127, please rise.

Timmy: Yes sir.

Judge: Are you represented by counsel?

Timmy: No sir.

Tony: Your honor, Timothy is represented by Counsel Antonio Mendez. I was retained at the 11th hour this morning.

Timmy looked at me then to Tony with a shocked look on his face then turned back and faced the judge, "Yes sir. I didn't know sir."

Tony walked to Timmy then said to the judge, "Your honor if I may."

Judge: Go ahead. Make it quick please. Our docket is full this morning.

Tony: Yes sir. Your honor, I have not had the opportunity of meeting with my client. If it pleases the court, the defense respectfully requests a continuance to counsel my client.

The judge looked the prosecutor. I'd have guessed him to be in his mid to late 60's, bald, thin, wiry, and astute. He looked like a family man and not yet hardened by the judicial system. He nodded then said, "No objection by the prosecution, your honor."

Judge: Continuance granted. Time is of the essence, counselor. In this court charges against a juvenile must be levied within 24 hours else he's free. We have a spot open at 3:30 this afternoon. We will meet at that time. Is there anything else regarding this matter before we adjourn?

Tony: Yes your honor. The defense requests that Timothy's custody is transferred to me and his foster father, David Mauer. Your honor, there exists no flight risk. The young man has no other place to go. His foster father is a mayor up North. His foster mother is a respected and competent physician. We hope to have the both of them here this afternoon.

Judge: This is highly irregular. I'm inclined to deny your request. Mr. Prosecutor?

Prosecutor: Yes, this is highly irregular your honor. I too am inclined to deny the request. However, what Mr. Mendez says about the defendant's foster parents is true. The prosecution places a stipulation on said request. The stipulations are that the defendant, Master Timothy Wesley Jenkins, be in the constant care and control of defendants counsel and his foster father, and that he does not leave the courthouse property.

Judge: Mr. Mendez?

Tony: Mr. Prosecutor those are fair stipulations. We accept the stipulations as stated. Timothy will be in court this afternoon.

Judge: Timothy will you follow those stipulations to the letter?

Timothy looked to Tony and then to me. He had this incredible unbelieving look pass and hold on his face. He said, "Are you sure? Really?"

"Timmy, I wouldn't have agreed if I'd thought you were going to run or strike me or anyone else again. We'll talk in depth if you agree to follow the stipulations. If you don't agree with the stipulations then I'm afraid we'll have to part ways. If you choose to not follow them then while I won't testify against you and then I will not testify for you – you'd be on your own in other words. Do you understand what I'm saying?"

"I'm sorry I hurt you… I'll try to be good."

The ramifications of June's and my commitment to the boys, especially to Joey during his tumultuous beginnings in our family, came fully to the forefront. In a way I hoped that Timmy would agree because we were willing to give him one more chance.

Judge: Timothy, have you made your decision?

"Yes sir, thank you sir, I won't let you down."

Judge: Timothy, breaking the stipulations placed on your speaking with your attorney and father will not let me down. Understand this: if you break them, even a tiny little bit then I'll be your worst enemy. Do you understand this perfectly clear, young man?

Tony whispered in Timmy's ear. Timmy whispered into Tony's ear. Timmy nodded. Tony said to the judge, "Your honor, my client understands, agrees, and he's given assurances to abide by them, and he also knows the consequences should he break them."

Judge: Very well. Case continued until 3:30 this afternoon. Court adjourned.

The bailiff quickly escorted us into an anteroom off the courtroom where he removed the shackles and handcuffs from Timmy's wrists and ankles. We then walked down to an eatery located on the first floor. Tony ordered a Danish pastry and a cup of coffee. I ordered a black coffee then looked at Timmy and waited for his order.

He said seriously as a heart attack, "No thank you. I've cost you enough already. I don't even understand why you're on my side. I'm a fuck up. All I do is cause people trouble. Did my caseworker tell you that your family is the 3rd foster care family I've been put into? I'm serious."

Tony looked at me. He had a totally blank expression on his face. He tried to say something but the words wouldn't come out. Then, finally and totally exasperated, he said "I'll meet you at the table across the way. Take your time. Talk if you need to." He then walked away, sat down and began sipping his coffee. He pulled out his cell phone and made a call.

