As the weeks progressed Kevin grew stronger. His tubes were no longer necessary and he was moved from the incubator to a regular basinet. Since there were no other babies in the ward he was alone. The nurse who had taken care of his mother was now assigned to take care of him. She and the doctor were the only people he saw on a regular basis.
Often, the nurse would sing him lullabies as she rocked him to sleep. She told him she had a little girl named Nancy who was away at school. She really missed her and was glad to be assigned to take care of him. She loved babies. She told him he was a really good baby because he never cried.
Kevin began to understand her. He would watch her face as she rambled on and on. One day he saw water falling from her eyes as she talked about Nancy. Her pink face turned red and she put him down and walked away. He could hear her sobbing.
“What are you sniffling about?” sneered the doctor as he roughly came through the door.
“Nothing…nothing sir,” she whimpered as she hastily wiped her eyes with a tissue.
“Yes, sir.” She glanced with worry at Kevin and left him alone with the doctor.
Dr. Winslow leaned over his crib and examined him.
“Well you little black bastard, it looks as though you’re doing well.” He looked into the baby’s eyes. “Maybe those weird eyes won’t change.” He looked at the rich dark color of Kevin’s skin. “What was I thinking giving a little nigger my name? It’s too bad one of the nice white babies didn’t live instead of you.” He wrote on the chart at the end of the crib. “Tomorrow we’ll see if the serum was able to turn a dumb black bastard child into an intelligent one. Personally, I think we may as well have used a monkey.” He looked back at Kevin in disgust. The baby’s skin was no longer transparent. It was a soft coffee color. His green eyes gleamed in the black background. They never stopped staring at the doctor.
The next morning two strangers entered the room with Mr. Gaydos and the doctor. They placed little pads attached to wires on Kevin’s forehead and temples and one on his right arm. The wires were attached to a machine similar to a lie detector. The two strangers each held up large flash cards and held them before Kevin. One had a picture of a cat. The other had the letters ‘C.A.T.’ Kevin smiled. He had never seen such a creature before. The letters he had seen before when he got a glimpse of his chart. The next cards were of a dog and the words ‘D.O.G.’ He was shown a cow and a frog also with their words on an adjacent card. The strangers showed him the cards five times in the same order. The sixth time they reversed the order. The needle of the machine remained steady as it drew a shaky line across the paper.
Next, they showed a cow with the letters ‘D.O.G.’ The needle remained steady. They then went through all the pictures with the wrong word next to them. The needle remained steady.
“Humm,” one of the strangers grunted. “Perhaps he is yet too young to know the difference.”
“I agree,” said the other. “If he can’t distinguish the error of these cards there is no sense in continuing with the other more complicated tests.”
“Perhaps the serum only changed his eye color,” the doctor remarked as he smugly wiggled his head.
“Perhaps we should try again next month,” Mr. Gaydos barked at him. “In the meantime Dr. Winslow, we have picked a couple to adopt him. Is his health good enough to leave this place?”
“Yes, sir. He is remarkably healthy considering his start in life. I have taken excellent care of…”
“They will take him in two days,” Mr. Gaydos sneered, interrupting the fat doctor’s boast. “See that he is ready.”
“Tell his nurse that she will be needed at his new home. She will live there with him until we say otherwise.”
The pads had been removed from Kevin and the strangers were prepared to leave. Mr. Gaydos leaned over his crib and stared at him. “Don’t let us down boy,” he said softly. To the doctor, he said, “I see his eyes have not changed.”
“No, Mr. Gaydos. I fear they may stay that way.”
“You fear?” Mr. Gaydos stood up straight and confronted the doctor. “I like his eyes. Don’t you? You’d be better off fearing for yourself if he is not healthy enough to leave this place.”
He looked back at Kevin. Something about this baby and his weird eyes touched the old man’s heart. He caught himself smiling and forced it off his face. “Make sure he’s ready in two days.”
As they left the room the cards began to float through Kevin’s mind. The picture of the cow with the letters D.O.G. disturbed him. If he were still hooked up to the machine the needles would have gone wild.