STEVEN JERAL HARRIS
"And how’s she doing?" Sharon asks politely.
"She’s fine." Daniel replies.
"You’ll love Olivia, Iva." Sharon tells me. "She’s a really sweet lady."
I feel a lot more comfortable in this house rather than Eric’s and Jessica’s. Maybe it’s because they’re such welcoming people.
“So, what are your, you know, real names?” I ask them, but they stare at me with a confused expression.
“Excuse me…?” Sharon asks.
"Oh, Iva, my parents are not like us, they’re human." Jason explains to me.
"We adopted Jason when he was a baby.” David explains. “His mother died at birth and his dad, well, wasn’t a dad."
"Don't say it like that David." Sharon says to him with disappointment. "His father couldn’t cope after the death, so he found someone who wanted a baby.
And I couldn’t have one so…"
David chuckles before he speaks again…
"We didn’t take the news very well, you know, about his other side. But it didn’t matter. We loved him too much to give him back." He stares at Jason and smiles at him with sincere love.
David clears his throat and continues talking.
"So, Iva, we heard a lot about you. It must be hard, knowing what’s coming. I’m not going to talk your ears off, but just be safe, for us, for everyone. We can only hope that you can take care of our boy. He’s too old for mom and pop to tell him to stay home, so..." He sighs and doesn’t continue.
"What my husband is trying to say is, we know we’re facing hard times. Just promise us that you’ll keep watch over our son."
I swallow down hard, feeling this enormous weight being placed on my shoulders. I look over at Jason, who is staring back at me, and then I turn to Sharon again.
“I will try.” I reply modestly.
"Well, we don’t want to keep you guys to long.”
David says. “Tell Olivia we said hi, okay.”
"Yup." Daniel replies.
Sharon walks over to Jason and gives him a hug.
"Be careful okay?" She whispers into his ear.
Jason starts to blush a little bit.
"I will mom." He says in her ear.
The hug lingers for a long moment until David walks over and taps her on the shoulder. She finally releases.
"Visit us anytime Iva." David says before we leave their house and get into the car.
They wave bye to us as we reverse out of the driveway and roll down the road. Five minutes later, Daniel takes an onramp onto the highway. We’re now making our way back towards Rochester. Before long, the trees that surround Glenworth disappear behind us, and now we’re getting off the highway to enter Downtown Rochester. He stops in front of a high rise building and parks the SUV.
"Is this Olivia’s place?" I ask Jason.
"Yup." He replies.
We all empty the SUV. Almost immediately, I see a man dressed in dirty clothing, walking towards us with this little girl at his side.
"Can anyone spare some change?" He asks in a weak voice.
Maria and Jessica dig into their pockets and give the man some change.
“Here you go.” Jessica says in her angelic voice.
"God bless you." The little girl says as they both walk away.
We walk to a pair of glass double doors. Daniel turns and gives Jessica and Maria a distasteful look.
"What?" Maria asks Daniel.
"Why did you give them money?" He responds.
"Because they need it." Maria replies.
“Please don’t start. Everyone is not a schemer.” Jessica tells Daniel.
“He needs a damn job, not change.” Daniel says to them.
Maria and Jessica roll their eyes together. Daniel goes up to the intercom and dials a number. I hear the dial tone ringing and ringing until a woman’s voice answers.
"Hello." She says in a singing tone.
"It’s us Olivia." Daniel says into the intercom.
"Come on up." She responds.
I hear a buzz coming from the intercom and then Daniel pulls the door open. We walk into the main lobby and wait for the elevator to arrive. The elevator doors swing open and we pile in. We rise to the 6th floor and the elevator doors reopen. I follow behind them as they stroll down the hallway and stops at the last door on the right hand side.
Daniel knocks on the door. I can hear the sound of several bolts turning and locks unlocking. The door swings open and I see this older woman smiling at us.
Her black silky hair is styled neatly in two large braids.
She has a beautiful light brown skin tone, a pair of sparkling eyes that matches her dark hair, and large cheek bones.
"Come in everyone." She says in a lively way.
I step into her living room with the smell of something sweet at my nose. Everyone scatter around the room and find a seat to sit in. Before I’m able to sit, the woman comes to me, her big cheeks swelling as she smiles radiantly.
"Hello child. I’m Olivia." She says in a subtle voice before she hugs me. "You have a bumpy road ahead of you." She says in my ear while she rocks me from side to side gently.
She finally releases me to look at my physique.
“Child, you are a skinny one aren’t you?” She says with a chuckle as she studies me from head to toe.
I smile awkwardly at her statement.
"Come, sit down." She escorts me over to a sofa.
Olivia stays pinned to my side on the couch.
"Did they tell you about me?" She asks.
“Not much. They said that you know a lot about their…I mean, our history.”
“I know a lot but not nearly enough.” She replies.
Suddenly Olivia snaps alert.
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