Anyway, I have Dr. Blum to care for. . . . I smile to myself (not without bitterness) and drink up my last bit of coffee.
While we’re here, do you want to stop in to see the kids? I asked into the silence. It was the only thing I could think to do that might make her feel better. I could wait out here while you talk to them, or go to the car if you want.Would you visit them with me? she asked suddenly.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure I could handle it, but I knew she really wanted me there. And she was feeling so down that the words came out automatically.They’ll be in the rec room now. That’s where they usually are at this time, she said.We walked down the corridors to the end of the hall, where two doors opened into a good-size room. Perched in the far corner was a small television with about thirty metal folding chairs placed all around it. The kids were sitting in the chairs, crowded around it, and you could tell that only the ones in the front row had a good view of the thing.
I glanced around. In the corner was an old Ping-Pong table. The surface was cracked and dusty, the net nowhere to be seen. A couple of empty Styrofoam cups sat on top of it, and I knew it hadn’t been used in months, maybe years. Along the wall next to the Ping-Pong table were a set of shelves, with a few toys here and there—blocks and puzzles, a couple of games. There weren’t too many, and the few that were there looked as if they’d been in this room for a long time. Along the near walls were small individual desks piled with newspapers, scribbled on with crayons.We stood in the doorway for just a second. We hadn’t been noticed yet, and I asked what the newspapers were for.
They don’t have coloring books, she whispered, so they use newspapers. She didn’t look at me as she spoke—instead her attention was directed at the kids. She’d begun to smile again.
Are these all the toys they have? I asked.My pulse skyrocketed at the deep rumble of his words, and the words themselves.
Wait. What? Was he flirting with me. What?Aidan’s grin grew. Some mac and cheese. Would you like some? For lunch?
Oh God. Open up the floor and let it swallow me whole! I blushed. Uh, sure.Why has your face gone red? Sylvie asked as we began to walk toward the cafeteria.