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Her Son Nathaniel
She is searching for the son taken from her arms simply because she was believed to be a child herself. She was unable to stand up to her parents’ wishes - those GOD fearing upright Christians whose pride mattered more than their daughter’s feelings. Her son’s pink-cheeked newborn face, chubby and cute, haunts her waking moments. But in dreams, she sees him tall, athletic and so beautiful. Beautiful like her Johnny, the boy with whom she’d conceived her son all those years ago. Nathaniel she had named him, Nathan for short! Shortly thereafter, she’d accidentally but happily been given to know that the adoptive parents were honoring the wish of the biological mother. They’d kept his name Nathaniel. Though she knew not their surname, his name was her glittering hope. It IS her hope today, for this one piece of knowledge has sustained her through the eighteen long years that were to follow that long sweltering summer before her child’s birth. That summer so long ago, when she'd been made to stay at her aunt’s house in a little town far away from her city and out of sight of her parents’ friends. As her belly grew larger, she would bide her time, sometimes taking walks. Past a rusty gate that led into an old graveyard, she would seek shelter from the sun, along a green shady path meandering past headstones headstones with names of souls who once inhabited this strange little town where she was spending the fifteen summer of her lifetime. She'd never been the child her parents believed her to be; she was an old soul. She could have been a good mother. If only Johnny had not deserted her. Oh, beautiful Johnny, the father of her Nathan! Surely she'll see her son soon, and surely he will resemble the love of her youth. She has returned to this little town where she’d felt her Nathan’s tiny fingers wrap around hers that last day she held him - as if imploring her to stay. But obedient daughter that she was, she gave her son away. Today her Nathan turns eighteen. Born August 28th, he can’t be hard to find. How many Nathan’s with that same birth date could exist in this little town? She has kept the vow she made to herself all those years ago - to not try to see her son until he became an adult. Now she is finished visiting the town’s two schools. There is no record of a Nathan, Nate or Nathaniel born Aug. 28th. All these years clinging to her hope. Had the adoptive parents left town? Had her son never grown up in the little town at all? With dismal thoughts swirling in her mind, she finds herself walking. . . walking like she did in the summer of her tribulation. Past a rusty gate is that old graveyard she remembered from before. Here she is again on another sweltering August day walking along a green shady path meandering past headstones. Almost instantly, her eyes are drawn to a small mound and a stone overgrown with vines. A strange dread has come upon her. As if compelled by some strange force, she finds herself yanking the vines off the tiny headstone! Tears well up in her eyes as she reads the birth date on the stone and sees the very short span of life revealed by the date of death of her son Nathaniel. Written 10/1/16 Entered now for the "Let the Pens Flow" Contest of Jenish Somadas
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