I held my breath, waiting until that electronic tone sounded loudly in my ear, unsure - or maybe just unwilling to accept that she'd hung up. I resisted the white hot angry urge to throw it out of the window or to the floor or against the wall - anywhere, anywhere to get it as far away from me as possible. I oh-so-carefully put the phone down on the kitchen worksurface, and he was next to me already.
As his long arms wrapped tightly around me I could suddenly feel myself shaking, and I breathed deeply, trying to let go, but just shook more. One hand smoothing my hair, the other stroking my back, his voice against my ear:
"What she's forgetting is that she was only my family by chance. You are my family because I chose you."