Brian took a deep breath. This was it. The moment of truth had arrived.
“You’re very attached to him,” Hilary said.
Brian couldn’t bring himself to speak.
“And he obviously likes you. He seems to see you as a replacement mother.”
Brian still said nothing. He could feel beads of sweat forming on his head.
“Your request has been processed by the board, but they have yet to give a definite answer. It needs a lot of considering because of your job. But the board have said - ”
‘She’s going to say I have no chance,’ Brian thought in anguish. He had his eyes focused on the floor. He didn’t want her to see his pain.
“- that they’re going to grant you a trial period.”
“What?” Brian asked, hope in his voice as he looked up.
Hilary smiled at him. “This is an unusual case. Your relationship with Sammy is very special. I can see that and so I requested that you be given a trial period with him.”
“What does that mean, exactly?”
“It is your job that holds you back the most, mainly the travelling side. The board have yet to make a final decision but they believe that you will be capable of looking after Sammy while you are not on tour. Sammy will be placed in your care for two weeks. After this, the board will review how this period went and give you your final answer.”
“If the two weeks go well?” Brian said, hardly daring to believe what he was hearing.
“Then you should be able to keep him.”
“Thank you,” Brian said, unable to stop tears leaking out from his eyes.
“Don’t thank me yet, there’s no saying what the final decision will be.”
“But I have a chance?”
“As long as the two weeks go well, yes. You will be visited frequently during this period. If at any time you are thought to not be taking care of him, he will be taken away. You understand?”
Sammy suddenly walked back into the office and Brian felt a thrill of joy to think that he would be able to take him home with him soon for two weeks. After that, it wouldn’t be a problem because he knew that he would be able to look after him.
“Here you go,” Sammy said, handing Brian a picture.
Brian took it from him, smiling. It was mostly just blobs of colours but he could just make out a person…
“Is this a stage?” he asked.
“Yes. Look, it’s you on stage!”
Brian reached and hugged Sammy close. He felt tears falling from his eyes. Sammy was his now…
“Sammy?” Hilary said.
“Yes?” Sammy asked, turning around.
“Mr. Littrell here has offered to foster you. Would you like that?”
Brian saw Sammy’s eyes widen in excitement. “Really?” he said, staring at Brian with undisguised happiness.
“If you want me to,” Brian said, barely managing to get the words out he was so happy.
Sammy ran up and threw his arms about him. “Thank you! Thank you!” he said.
“You’ll be staying with Brian for two weeks, Sammy. If all goes well, you’ll be able to stay with him permanently,” Hilary said.
“What’s ‘permanently’ mean?” Sammy asked, his brow creasing in concern in case it was something bad.
“Forever,” Brian said.
“Yay!” Sammy replied, giving Brian another hug.
Brian held him close. He knew that nothing was going to stop him from keeping Sammy. He had felt this way since he had first picked him up and looked into his innocent, blue eyes. Sammy was meant for him and he knew it.