The newborn blinked in response to the bright light Lauren’s camera had accidentally flashed. It was wrapped in a bundle, with a key tied around it. She took off the key and used a bit of the ruined leather from her jeans to tie it to the baby’s neck. The weirdest part about all of this that Lauren Stewart had just been in a car crash. When she crawled from under the wreck, it popped up in front of her, causing her to lean closer to it, pressing the a million-pictures-a-second-button, as Dustin called it. “Funny little thing.” She picked up the baby and held it while she talked to the police. “Do you know this child’s name?” The police asked. One was round and fat. His flab almost covered the badge that said ‘Officer Railey Hen, 911 Reportive.’ The other was slim and muscled. ‘Officer Hen Railey, 911 Reportive.’ Wow. What opposites. “No…I mean, I don’t know Officer Railey.” Lauren stuttered. Where was Emily Stein? She would have known what to say. She would have marched right up to him and tell him how fat he was, how deep his voice was, how stupid he looked and walked away. But she wasn’t Emily Stein. She looked over the cloth, looking for a name. Flipping over the key, she saw in scrawny letters:
It was in gold, too. While the doctors and police chatted, she slipped her name and phone number into Officer Railey’s pocket. She couldn’t stay here. And have her name on CNN along with this baby’s? Lauren didn’t think so. At a jogging pace, Lauren got to her house, tired and confused. “Hi Dust.” She said to her brother, who watching TV on the couch. “Hey, was that a baby? I knew your stomach looked a little-““It’s not mine.” She switched the soft cloth with baby clothes her mother had sent her the day she got married. They had also got a cradle. It was a family joke to do that. But now it came in handy. Especially because he divorced her. She took out the maple cradle and placed it in there. Dustin came through the doors that second, eating Snickers. “What’s its name?” Lauren sighed and collapsed on her bed. “Violet. Violet Phoenix.” Dustin looked inside. “Hey this is even cuter than-“My death glare cut him off for the second time. “Seth.” I finished for him. It was a complete meltdown. I started crying and I felt Dustin’s hands come over me. My ex-husband had taken everything, my home, my child, my ability to love. Seth had been a boy with dirty blond hair, blue eyes, and a warm smile that could melt a heart as crusty as rust. He was only a month old when he was taken away by Him. When they came to visit, Seth looked up at me and whispered to him,” Who is she?” After I stormed away, I heard him whisper back “A friend. An old friend.” Alex started to burble. We got up off the wet bed to watch as Alex explored the colorful toys, red, yellow, and orange ones the most. Dustin walked out the room and returned with a bottle of milk. I gave it to her and she quickly finished it. Smiling for the first time since The Divorce, I said “More milk, Dustin the Milkman.” His lips curved into a wide “O”, and then he bowed and went out the door saying,” Only for the beautiful.” This time, I laughed. It was a whole new beginning. She looked at Violet one more time. She was keeping the baby. She was keeping her life.
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