He combed a hand through his hair and allowed his head to droop below his shoulders. One shoulder he rolled back and then the other, trying in vain to loosen knots as big as ping pong balls out of his muscles. Maybe he should exercise more, he thought and then smiled to himself grimly. He’d have plenty of time for that later.
With a roll of his neck, he repositioned his head and took in the room’s surroundings. Everything looked, unfortunately, familiar. The walls, floors, and curtains appeared as if they had been doused in bleach. A plant, which hadn’t blossomed in weeks now, remained on the side table; bits of the leaves lay crushed on the floor and slung over the metal headboard was Reagan’s grey sweater she had worn her first night here.
But there was something new on the room’s whiteboard—a smudge of purple, which, when he refocused his eyes, spelled out “Happy birthday Luke” in large purple letters. A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth and standing from his chair, Sean shuffled over to the wall display, where nurses had crookedly hung physician’s notes, pictures, and a birth certificate using confetti-colored pushpins.
His eyes skipped immediately to the parchment with curled tips and ornate handwriting and, tracing his finger along the bumpy black ink down to the golden seal emblazoned near the bottom, he felt a chill shoot from his fingertip down to his feet. “Luke Sean Cedrus: July 9, 1991. Son of Sean and Reagan Cedrus.” And right below, in his own scribbled penmanship, “Bringer of Light.” Sean took the certificate in his hands, folded it into fourths, and tucked the paper into his coat pocket. He didn’t want this lying around, not after tonight.