I ordered Timmy two chocolate Éclairs, a cup of plain white milk, and then threw in two Macadamia cookies at the last minute. I paid the bill then ushered Timmy to a table in the corner away from people, sat the stuff down then motioned to Timmy to sit down. He complied. I then sat down opposite him. I then pushed the Éclairs and glass of milk toward him and said, "Eat."

He started to say something but scrunched up his face in an innocent way. His mind was turning circles; he seriously thought that I didn't mean what I had said. I found that strange – a boy turning down food? Banish the thought. Or didn't he like chocolate artery clogger uppers? Nah.

I reached across the table then picked up an Éclair and put it to his mouth and repeated, "Eat! Food. Boys eat! That is what boys are designed to do – devour."

He smiled warmly. I thought "God, what a beautiful smile he has." I felt his smile was genuine and not some facade he'd picked up along the way.

When he hesitated, I pushed the Éclair into his lips, squishing some of the heart attack mixture of goodies against his skin. In my most sinister of all sinister tones of voices, I said, "Eat or I'll start eating you."

He giggled wildly, "That's silly. I make better cream than this."

"So, you're pretty good in the kitchen?" I asked innocently thinking that during his time alone he'd learned how to fend for himself.

All of his giggles stopped on a dime. As he moved his arm the Éclair fell into his lap. He went mortified then shrugged his shoulders and reached down to start cleaning his mess up. I handed him a wad of napkins, got up and went to him where I started helping him. He held my arm still then wiped a gob of the mixture from his bright orange jumpsuit and brought his fingers to my mouth. It was then that I realized exactly what he had said, and why.

I was pissed. I was angry as hell. I'm sure my eyes were bugging out of my head because I felt the blood pressure pounding in my temples. Timmy scampered down under the table trying to get away from me but I was faster and stronger, and determined to put this matter to rest right then and there.

Tony quickly walked over to see what the commotion was all about. When he saw that I had control of the situation, he picked the Éclair mess off of Timmy's chair, wiped the table, and then tossed them into the trash receptacle nearby. Finished with the chore, Tony said, "This isn't looking so good, you guys. Timothy do you see those two guards just outside the door…over there <pointing to two very large me standing next to a pillar) they're watching us; they're especially watching you. They have big mouths, as they should have. If you want to be free then I highly suggest you straighten up; that you get your act together. I'm not sure what you guys need to talk about but we have until 3:30 to get it talked out. I called my secretary and canceled my appointments for the rest of the day. Timmy. I've got a question for you: am I your attorney or not? Are you going to work with me?"

"Timmy, you and I have something to talk about. I don't want to talk to you about it with people all around. Are you in or are you out?" I said curtly.

Timmy asked, stupefied, "Why are you doing this? I'm bad. I'm disgusting. I'm a fucking whore boy. Old men like my cream, and I like drinking cream. I don't know what else to do. I have nothing to offer other than my butt and mouth. Don't you understand that?"

An old biddy sitting close by said mockingly, "You're absolutely disgusting little boy. Your dad ought to paddle your butt. I've never…"

"Ma'am, do mind your own business. Come on Timmy, we're going for a walk, now. I have some things to share with you. All I ask for you to do is to listen carefully."

Timmy got up from under the table, stood up, took a napkin and made a spectacle of wiping the rest of the cream from his jumpsuit… I couldn't help but to see that his zipper was stretched out in one particular place. Tony saw it too. Not that we were looking for it because I wasn't – it was just very obvious.

I took Timmy's hand and we headed out of the courthouse for the steps. I didn't stop until we reached a picnic table at the far reaches of the courthouse property. I sat Timmy down then sat down next to him. Tony sat on the other side of him. We had him sandwiched in.

"Timmy, understand something: I will never, ever, never, ever expect you to give me any kind of sex for any reason, ever, and forever. That goes for my wife, my sons Derrick, Joey and Nathan too."

I continued, "That goes for you too. Don't expect, ask for, demand, or talk to us like we're going to have sex with you. If you live with us then you're going to have to make some changes in your lifestyle. You're going to have to be honest, and willing to learn new things to make yourself feel better in constructive and family oriented ways. You don't have to 'earn' you're way into our hearts. From what I've seen, you do appear to know right and wrong… practice right ways."

Timmy, clearly with a perplexed look on his face, asked innocently, "What kind of ways? What are you talking about? My second adopted dad actually loved me. When we had sex he was gentle, and he took care of me too. I loved him too, a lot. I gave up when he went to prison. The bitch he was married to blamed me for everything. She dropped me off at the park, said she was going to get us Cokes so we could sit down and talk… that was it. She didn't even call CPS. My homies called them, the authorities, when I got really sick – I mean I was sicker than sick. Sicker than when your son snatched me up and took me to your wife's hospital. He loved me, he really did."

