The orphanage director took her hand and looked straight into her very blue eyes. “We think you should take him, not her. He needs you more. That’s what truly matters. Don’t you agree?”
She was incredulous, silently hysterical. She’d come all this way for that girl, the one playing by the window. Her picture had been on the refrigerator for months, anchored by a magnet from the adoption agency. They’d been told that once the orphan’s picture goes on the fridge, it’s a done deal, the child becomes part of your family. Everyone mills around making dinner, talking about their day, and there’s the to-be adopted child’s picture on the fridge, being present, being accounted for. And now it wouldn’t be true.
Everything was pink. Nothing was blue. They had a name and dresses, friends with little girls who promised play dates; life was laid out for them with their new little girl. Their special girl, the girl no one else wanted, the girl who’d been left at the front door, the girl made precious and perfect by their wanting her so much.
“He’s been here much longer. It’s very hard for a child. It will be very bad if he doesn’t have a family soon. We would have to wait months for the next family. So it’s best you take him, don’t you agree?”
She didn’t want to but she dared look at him, just the slimmest sliver of a look through the crack of the orphanage wall. “That’s him right there. Rocking in the chair. He’s always rocking. We think it reminds him of his mother. I don’t know. What do you think?”
Maybe he needed her more. But what about what she needed? She needed that little girl. She had been promised. And now they were breaking their promise and expecting her to be a good sport, as if completely changing her life plan was okay, as if leaving the little girl here was okay. Was it okay?
This post written in response to a writing challenge to use the word ‘crack’ in an essay. Well, there’s more to it than that. You can see at Trifecta Writing Challenge.