Soon the kids were gathering around the huge Christmas tree, because Santa had arrived with presents for each and every one of them.
Kyle had a huge smile of excitement on his face, and Zach watched him closely. He got along well with the other kids—which was a good thing. Many of the other mentally impaired kids from the school sometimes remained isolated, and had difficulties interacting with others. But Kyle seemed to be unusually outgoing.
Unless he tried to pull a stunt like he had the other day, when he’d jumped on top of Zach. Zach smiled wryly, as Kyle began opening his gift. That would be something Zach would have to keep an eye out for—Kyle was big, and kind of muscular, while a lot of these other kids were much smaller, and more vulnerable. Some of these kids could easily be hurt.
“Oh, wow!” Beth bent over to take a look at the digitalized keyboard, Zach was helping Kyle unwrap in its box. “Isn’t that nice? Someone must’ve known about Kyle’s interest in music!”
Zach smiled, sheepishly.
“You?” Beth gave him a huge smile, and Zach’s heart began hammering hard against his chest.
Again. It’d been beating at an irregular pace the entire afternoon.
“Most of us who work at the school donate the gifts for the exchange. The keyboard’s got a built-in radio too.” He gave her a wry grin. “I figured I might as well give him a gift that was useful, in case he never learned how to play it.”
Her laughter sounded like music in his ears.
The party was beginning to wind down, when Luke and Kelly finally approached them to say their goodbyes.
“You guys need to come over for dinner sometime, and see our place—it’s pretty cool,” Kelly said. “We live right on Dragonfly Pointe.”
“We’d love to.” Beth grimaced. “But are you sure you can handle us?”
Beth was watching him and Kyle, and a beautiful smile lit up her face. Zach was trying, with difficulty, to concentrate of what he was doing. Zach had managed to find a plug in for the adapter of the keyboard nearby, and Kyle was busy running his fingers over the keys. Zach sucked in a deep breath, and began playing a simple tune for Kyle.
Kelly answered Beth with reassurance. “Of course we can!”
“We’re family,” Luke said to Beth. “If you can’t turn to people like us for help with Kyle—who can you turn to?”
Excerpt from Two Hearts Unspoken by Tamara Ferguson
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