All that was left as a reminder was his shoe.
I couldn’t believe it. I had averted my eyes for just a few minutes. And he was gone. Vanished. Disappeared. A toddler of three could not get out of his pram and run away that quickly. There was only one explanation — my baby boy had been kidnapped!
She was hysterical over the phone. But that did not abate my anger. Or my fear. Our baby boy was out there. Probably being hurt by a stranger — I didn’t want to think about what could have happened. The stuff you read these days in the papers. I knew she was not in a fit mental state to look after him — I should have listened to everyone who suggested getting a nanny.
I could tell by Darren’s voice that he blamed me. He didn’t have to say the words out loud. He thought I was unfit. That the black dog had resulted in our baby’s disappearance. The police seem to think that too — I could tell by the questions they asked. Blame the mother. Blame her mental health. Well, they didn’t have to say much. My own mind was doing a good job. Blaming me. For turning my head for a few seconds to talk to the friendly woman I met each day.
I saw her huddled in a shaking mess talking to the police. There were sniffer dogs looking for our baby. I guess I had been hoping against hope that it was all unreal. That when I finally got here, he would come tottering into my arms like he did when I got home each day. With a single toothed grin and the stammer of “daahdee”. But it hit me. Seeing his empty pram beside the tree as the police checked for fingerprints. Where could he have gone?
Every time the phone rang we rushed to it. With hope. Only to have it dashed. It was usually a friend or relative. Not knowing what to say but saying it anyway. Nothing helped. Nothing at all. After all, what could they say to someone who lost their child? What could they say when they were all probably thinking the same thing — what a bad mother!
The police found nothing. It was like he had vanished without a trace. Actually, scratch that. They found his shoe. But that was it. No other signs as to whether he had been taken. Or probably more far-fetched, wandered off on his own. How could a three year old wander off alone in a crowded park without anyone noticing?
I knew she wasn’t a fit mother. She would always stare off into space or occasionally talk to others at the park while her supposedly precious baby just sat there in his pram. What kind of mother does that? No. Mothers should be like mine. Who know just how much I want a baby. Enough to distract a stupid woman for a few minutes.
Well, he will have a better life now. With me.
***Linking with Write Tribe’s Weekly Wednesday Prompt***
Until next time,