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A Dark Secret: Part 2 of 3

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Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2019 год
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      A Dark Secret: Part 2 of 3
Casey Watson

Part 2 of 3Just when Casey thinks her foster care duties are done, she’s asked to look after Sam, a troubled nine-year-old with a violent streak who drove his previous guardians to release him of their care. It soon unfolds, however, that this is no simple case.Determined to get to the root of Sam’s behaviour, Casey is committed to uncover his mysterious past only to find out something far darker than she ever imagined…Having recently said goodbye to their last foster child, Miller, the Watson family are taking a bit of a break. But it’s while Casey is having fun catching up with her friends that she receives a call from her new link worker. Social services are desperately trying to find a settled home for nine-year-old Sam, who has Autism and some serious behavioural problems.Removed from his mother less than a week ago, Sam has been staying with respite carers. But with two young children of their own, they now find themselves unable to hold on to the little boy as he is bullying them relentlessly. It’s not an isolated situation, either. Apparently Sam’s own siblings begged not to be placed with their older brother – they were both adamant that they were too afraid of him.The Watsons agree to accommodate Sam, who, despite his tiny stature, turns out to be quite the whirlwind – destroying anything and everything in his path. In addition to the outward behaviours, it quickly becomes evident that there is a much darker past that has blighted the boy’s life. As Casey tries to get to the bottom of it, she discovers there are no files on Sam; only the testament of his previous neighbour. Thankfully, Mrs Gallagher is only too happy to help. And to talk. But it soon transpires that there is a great deal more to Sam’s secret history…

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Copyright (#u64c5f498-9c0f-5efe-9ec1-f2769c976a44)

This book is a work of non-fiction based on the author’s experiences. In order to protect privacy, names, identifying characteristics, dialogue and details have been changed or reconstructed.

HarperElement

An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF

www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk)

First published by HarperElement 2019

FIRST EDITION

© Casey Watson 2019

A catalogue record of this book is available from the British Library

Cover image © Clive Nolan/Trigger Image (posed by model)

Cover layout design © HarperCollinsPublishers 2019

Casey Watson asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books.

Find out about HarperCollins and the environment at

www.harpercollins.co.uk/green (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/green)

