What happens when your child's imaginary friend turns out to real?
The first chapter will be about Tony from the time of his mother's death until he goes to boarding school. I must warn you this chapter does talk about child abuse. Gibbs and the others will be showing up in the following chapters.
I will try and update weekly.
I See You
Over thirty years ago…
The room was filled with people but his green eyes were only focused on his father and mother. He watched as his father walked over, bend down and kissed his mother on her cheek. He listened as his father whispers how much he loved her and was going to miss her. He watched as his father slowly closed the lid to the casket. It would be the last time he would ever see his mother…
Even though he was eight years old, he really didn't understand what death was or why his mother wouldn't wake up. His father had tried on several occasions to explain it to his young son but would get a little emotional and would not be able to continue. The eight year old knew his mother had been sick because he had visited her everyday at the hospital and he had also overheard things from the doctor and nurses. He was also there the moment the alarm went off. When a nurse entered the room to disconnect the machines, he had tried to stop her. Senior grabbed him and told him to behave himself or he would get it when he got home.
The following week he stayed with his maternal grandmother because his father had some business matters to take care of that had to do with his late wife's estate and Junior's trust fund. The eight year old always loved visiting his grandmother but this time it was different. It was not the best time or place for the grieving lonely eight-year-old boy because his beloved grandmother had just lost her only child. She kept getting upset every time she looked at him. She finally called his father and told him to come and pick him up. She couldn't stand being around her own grandchild right now. He reminded her too much of her late daughter. She was truly sorry but it hurt too much.
Two weeks later, Senior was in a hurry to leave on a business trip to Europe. He was going to be gone for at least a month and he needed someone to watch his son. He had to quickly find a live-in nanny. He called an agency he had found listed in the phone book and told them what he needed. He never had to worry before about things like this before because his deceased wife would always take care of it. The agency sent a woman who was born in Italy but raised in America. She spoke fluent English, Italian and Spanish. This was the main reason Senior hired her. He figured if he decided to keep her maybe she could teach his son to speak several languages. It would give Junior a head start in school and also help him in his career. Senior always believed son would follow in his footsteps. Her name was Rose Moretti and she was in her mid twenties and very pretty. She came with very good references, which Senior never bothered to have checked. He figured if she didn't work out, he would find someone else when he got back.
The next day, Rose Moretti showed up two hours before she was supposed to. It was a little awkward because Senior had not bothered to tell his son he was leaving. He was going to do it just before the nanny showed up. He thought it would be easier on his son and himself but he was wrong.
When she was finished unpacking, Senior introduced the woman to his son.
"Miss Moretti, I would like you to meet my son, Anthony D. DiNozzo Jr. Junior, I want you to me Miss Rose Moretti she will be taking care of you while I am gone."
Junior didn't care anything about the introductions, he begged his father not to leave him behind. Senior told him he had to go on this business trip or he couldn't pay the bills. He told his son he would be back in a month. He grabbed his bags and quickly left. He thought this would make it easier on his young son.
The boy and the woman watched as the taxi left the driveway. She shut the door and grabbed Anthony by his arm. She was holding his arm so tight that it hurt him. He tried to make her release his arm but she wouldn't. "What you just did was so selfish. You should be ashamed of yourself young man. Your father works hard for his money. He has to work to put a roof over your head. How do you think he pays for all these nice things you have?"
"Please…your hurting my arm."
"I will hurt you a lot more than that if you act that way again." She then released him arm.
"Now, that your father is gone I am going to set down a few rules that you are to follow. If you don't follow these rules you will be punished. Do I make myself clear?"
Anthony just nodded his head.
"Good, now I want you to listen and you better listen good."
I have never believed children should be calling adults by their first name. So Anthony you will only address me as Miss Moretti or ma'am. Nothing else.
I believe children should be only seen and not heard. You will only speak when I ask you to. If you do need to ask me a question, you will ask permission to speak.
If I tell you to go to your room you are to do it immediately.
On my way here, I saw a park. If we go to the park you are to stay clean at all times. You can sit with me or go sit on the swing. If you do decid to play with the other children you are to stay clean or I will punish you when we get home.
Each day you are to read a book for an hour. Pay attention to what you read because I will quiz you on it when you are finished.
