Banu getting an eye replacement, Part 4
Adventures of Banu And Selena
Banu Gets An Eye, Part 5
r. Ortega smiled as he watched his daughter and her new friend try to figure out the card game. She sat on the floor and Reggie sat in a small chair. Suddenly, Selena turned to him and asked, "How long until Banu is out?"
"I don't know for sure. This is a pretty complicated surgery," Mr. Ortega answered then added. "Try not to worry about it. They will let us know when he is out and in the recovery room."
"Recovery room? What is that?"
"It's a room where they put you after procedures like this where you wait to let the anesthetic wear off."
"What is a nanatheiss?"
"Anesthetic. It is medication that makes you sleep so you don't move during the operation."
"Oh," Selena said then returned to her game.
Mr. Ortega thought back to when Banu first came to stay with them.
Department of Fostering Children
"Mr. Ortega?" the young dwarf asked as Mr. Ortega was passing the receptionist desk on his way out of the Department of Fostering Children. He’d gone in to sign the final papers. Now it was just a matter of waiting for a child in need of fostering to show up. They’d assured him it wouldn’t be long.
"Yes?" he replied as he stopped at her desk.
"I know this is pretty soon but we have a fostering candidate available right now. Would you like to meet him?"
"Oh, ahh,” Mr. Ortega said. He was caught a little off-guard but they were ready to help.
“Yes, of course," he said to the young woman.
"We found him at the train station. He seemed to be all alone. He has been very brave but I believe he is really scared. We used an imaging-crystal and sent it to the appropriate communities but, after two months, we haven't heard anything back. He had a paper in his bag that said he was 'Banardu Canapar Hein Toller the fourth' and the date of his birth. The name hasn’t triggered anything either."
"Oh, he as been two months alone?"
"Mostly, yes. He has been with a couple of different families but they have brought him back after only a day or two,” she said as she shook her head.
“Did they say why?”
“Sort of they just said he was not compatible with their other children.
“Where has he been staying?”
“We have a dormitory for children but, right now, he is the only one there."
"Oh, that’s terrible. Poor little guy,” Mr. Ortega said then continued. “OK, let me meet him."
The young dwarf pointed him to a narrow hall with several chairs along one side. Sitting on a chair in the middle was a small brown bear. He was a little over a foot tall and his clothes were nice if a little worn. He had a small green bag on the seat with him.
Mr. Ortega walked over to the little bear and sat in the chair next to him.
"Hello, I am Mr. Ortega," Mr. Ortega said.
Banu looked up at him and said, in his most serious voice, "Hi, Mr. Ortega. I am Banardu Canapar Hein Toller the fourth. I am 5 and a half years old. I am happy to meet you."
"And I am happy you meet you. How are you?”
The little bear sighed then said, “I am sad. I have no one to play with and there are no toys in this place.”
“Well, Banardu Canapar Hein Toller the fourth, I would like you to come meet my children. "I have been told that you are all alone in the dormitory. I have a son that is a little over two years old and a daughter that is 6 years old. That should take your sadness away. Would you like that?”
Tears welled up in the little bear's eyes and he whispered, “Oh yes. I would.”
"Good, let's go talk to the receptionist and see what we need to do to make that happen," Mr. Ortega said and stood up again.
The little bear just nodded, climbed down from the chair, and followed Mr. Ortega.
It was another hour before Banu and Mr. Ortega were in his car and heading to Banu's new home. Banu settled into the car seat usually used by Selena’s little brother. They drove in silence for a long time.
“Well, Banardu Canapar Hein Toller the fourth, can I call you Banardu?” Mr. Ortega asked.
"Yes, or you can call me Banu. My mother called me Banu before I lost her. I like that name, too," Banu answered then added. "I know how to use the bathroom, now."
“OK, that's good. Have you had anything to eat?"
“Yes,” Banu answered quickly then added quietly. “But I am still hungry.”
“What do you like to eat?”