Source ISBN: 9780008298616

Ebook Edition © May 2019 ISBN: 9780008298630

Version: 2019-03-28

Contents

1  Cover (#uba5cc085-c918-54b7-84f3-e2b1c71d50dc)

2  Title Page

3  Copyright

4  Contents (#u64c5f498-9c0f-5efe-9ec1-f2769c976a44)

5  Chapter 9

6 Chapter 10

7 Chapter 11

8 Chapter 12

9 Chapter 13

10 Chapter 14

11 Chapter 15

12  Chapter 16

13  Chapter 17

14  Moving Memoirs eNewsletter (#litres_trial_promo)

15  About the Publisher

LandmarksCover (#uba5cc085-c918-54b7-84f3-e2b1c71d50dc)Frontmatter

List of Pagesiii (#ulink_7f2436c4-17e3-5cba-b342-5c00524d3e25)iv (#ulink_3434a117-2e8f-5378-b667-bd32e31d9f03)90 (#ulink_f70704dc-8693-552d-8088-a8639ba6c8c3)91 (#ulink_1f5c242e-8a44-58f6-b521-7aca19e8d4cd)92 (#ulink_02421326-6c9d-528c-a84c-a0a31d0ec37a)93 (#ulink_1a58bbab-d3c6-5367-8b1e-895bdc6c0876)94 (#ulink_5426e424-39fd-5e03-8730-2fc8876e0353)95 (#ulink_865c49a2-a259-5dd5-9ae4-4fa930419dbb)96 (#ulink_3a0c0753-e8a2-5471-99cd-020fbf049e7b)97 (#ulink_0d1950fa-851f-544f-b8c7-08c86507e234)98 (#ulink_7382b930-052b-5a2c-bf28-be6da39aaefa)99 (#ulink_fbdf0dec-831b-534e-ba8f-dbbca1181c08)100 (#ulink_349dcb28-63f9-563d-b691-71447ac37ce2)101 (#ulink_ce533956-9c6d-53ce-9c2d-3b75d2cc50c2)102 (#ulink_30b089ee-e741-5a01-9d32-ec6a4a97d6a5)103 (#ulink_2acb7c03-7606-5732-b3ae-4d22bbd74173)104 (#ulink_39157f19-e5d5-5a4b-9ca4-825c6616c3f5)105 (#ulink_84183432-2e20-5a05-845b-eaba52c1182c)106 (#ulink_9cdaf092-cbc1-5ff3-a62c-7b400cfbb7c2)107 (#ulink_c7f1acc2-ea71-500a-b48c-547ef0629b11)108 (#ulink_c2cbe532-be74-5400-93b1-e4b62ed83e3d)109 (#ulink_edc1ff97-84ea-516a-9834-f06fbfcea879)110 (#ulink_e7ffd70b-0acd-565d-bb65-cbea6d22958a)111 (#litres_trial_promo)112 (#litres_trial_promo)113 (#litres_trial_promo)114 (#litres_trial_promo)115 (#litres_trial_promo)116 (#litres_trial_promo)117 (#litres_trial_promo)118 (#litres_trial_promo)119 (#litres_trial_promo)120 (#litres_trial_promo)121 (#litres_trial_promo)122 (#litres_trial_promo)123 (#litres_trial_promo)124 (#litres_trial_promo)125 (#litres_trial_promo)126 (#litres_trial_promo)127 (#litres_trial_promo)128 (#litres_trial_promo)129 (#litres_trial_promo)130 (#litres_trial_promo)131 (#litres_trial_promo)132 (#litres_trial_promo)133 (#litres_trial_promo)134 (#litres_trial_promo)135 (#litres_trial_promo)136 (#litres_trial_promo)137 (#litres_trial_promo)138 (#litres_trial_promo)139 (#litres_trial_promo)140 (#litres_trial_promo)141 (#litres_trial_promo)142 (#litres_trial_promo)143 (#litres_trial_promo)144 (#litres_trial_promo)145 (#litres_trial_promo)146 (#litres_trial_promo)147 (#litres_trial_promo)148 (#litres_trial_promo)149 (#litres_trial_promo)150 (#litres_trial_promo)151 (#litres_trial_promo)152 (#litres_trial_promo)153 (#litres_trial_promo)154 (#litres_trial_promo)155 (#litres_trial_promo)156 (#litres_trial_promo)157 (#litres_trial_promo)158 (#litres_trial_promo)159 (#litres_trial_promo)160 (#litres_trial_promo)161 (#litres_trial_promo)162 (#litres_trial_promo)163 (#litres_trial_promo)164 (#litres_trial_promo)165 (#litres_trial_promo)166 (#litres_trial_promo)167 (#litres_trial_promo)168 (#litres_trial_promo)169 (#litres_trial_promo)170 (#litres_trial_promo)171 (#litres_trial_promo)172 (#litres_trial_promo)173 (#litres_trial_promo)174 (#litres_trial_promo)175 (#litres_trial_promo)176 (#litres_trial_promo)177 (#litres_trial_promo)178 (#litres_trial_promo)179 (#litres_trial_promo)180 (#litres_trial_promo)181 (#litres_trial_promo)182 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 9 (#u64c5f498-9c0f-5efe-9ec1-f2769c976a44)

One of the many things I struggled to figure out about Sam was his ability to bounce back from his meltdowns. I mean, really bounce back, no matter what had happened. He could have a full-on violent episode, screaming like a banshee, and an hour later could be the sweetest kid ever. It happened every single time, which was obviously a plus, but could make it extremely difficult to explain to someone who hadn’t witnessed it just how bad things could get. ‘Think Jekyll and Hyde’ didn’t really cover it.

I knew, because I’d been on the other end of this. I’d thought the exact same thing myself when I’d first met Sam, hadn’t I? I’d looked at the sweet kid who’d turned up on my doorstep, and had immediately thought (and against my better instincts, I’ll admit) that Kelly might have been just a tad melodramatic. When he wasn’t kicking off, Sam really was that endearing.

I was thinking exactly this on Monday morning when, with Colin Sampson’s visit imminent, Sam was busy being the proverbial little angel. And being angelic genuinely – this wasn’t some savvy youngster who’d spent a long time in the system. Sam’s sweetness and lightness was from the heart.

