Dover, New Hampshire, 1979 — She didn’t want to give him up.

Margaret Reid hesitated, light brown eyes darting between her one-month-old son and the couple that had adopted him. She felt a lump grow in her throat, but suppressed it and forced herself to save the tears for later.

“If you’ve changed your mind, that’s alright.” The woman, who was only two years older than Margaret, said. A hint of sadness underlined her voice.

Margaret looked down at her squirming child. She had to do this. She couldn’t give him the life she wanted him to have and his father didn’t even know about him.

Why hadn’t they waited?

She took his little hand in hers and he gave her a yawn and soft baby noises. Her strawberry-blonde locks fell in front of her watery eyes as she bent and pressed a kiss to his forehead. “I love you, Connor,” she whispered. “I’m-I’m so sorry.”

Taking a deep breath, she held him out and slowly deposited him into the waiting woman’s arms.

Once her arms were empty, Margaret dropped them to her sides. She watched them as anger, regret, jealousy, and pain mixed together within her.

It should be her and Jack holding him right now, coddling him and giving him every ounce of love that was being poured forth from the couple who were now his mother and father.

They should have waited.

As the couple turned to leave, Margaret reached out a hand and laid it on the woman’s shoulder.

“Please,” she said when they looked at her questioningly. “Be sure to sing to him every night, and don’t forget to tell him you love him.”

They nodded in agreement and left Margaret standing there with a hole in her heart.

©H.S. Kylian 2018

(Critiques are welcome and appreciated!)

This post was last updated on December 19, 2018

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