Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: FAMILY (01/21/16)
TITLE: A Place to Be
By Ken Grant
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"You are going to be my parents now?"
The words were both a question and a hopeful statement of fact. For those caught in the machinations of the foster system being adopted was the holy grail and only a very few ever tasted of its joy. Elijah was not about to allow himself or his brother to be sucked into another living death.
"Yes, Elijah. We are now your mom and dad."
The woman's words were pleasant. The man said nothing and appeared more nervous. Elijah sensed he would be able to trust the woman to a point, but the man was another story entirely. He was the kind who would cut and run the moment things got difficult and with two boys such as Jonah and himself things always got difficult.
"Why can't by own mom take care of me?"
As Elijah asked the question he saw the woman's eyes grow darker and her forehead furrow slightly.
"Your mother is sick."
"Will she get better?"
"I hope so. She is addicted to drugs."
"We are going to take care of you because she can't."
"My brother and me?"
The woman reacted the same way as before. It was the face she made when she had to think about something deeply before answering. The woman looked over at the man but he continued to stare nervously straight ahead without speaking.
"We love you both and we want you to be part of our family."
Elijah's eyes grew wide and he sat up very straight. He searched the woman's face for signs of deceit, but he could find none. Could this possibly be real? Could he risk taking a chance? Could he put his brother at risk? Could he not?
Elijah got up off of his chair and rushed into another room. He found Jonah sitting in a corner. He walked over and held out his hand for Jonah to take.
"Are you sure?"
Jonah stood carefully to his feet and put out his hand for Elijah to take. Elijah confidently led his little brother back where their new mom and dad waited. Jonah started to turn back when he saw them, but Elijah held him firmly.
"These two people are going to give us a place of our own."
"Yes we are, Jonah."
The woman's voice seemed to float through the air and hit Jonah between the eyes. Jonah rushed to the woman and threw himself into her arms.
"This just may work."
Elijah's words were tentative, but hopeful as he willed a smile that he hoped would never go away.
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