A Boy in the Torn Jacket

by Taras Bereza

Having survived a horror of an early morning bombardment, the boy in the torn jacket started seeking his mom first thing in the morning. With no whereabouts of her in the shelter all wrapped up in debris and rubble, Ian continued his own search mission full of faith.

“Where’s my mom,” a howling cry came from the abandoned 9-year-old kid. Removing remains of concrete, brick, and steel, Ian desperately attempted to uncover his mother’s body. The dearest soul would have hugged him tightly now, though there was no hope at all.

I stood and watched the scene in deep despair. The one I thought would have only been possible in war films or on CNN reporting on another calamity. What would I do in Ian’s place, or as one of those who had just lost their dearest and nearest?

Then, the aged man appeared as though from the middle of nowhere. He took Ian’s hand and asked his name. Unnerved and deeply depressed, the kid would not mutter a word. The senior represented local Social service to collect homeless children after the night’s turmoil.

Having lived through the dire straits of the orphanage, I tapped the man on the shoulder and offered to adopt Ian on the spot. A pair of bottle-green eyes that filled with a shock of loss suddenly shone with a beam of hope.

“Are you sure you’d cope?” the man reacted in disbelief.

“Yes, sir, I would,” I cut him short.

Over 20 years now, I have never regretted a lifetime choice that came through a snap decision I had made that wintry morning on the outskirts of the ghost town. Symbolically, Ian replaced us our once-unborn-child. Our ‘diamond in the sky,’ as we tend to call him.