“Spinach, pickles, potato chips, fish sticks, chicken pieces, bananas, pears.”
“I think we have some of that at home,” Mr. Ortega said then added. “We’ll get you more food there.”
Once they had parked the car and walked to the front door to Ortega’s apartment Banu was feeling a little scared. The last place he went to the children were really mean to him. Mr. Ortega seemed really nice so he hoped his children were too.
The door opened and standing in the doorway was a tall, lean woman with dark eyes and hair. She said, “Hello sweetheart, who have you brought home?”
“This is Banardu Canapar Hein Toller the fourth,” Mr. Ortega said as he gestured at the little bear hiding behind his leg then he added. “He likes to be called Banu.”
“Well, Banu, you are welcome in our home. Please come in,” Mrs. Ortega said as she stepped out of the doorway.
Banu took a deep breath and stepped across the threshold into their home.
They ushered him into the living room and there he met Selena and Max. He was shy at first but Selena made him feel comfortable while they played. About twenty minutes after he arrived Mrs. Ortega put a small plate of spinach leaves, banana slices, and dill pickle slices in front of him.
“I heard you were hungry, will this do?” she asked him.
“Oh, yes!” Banu answered and started stuffing spinach leaves into his mouth.
A few minutes later Mrs. Ortega brought two cups of orange juice in and put them in front of Selena and Banu.
“Do you like orange juice?” Mrs. Ortega asked Banu.
“Yes,” Banu answered.
When she had left them he asked Selena, “What’s orange juice?”
“It’s juice from an orange. Do you like oranges?” Selena asked.
“Maybe. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted one,” Banu said as he took a sip from his cup.
“Oh yeah, I like orange juice,” Banu declared.
Selena showed him their room and her toys. They played all afternoon. Periodically either Mr. Ortega or Mrs. Ortega would come to them with snacks or drinks.
Late afternoon came and Selena went to the bathroom. Banu could smell the food that Mrs. Ortega was preparing. He sighed, got up, and put away the toy he was playing with. In the past, this is when he was taken back. The last time he wasn’t unhappy to go, those children were mean to him but this time he really liked being here. As he gathered his bag and walked to the front door he did his best not to cry. This has been the best day since he got found at the train station. He stood there waiting for Mr. Ortega to take him back.
Selena saw that Banu was gone from their room so she went to her father to ask him where he’d gone.
Mr. Ortega was playing with Max in the front room when Selena approached him.
“Where did Banu go?”
“What? I thought he was with you. Is he in the bathroom?”
“No, I was in the bathroom.”
“Door Door Door,” Max said as he pointed to the front door.
Mr. Ortega stood up and stepped over so he could see the front door. He could, now, see the little bear standing by the door with his little green bag, waiting.
Mrs. Ortega stepped out of the kitchen and asked Banu, “Banu, where are you going?”
"You can take me back now. Thank you, I enjoyed being here," Banu said then added quietly. “I would like to come back to visit, please. I really like Selena. And Max. And Mr. Ortega and you.”
Mrs. Ortega knelt by the Banu and said, “Oh, Banu, you brave little bear! You aren't going back. This is your home now. You are going to stay with us from now on."
"Really?" Banu said, this time he couldn't hold back the tears. He sat down sobbing.
Mrs. Ortega picked up the little bear and hugged him to her breast. He clung to her blouse crying. She held him until he stopped crying then set him down. She led him back into the living room where Selena was standing in front of her father.
“If you take him away, I am going with him!” Selena said as she looked at her father with a determined expression.
“But I … He’s not going away,” Mr. Ortega said just before Mrs. Ortega and Banu entered the living room.
“Selena, he is right here. He just misunderstood. He will be staying with us from now on,” Mrs. Ortega said.
Selena turned dropped to her knees in front of the little bear, hugged him, and said, "Whooo whee! You are staying with me! We are going to have so much fun together."
"I am ... I am ... Happy. Thank you," Banu said.