The New Orleans Writing Marathon is doing an exercise called “Free Write Fridays.” They post a prompt, and you write for ten minutes straight.
I did not participate in the marathon, but did do the weekly writing prompts on their Facebook page. This is the first one. The prompt was “More.” The only thing I added after writing this was the title.
© Copyright 2014 by Sara Jacobelli
Case # 3509745
They gave her fifteen minutes to spend with her kid during supervised visitation. They put them in a little room with a window. The room was kind of like a small auditorium with rows and rows of chairs. No toys or anything, but she brought a few things, a little stuffed turtle and a plastic watch. He always liked to put her watch to his ear to listen to the ticking. She thought he might 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, of course. It had only been two weeks. Still, he was living with a new family now. Maybe he didn’t want to give his heart to her. She wasn’t sure. He ran up and down the aisles, sometimes 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 to her, she kissed it. Then 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 an cry for me, show these social workers you love me.” He sniffled, but still didn’t make any noise. She leaned in close, whispered roughly, “You call that other lady, that foster mother, Do you call her mama?” He shook his head. The doors opened. There was no more time.