The man and woman took you to the beach and watched as you stared open-mouthed at the giant blue desert before you. You edged back as the tide made its way in, devouring the lopsided sand castle you’d built with the man who was called Tom “or Dad … It's up to you.”
You walked on golden sand studded with pastel shells and ran ahead until they shouted out, “Come on, let’s go home.”
That night your new mother lay down next to you and stroked your forehead. You closed your eyes against the dark, rimmed by the foreign glow of street lamps outside, and listened.
You heard how she had waited for you. And how when she got sick of waiting, she went in search of you. To doctors, to hospitals, to other men, to other women.
You felt her chest rising and falling; the walls of your new room, which was far from new, expanding and then contracting.