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Case # 3509745

Fifteen minutes for supervised visitation. They put them in a room with a window and rows and rows of chairs. No toys, but she brought a stuffed turtle and a plastic watch. He liked to put her watch to his ear to listen to the ticking. She hoped he would hug her, or put his pink cheek up for a kiss, or crawl into her lap, or cry. He didn’t do any of that.

He recognized her. It had only been two weeks. Still, he was living with a new family. Maybe he didn’t want to give his heart away. She wasn’t sure. He ran up and down the aisles, stopping to peek shyly at her. We’re almost like lovers. Lovers who are being kept apart.

She grabbed him and held him; he squirmed like a feral cat. “You like that foster mother more than me?” He shook his head. “She cook better than me? Her house nicer?” He kept shaking his head. “Then give me some sugar, Damn it.” He offered up his cheek, she kissed it.

He plastered a dry kiss on hers. “You love me? You miss me?” He nodded his head up and down. He only knew a few words. They said he might need speech therapy. “Well, God Damn it, if you love me, cry, come on and cry then.” Two little tears emerged from each eye. She thought it strange to look at his blue-green eyes again, so different from her own in the mirror. “Come on and cry for me, show these social workers you love me.”

He sniffled. She leaned close, whispered roughly. "You call that other lady Mama?” He shook his head. The door opened. There was no more time.

Story by:

Sara Jacobelli

25 November 2017