Vincent had been following in his father’s footsteps. He had been doing his best to ensure he was always stepping towards being a better man. As such, he had taken on a handful of pro-bono cases.
Since he had moved to Toronto to start an architecture company, he had opened himself up for legal advice no longer being able to practice law on this side of the Atlantic. Although architecture had always intrigued him, it lacked the interaction he craved. He still wanted to be able to reach out and change someone’s life for the better.
Free of charge, he had agreed to see a woman about giving up her parental rights to the city in order to get treatment. The specifics of the case hadn’t been thoroughly read. He had been up trying to convince Harrison that Toronto would be better for him than Yorkshire.
Meredith had refused to make the move, but had agreed to have Harrison accompany him for a month. He was hoping in the end, it would be Harrison that told Meredith he wanted to stay.
Walking up to the townhouse in the community housing, he opened the screen door and knocked. There was some coughing inside before the door swung open.
The woman who opened the door was pretty but looked like she had lived the kind of life that had completely worn her down. She had purple circles under both her eyes, her cheeks were hollowed, and she was overly thin. Pushing her long chestnut hair back over her shoulders, she gave him an empty smile. “Hello.”
“Hi, I am Vincent King. I spoke to you on the phone about-”
“The lawyer.” She interrupted.
Nodding, he waited for her to open the door to him. He stepped inside the dimly lit townhouse and waited for him to gesture him over to the leather sofa. He sat down, waiting for her to sit down next to him before he opened his briefcase and pulled out her file. “Alright Mrs. Wilde. I was informed that you will be signing yourself into an institute to get some help for…” He paused, looking for her condition.
“Bi-polar.” She told him. “It has been getting a lot worse since my husband left about two weeks ago. I’ve been down more than up…” She trailed off. “It’s a weird confusion. I have been living with it for so long, holding it at bay, building walls so that the world would see me as normal. All the while, every smile made a crack in it. Weakening it. Then Michael left and… everything came crashing down.”
He was sympathetic, but that didn’t change his stance on anything. “You do realize if you sign your daughter over to the city, there is a chance you may not be declared fit enough to get her back later on.” He had already told himself he was going to try to sway her against her decision. Once her daughter ended up in foster care, she could be lost, unable to be given back to her mother due to her mental illness. “Aside from that, should her father return, he could easily obtain custody and keep you from seeing her in the future.” He could never imagine giving Harrison up, not even to his own mother.
Mrs. Wilde shook her head. “She’s not safe here with me.”
“Isn’t there a friend or family member you could leave her with?”
“No. Just Michael, and I have no idea where he is.” She clasped her hands together in her lap.
A small girl walked in the back door and through the kitchen. She paused before walking into the living room, looking from her mother to Vincent and back before placing her school bag on the floor and smiling at him. “Hi. You must be the lawyer.”
He was shocked that she knew who he was. Standing, he walked over and gave the little girl his hand. She must have been the same age as Harrison, yet she seemed so much smaller, so much more frail. “My name is Vincent King. You must be Sparrow.”
Smiling up at him, she nodded. Reaching into her back pack, she walked over to her mom and handed her a sandwich before walking up the stairs and towards what he could only assume was her bedroom.
His heart ached.
Turning back to Mrs. Wilde, he sat down. “I just can’t imagine seeing her being signed over to the city, having her end up in a group or a foster home.” Before he knew what he was saying, he was giving her his card. “Look, I am a good, honest man. I have a son of my own around her age. I could look after her for you while you are away, and then when you get out, you can come and get her. No questions asked.” Meredith was going to kill him. “Please think about it. It would be so much better for her than signing her away.”
As he climbed back in the car, he was unable to turn the key in the engine. He wanted nothing more than for his phone to ring and for Mrs. Wilde to tell him she had thought about it and he was right and he could take her Sparrow for her, keep her safe.
That poor girl. Abandoned by her father, being left by her mother so soon after. It was so much to lose in such a small amount of time and he wanted to be there, to comfort her when she felt the world falling out from under her.