If you are good, you will be allowed one hour of TV.
You will go to bed at 8:00 each night and I do not want to hear TV on. If I do I will remove it from your room.
Lastly, she told her new charge to go to his room until lunchtime. She had things to do and didn't want him to pester her. Tony went up the stairs like he was told. Once he got into his room he rubbed his arm because it hurt. He rolled up his sleeve and saw a very dark bruise forming. Tears were flowing down his cheeks as he rolled his sleeve back down.
Around noontime she brought him his lunch and left. Later in the day, she called him downstairs. She told him to get his coat because she was taking him to the park. She sat down at one of the picnic tables and started reading a book. He sat down on a swing and watched as the other kids played. Some of the kids he knew from school. They tried to get him to play with them but he didn't want to do it. He didn't feel like it so he just sat on the swing moving back and forth. He was still mourning the death of his mother and now was missing his father. They stayed at the park for almost two hours before they headed back home.
For the next two weeks it was mostly the same routine. The nanny made Anthony stay in his room while she watched TV or talked to her friends on the phone. Sometimes she would even invite her friends over for lunch. When her friends were there, the child was no allowed outside his room. If she were in the mood she would teach him a little Italian. She had a couple of tapes for him to listen to. Sometimes she would only speak to him in Italian. She would never tell him what she was saying. She wanted him to figure it out on his own. She laughed when he didn't understand her. She would tell him how stupid he was in the Italian and laugh about it. They did go to the park everyday.
One morning, Anthony was sitting at the top stairs and listening to his nanny talk to someone on the phone about what a great job she has. How there was not a single parent around and all she had to do was send the kid to his room. She had the rest of the time to herself.
One day while he was sitting on the swing in the park, when something caught his eye. Whatever it was it was moving fast in the wooded area. It looked like white and the color of lilacs. Even though he couldn't really make out its form, Anthony continued to watch it move. Just as he was getting ready to jump off the swing and go check it out he heard Miss Moretti yell to him that is was time to go home. Anthony looked one last time and left.
It was around six o'clock; Anthony had finished eating dinner and was up in his room reading a book. He heard a tapping noise on the window. He looked up and saw a strange creature trying to get in. Whatever it was, it looked almost humanlike. It was about the same size as he was. Its skin was a light purple. The hair was very long and white as new fallen snow. It had pointed ears and dark purple catlike eyes with red specs in them. It wore only a brown loincloth and matching vest.
It tapped again on the window and smiled, "Please let me in. I want to play with you."
Tony got up and moved toward the window. For some strange reason he wasn't scared. He studied the creature.
Tony stopped when he was about a foot from the window. "What are you?"
"My name is Tackdeillseilfjsltleuladkd."
"No…that is not what I just asked you, what kind of creature are you?"
It shrugged its shoulders. "I don't know. I didn't know I was a creature? I am just me."
"You are not human. Where did you come from?"
"I come from here and there. I guess…you can say I come from everywhere? Can you let me in, pleeeease? I am cold and lonely. I want to play with you."
The boy didn't feel threatened at all. He slowly opened the window. The creature jumped down on the floor. It looked around and then turned back to the human boy who stood before him. It smiled at him.
"I told you my name is Tackdeillseilfjsltleuladkd, what is your name?"
"My father calls me Junior. My first name is Anthony but I like to be called Tony instead. You can call me that."
It looked at the human child and shook it's head. "Nope, I don't like any of your names. Let's see, I am going to call you Smiley because you smile so much."
"I do not?"
"Yes, you do."
"No I don't"
"Oh, yes you do?" The creature started making faces until the child started to grin.
"See Smiley, I told you so."
Tony grinned. "Well, I don't like your name either. I don't think I can even pronounce it. So, I am only going to call you just Tac."
The creature tilted his head and moved closer to the boy, "I like Tac. You may call me that. Now Smiley, where are your toys? I would like to see what you have."
Tony was still smiling as he pointed to the door, "They are in the closet."
Tac walked over to the closet and then turned quickly back to Tony, "Why are they in there and not out here with you? Why do you not play with them? Toys…are meant to be played with and it is ashame for them to be hidden in the closet."
"My…my mom died a few weeks ago… I…I still miss her and I don't feel like playing with them anymore."
