The Jacket


You are supposed to be going to soccer practice. You would rather be going to ballet but it is soccer night instead. Except your mom is picking you up outside the school in a green car to go to an appointment you don’t want anyone to know about. You would be fine going to soccer but you are not fine getting into that car.

The waiting room is lined with orange, hard plastic chairs. There are some books that are worn and smell the way used books do, and some toys that will hardly occupy your brother for ten minutes, let alone the full hour. You would like to sit on the orange chairs and read a stinking book. But there is no point. It is your turn soon.

A woman walks out and calls your name. Your mom gets up, trembling, and walks you to her, shakes her hand. Her…

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