To see him stood like a sentinel beside his suitcase, a photo clutched to his chest, brought unstoppable tears to Maureen’s eyes.
‘That, my boy,’ his father had said, ‘is where we’re to live.’
‘Now you remember,’ Maureen told him. ‘You’re James Harris now.’
His father had officially adopted him. Maureen hadn’t realised it would remove her rights as his mother. ‘I can’t take him to Selma without it,’ he’d said.
And she was white and couldn’t go with them. She cursed that night they met at a dance on Mildenhall Air Base.
But this was best for the boy. Maureen Applegate’s black bastard—what else to expect from that family, the whole lot of them no-gooders, that’s what they said. No, James would do better there, amongst his own kind.
Written for What Pegman Saw
Based on a true story. Maureen never again saw her boy. She died of cancer five years later.