I Will Remember You
"Please, you can't do this. Don't take my son away." The father said, tears in his eyes, body weary and heavy as he looked at the stern woman in front of him. A little boy clung to his father's leg, hiding behind it, unsure of what was happening, but understanding that it wasn't good.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Hummel," she said flatly. "But you don't have the means to take care of your son. I know that your wife's passing has dissolved most of your funds, and I am sorry for your loss. But until you can take care of both yourself and your son I'm afraid we'll have to take him into the state's custody."
The boy looked up at his father. "Daddy?"
"It's alright, buddy." He patted his hair before looking at the woman again. "Please, all I need is three weeks. Three weeks and I can get-"
"And until then, Mr. Hummel, we'll have to keep your son in a group home," she said. "I will give you an hour with your son to pack his things."
Burt swallowed hard, bending down and picking up his child, who buried his face in his shirt. "Kurt, let's go inside for a minute."
The little boy looked up at his father when they got inside. "Come on, Kurt," he said, stretching out his hand. The little boy took it, following him upstairs.
"Daddy?" He said, watching his dad dig out his suitcase from under the bed. "Daddy, where are we going?" Burt swallowed, glad his son couldn't see the tears in his eyes.
"You're going on a trip, buddy," he said, voice steady. Kurt frowned.
"By-by myself? Why aren't you coming?" He asked, voice small. Burt smiled at him, still bent on one knee.
"Because this is a very special trip that only certain big boys get to go on," he said, touching his nose. Kurt smiled.
"Uh huh. And because you've been such a big brave boy after what happened to Mommy they picked you to go on this trip." Kurt's smile slowly faded as he looked around, eyes finally coming to a rest on his face.
"I don't wanna go. You need me here. I'll just tell them I can't go," he said simply. A fresh wave of sobs tried to escape Burt's throat. He swallowed again.
"I'll be just fine, Kurt. Don't worry about me, okay?" He said, patting his shoulder. "You just go and have fun."
Kurt looked at the floor, eyes wet when he looked back at him. "Daddy, why are you lying to me?" Burt's broken heart only twisted harder. He hugged him tight, rocking him slightly.
"Kurt, I…I need you to go with those people outside for just a little while, okay? You'll be going somewhere with a lot of other little kids that you can play with," he smiled, trying to make it less painful for one of them. "I'll be there to get you before you know it."
"Did…did I do something wrong?" He trembled.
"No!" He hugged him again. "No, no, no, buddy. You didn't do anything wrong, okay? I promise. Now I need you to be a good boy for me while your there, okay? Can you do that for me?"
Kurt started to cry, burying his face in Burt's shirt. "Daddy, please, I don't wanna go. Please don't make me go. Mommy lived here." Burt nodded, a tear escaping to his cheek.
"I know, I know, Kurt. But Daddy doesn't have a choice, okay? I need you to be strong for me for a little while."
Kurt sniffed, looking at him. "Okay, Daddy."
Kurt packed his suitcase with clothes he picked out himself, making sure he had enough bowties to survive on for awhile. His Maria bonnet was tucked in the bottom along with a picture of him with his Mommy and Daddy, smiling and happy. He set his favorite scarf on top of everything, straightening his Mary Jane's and sliding his comb in beside it.
He had a backpack filled with toys, a tiny pillow his Mommy had sewn together for him when he was a baby, his very worn copy of "The Velveteen Rabbit" Nana had given him a few years ago and a Cubs baseball cap Daddy had bought him at his first game.
He held his Raggedy Ann doll at his side, backpack over his shoulder, suitcase rolling behind him. Burt bend down in front of him, pinning something to his vest. "Your mom was gonna give you that on your birthday," he said softly. Kurt looked at the airplane brooch on his vest, toying with it for a moment. Burt kissed his forehead, hugging him tight.
"Just one more minute," he croaked. "Be good, okay?" Kurt nodded.
"Please don't take too long, Daddy," he whispered. Burt nodded, giving him one more kiss and just one more squeeze before letting him go.
Kurt sobbed all the way to the car, head bowed, refusing to hold the mean lady's hand. He climbed in the car without a fuss, sniffling and holding onto his doll for dear life. He waved at his daddy as the car pulled away, refusing to break down until he was out of sight.
Burt watched the car pull out of sight, waving back at his little boy before he fell to his knees, sobbing hard. He looked up at the sky. "Watch him, Elizabeth. And for the love of God, keep him safe."
"See? This doesn't seem too bad, does it?" The woman asked sweetly, looking up at the house.
It was a pretty nice neighborhood, as Kurt noted when he looked around. But the house in front of him looked weary, worn and tired, unlike the rest of the fresh and new houses around him. He could see the little playground that made up the backyard…and the older boys and girls smoking in the alley on the other side of it. He shivered, scared.
"There's lots of little friends for you to play with, Kurt," she said, still smiling at him. "And you'll have a room with other boys your age and everything. You'll have a lot of fun."
He said nothing as he walked toward it, going up the stairs with his head high, tears suppressed.
The mean lady knocked on the door, still smiling to assure him it was alright.
An older woman, probably Nana's age, looked down at him, smiling. "Well aren't you just darling?" She pinched his cheek. He jerked away, glaring at her. "Ooh, spitfire, huh?"
"He's just a little upset," Mean Lady explained.
"Aw, it's alright, pumpkin. It's not so bad here," she said. She looked at Mean Lady, a cigarette hanging out of her mouth. "So what is it? Drunk dad, druggie mom?" Kurt scowled at the ground, wishing he had the guts to just run away.
"No," Mean Lady said, "his mother passed away and his father is having a hard time financially."
"I'm going home soon," he grumbled. She patted his head, and once again he jerked from her.
"I'm sure you are, honey."
Kurt didn't hear the rest of the conversation. He didn't start paying attention again until he was being ushered inside. He looked around at the wilted staircase and the torn wallpaper. The rug under his feet was stained and it reeked of cigarette smoke. He squeezed his doll again.
"All of the rooms with boys your age are full, kiddo," the older woman said as he followed her up the stairs. "So you'll have to stay in here with James."
He looked at the bedroom. The walls were decorated with loud, angry posters of bands that he'd never heard of, and some that he couldn't even read. What he assumed was his half of the room was at least clean, a bare twin bed in front of him.
"I'll get you some sheets, okay? Did you bring your own pillow?" He thought of the tiny pillow in his backpack and nodded. "Good. I'll be right back."
He stood, legs shaking as he stepped over to the bed. He looked around, peering out the window, getting a view of the front yard across the street.
A little boy was pushing a fake lawnmower that blew bubbles. Tears welled in his eyes as he watched a woman come up behind him, scooping him in her arms and twirling him around. The boy laughed and giggled with his mother, something Kurt would never get to do again.
He sat on the bed, buried his face in his hands, and cried.
-I'm warning you now, folks, this is going to get pretty bad. More soon but for now tell me what you think!-