Title: In The Best Interest of the Child
Author: Felicia Denise
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Psychological/Romance
Release Date: September 30, 2016
“Do you truly believe she wants to go into foster care?”
“No way. But until I’m certain where her head is emotionally and mentally, I won’t try to second guess her. Rena’s feeling like a burden right now, and might feel it’s the thing to do to free the Bellamys from having to take care of her. I’m walking a very narrow path with this one. Did you hear back about the updated docket schedule?”
“Affirmative, boss lady. You’re off the hook until Tuesday.”
“Then let’s get to work and make some magic!” Margo stood and headed for the door. She stopped and slowly turned back to her boss.
“Don’t think for one second that we’re not having a discussion about what had you glowing earlier, got it?” Olivia smirked, but silently said a prayer for having someone like Margo in her corner.
“I hear you loud and clear, Miss Marple!”
“The only reason we’re not having that discussion now is,” she took a couple of steps closer, “because this little girl needs us to move our asses and give her our best. And… you have another call you should make first.” Olivia gave her a curious look.
“Just who am I calling?” Her assistant took a deep breath.
“Willis Benson.” Olivia’s face fell.
Why is nothing ever easy?
* * *
“Hello, Livvie. I’m Mr. Benson.” Livvie regarded the man with a wary look. He wore a brown suit. Her daddy had never worn brown suits. “I worked with your father. He actually taught me a great deal of what I know. ” She smiled faintly, but knew he wasn’t a really good friend of her daddy’s because she had never heard of him. He reached and took her by the hand and led her to the sofa. “Let’s sit here and talk for a bit. I need to explain some things to you.” She already knew it was going to be bad. When she got home from school and found him standing outside her mother’s bedroom, she knew something was wrong.
As far as she knew, her mother never left her bedroom, and Livvie was allowed to visit with her less and less. In the beginning, it wasn’t so bad. Her mother would sit in the large recliner by her bedroom window, and question her about school, and if she was eating properly. The live-in nurse was quite vocal about having to take care of Livvie too, but Sarina Chandler said she was being paid quite well for her additional job duties, so making sure Livvie had a good dinner and clean clothes was not taxing the woman. It wasn’t long before Livvie would find her mother in bed…crying for her dead husband. It was during these times that she also didn’t seem to recognize Livvie. Several times, she called her ‘Samantha’, and ten-year-old Livvie knew no one by that name.
Mr. Benson cleared his throat, and Livvie realized he had been speaking to her.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Benson. I was thinking about my mom.”
“Your mom is what we have to talk about.” He saw a flash of something in her eyes, but it quickly disappeared. He regretted what he was about to do and wished there was another way. “Livvie, your mom is sick. Her injuries from the crash were very serious. She’s not healing the way she should. And, Livvie, her mind is sick too. Remembering people and places and dates is really hard for her right now. Her doctors thought sending her home to familiar surroundings would help her. Honey…she’s getting worse.”
“Is she going to die?”
“Oh no. No, no. She’s not going to die, honey. But she needs to go to a special hospital that will work to heal her injuries and her mind.” Livvie suddenly felt dizzy. Her mom was going away…leaving her. She looked at Mr. Benson, but she couldn’t see him clearly. Her vision seemed to waver as heat surrounded her body. Her mom was going away…leaving her. Livvie looked down at her hands, trying to see the millions of pins she felt pricking her skin. She didn’t see them, but she knew they were there. Wringing her hands together didn’t stop the pins from stinging her. Livvie felt the pin pricks begin to move up her arm, and her chest hurt. “Livvie! Sweetie! Are you okay? Livvie!”
Someone was calling her name from far away, but she couldn’t tell who it was because of the roaring in her head. Livvie felt herself starting to fall, but there was nothing to grab on to, only darkness. She wanted to call out for her daddy, but when she opened her mouth, nothing came out. The pins were pricking her everywhere and there was nothing she could do to stop them. “Am I dying? Is this what it feels like? Why isn’t daddy here?” As she fell farther and farther, Livvie knew no one was coming to save her. Helpless and alone, Livvie stopped fighting and gave in to the darkness.
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