"So you were adopted by him and his wife?" I asked.

"Yeah. Their last name was Sanderson. After I got out of the hospital they placed me with yet another family… they LOVED me too. Their version of making love was with me sandwiched in the middle. He'd fuck my butt and I'd have my dick in her nasty fuckin twat. The first time, he'd nearly killed me with his size. The last time he almost beat me to death because I wasn't 'clean' – he poked his wife with shit all over his dick. I swear to God they almost killed me."

Tony asked, "Did you go to the hospital?"

Timmy replied assuredly, "No, my homey Jonathan took me home to his family. They took care of me until I could get back on my feet. I then booked it doing what I needed to do to survive. That's when Joey and his friend found me… I was sick again."

I said to Tony, "Tony, Timmy is HIV positive, in fact he was diagnosed with full blown AIDS at the time my wife was treating him just recently."

Tony was writing notes as Timmy and I talked about his past.

I asked Timmy, "Okay, so tell me about your first adoption."

"They took me from the hospital when I was born. They were super religious. I got into it too. I felt strange all my life but they really, really tried to make me belong… and for a while I did belong. You know, I really believed it."

Timmy then looked down to the ground and began playing with some grass blades with the toes of his shoes. He put his head in his hands, shrugged his shoulders in defeat, and then with a brazen inner strength turned around and looked directly into my eyes. I reached for his shoulder, put my hand on it comfortingly, and squeezed softly. At first he acted like my hand contained Krypton but then relaxed realizing I wasn't going to let him go it alone, or hurt him.

The boy had feelings. Whatever he was thinking of clearly showed me that he was capable of guilt and remorse –or- was it something he was told over and over and over again?

Timmy started talking again. He was still looking down at the ground. Very, very gently I cupped his chin in my hand and lifted it so we could talk and listen eye to eye and ear to ear.

"I was 9 years old when things changed. My dad and I went on a Scouts camp out with a bunch of other guys I'd grown up with. There were some older boys but they were mostly quite a ways away from us. We'd all get together for chow and the campfires. They'd tell scary stories… and I mean really, really scary stuff. They also taught us stuff… you know like survival on the land really deep in the woods. They'd teach us how to make things out of basically nothing. They'd treat us really good when we followed their instructions, and they would beat the shit out of us when we fucked up. Dad said that that was all normal, and then when I got older I would be teaching younger kids how to do things too."

"That's right, Timmy. That's how it works. Go ahead, you're doing okay." I said truthfully. I'd been in scouts and had been and still was a den father locally.


"Yeah really, I've been in Scouts my whole life; first as a scout myself and when I grew up I've been a leader."

"Oh. So you know about the other stuff too?" Timmy asked wide eyed.

"Timmy, we are very careful to properly match youngsters with their older mentors. Mentors that dishonor the flag and their troop and their underlings are rejected from scouting. Some Council's are different though. To directly answer your question – yes, I know about the other stuff."

"Then you know about the younger kids having to suck the older kids' dicks and to even get fucked in the ass?" Timmy asked warily.

"Yes, I do. That's why we put the rules in place, and it's why we carefully match mentors with each child. We don't want that stuff happening. Younger kids and early adolescent kids are curious about their bodies. They are going to play around. They're going to compare penis sizes. And they're probably going to jack off; you know the circle jerks and stuff. But as far as penetrative sex, we forbid it. If a person is caught, or if we hear about it, the older boy is sent home. A tribunal is arranged. The tribunal has almost the last say so. If the scout is not repentant then the matter is turned over to law enforcement."

"Yeah, that's pretty much what we did too. It's where I learned how good … well, you know, my body. I wish you'd been there." Timmy said seriously then added, "I liked the other scouts stuff."

"So do I, Timmy, so do I, wanna tell me what happened? Did one of the older scouts do something that you didn't want to do?"

"Not exactly, I mean yeah, but not exactly. Yeah, we sucked dicks… I really liked that. They gave me good head, I mean really, really good. After a few times they wanted only me to suck their dicks… I treated them good cuz they'd let me do other things that other kids weren't allowed to."

"Such as what, Timmy?" I asked curiously, calmly.