Tac walked over to the boy and placed his hands on the child's shoulders, "Yes, death will do that to you every time but you must understand life does go on. You cannot let death take over your heart or your mind. Your mom would not want that for you. She would want the best for you. She would want you to be happy and live a long life. She would want you to play with your toys. She would want all those things for you and more. What about your father does he not play with you?"
"My…my father is away on business. He never has time to play with me."
"Who is taking care of you now?"
"Do you like her? Does she not play with you? Everyone should have some playtime, even adults."
Tony just shook his head. The creature could tell the boy didn't want to talk about her so he decided to change the question.
"Now, can I please play with your toys?"
Tony nodded and pointed toward the closet. "Help yourself."
He watched as Tac opened the door. The purple creature was thrilled to see all the different toys. He started pulling them out and checking each one. He pulled out some strange looking black strips and was puzzled by them. "What is this?"
"They are Hot Wheel Tracks."
Tony watched as the creature held the tracks and laughed. "There is nothing hot about them."
Tony giggled, "They are not hot, silly. That's just their name."
Tac smiled when he heard the child giggle, "Please show how you play with them."
Tony placed the strips of track on the floor and then put them together. Next he placed the racing car on the track. Tac watched as the car went down the track and into the loop. Tac jumped for joy. He had to try it. His car did not make it trough the loop. He looked at the boy for help. Tony had to show him several times before he finally got it. Once he did it he wanted to go to the next toy.
"What other toys do you have? Can you show me please?"
Tony looked at his new friend, "Why do you talk that way?"
"Why are you so polite?"
Tac smiled, "I once had this little friend whose name was Laura. She loved to have tea parties and I always had to be polite or she wouldn't let me play."
"What happened to your friend?"
"She's grown up now and no longer needs me. Now, can I please see the rest of your toys?"
For the next few hours Tony showed his new friend all his toys and how each one of them worked. While doing so the boy found out that Tac was a male and centuries old. His kind had special powers but he would not tell the child what they were. Adult Humans would call them their children's imaginary friends. His kind can change into any shape and form so the child will not be afraid of them. Sometimes they would even appear as a dead relative. He told Tony that he was a very special child because Tony was able to see him as he is and the boy was not afraid. Tac also told him that there were very few of his kind left on this earth and they only visit the children that believe in them and needed them. What he didn't tell the boy was once a child no longer needs them they would simply go away and the child would never see them again. Some would find another child to be with or they would simply vanish and never be seen again. It was very rare for a child to remember them when they grew up.
It was two weeks later, when Senior finally returned home from his business trip. He went to check on his son and he heard laughing coming from behind his son's room. He smiled; it was so good to hear his child was happy again. He opened the door and found his son lying on the bed reading a book. Tony jumped up when he saw his father and ran over and hugged him. It reminded Senior of when his wife was still alive.
Senior told Rose Moretti to go ahead and take a paid week off because he wanted to spend some time with his son. For the next couple of days, he took Tony to the park, zoo, and a baseball game. Saturday, they went to visit Uncle Vincenzo the butcher. It was Uncle Vincenzo's birthday and he was having a family cookout and invited all the family. It was one of the best times Tony ever had with his father. During this time, Tac stayed away to allow the father and son to bond.
Senior thought it was Rose Moretti who was responsible for bringing joy back into his young son's life. So, he decided to offer her a permanent position in taking care of his son. The father should have taken the time to ask his son what he thought of his nanny but he didn't. If he had, he would have found out how his son spends most of the time in his room. He would have also found out how she abuses his son.
The following week, Senior left on another trip. This time he was going to be gone for six weeks. Before he left he hugged his son and told him to be a good boy and behave himself while he was gone. If he was good he might bring him something back.
Tac didn't like the woman. He didn't like the way she treated his young friend. He decided to get her back one-day while she was reading a book at the picnic table. He had enticed a flock of birds to fly over and poop all over her. Without meaning it he got Tony into trouble. Tony really didn't see what happened to his nanny but he was watching Tac laugh and he started laughing with him. Miss Moretti thought Tony was laughing at her. Once they got home, she went and got one of Senior's belts and used it on her young charge. This was the first time she ever whipped him. She sent the boy to his bed without supper.
