“Did she like me, Mom?” Devin wondered to his mother. “She said she liked my eyes but did she like me?”
“What did you two do?”
“I pushed her on the swings. She showed me her dolls and I told her how to find out where they were made. I showed her the plants in her yard that were edible. She thought they were nasty but did laugh when we ate them.”
“You know. Dandelions and stuff.”
“I didn’t know you could eat dandelions.”
“Sure you can. I saw recipes in a Better Homes and Garden magazine. So do you think she liked me?”
“Do you like her?”
“I love her,” he said very softly not looking at Belinda.
Belinda paused then said, “I believe she does like you. She and Nicky are coming over tomorrow.”
“Do you think Nicky will find a school for me?”
“Were you listening to us Devin?” she asked sternly.
“I didn’t mean to but I got interested in what you were talking about.”
“It’s not nice to eavesdrop.”
“But you were talking about me. Who do you think will take me away and where would they take me?”
“I don’t know… I just… I just don’t want to lose you.”
“Like you did dad?” he asked softly.
Belinda looked down at her son. He looked so much like his father.
They had met at the diner. His shocking green eyes and smooth dark skin had attracted her to him. He would come in every day and sit in her section. When he finally asked her out he was a complete gentleman. He never even kissed her until their wedding day.
Devin was born. Six months later she woke to an empty bed with a note on the pillow. It said he had to go. He loved her and Devin tremendously and he would try to come back. She never saw him again. Occasionally things would get shoved under her door, or slipped through her car window or end up in the back of her house. Envelopes with money, always when she was having a hard time financially. Unmarked packages with a gift for her or Devin. It was always something Devin had asked for or she longed for. Never a letter. Never anything to indicate it was from him but she knew. Devin knew. They just didn’t know why he was not there.
“No sweet. Not like I did your dad.”
“I’ve already called them Belinda. You have an appointment with Devin there on Wednesday.”
“I have to work Wednesday.”
“I know so the appointment is later in the day. It’s a highly rated school. Very rich people send their children there.”
“I don’t want Devin feeling inferior to some rich snobs. Besides, I can’t afford that school.”
“Just go to the appointment. You never know what may happen. Give Devin a chance okay?
“Ah… Okay. Thank you, Nicky.”
“Devin, get the phone.” Devin ran to the phone and yanked it off the table.
“Thank you for calling the Winslow residence,” he said professionally to the phone.
“Yes. May I speak with Mrs. Winslow?” said a sophisticated male voice on the other end.
“One moment please,” said Devin with a British accent.
“Who is it, baby?” Belinda asked reaching for the phone. “Hello… Yes, this is her… Oh, thank you…That’s great… Wait…, what? No, I can’t allow that. No thank you… I just don’t think that would be good for him. No, no. No. Thank you anyway but… Yes, I will give it some thought. Yes. Thank you.”
“What did they say, mom?”
“Come sit down, Sweet.”
“Dad used to call you Sweet.”
“Yes he did,” she remarked as they both sat down in their tiny kitchen.
“So what did he say?”
“They want to give you a scholarship but you tested so high that they want to put you with kids older than you?”
“How much older?”
“Seventeen and eighteen-year-old kids. I told them no.”
“Yes, I heard you,” he said poking out his lips.
“Devin you are very smart but you are still a little boy. Those kids would be so much bigger than you. I don’t think that would be good.” She looked at her son. “What do you think?”
“I read an article once about a brilliant kid who went to high school at the age of nine. He didn’t have any friends and the kids kept away from him like he had a disease or something. Aren’t there any schools for kids like me that are my age?”
“Nicky is still looking for more schools but everything is far away. It will work out Sweet. We just have to be patient. Okay?”