“So what is it?” I asked Dad and Claire seeing them fidget during our dinner at their house.
“What?” Claire asked laughing nervously.
“You look like you want to tell us something.”
“Elijah said he is okay with us adopting him.” Dad blurted out with a huge grin.
“Oh my God. That’s great.” I said and hugged Claire who have been waiting for this day for months now.
“Congrats, Dad.” Xavier said smiling at his father.
“When will he come home?” Ace asked curiously.
“Remember his best friend we told you about?”
“Yeah, What about her? She too got adopted right?” I asked to be sure.
“Yeah. The process is going on and Elijah wants to stay there with her till her family gets all the papers ready and is able to take her with them.”
“Oh. And how long will that take?”
“We are not sure.”
“Do you want me to help them in speeding up the process?” Xavier asked and Dad shook his head negatively.
“I can’t be that selfish, Son. Eli really cares for this girl and is happy about getting some more time to be with her. I can’t take away his last chance to spend time with her.”
“And in the meantime we get to prepare his room and buy things for him. We also got permission to meet him whenever we want to and we have already went to meet him a couple of times. We had talked to him about all of you and he is excited to meet you guys.” Claire said optimistically and smiled giddily.
“We’ll go with you the next time so that we can meet him.” Xavier while laying a now sleepy Ace on his lap.
“You can meet him on Saturday. That way Ace gets to meet him too as he won’t have school that day.” Dad suggested and we agreed. And so on Saturday as planned we went to the orphanage to meet Elijah Whilson.
“Mamma, please be careful.” Ace said when we reached near the doorstep.
“Yes, baby.” I assured and his father wrapped his arm around me just to be sure.
These days it felt like he is my mother than my son from how careful he is with me. And I also happen to be among the category of pregnant ladies who has huge belly despite being not very far in pregnancy.
“Guys, meet Elijah. Elijah this our family I told you about.” Dad said placing his arm around the pale young boy with long unkept hair.
“You are going to be my big brother?” Elijah asked gulping at the sight of Xavier.
“I am your big brother.” Xavier said ruffling Elijah’s hair.
“Cool, I guess.” Elijah mumbled nervously.
“You don’t have to be afraid of me, Elijah. You are a part of our family now. Me and the rest of us here are going to love you and take care of you. No harm would come to you.” Xavier assured and received a shy smile in return.
“Hello, Elijah. I hope you like sweets. We bought some for you and your best friend.” I said handing him the package full of sweets.
“Really?! Thank you so much. Rose would surely love it. Thank you. Thank you.” He said happily and clutched tightly onto the package.
“You are welcome.”
“You must be Ace.” Elijah asked looking at Ace.
“I am.” Ace said shuffling his feet.
“I’m too young to be an uncle but since I have to be one I’ll be the coolest little uncle in the whole world.”
“Don’t let Uncle Gabe hear that.” Ace giggled now feeling more at ease.
“Eva’s brother.” Dad mentioned seeing the confused look in Elijah.
“Oh. But I’m sure I can be more cooler than him. He is old anyways.” Elijah said with confidence and Dad hugged him sideways. Dad had told me that Elijah is always quiet and doesn’t like involving with others so seeing him talk freely like this must be making Dad really happy.
We talked with Elijah for sometime and then I had the sudden urge to pee so I left them in search of washroom with Xavier beside me. He waited till I was done and we were walking back to others when we heard a sudden cry. I looked outside to see Ace tripping and falling on the ground.
“Ace.” I called out and was about to go help him but was stopped by Xavier.
“What are you doing? Let me go help him.”
“Wait. He is fine. Look over there.” Xavier said and I looked again to see another child running towards Ace and helping him up.
“Okay?” The boy asked still holding onto Ace’s arm.
“I’m fine. Thank you for helping me.”
“Owie.” The little boy whimpered pointing at the small wound on Ace’s knees. Noticing it I was about to rush to him again but stopped myself seeing that he is not in much pain and is finally talking to another boy in friendly manner.
“That’s okay. I’m alright.” Ace assured but the boy shook his head negatively which made his spectacle move down and he in turn scrunched his nose adorably to bring it back to where it was.
“Sit. Sit.” The boy insisted and made Ace sit on the nearest bench. He then bend down and blew on the wound before wrapping his handkerchief around Ace’s knee.
“That’s so cute.” I cooed at the scene.
“Are you crying?” Xavier asked sounding concerned.
“My eyes are just sweating a bit from the heat. I’ll be fine.”
“Right.” Xavier replied chuckling and I chose to ignore him.
“Thank you for helping me.” I heard Ace say and the other boy stood up and pat on Ace’s head and I almost ran up to them to save the boy from Ace’s wrath. But I was in shock seeing Ace smile at the boy and pinch his cheek.
“Am I dreaming?” I asked Xavier who stood still beside me.
“If you are dreaming then I must be too.” Xavier said turning to look at me and then looked back again at the boys.
“I’m Ace. What’s your name?”