He’s changed while he’s been gone.
The glinting metal piercing. The tattoo curling up his neck. The stench of smoke hanging around him.
But underneath he’s still my little boy.
He stands nervous, not meeting my teary eyes.
I reach out and embrace him.
“I love you, Mom,” he whispers.
Monica loves to make music, read, and write in the time she’s not slogging through piles of homework or caught in a consuming daydream.