Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ONEROUS (03/02/17)
- TITLE: Where Is Home?
By Sherry Brock
Notice: Undefined variable: place_icon in /var/www/vhosts/faithwriters.com/subdomains/transition/httpdocs/wc-article-level4-previous.php on line 142
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
A fork in one hand and spoon in the other he calls out, “Daddy...Mims says it's ready.” I hear him tapping the utensils on the table while chanting, “let's eat...let's eat.”
His cheery mood lifts my spirits as I carry food to the table. It's been rough since his mama suddenly left a few weeks ago.
“Tony...dinner,” I sing out as I plop down rolls and take a seat at the table. “Son?”
Tony's stands in the doorway with a cell phone to his ear, while running a hand through his greasy hair. He hasn't showered in days, and from the looks of his wrinkled shirt, hasn't changed clothes either. He's been a mess since Cindy run off three weeks ago.
“Come on son...we want to say grace.”
He raises a forefinger but doesn't hang up.
Jared, growing impatient, stops tapping and purposely drops his spoon to the floor. Tony cringes, covers his ear with his hand, and turns his back to us. A knot forms in my throat as I hone in on his conversation.
“Sure, buddy...sounds great...see you in a few.”
My stomach churns as Tony hangs up and moves toward the table.
“Yeah...Daddy's FINALLY ready,” Jared says as he spreads his arms wide. “Mims made all my favorites Dad...looks awesome, right?”
“Sure does son.” Tony sits, fidgeting with his napkin.
“OK. Jared...say grace.”
He hesitates, but, just as I taught him, slowly lowers his head and folds his hands.
“Jesus, thank you for the food Mims made us… it looks really good, 'cause me and Dad are a little tired of pizza...help Daddy not be sad.” There's a long pause and just as I look up, he quickly mutters, “and keep Mommy safe, wherever she is, Amen.”
I offer a piece of meatloaf to Tony. Our eyes meet, and I see an old familiar look.
“No thanks, Mom...not hungry...and, well...” He drops his head while tearing his napkin into little shreds. “I've gotta go...a buddy's pickin' me up...any minute.”
Jared's fork stops mid-air. “But, Daddy...”
“Sorry son...it's important.” His voice is barely audible now, sinking as low as his excuses. “You eat with Mims...I won't be gone long.”
A horn blows and we turn to the window. I recognize the guy behind the wheel, and bile rises in my throat.
“Tony? Your not...leaving? Jared needs you, and besides...”
His eyes show hunger, but not the type satisfied with meatloaf. He's out the door, and gone, without even a goodbye.
I turn to Jared who looks like a pin jabbed balloon. I'm prepared for the deflated look, but not the disgust and betrayal. He quickly steadies himself, picks up his fork and puts cheesy goodness in his mouth. He doesn't shed one tear.
“You have a good day.” I put on the brightest smile possible, hoping to see Jared's toothless grin in response. “Your new teacher says you're doing great, kiddo...I'm proud of ya.”
He smiles and gives me two thumbs up. I laugh but worry how he's adjusting to his new school.
The school counselor pecks on my window. “Any word yet?”
“No word from Tony in three weeks...pretty sure he found Cindy...they're using again. I know he won't be found until he's ready...I'm just trying to take care of Jared.”
“I'm so sorry. Let's hash it out at our meeting...eleven, right?
“Right, I have a meeting with my attorney first, then you, then a case worker.” I smile, but she sees right through me.
She pats my arm. “Securing legal custody's a trying process.”
“I'm trying to make this as painless as possible for Jared.”
“You contact those agencies I gave you? They might be able to help financially.”
“Yes.” I give her hand a squeeze.
Around eleven I enter the school office for our meeting and see Jared with his backpack.
“Mims, look who's here.”
It's Cindy. She spits out, “I'm taking him home with me.”
I try not to panic. “Where is home, Cindy?”
“No worries....besides...you can't stop me.”
Jared's eyes fill with tears, “but Mama, what about school?...and my toys at Mims?”
The worry of letting him go outweighs everything else, so I lie.
“Too late Cindy, I'm already his legal guardian.”
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.