Derry looks for lost people and she finds them... except her kidnapped son.
|Theadora “Derry” Mowles held the 18 month old boy close as she carried him out of the low rent hotel room. He limply laid against her chest, worn out from the shock and stress. “I-ahn-a” he kept mumbling between sobs.
Mexican medics approached her, “we’ll take him from here.” A mid twenty year old man in med uniform said as he reached for the boy.
She reluctantly gave him up but refused to be separated by more than 10 inches from the boy. The young medic grumpily said, “Senora, you need to give us some space.”
She ignored him and told them, “His name is Jesse and he is just a year and a half. He is my responsibility until his father arrives…” She paused and looked directly at the young medic, “so I’m not going anywhere.”
Derry looked at the other medic, an older woman with pinned up graying hair. She was a bit heavy set with a lilting voice that seemed to calm Jesse. “Oh you are such a good boy. That’s it just going to check your ears. What adorable ears you have…”
Derry noticed Jesse had a small stuffed bunny between his legs; he was squeezing the ears and looking at the sparkling chain around the medics stethoscope. “You have healthy ears, too. Now let’s check your heart, I bet you have a nice strong heart…”
The young medic began to jot down notes on a chart, avoiding eye contact, which was fine with Derry. She watched as the woman huffed on the scope and smiled. She could picture her with her own children or grandchildren. Derry started to relax a bit as Jesse looked at her and didn’t cry.
Derry smiled and cooed along with the older medic, “such a good boy.” Derry used one of the bunny ears to tickle the boy’s wrist. “So soft”, she whispered. Jesse smiled. Derry melted. She remembered how her son used to smile at her, a flood of guilt and sadness swamped her.
The young medic noticed and whether to assure her or to make up for his earlier directive he said, “His vitals are good and no sign of malnutrition.” The older medic nodded as she began to sing a cheerful song and laid him down. She changed his diaper and whispered notes to be taken down in between verses.
Jesse held the bunny twisting the ears and legs every which way as Derry sat across from him watching. She wondered if someone was taking as good care of her son. Every morning she added a day to her son’s age, [March 8th] Today he would 7 years, 6 months, and 2 days. As she watched the medics give Jesse a sippy cup of water and dress him in an onesie. She tried picturing what her son, Noah would be doing or where he would be. The last she heard from him he was Australia; it was during the one time she heard from him every year, Christmas. Her ex-husband’s idea of punishment she was sure. As if taking their only son away from her during “his” weekend wasn’t enough.
The older woman picked up Jesse and gave him a bit of a squeeze. “Such a good boy.” She purred softly against him as she handed him off to Derry. “He seems to be in perfect health.” She placed her hand on the boy’s back as she walked past, “I’ll inform the Policia.”
Derry began to rock the boy back and forth a bit as he drank from his sippy cup and held the bunny to him closely.