|CV Week - May 2017|
|There was something in the water. Or the air. There must have been, Blake decided, when she unfolded the Monday morning papers to read about not one--but two--horrific events, one more intense than the last. However, the distant--in both geographic proximity and relation to her--incident that occurred in the Bahamas with its fifty deaths seemed likely nothing compared to the explosion that could have done worse to William. It felt wrong to weigh lives this way, but even with all her education and clinical training as a professional, it didn't overpower her feelings as a mother. And Blake was a mother. Even though Will was not her actual son, he was as good as these days.
She may not have given birth to him, but the boy from Tampa didn't have much of a mother figure when they first crossed paths. Will never really knew his birth parents. Not when one was a violent recurring drug offender, always in and out of jail, and the other was a 'deadbeat' absentee mom with a string of more baby daddies than maternal bones in her body. That didn't leave young William with much in the way of caregivers, even after he went to live full-time in the custody of his aunt. The woman may have tried her best, or not, but the fact of the matter was she was an alcoholic and Will had to grow up mighty fast to take care of himself. More so than any kid his age should have had to do.
By the time Blake became his social worker, he was already in his late teens and she did what she could to help keep him on a straight and narrow. She knew how it could be. A young black man living in the city, even in this day and age, suffered various disenfranchisements. In both her work and her Pop's, she saw all too many times the number of those who fell to the wayside. Got screwed over by the school-to-prison pipeline. By society in general and systemic oppression in place continuing to keep the black man down. She knew, she fought, she perservered. At least she managed to help with this one. All things considered, Will turned out to be a good kid. A good man. Stayed out of trouble, for the most part. Even when she didn't sometimes agree with his methods, he was resourceful and made his own way. Carved his way paths. She was proud as hell of him. And in return, even though he connected with the family he had in Boston, he came to regard her as a sort of surrogate mother figure.
Every Mother's Day, she heard from him in some way. That was why it stuck out as strange when she hadn't this time. She didn't want to make it about her, but she wondered. Then when she saw the article come Monday, her inner worrywart ramped up in high gear. He insisted he was okay, that he didn't need anything, and that he wasn't in any serious trouble. She was worried, but she didn't want to come off like too much of a nag. He was his own man and all of thirty-years-old by now. She had to sit her ass back and trust that he would come to her if he needed anything she could provide.
Then the call came nearly a full week later. Close to midnight.
"HEY, IT'S WILL. YOU STILL GOOD TO TAKE ME TO THE HOSPITAL?"
Of course she was. In a heartbeat, she dropped everything and was glad to do it. She made sure Zola was well looked after by her Pops, in case her daughter woke up in the middle of the night, and then went to pick him up. She drove him to the emergency room to get checked out. Sat quietly in the waiting room and asked no questions. She waited and she would continue to wait. Wait until he would tell her. As a mother and a therapist, she knew better than to pry.