Chapter 4

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I'd be lying if I said I am not a little disappointed that Elijah isn't here. It makes sense though, if he was home--he would probably be the one picking up Rory. I push my feelings of disappointment to the side and help Rory with his last few math questions. When did they change math? Either my intelligence is plummeting or it recently became super complicated. Thankfully, Rory has taken the lead and is conquering the complex arithmetic while I am still re-reading the directions for the umpteenth time. 


Of all the children at the daycare, I seemed to be drawn to him the most. He was adorable, intelligent for such a young age, and very very very talkative. He told me everything going on in his life just about as soon as he saw me, like water breaking free from a dam. The detailing of the newest episode of his favorite show, what he had for breakfast, the newest toy he received--he made sure I knew it all.



He loved every activity I had planned for my small group of children I worked with. He tackled them with vigor and constantly sought my approval and validation. During our discussion sessions, he told me that his mother worked very late at night so his father always took him home. However, while home his father would spend most of his time in the study working, leaving young Rory to busy himself with television and his many toys. In the morning, Rory's mother would come home from work, get him ready to be dropped off at daycare and then come back home because she needed to get rest for her next shift.



This broke my heart and explained why he was so talkative. During the week, his parents did not really have the time to sit down and actually bond with their child. This is why he was always so excited when we did our little activities in daycare; he didn't have the opportunity at home. 



"Very good," I murmur as I watch him complete the last question. With curled lips and a knotted brow, he grips his pencil with his fist to write his answer. He writes the last number slowly and slightly out of the box with confidence and pride. He holds the paper up to me for appraisal, beaming and eager for my approval. I look it over nodding with a grin. The answers were right, the complicated pathway required to get there is the thing that I am not sure of. 



Good enough, I think. I gingerly write my initials on the paper and tuck it back into his bright green folder that's embellished with various stickers. I pause to scan his previous assignments with a smile. The papers are all adorned with stickers and exemplary grades.  I return the folder to his backpack and ruffle his hair.



"Hungry?" I ask while putting the pencils and markers away. I zip his pencil case and put it in his bag as well. I place it by the door as Rory runs pass me. He is a streak of bouncing curls and the red fireman sweater he insisted on wearing. 




"Pancakes!" He bellows out, excitedly, while taking off towards the kitchen. I roll my eyes and curse Elijah again. 


"Sandwiches!" I holler back as he climbs onto the chair at the island. He swings his legs jovially as he waits for me to enter the kitchen. "And fruit. Healthy things!"

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