There never seemed to be a shortage of abandoned or abused children in the world Above. Vincent always wondered how anyone could hurt the little ones and steal their innocence. The lucky ones found their way Below and were loved and nurtured by the tunnel community.
Vincent was teaching his morning literature class of 9 to 11 years olds. He loved teaching and encouraging them, watching their fertile minds take turns and leaps most adults never thought of. He admitted that he, himself, learned from them more than he thought possible at times.
Vincent’s own children had taught him many things, things he could have never dreamed of. The love they gave him was unquestionable. Never had he ever dreamed he would be a husband, much less a father. At times he thought he must be dreaming, this couldn’t be, but there it was, a true reality.
“Vincent, how long have you lived in the tunnels?” asked the newly acquired 10 year old, Adam.
“Almost all my life, except for the first day when I was born,” Vincent answered.
“Why didn’t your parents keep you? Was it because you look like you do? I don’t know why they didn’t keep you, you look all right to me,” said young Adam.
“Perhaps they were afraid because I was different and they had wanted a more normal looking child, Adam. I’m not really sure, I can only guess at what they felt.”
“Vincent, your kids don’t look like you, but you kept them anyway,” Adam expounded.
Vincent just smiled at the innocence of a young mind. “I had to keep them. Catherine insisted, we had to keep them no matter whom they looked like.”