"Oh, they'd put me at the front of the line at mess. Mainly they kept the bullies away from me. There was this one kid… I think his name was Wesley, yeah, Wesley, he's got the same name I do… he would trip me in the hallways or in the isles in the bunk room, or he'd snap the hell out of me with a towel at shower time. One time he made me eat half a bar of soap. The last time he bullied me… well it was the last time – he was sent away, we never saw him again until we got back to school."

Tony asked, "Tell me about it, Timmy. I'm in scouts too. My son is 5 right now. You might very well help me to help him to look out for trouble."

Timmy looked at me for my approval. With shame clearly taking over his body, I had no alternative but to pull him into my side, "Timmy, it's okay now. Bad things happen. Maybe we can help you to get through your shame and guilt. We might have seen it done, or even did it ourselves. Was it a hazing thing? They get pretty raunchy sometimes. Our troops – well, the kids are ornery but they're pretty well supervised. They don't get away with bad stuff – well, take that back… it might seem pretty bad to a little kid."

"Like what?" Timmy asked, clearly interested.

"We went through a phase a couple of summers ago when huge family sized bottles of Vaseline 'all of a sudden' appeared from out of the blue. <Timmy tensed up immediately>. Let me explain something. What the boys were doing was just ornery. Nobody got hurt, okay? Well, I take that back – there were some nasty falls in the shower because of the slippery floors. I slipped myself. Those crazy boys."

"Did you hurt yourself?" Timmy asked very softly – he was looking directly into my eyes. He needed an answer.

I replied, "Yeah I did. They'd only hurt my pride though, nothing physically. They got me. Do you know how hard it is for an adult to get bushwhacked by a bunch of 10 and 11 year olds? <Snickering>"

Tony giggled then relayed a similar experience. Timmy was genuinely laughing so hard he farted. When Tony and I cracked up at that, he buried his head into my side giggling. He then wrapped his arms around my chest and hung on very tight, like his life depended on it.

Tony said softly, "I've got a few things to take care of. I'll be back in a little while. Timmy, be strong, be brave. I know you can handle it. And if you can't then there is a man in front of you who will help you handle it. Trust him. He's a good man."

With that, Tony quickly strode away toward the steps of the courthouse then disappeared inside.

Timmy got really, really, really quiet. He didn't move though. He liked being in my arms for all the right reasons, at least my reasons were pure, and after a while I think he too saw that I was a safe person for him.

"Wanna go for a walk?" I said, knowing that sometimes walking helps to get those bad things loosened up so that they come out of our mouths, and out of our insides.

Timmy immediately got up from his seat then looked at me wonderingly. He then took a small leap of faith. He reached his hand out.

I nodded then with exaggerated difficulty he took my hand and pulled me forward. Of course I made a big spectacle of how much he helped this old man up. He was giggling. He called me silly. I called him quite a young man, someone that I could very quickly become very proud of – because it had already started.

His demeanor changed dramatically. He squeezed my hand just a little harder then let go and then started skipping up the trail, keeping ahead of me by three or four paces.

When he turned and bent down to pick up something from the ground to feed a wandering duck I noticed that the back of his britches were wet, and that the wet spot was encased by his underwear. I didn't quite know what to think other than the benches we had been sitting on could have possibly been wet, yet my pants weren't damp though; in fact the sprinklers hadn't been on that I could tell.

"Can I feed this to the duck?" Timmy said holding up a small piece of bread. I nodded. He smiled then tossed it to the duck. Of course the duck lapped it up in one quick flip of its beak. He asked, "What kind of duck is that?"

"It's a Mallard. This is their native land." I then went on and told him their history, how they migrate, how they return each year, and how humans really shouldn't be feeding them on any kind of regular basis because then they'd become dependent on our hand. He took it all in and filed it away. He asked a few questions about them. I answered him honestly then answered some of his questions with questions of my own to get him thinking. He's a smart kid; definitely not a dumb ass as he thinks he was/is.

He took my arm, pulled his little thin and frail body in very close to my side then we moved on down the sidewalk. He was quiet, very quiet. When I looked down, he was looking straight ahead though he wasn't paying very much attention to where he was going. When we got to a shady area along the path his grip on my arm tightened three or four notches tighter. I suggested we sit down for a breather so we plopped down on the deep luscious carpet of grass. I picked up two blades of the grass then brought them to my mouth and began sucking on them. He looked at me then smiled, grabbed up a single blade and did the same thing. He smiled then much to my surprise tugged my arm to envelope around his shoulders. He put his head under the crook of my arm. He looked up to see if what he was doing was okay with me. I pulled him in tighter then kissed the top of his head. He didn't flinch. In fact he pulled my arm around him tighter.

