“Here, have this,” Julie said to the little boy while offering a fresh glass of lemonade. He was a two-year-old thin boy wearing ragged clothes and having a fair complexion with blonde hair. The boy drank the lemonade in a single sip, and, after finishing, he said nothing but gave Julie a smile. “What’s your name?”
“Igor,” the boy answered with a slight hesitation. At the very next moment, his mother came dashing towards the sidewalk where they both were sitting. They were chatting and laughing like two old friends. She was an old lady of a somewhat dark complexion who lived with her husband in the slums of Ohio. They came here two years ago, but no one knows where they came from. She was about to grab him to teach a lesson but came to a halt as soon as she saw Julie. Her face turned pale as if she saw a ghost. Julie stood up and said, “Your son is really sweet, but please take care of him.” Before the lady could say anything, she went away hastily in her car. Igor started to explain things to his mother so that she would not be too angry with him: “I was washing cars when suddenly I fell down, so she was just trying to help.” The lady instructed the scared little boy to go inside.
The doors of a huge white mansion opened as the car went in. Julie stepped out and went to the backyard, where her mother was waiting for her. They used to have their evening tea at a round table with a pink tablecloth and brown wooden chairs. Julie put her purse on the ground that was covered with grass and sat beside her mother’s chair. “So, anything new happen today?” Her mother inquired while pouring tea into white floral ceramic cups.
Julie took out a small sized picture of man with blonde hair and blue eyes and started staring at it, “I met a boy, today; he looked just like Logan. The weird thing is, I felt a connection with him.”
“It’s been two years, Julie; are you still trying to find him?”
“Hope is what’s keeping me alive.”
Two months passed, and his mother would not allow Igor to go outside. Igor was unable to understand why his mother was doing this to him. One day, he somehow managed to escape. He looked around the open road and, finding himself alone, felt anxious, but suddenly his eyes saw a familiar face. He ran and hugged Julie from behind. Julie was surprised but felt loved. “What are you doing here all alone?” “Oh, please take me with you; my mother has kept me locked up for days!” Her heart melted because she could sense the sorrow in his voice. She decided to protest against the cruelty of his parents. They reached the old tumbledown hut where the boy’s parents sat down after hours of searching when suddenly two figures entered from outside. They were relieved to see Igor, but fear and angst were also clear on their faces. “Why are you keeping the poor little boy locked in here?” Julie asked them with anger and concern in her voice. The mother snatched the boy, who was hiding behind Julie, and replied, “Listen, mam, this is our child; you should not interfere with our matters.” She didn’t say anything but lowered her gaze. She felt helpless for the boy, but in this predicament, she could not do anything. She was about to leave, but Igor’s sad blue eyes prevented her from doing so. Igor started crying while trying to free himself from the clutches of his mother.
“I lost my son two years ago, but whenever I see Igor, I am reminded of him,” she said, holding back her tears. “If you don’t mind, please let me spend some time with him; I promise I will never bother you again”. Igor looked hopefully towards his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Smith looked at each other and then nodded with slight indifference. As soon as they left, Mrs. Smith started sobbing. They knew it was time to leave their son. “Are you sure you want to do this?” “What we did two years ago with her was selfish; he deserves to be happy.” “It is not too late; she will never know the truth.” “Yes, she may not, but I can see it, Kevin, and I can feel it too; there is a bond between them that has brought them together!” “But your whole happiness revolves around him; how can you…?” “How can we be happy if we go against God’s will?”
Julie and Igor were eating ice cream in front of an ice cream truck. “I can’t believe we both like the same flavour—vanilla,” Julie said delightfully.
“I don’t like my parents.”
“Hey, don’t feel bad; they are just trying to protect you.”
He said nothing but made a sad face.
“Want to buy some toys?”
The door creaked, and Julie came inside, taking Igor in her arms. They both were laughing, but soon stopped as they entered. Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s faces were solemn. The atmosphere was quiet just like silence that prevails after a storm. She let Igor down. He quietly went towards them and offered two ice cream cones. They both knelt down, took it, and hugged him tightly. Julie was standing in the corner and smiling. Soon, she realised she had to leave. “Please wait”, Mrs. Smith stood up. She held Igor’s hands and gave him to her, saying, “Take him with you”.
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