Lysergic Oldham quickly took a liking to working for the Linus’s. She enjoyed learning about the many types of legal drugs that were available out on the market and loved putting around the neighborhood on her Vespa, making prescription deliveries to people unable to make it down to the store or too scared to be out on the streets.

With her long purple hair flowing out behind, she weaved in and out of traffic on her scooter, sometimes even traversing down the sidewalk when she was running late, forcing any pedestrians to scatter! Lysergic soon became a familiar sight on the streets of Slab Ville section.

She also enjoyed the time spent with the Linus’s around the dinner table, after the store had closed for the night.

However, Annie and Bradley had both noticed that although Lysergic seemed to have become much more comfortable around them and appeared to be happier, there was still a sadness in her eyes that masqueraded, they suspected, a very troubled young life.

“Lysergic,” Annie said, one evening after dinner, “Bradley and I have never asked you anything about your past and we never will, but if you ever need or want to talk, we’re good listeners.”

“Thanks,” Lysergic replied, “sometime maybe I will.”

“You ever thought about looking your family up?” Bradley Linus asked.

“NO!!! NEVER!!” Lysergic angrily answered.

“Sorry,” Bradley said, “I didn’t mean to upset you!”

Lysergic quickly quieted down.

“No, I’m sorry for getting upset,” Lysergic replied, “I’ll just never go back there. That’s all. I really don’t want to discuss it!”

“Okay, we won’t then,” Annie answered.

“Its just that Annie and I both understand the importance of family,” Bradley explained, “both of our own families were torn apart in one way or another. My Father was an alcoholic and regularly beat my Mother. My Mom was concerned about my safety, so she had me stay with my Father’s brother, Roger, and my cousin Ben.

I only stayed a few months, until my Father had to be institutionalized, due to his heavy drinking. I was then able to move back home with my Mom, but the time I had spent with my Uncle and cousin were some of the best times I can remember.

Ben was a really clever kid. Smart beyond his years. Even though I was slightly older, he helped me with my homework and we got into all kinds of discussions about all kinds of subjects. Uncle Roger, like my Dad in that he drank too much, was a well meaning guy.

You see, he had lost his wife during Ben’s birth, and missed her a lot! Ben always told me his Dad had blamed him for her death, but I told Ben that was just his imagination.

Anyway, after I moved back in with Mom, I kept in contact with Uncle Roger and Ben, until my Uncle joined some group that required them to move to an island somewhere in the South Pacific. After that, I never heard anything directly from them again. Until I met Annie!”

Annie nodded, “My own parents had joined that same group, when I was a little girl, and we also went to that same island. I remember meeting Bradley’s cousin Ben, when he first came to the island and joined our school.

Ben was very shy and awkward, but there was also a sweetness about him that I liked. I never got to know him as well as I would have liked to because, according to my mom, “something terrible was about to happen” so my Father had ordered her and I to leave the island.

Several people, on the island, had given us the names and addresses of family members and friends back in the States for us to contact and let them know how they were. Ben had given me Bradley’s address.

Many years later, I was finally able to locate Bradley and tell him what I knew about his cousin and Uncle. That was how we met and we just kept in contact over the years, until we eventually fell in love and were married.”

“That is such a romantical story!” Lysergic replied, sweetly.

“For years, Annie and I both continued to try and find out what had happened to her Father, Ben, and Roger,” Bradley continued, “but it was all so “hush-hush” top secret, I guess. We couldn’t find out a thing. No one wanted to talk. So, we eventually gave up.

Its been many, many, years, but I still think about them and miss them, as does Annie with her Father. So you see, Lysergic, we both understand about families being torn apart and how important they are to us, even if we don’t realize it at the time!”

Lysergic nodded, as tears began to trickle down her face.

“Now we’ve upset her again!” Annie noted.

“No, I’m okay,” Lysergic replied, as she suddenly realized something that was so obvious.

Bradley and Annie Linus not only provided her with a job and a place to stay, but also provided her with something she never had before. A loving and caring family!

Next: Chap. Six “The Joe Boys”

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