‘Sampson will be really pleased with me,’ he declared, as we added another silver star to the impressive rows of them on the ‘jobs’ list on his chart. ‘He’ll say I’m a good boy, won’t he, Casey?’

‘It’s Colin, love,’ I corrected. ‘Sampson is his last name. But yes, I’m quite sure he’ll think you’re a good boy, because that’s exactly what you are.’

Sam grinned like the Cheshire cat. ‘Oh, yes,’ he said. ‘I remember. But I like Sampson better than Colin because it’s got my name in it, hasn’t it? And I bet he’ll let me call him that anyway, because Sampson was a big and strong man from history. I telled it to my little sister, because I know the story.’

Do you now, I thought, marvelling at his random bits of knowledge. He was almost certainly referring to the biblical story, but for a child who seemed likely to have attended school only intermittently, I wondered where he had heard about it. Sunday school? Somehow I doubted it.

And he’d mentioned his little sister. Something else to note. All I knew of his siblings so far was that they were called Will and Courtney, that they were seven and five respectively, and that, even at this early stage, with all the trauma they’d suffered, they were showing no signs of his distinctive, and challenging, mental make-up. And that Sam telling the latter stories was a world away from the relationship they had had latterly, sadly. He’d not mentioned either of them up to now, so this was quite a development, and I wanted to respond to it in such a way that he might tell me more. Give me some opening into the world of his childhood so far, which felt so unreachable and shut-away.

But there was no time to do so as the doorbell then rang. I would have to park it and leave it for later. Moments later I was opening the door to ‘Sampson’ himself – not so much big and strong as tall and reedy. Which didn’t preclude him being strong, of course, but he didn’t look the type to be taking on random lions. But that was fine too, because it was the establishment I was hoping he’d be taking on for me; a different kind of beast altogether. He also looked to be in his late twenties – thirty tops, I reckoned – and, with establishments, the energy of youth was usually a big plus.

‘Come on in,’ I said. ‘Sam has been looking forward to meeting you. Look, he’s even brushed his hair for you.’

Colin Sampson laughed as he followed us through to the dining area. ‘Well at least that’s one of us with neat hair today,’ he said, smiling down at Sam as he ran his hands through his own windswept locks. ‘I imagine I must look like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards. March winds, eh?’ he added as he took off his quilted jacket.

Sam was right beside him, pulling a chair out, and sticking out his hand to shake. ‘Can I call you Sampson, please, Mr Sampson?’ he asked, as Colin took it and shook it firmly. ‘Because I’m called Sam too, so it’s like we’re the same.’

‘You know, Sam,’ Colin said, ‘I think I might like that. In fact, when I was at school, all my best friends used to call me Sampson.’

Sam’s look could have melted glaciers, let alone ice cubes. ‘I knew it!’ he said happily. ‘Casey, will you tell Sampson all about my really good stars?’

‘I will do exactly that,’ I said. ‘In fact, in a bit, we’ll all go into the kitchen and we’ll even show him. But right now, I’m going to pop off and make some coffee and get the best biscuits out, while you two get to know each other a little bit better. Okay?’

With both happy to do so, I left the pair of them to it, feeling only the smallest pang of jealousy at Colin’s holiday tan. Much as I missed the shot of sunshine I’d been looking forward to so much, it was at least spring now, and I was sure to get my mini-break eventually, and even more cheering was my first impression of Colin, which was overwhelmingly positive. He seemed cheerful and positive and, as I listened to them chatting and laughing in the other room, clearly a natural at getting along with troubled kids. Though I also found myself wondering if he’d read all my frantic emails already and was now forming the conclusion that I’d been making mountains out of molehills, as I’d done myself, once or twice, with Kelly.

‘So,’ Colin said as I set a laden tray down, ‘our Sam here has been telling me all about his chart and how he’s having a movie night this weekend with all the points he’s totted up.’

I passed a mug of coffee across the table and took a seat myself. ‘He is indeed,’ I confirmed, ‘and, you know what? I’ve just had a thought. I was thinking that if you wanted to win a pizza delivery with that movie, Sam, then maybe you could sit quietly for just fifteen minutes in your room now, while me and Colin get the boring paperwork out of the way.’
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