His eyes felt like they were burning from not blinking enough, he had always been so bad at handling stress.
He always sat on the counter staring out when he felt like this, the first time was during elementary school after the teachers told everyone that tests will now be graded.
Numbers on a paper that will determine their future, and less smiley faces. The second was his first day at work in the hospital, and the third was today.
It wasn’t the situation as much as the anticipation that was tearing at him.
Having to sit idle on the verge of knowing or not knowing, his thoughts were all over the place *“I can’t take this much longer”*.
She was supposed to come today at 4pm *“Two minutes left, please don’t be late Julie”*, he obsessively stared out the window.
A few minutes passed, *“fuck it”* he stepped down from the counter and went along a corridor from the kitchen through the bathroom door on the left.
Staring at himself in the mirror, he saw the small scar on his neck that looked like a stab wound, but really he was working late and tripped onto a cart of operating tools.
When Julie saw it she had reacted a bit, but when he told her the story she only giggled and said: “Good thing you were already at the hospital” and in a moment he forgot everything and chuckled,
but a spark thrusted through his spine when the sound of a doorbell echoed through the rooms. He stormed out of the bathroom and saw Julie’s shadow outside his door waiting.
He opened the door smiling hopefully, but when his gaze met Julie’s, his breath fell out of his lungs along with any lingering hope. “I’m sorry Sam, they changed their minds”, her eyes were watery.
She gestured her hand forward: “Could we go inside?” Sam nodded.
They sat down facing each other, Julie began speaking: “Adoption around here is tricky, it’s all politics pressing family values”.
She stopped for a few seconds, and took a deep breath “And that’s why your application was stopped so far in, it’s too difficult for a lone parent to adopt, it—”.
Sam burst out in tears “Sorry I’m just such a mess”. He wiped his face with one hand, the other was clutching his knee, Julie grabbed that hand, and he could see the ring imprint on her finger.
Sam’s eyes were filling to the brim, he was barely able to stop himself from crying out. He barely managed to speak: “Please j-just stay a few more minutes”. Julie nodded.
It felt like a loved one had died, someone he had never met. Everything remaining was in this room, and Julie was so kind.
“If it’s okay” Sam whispered, “Do you want to take a walk outside?” Julie gave him a tender smile and nodded, he looked outside and could tell that spring had just begun.