Jamison is nine years old and a boy of wonder ― and he feels every ounce of excitement and nervousness as he sits in the back of a cop car and turns his head over a shoulder to glance over at the condemned apartment he’s shared for so long with the woman who claims she’s his ‘mother.’ “It’ll be alright, son,” the unfamiliar man in the familiar uniform says, clasping gloved hands to the steering wheel and shifting his gaze in the rear-view mirror to catch the young boy’s attention. Jamison turns in his seat, facing forward again; he gives a curt nod and shifts his hands between his thighs, bouncing his knees. This isn’t the first time he’s sat in the back of a cop car but from the way he’s acting, it seems like it is. Usually when he’s in the backseat of a cop car, his wrists are cuffed together behind him and the officer is going through a plethora of reasons why he’s a fuck-up or how he’s going to be when he gets older, but the person before him in the driver’s seat seems much more understanding and concerned for his well-being. It’s odd to say the least, and Jamison’s nose wriggles as the woman in the passenger seat speaks up, “We’re taking you somewhere safe. We promise, Jamison.” There are whispers buzzing around and rumors spreading that they’re taking him some place far away from Sheila. He’s told that he won’t see her again and that “it’s for the best,” and surprisingly enough, he doesn’t have a sinking feeling about any of it. Jamison lets out a sigh and eases into the leather cushion of his seat. A sense of relief washes over him and he doesn’t bother to look back twice at the building that they tell him will soon go under as well.

At the station, he’s a ball of uneasiness and the authorities pick right up on it. For once, he’s made it downtown without committing a crime and while that makes him feel good – deep down, he’s starting to panic over the unknown and it puts him on edge. He sulks from one room to another, whisked here and there by adults he’s never seen before, who all tell him it won’t be much longer and that he’s going to be fine. Before, there had been some talk of placing him in a juvenile penitentiary or having him enter in a reforming program, but now his actions and the reasons why he’s landed himself in the same place over and over again are starting to make sense. The lying, the stealing, the lashing out. A woman in a white robe deems him troubled, “but for good reason.” The papers hoisted on the clipboard and piled on the commissioner’s desk indicate that he’s been abused and neglected. “Everything he’s done up until this point has been done to ensure his own survival,” another woman claims; her features are softer than the lady in the white robe who leers over at him with a smile that seems way too forced and quite frankly, makes him feel even more out of place as he sits in the commissioner’s office. “Jamison, it’ll be okay,” they reassure him. “We’re going to make sure you never have to worry about not having a meal to eat and if you have clean clothes,” coos one woman, clasping a hand to his shoulder and giving it a reassuring squeeze. “We’ll take care of you. Don’t worry,” they chant, almost in unison. And like a nine-year-old boy of wonder, Jamison beams and believes them ― never once thinking about how they could be lying, or how all adults seem to lie in the end anyways.