It's been almost two weeks since Annie came to stay with us. I have grown even closer with her. She told me about her life at the orphanage and the work they had to do. I didn't have the heart to send her back and heck she was already a daughter to me.
I told Grace one night that I want to adopt Annie.
"That is a wonderful idea sir! She loves it here and I would hate for her to go back to that horrible place or an orphanage!"
"Me too! I would like to get her something special, I was thinking a new locket she always wears that broken one." I said.
"Lovely idea! I'll order it tonight! I'll bring the paperwork to the orphanage tomorrow for Miss Hannigan to sign!" Grace replied excitedly. "Can't wait to tell Annie! When should we tell her?"
I was thinking as soon as possible, "How about tomorrow night after the locket comes in, and the papers are signed." Grace nodded excitedly and went to order in the locket and get the adoption papers in by tomorrow morning.
The next day we had the adoption papers signed( Grace told me about the reaction Miss Hannigan had and I couldn't help but laugh) and the locket was just about to come in. A few minutes Grace came into the room with the blue box in hand saying, "how are you doing sir?" I said nervously "oh you know.. a bit nervous."
"Just say how you feel and speak from your heart" grace reassured "I'll try." Just as I said that Annie ran into the study excited as ever "mrs Pugh said we could have the picnic right here!"
"Sounds wonderful. Now Annie before we eat there's something that I'd like to ask you." Motioning for her to sit down.
I went on to explain how I grew up an orphan from a young age and from that day on I worked hard to become very rich. I told Annie that something was missing and I was looking for someone special to share life with. She still seemed to not follow what I was saying so I presented her with the blue box.
When she opened the locket her reaction surprised me. She explained that she did not want a new locket because her parents left it with her as a baby along with a note saying they would come back for me. All she wanted was her parents.
My heart just about broke in two for the little girl. I told her I would do everything to find her parents even if I had to pull every string right up to the president of the United States!
And that is just what I did. I put every FBI agent on the case and she event went on Oxident Hour Of Smiles with stand-up comic Bert Healy. I put on air that we were sending out a search call for her parents and there was to be a 50,000 dollar reward for the couple who could prove to be her parents. The next day Grace had millions of people coming in and out of our house all day claiming to be Annie's parents but they all turned out to be fakes and frauds. No one seemed to know about the note or locket.
Of course Annie beknf her positive self she ran into the room with all the engery and excitement
" have they came for me?"
It was heartbreaking to tell her that they haven't showed up and everyone who claimed to be her parents seemed to be fakes.
" well if I can't have my real mother and father I would love it if you were my father" she had said a few minutes later and gave me the biggest hug possible. I couldn't be any more happier! I had Grace call Justice Brandies to come tonight to sign the adoption papers then Annie will officially be mine!
In just a matter of what seemed to be minutes the house was transformed almost magically! I have never seen it like this before. Lights beautiful Christmas tree food everywhere and of course the pure joy of knowing that Annie would become my daughter very soon!
That is until the Mudges is came.
The "Mudges" claimed to be Annie's birth parents, they even showed us her birth certificate and the other half of her locket. They seemed to be very much her birth parents, but something about them was off. They seemed to be really into the 50,000 dollar reward and from the look grace gave me they were obviously frauds. Re agreed that they could take Annie and the check the next morning, Christmas morning. "Let's go back to the guests and tell them your "wonderful news" I said to Annie glumly I could almost see tears in her eyes. As we were making the toast to Annie finding her parents she ran up the stairsin tears, Grace followed right behind her. I would have gone upstairs to check on her too if it wasn't for our newest guest, president Roosevelt himself.
Half an hour later grace came down the stairs
"Annie asleep?" I asked as she walked back into my study after the guests have left. She nodded
" Oliver I think we are dealing with people who don't claim to be who they are I remember seeing that man somewhere and I don't like the looks of it. And I think that woman just happens to be Miss Hannigan! Who else could know every detail about Annie including her locket?" As soon as she said that I got every FBI on the case and worked through the night trying to solve the mystery of Annie's parents.
The next morning we found Annie already in her coat and suitcase seated at the bottom of the stairs" merry Christmas Annie." Grace said, trying to be cheerful "merry Christmas. Do you think they'll let me keep Sandy? And visit you and miss grace?" We both walked over to Annie and sat on each side of her " of course they will!" Noticing how tired me and Grace looked Annie stated" you two look like you haven't gotten much sleep" we explained that we were up all night working with the president and FBI but weren't able to find proof of anything. " So I really am a Mudge? Annie Mudge?" Just as that came out of Annie's mouth the Mudges walked through the door in an obviously starcastic fake voice " where's our little Christmas present? We know she's here somewhere!" Sandy, knowing these two. We're up to no good almost attacked the couple but Annie caught him just before he could jump.
We agreed to give them their check for 50,000 dollars, obviously it was a fake check. When they were just about to take Annie out the door we could hear muffled voices" unwind me!" And in came a blond woman . Who was probably in on all this and right after her came no other than the orphans from the orphanage shouting sarcastically "We love you miss Hannigan!" Then of course their real identities were revealed to be Hannigan and Rooster her con artist brother and his sloozy girlfriend.
After arrests were made Annie ran over to her orphan friends shouting" Miss Hannigan's gone forever!"
President Roosevelt wheeled himself over to Annie and said in a serious voice"Annie I have some important news for you. We were able to trace the handwriting of your nite to s David and Margret Bennet."
"If the Bennett's are my real parents where are they?"
Here was the news I've been dreading to tell Annie
" Annie I'm sorry but your parents seemed to have passed away some time ago."
With tears in her eyes she walked over to the stairs
"So I really am an orphan?" Grace bent down to hug her and brushed away her tears. But being Annie she quickly looked on the bright side
"Well the bright side is at least I'm not a Mudge!"
We all had to laugh at that. Then I realized that Annie could now and truly be mine
"So I guess this is a new life for all of us, Annie would you like yo be Annie Bennet Warbucks?" With her biggest hundred watt smile she hugged me"id like tart more than anything"
Remembering my feelings for Grace I pulled out s blue box and walked over to her taking it out of my pocket" when I say this is a new life for all of us I do mean all of us" giving her the engsgement ring we all pulled each other into a hug as happy as ever!
"I don't need anything but you!"
(Based on the ending of the 1999 movie)