He had been such a puny baby. He still wasn’t much to look at. “All Ears and legs,” his daddy would say. But he had always been special. Yes, the special that made people who passed by whisper, but also–the sort of special that could change the world. She saw it. She had seen it from the moment he was born.
“There was no pain when you were born,” she always reminded him. She, of course, had no idea how much medication she had been on. The women doing intake, just a couple of generations up from white trash themselves, had sneered at her as soon as they saw her address on the paperwor-decided a signature was all the “informed consent” they needed. Just one more poor, dumb woman fromthat church. The Church of Christ people may not believe in pipe organs, but they weren’t a cult. People like her didn’t know their ovaries from their asses, so why waste your breath explaining anything to them?
“No pain, and I swear you have been speaking since you came out of the womb.” Only a bit of white lie. He had started speaking earlier than any baby she’d ever seen. And he was hers.
He was usually home from school by now. He’d been quiet lately. The clever thing he was always saying didn’t come as often or as quickly. She had wondered, but she hadn’t started worrying yet.
Was there a girl? He was getting to that age, if he wasn’t there already. He was so small and gangly, she still thought of him as a child, her baby bird of a little boy. But time sneaks up on you.
She looked at the clock. He was more than an hour late. Sometimes he stopped by the store for a snack, but he was never gone this long.
It wouldn’t hurt to walk to the store to see if he was there. Even big boys don’t get all the privacy they want.