After years of heartbreak, the adoption agency finally called. We were happy. We were complete. At least, until the sickness engulfed his tiny frame.

He offered to help. In exchange I’d have to sacrifice another human on my son’s first birthday. I’d have taken a worse deal. He kept his word. When the dreaded day came, I kept mine. Her eyes will haunt me forever.

I hid the body and returned home. My hands still trembled. My wife greeted me with a bemused look. “You won’t believe this. The adoption agency called a few minutes ago. Apparently there was a mix up with his birth certificate. They said his actual birthday is on the fourth of next month.” She looked around at the decorations she had spent all day putting up and laughed. “What a waste,” she said. I nodded in agreement.

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