The next day…
Ring, phone, ring. *looks at phone* Silence. *checks dial tone* Sigh. I know it is going to take time for word to get out and for the job offers to roll in, but surely there is something I can do in the meantime.
The Summer Festival has arrived. Festival! Perhaps I can get a permit to set up a booth and sell some paintings, pass out business flyers, that sort of thing. Time to go to the Festival and see if I can meet with the management to find out how things are done.
A short while later…
Well that did not go quite as planned. Booths are reserved months in advance and they are fully booked. The lady offered the application packet for the Fall Festival, but I can’t wait that long before making any money. I need income now. She must have sensed my dilemma from my crestfallen face because she mentioned that I could always sell my work at the consignment store. A lot of artists use it, especially when the Festivals aren’t in town. I thanked her for her help, took the packet with me (just in case), and headed home.
I spent the rest of the day painting and managed to finish two small paintings. They weren’t horrible, but there was definitely room for improvement. *yawn* I decided that I needed to take a brief rest before attempting to do any more.
Wha…what was that noise? I know I heard something. I silently got up from my bed and crept down the hall, phone in hand with all but the last digit for emergency already keyed in, and peeked around the corner into the living room. I could not believe my eyes and rubbed them to make sure I was indeed awake.
Briefly glancing at the basket, I ran to the open door and looked out…just in time to see a car race off. Too dark to see the license plate and I was never good at determining make or model unless I saw the symbols. The door showed no sign of forced entry, but I wasn’t about to touch it. I finished dialing emergency and briefly explained my situation to the dispatcher who promised to send an officer out.
While waiting for the police to arrive, I remembered the basket and carefully edged closer to it. There was a note attached:
Please take care of my baby and give him the chance I never could
Baby?! Some stranger abandoned their baby in MY living room. Oh, no…this is not good. *baby begins to move and make a little bit of a fuss*
There, there little guy. Hush, now, you’re okay.
As I was cradling him in my arms an officer arrived. He was young and obviously relatively new to the force. He took my statement and his eyes widened when I got to the part about the baby, “Not another one!” he exclaimed and then clamped his mouth shut as he realized what he had just said. “What do you mean by not another one?” I suspiciously asked. With an exasperated sigh, he explained that a baby girl had been dumped…err, dropped of at another house just a little while ago. She is currently at the station awaiting the arrival of social services from the mainland. “Mainland? You don’t have a Children’s Home here on the island?” As soon as my question was asked, the officer began massaging his neck and looked like he wanted to be somewhere, anywhere, but here. “No, we don’t. We have two sisters, Millie and Tillie Stepp, who look after children and sometimes runaway teens, but draw the line at babies and toddlers. Any that are unable to be placed with them, get sent to the mainland.”
I looked down at the sweet boy, sleeping peacefully in my arms and made my decision, “Bring her to me. I will take both of them.” “Both of them, Miss Keagan? Do you want to become a foster parent like the Stepp sisters?” “No, I plan to adopt and raise them as my own.” I looked down and smiled, then kissed my sleeping angel. “Hello, Chance, welcome home.”