The wind seemed determined to blow the rain into my hooded face and soak the cardboard box I held awkwardly against my chest, but I was equally determined to keep its contents dry. As quickly as I could in high heels, I walked down the dark and wet streets of New York City towards the 6th Street Orphanage. I began to feel eyes on my shoulders after crossing the final, deserted street.

It's nothing, I told to myself, but I quickened my pace, trying not to slip. I walked up the steps to the orphanage, ready to rid myself of my burden forever. I planned to put it down brusquely and hurry away, but as soon as I placed the cardboard box on the porch, I couldn't help but look at the baby's inquisitive eyes. They were my sister's eyes, and his were shining with life as hers would never shine again. I took him out of the box and held him close, one last time, tears wetting my eyelashes. Foolish thoughts of keeping the boy, stepping on a train, and running away from this whole mess began to enter my head, but thoughts of the last three hours crowded them out and I remembered that he would never be safe with me. As if to confirm my fears, there was a slipping sound not two feet behind me, followed by scrambling steps. My heart began to beat wildly and my mind went blank. I hastily put the baby back in the cardboard box, banged on the orphanage door a few times, and hurried back the way I had come. I refused to look behind me, but my back was tingling as if waiting for a bullet. It was two blocks before my mind relaxed enough to remember the last I saw of the boy… worried blue eyes but a relaxed mouth. He never cried.

Tears streamed down my own face, mixing with the rain, and I thought, Good boy, don't be afraid, don't cry. There have been too many tears in your world already.