Jimmy’s welcome home party was in full swing: magicians, clowns, hotdogs and hamburgers on the grill and cake and cookies for later. There was even a live band.

Most children would be overjoyed at such a celebration, especially one in their honor, but not Jimmy. He stood alone on the dock staring into the water, bemused. The other kids his age were off playing games. They didn’t ask him to join in, and he was glad.

I don’t want to be here. I don’t even know these people and they don’t know me. Why did they take me away from my mom and little brother? It’s not fair! I just want to go home. I hate it here.

But Jimmy couldn’t go home. There was no home left for him to go to. His mother was in jail for selling heroin and his little brother went to live with his father. Jimmy didn’t know who his own father was; neither did his mother.

Fortunately, Social Services was able to place Jimmy quickly. He didn’t have to endure an orphanage or countless foster homes.

Of course, Jimmy didn’t see it that way. These new people were laughing and having fun, but Jimmy saw nothing fun about it.

Besides, I’m Asian and these people are Caucasian. What do they want with me? I’m not like them.

He was hurting and no one seemed to notice, let alone care. All he wanted was for the pain to stop. Jimmy wondered how long it would take them to realize he was missing if he jumped in the water right now and drowned.  

He looked back at them once more. Now the new people were drinking beer and other mixed drinks, talking loud and laughing. Some were even dancing. The hot dogs and hamburgers must be ready; the other kids were eating.

They’ve forgotten about me already.

Jimmy closed his eyes and said a quick prayer. Then he plugged his nose with a thumb and forefinger and jumped.

No one heard the splash. They were celebrating.

SusanWritesPrecise/Susan Marie Shuman

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