“Please, she needs me, she’s hungry. And she reacts to formula.” That last part wasn’t true, but Sergio couldn’t blame her for saying so. Perhaps they’d be allowed to hold her.
The older officer thought for a moment, “Okay, we’ll let you feed her,” Kat sighed with relief. The officer turned to his junior, “Put her in the opposite cell, though. We don’t want the illegal trying anything stupid.”
“I wouldn’t…” Sergio began, but Kat put a hand on his arm. He nodded, reluctantly. These men obviously didn’t understand their situation. It was better this way because it allowed Kat to care for the girl.
Steven approached the cell and ordered Sergio to back up against the wall. He did so, and the officer led Kat out of the cell, then into the one right next to it. The older officer grabbed Alice’s carseat and placed it inside the cell with Kat. Then they shut and locked the door.
Alice was glad to see her mother again. She made a few babbling noises that cut off as Kat started to feed her. Both of the officers had moved on to other things, probably filing paperwork or letting their superiors know what was going on.
Once Kat had finished feeding, she started playing with the baby, making funny faces and bouncing the girl up and down. Sergio chuckled to himself. Here they were, facing prosecution and Kat was finding ways to deal with it. He, on the other hand, was far more concerned. As the accused illegal immigrant, he had a good chance of being deported. And if they learned his true identity, there’s no way that Invergence wouldn’t find out and come looking for him, his wife, and his child. His thoughts broke off when Kat called to him.
“Sergio!” she exclaimed, “Sergio, look!”
He looked. It took a moment to spot what Kat wanted him to see, but he finally saw it. Alice was smiling! They’d seen the expected half-smiles before, but those were more like Alice learning to use her facial muscles. This was a genuine smile! Little Alice stared at her mother with the cutest grin on her face as Kat bounced her up and down on her lap. It was the most beautiful thing Sergio had ever seen.
He leaned against the bars that separated them. For once, he forgot all about the predicament they were in, he forgot about Invergence, the three men who had harassed them, the police, or the thought of deportation. All he thought about was that beautiful expression on his daughter’s face.
His daughter. A wave of pure delight swept through him, pure love for the two people sitting in the other cell.
A paramedic arrived and entered Sergio’s cell. He asked a few routine questions about Sergio’s health, took a blood sample, and did a few tests.
Sergio hardly noticed. He kept glancing back at Alice, who was still smiling, particularly when her mother bounced her even higher. It wasn’t until the paramedic finished with him, and moved on to talk to Kat, that Sergio’s worries returned.
He would not be separated from his family. Just the fact that he couldn’t hold Alice right now was excruciating enough. He would find a way out of this.
The hint of a plan began to form in his head, and he waved to get the paramedic’s attention.
“Uh, hi, one question,” he said, “Can I get my phone call?”
The paramedic looked at him. Then with an annoyed expression, he went to get the older police officer, who arrived a moment later to talk to Sergio. The paramedic went right back to Kat, though she was now distracted, wondering what Sergio had in mind.
The police officer agreed to let Sergio have a phone. Sergio quickly dialed a number he had memorized a few weeks back. He hadn’t thought he would need it so soon.
The number rang for a long moment, and Sergio’s heart stood still. Then, blessedly, a cheery voice answered.
“Hello,” the voice said. “This is Simon, may I ask who’s calling?”