Lorde sat in the park, watching Colin play. Her eyes kept darting around, anxiety and fear making her jumpy. Colin ran over to her and touched her knee. “You ‘kay, Mama?”
She jerked away from his hand and frowned. “Yes, why?”
“I don’t know,” he said, hurt evident in his voice.
She took hold of him and brought him close. “What did I say about doing that in public?” When the little boy said nothing, she gave him a quick shake. “What did Mama say?”
“Not to do that,” Colin said softly.
“Why did Mama say that,” she asked through gritted teeth. Lorde glanced around to make sure no one was watching them.
“It’s bad.” The boy now had tears in his eyes.
Lorde sighed, suddenly feeling exhausted. “Come here.” She pulled Colin on her lap and hugged him. “It’s time to go home.”
Colin squeezed his arms around her. “I’m sorry,” he whispered into her neck.
“Just don’t do it again.” She pulled away and wiped the tears from his face. “I’m sorry I snapped at you.”
“It’s ‘kay, Mama.”
Interlude | Chapter Eighteen