Tac climbed through the open window and found the child already asleep. He walked over to the bed. He saw the welps left from the whipping. He touched the child's hair and whispered, "I am so sorry, Smiley. I didn't mean for her to punish you for something I did. I promise you this I will make her pay for what she did." For the next few days, while Tony was having trouble sitting, Rose Moretti was living her worst nightmare. She seemed not to be able to do anything right without tripping, spilling, and tearing her clothes. He also put laxatives into her food. She spent most of her time in the bathroom…
A couple of days later, Tony found out what his friend was doing and made him promise to stop. Tony was scared of his nanny and didn't want any more trouble with Miss Moretti. At first, Tac wouldn't make any promise until Tony threatened to send him away. Tac finally promised he would leave her alone.
Most of the time, Tony managed to stay out of Miss Moretti's way. He was now going to school and he only saw her before and after school. When he got home he had to report to her how his day went. If he had any homework he had to do it in the kitchen. She would make him dinner and then send him to his room for the night. Tac would always be waiting for him by the time he got there.
Sometimes Tony didn't do anything wrong, Miss Moretti would be angry with one of her friends and she took it out on the child. She would always hit him in areas where his clothes would cover the welts. She would always make sure she never hit him the few weeks before Senior came home because she didn't want him to see any marks. For some strange reason in her sick mind she sometimes liked to take pictures of her dirty work. She would make Tony take his clothes off so she could take pictures of the welts. If she needed to she would show them to Tony and threatened do it again to him if he didn't mind her. All Tac could do was watch and be there for his young friend. He made a promise and he had to keep it.
Two and a half years later…
Financially, for the past couple of years things were going very well for Senior so he decided to spend time at home. He had planned to spend it with his son but he ended up having an affair with Rose Moretti. Shortly after they were married. Tony stayed with his father's brother while the newlyweds were on their honeymoon. During that time, Rose convinced Senior into sending his son off to boarding school so they can have some time alone. She told him it would be good for Anthony to be around other children his own age instead of being cooped up in that big old house.
The day after they returned from their honeymoon, Senior called his son into his office. Rose was standing next to him, "Junior, Rose and I need some time alone. So, we can get to know each other a little better. We can't do that with you always around. So, I have registered you into boarding school. It will be good for you to be with other boys your own age. You will be leaving in two weeks. Rose will help you to get ready."
Tony looked at the woman and saw the slight smile on her face. He then looked at his father. At first he just sat there and stared at his father in disbelief. He couldn't believe his father was sending him away. What had he done wrong? He started crying, "Dad, please don't send me away. I will be good."
"Junior, DiNozzo men don't cry. You are going and that is final."
Tac followed him to the boarding school. Once Tony was around other boys it became harder and harder for them to be together. Tac decided it was time for him to leave but before he left he needed to take care of something. He had promised Tony he would leave Miss Moretti alone. Now, he felt he no longer was obligated to keep that promise with his young friend. So, now he would get his revenge.
Rose decided to go shopping with some of her girlfriends; Senior was going through the closet looking for some papers that had belonged to his first wife. He found a box that he had never seen before. He opened it up and was shocked at what he saw inside. There were at least ten to fifteen pictures showing welt marks all over his son's body. There was one picture that caught his attention. It showed a reflection of Rose in a mirror taking a picture of his son. She was grinning. Senior was so angry he wanted to kill her. It was a good thing she was not home because it gave him time to calm down.
When Rose finally arrived at home, Senior was waiting for her. He confronted her as soon as she walked into the house. There was nothing she could say or do. Senior ordered her to pack her things and get the hell out of his house. He warned Rose that he was filing for a divorce the first thing tomorrow and if she contested it he would have her arrested for abusing his son.
Rose packed her bags and took a taxi to the train station. She bought her ticket and was standing out on the platform as the train entered the station. A gust of wind come out of nowhere and blew the ticket out of her hand. It landed on the edge of the platform. She reached down to pick it up when a man from out of nowhere tripped over her bag and accidently pushed her onto the tracks. She watched in horror as the train headed toward her. There was nothing anyone could do.
Tac was sitting on one of the benches watching the whole thing. He smiled his job here was finally done…