“Geoffrey’s mother has surfaced. Calista and her lawyer came to see me today. She wants Geoffrey back!” I grimaced. “Or rather, I suspect the staff at the local Adam and Eve Forever Organization have convinced her she wants him back.”
Paolo collapsed into his chair. “But we legally adopted Geoffrey.”
“With the information that Geoffrey’s father was dead, and his mother had voluntarily terminated her parental rights then disappeared into a life of drugs and prostitution. Unfortunately, now she’s claiming rehabilitation and a change of heart,” I explained.
“Does she and this organization have a chance of taking Geoffrey from us?”
My throat tightened. “I’m afraid they have a very good chance, especially with a Republican-appointed judge.”
Noel rubbed his square jaw. “The Adam and Eve Forever Organization, huh?”
“Have you heard of them?” I asked.
Noel revealed a row of straight pearl white teeth. “They’ve heard of me. When I was a football player. The group led protests trying to get me fired from my team, and boycotts to take away my endorsements. I’m not surprised they’re after your son. Is there anything I can do to help?”
“Thank you, Noel, but Bobby is a lawyer.”
I had an idea. “Noel, would you be willing to come to our apartment for dinner tomorrow at six? It’s not far from here.”
“Paolo, please give Noel our address. See you at home. Thank you, Noel!”
I hurried out of the restaurant. As I ran the few blocks home, the sky enveloped the tall buildings around me in a blanket of peach, burgundy, and marigold. White cottony snowflakes landed on my face like manna of hope. No longer feeling panic and fear, like a bear protecting its cub, I resolved to protect our son from The Adam and Eve Forever Organization.
I entered the apartment to find Geoffrey sitting on the living room sofa, next to Jared. Looking like auditioners for the musical Wicked, their faces were green. I hung up my coat and joined them, trying to act as if my world hadn’t been blown apart.
“Hi, Dad.” Geoffrey came to me for a kiss.
I opted for a hug. “What’s going on?”
Geoffrey explained, “It’s never too early to start masking. Otherwise, your skin will be as dry as a Republican woman’s—”
“Sense of humor,” Jared said quickly.
“Did you do your nebulizer?” I asked Geoffrey.
Jared winced. “It nearly ruined his facial. Is that thing really necessary?”
“Yes. It keeps Geoffrey healthy.”
“What good is health without beauty?”
I offered Jared a stern glance. “I’ll fix dinner.”
“Make my favorite. Chicken, spinach, and oyster mushroom brown rice risotto.” Jared blew me a kiss.
“And lemon squares for dessert!” Geoffrey blew me an identical kiss.