Nepenthe

Chapter I: Are you ready?

Strange how the same year can perform to be both the longest, and the shortest, year of your life.

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The familiar smell of despair stung my nose, as I sat in the office. His eyes scanned me, searching for anything that could reveal what I was thinking; I hated when he did that.
He broke the silence, “big day today. How do you feel?”
“Not much change in one day, doc.” Not much change in one year.
“Do you think you’ll be able to take care of him?” He sounded about as concerned as I felt.
“We’ll find out soon enough,” in 3 hours and 24 minutes. My Adam’s apple felt the size of an actual apple as I swallowed. No one in their right mind would put a three year old under my care, yet here we were.
“There’s nothing wrong with being scared,” how about terrified? I kept my mouth shut. As much as I missed Maximilian, it seemed safer letting him stay with his grandparents.

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Three hours worth of paperwork later, I paced back and forth on the porch. It took me ten minutes to pull myself together and push the doorbell.
“Benjamin, just in time for dinner,” Mrs Malone exclaimed with her widest grin.
“Sorry, I’m a little late.”
“Nonsense. Come on in,” she gave me a hug, and practically lifted me over the threshold.
“Daddy!” Max almost lost his pacifier from excitement, and ran towards me as fast as his stumpy legs allowed.
“Hi, champ. Do you remember what today is?” I lifted him to get a good hug.
“Home,” he cheered.
“That’s right. Are you excited?” He nodded heavily, while his eyes sparkled. “I am too,” I chuckled.

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Index | Next Chapter

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