This story is not available on mobile devices and this story requires your browser window to be at least 1000px wide and 700px high. Please increase your browser size or use another device.

Back to Tree

" be good for them you hear?"

The social worker's eyes were serious. Her dirty-blond hair was carefully curled. She smelled of some flowery perfume that made Jimmy's eyes itch. He tried to take slow, shallow breaths. He hated her visits, hated how the whole family would sit down, all ten kids, and stare at him and Murray. Usually, they were casually ignored, like everyone else. Just one of the pile of kids constantly underfoot. Being singled out was torturous. Jimmy was so focused on wishing that the visit would be over that he hadn't really understand her words.

When she left, he and Murray ran off to the little shed behind the barn. It was dark and cool. The light came in through the walls in lines.

"Did you know we were adopted?" Murray's eyes looked black in the shadows.

"What are you talking about?"

"What Ms. Wilde said, about us needing to be good cause mom and dad took us in."

The uncomfortable feeling in his belly got stronger. He thought maybe he'd have to run to the bathroom. There had been hints that he didn't belong, small whispers from the other kids, mostly when they were talking to people outside of the family.

Running away was dead easy. Meant to be. Once he learned that he didn't belong everything made sense.

This was not his place.