From the journal of Maribelle Tate:
I’m glad I sent Blaine packing. I think Adam might have killed him for yelling at me.
Blaine is right on that one account. Adam is WAY too attached to me. Judi, too, but not as much. He wants to be around me all the time. Like Mister Jones when he’s hungry, following me around. I had to run to the store and get some food (and DAMN how much meat Adam goes through! The checkout girl at Wal-Mart must have thought I was going to open my own butcher shop!) and Adam didn’t like that I was leaving. Judi stayed with him, of course. But he wanted HER to go to the supermarket and me to stay. I told him that we were taking turns, but not that I needed a little time away, just for myself. Is this how it feels to have a kid?
One thing I can say. My fear of Adam is all gone now. I don’t feel nervous anymore, being around him. I know he’d never do anything to hurt me. I just know. Blaine couldn’t understand that, and I guess I don’t, either, but it’s just something I know, without being able to explain how I know it. Adam would never hurt me, or let me get hurt. Not if he could help it.
Tomorrow we head out. Me and Judi and Adam. On the weirdest road trip in history, bar none. We’re taking Judi’s Pathfinder. Can you imagine poor Adam squeezed into the back of my little Toyota?
Please, God, please, please, please don’t let us run into any police checkpoints. Or overzealous traffic cops. Not that we’ll be speeding. No way. Maybe three or four miles over the limit so we don’t look suspicious. It’s about 275 miles from Atlanta to Folkston. A five-hour drive. We’re carrying some water in a cooler for Adam. As for bathroom breaks, well, I hope he can hold it that long, or Judi’s gonna have to get her SUV cleaned out.
Maybe he’ll sleep the whole time. Or read. I got him this book while I was out, about sign language. LEARN SIGNING THE EASY WAY, or something like that. I figure if Adam and me and Judi could learn it, we could “talk” without needing a computer. Adam seemed thrilled when I gave it to him. I got one for me and Judi, too.
Yep. Tomorrow we’re going home.
It was a simple enough decision. Adam can’t stay here. That’s a given. He’d go nuts cooped up, and it would just be a matter of time before somebody discovered him here. No, we knew we had to get him someplace where he could, for all intents and purposes, disappear from the face of the earth. And it just so happens I grew up in such a place. Or right next to it.
The Okefenokee is a protected wildlife habitat. 438,000 acres. Plenty of water, and game to eat, deer and wild pigs. Heck, even alligators. I grew up going fishing there with Dad. I know firsthand how easy it would be to get lost in there, or vanish. Some people have even reported seeing Bigfoot out there in the swamp. Hey, if Bigfoot can hide in there, so can Adam, right?
It’s not Africa, but I hope Adam can be happy there.
He seemed to like the idea once I promised him I would visit him there. Often. We just have to get him there without anybody knowing about it. We should be able to manage it, if our luck holds. It’s not THAT long a drive. There’s just one thing left to do to get ready. The thing I’ve been putting off: I’ve gotta call Dad. How am I going to explain this one?
Growing up, Dad hated every boy I ever brought home. How’s he going to react to THIS one?
Guess we’ll find out soon enough.