"I'm going to have to use the bathroom pretty soon." Timmy said timidly.

"Shall we head back to the courthouse?" I asked as a matter of conversation. I really didn't want that moment to end. We were peaceful, tranquil and serene; we were in a really good place. I couldn't remember having that kind of a moment with my natural born son, Derrick… I guess we'd just never thought of it before. Joey and Nathan, yes, they are my sons – we just hadn't had the opportunity yet. I vowed we would take time from our schedules to spend some quality one-on-one time, soon.

"Nah, I'm okay. I'm just tingling down there. It's weird. I must not have gotten all their stuff out of me." Timmy said casually then added, "Yeah, I've got to go. What happens if I don't make it in time?"

"You get stinky pants. Let's go." I said then got up, pulled Timmy to his feet then we took off, almost at a gallop, toward the courthouse, making it in just the nick of time. Mostly juicy hot air exploded the very second he sat down. While he was busy I peed then washed my hands. As I was drying them he came out holding his underwear out in front of him then deposited them into the trash receptacle then came over and carefully washed his hands.

"Didn't quite make it?" I asked casually.

"Kind of… that was leftovers from last night. I didn't get to take a shower, eat breakfast, or get clean clothes this morning. They don't hand out new clothes until 10."

"Oh, okay. Timmy, can I ask you something? It's pretty personal. You don't have to answer me if you don't want to, okay."

He looked at me and waited for me to continue, "What do you mean by leftovers?"

As if he were answering a normal conversational question and answer period, he casually said, "I'm in jail. I'm a little kid."

"Weren't you segregated out?"

"Only the rich kid brats get singled out to protective. You didn't know that?" Timmy said incredulously as he tossed the wadded up paper towel into the receptacle.

"No Timmy, I didn't know that. I'm sorry. Timmy, I have to ask you something very personal. Please be honest with me."

Timmy stood there staring me down. With absolute certainty, he replied strictly, "I don't lie – I may be a fucking slut but I'm honest about it except when money is involved because if there is then all bets are on my side."

"Okay then. I have a yes or no question. I expect a yes or no answer, clear?" I said parentally.

"Clear." Timmy replied. He was looking square into my eyes never flinching other than for a normal blink every once in a while.

"Were you used for sex?"

"I deserved everything I got. I hurt you. I'll never forgive myself." Timmy said forcefully. He then left the bathroom. The door opened back up. Tony was talking to someone. Just then Tony entered the bathroom with Timmy next to him. Timmy took off for a closed stall where the toilets were located. He quickly shut the door, his clothes hit the floor then the sound of his efforts at evacuating whatever he could send to the sewer system were followed by an exclamation, "Ah, there it is. Oh gawd. Sorry you guys… but it's finally coming out." He snickered.

I pointed to the trash receptacle then gathered up several paper towels… I whispered to Tony as I scooped Timmy's underwear out of the trash can, "Timmy wasn't segregated out of main population. He was sexually used by fellow inmates. I was goddamned assured he'd be segregated… he wasn't." I hissed angrily.

I looked inside his underwear and found no traces of blood in the yellow tinged material, still wet. I quickly wrapped them inside the paper towels. Tony opened his brief case, relocated the papers inside and then motioned for me to drop the underwear between the leather folds.

Timmy was having quite the time with his duties. He was such a big, big man inside a 12 year old body, his childishness sometimes over clouding his mean, tough, exterior facade.

With one last mighty heave ho Timmy wasn't ashamed to let everybody know that he was finally finished with his tasks, and that he felt mighty fine because of it.

Tony pulled out Timmy's arrest papers. The box marked "Segregate" had a big fat, deep black lettered 'Yes' clearly written in the space.

Tony smiled then whispered in my ear just as the door to Timmy's stall opened, "'Probable Cause' my fucking ass." He then closed his brief case shut and snapped it locked.

Timmy, with relief clearly written across his face said stoically after walking to us, "They're all gone now. They aren't in me anymore. Move over, I've gotta wash my hands. Oh yeah, please! I forgot, sorry."

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