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Be Happy, finale

September 29, 2010

     They drove with the slow-moving traffic to Harold’s house.  It was in the middle of the block with a manicured lawn and packed flower beds, identical to all the other cute cookie-cutter houses.
     His parents were waiting.  They’d been called at work and told to return home.  They welcomed everyone into their immaculate home.
     “Is there anything wrong?”  Harold’s mom asked.
      “Well,” Ms. Wicker said gently, “Harold hasn’t been taking his meds.”
     Both his mom and dad acted surprised.
     “We give him his medication every morning and every night.”  His mom said.  “I watch him put it into his mouth.”
     “Well, he must be hiding it under his tongue and spitting it out later.”  Wicker said sympathetically. “You can see why we’re concerned.”
     “Certainly.”  Harold’s dad chimed in, “every child has a right to be happy.”
     “Exactly.  Which is why I’m here.  I just wanted to make sure that there was nothing at home that was influencing Harold in a less than positive way. Often this behavior is caused by something in the home.”
     “Feel free to look around and ask us anything.”  Harold’s dad said calmly.
     “Thanks” Ms. Wicker nodded her approval, “I appreciate it.  Oh, and one other thing.  I would like a urine sample from both of you to make sure you’re taking your medication.”
     Harold’s mom glanced over at her husband uncertainly, but he answered. “Sure.”
     “Great.”  Ms. Wicker handed them each a small vial.
     Harold’s mom went to the bathroom first with Wicker watching closely.  A quick test showed that she was taking her meds. 
     When Harold’s dad went, Ms. Wicker demanded that he drop his clothes.  When he reluctantly did, she gave a small cry of triumph as she snatched a small plastic pouch he had hidden on his body.  The pouch contained urine that would test positive for the right medications.
     “You do realize that these are illegal and falsifying tests is a serious offense.”
    Harold’s father didn’t say anything, but the smile had disappeared from his face.  His mother went running out of the room with a grin on her face.
    “Why did you stop taking your medication?”
    Harold’s father sighed, “Sometimes I don’t want to be happy.”
    “Everyone wants to be happy.”
    “Not me.”
    “An idea that you have somehow impressed on your son and endangered his welfare. I’m afraid it’s in the best interests of your son to remove him from your care.  You’ll be hearing from the court.”
     They took Harold back to the car.  He watched his house recede through the back window of the car.
     He was too happy to cry.

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