The preacher finishes and everyone begins talking to one another. I purposely make it difficult for anything other than a sympathetic nod as I wait for everyone to leave except my new ball and chain.
She thinks that years spent at a university has given her some kind of insight to what I am going through and she has tried her psychobabble on me. I see her taking a deep breath. Here it comes.
Gently, she pats me on the shoulder. I shrug her away. “It might help to let your feelings out.”
What a crock. I turn my head and glare at her. She shivers, opens and closes her mouth and then lowers her eyes.
“I’ll wait for you in the car.” Tina points to her silver sedan. I nod.
Everyone is gone. I linger by the flat stone marker and fix its location in my mind so that I will remember how to find her grave again. Brushing my fingers against the cloth casket, I say my final good-bye.
I turn towards Tina and walk to her car. She is talking on the phone and as I open the car door she hangs up, quickly. She doesn't want me to know she was speaking to the Fosters about my situation. She sees me as nothing more than just another foster kid. She thinks I'll be trouble. I smile as I get into her car. She doesn't need to worry.
Starting the engine, she turns to me. "Heather, I think you're going to like the Fosters. They are wonderful people." She uses my false name.
I smile and nod. I won't be around long enough to get to know them. I am leaving to go search for my father.