Oct. 18th, 2016

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It's been a good week at work. Aside from the usual work, one of the other consultants in his department has been searching for his missing nephew for weeks, and now has finally got a lead.

"The social workers think they may have located Joram." Dr Ahmadi told him one morning. "In Holby of all places."

"Perhaps your brother told him he had family here." Guppy says. "That sounds positive, anyway."

He didn't want to get his colleague's hopes up too much. Ever since Dr Ahmadi had heard of his brother and sister-in-laws' deaths in the Syrian war, they'd all tried to get the little boy found on social media. But with so many refugees in Europe, and so few making their way over to the UK, it had seemed like a needle in a haystack.

"So what happens now?" he asks.

"They're arranging a visit with the foster home." Dr Ahmadi smiles. "I have not seen Joram for many years, he was only three when I last saw him, he would be eight now. But we will talk and we will be able to find out if his father was my brother."

Guppy wishes him luck. As he leaves the office to go and pick the kids up from school, he passes a newspaper stand. The front pages of one of the papers criticises the country for taking refugee children. He stares at it for a moment, and sighs. A woman in front of him picks one up, makes a little haughty noise, and takes one of the papers to the cash register.

The kids had asked him what refugees were - especially after Fry's week at the community centre - but he'd given them quite a gentle version. What age should children find out the horrors of the real world? Joram has, and he's only a little older than Fry.

He is half way driving to Gil's nursery when he remembers that Gil started the nursery class today at Cherry Tree, the same school the older children go to, having reached an acceptable standard of toilet training. Apparently he had clung onto Fran's leg and howled this morning, which judging by all the emojis in her text had been rather harrowing.

He pulls into the school car park and heads into the nursery. He peeps into Nursery 2, hoping to avoid a prolonged conversation with Miss Brimstone, Brooke's teacher. No such luck. She spots him at once, and makes haste to get Brooke's coat.

"Dr Sandhu." she says, opening the door and looking rather flustered. "Do you think you could perhaps help Brooke think of a word beginning with O tonight that isn't a rude word?"

"I daresay I can." Guppy says. "Why, what did she come up with today for N?"

"Knob." Brooke declares, loudly.

"Brooklyn, that isn't very nice." Guppy says sternly. "Also, knob starts with a K, not an N."

"Yes." Brooke says, innocently. "Miss Brimstone writed it on the board to show me."

Guppy rolls his eyes, picks up her book bag, and goes to collect Gil from the next classroom. Apparently his first school day has all been a bit much for him; he's curled himself up on a cushion in the book corner asleep.

After some gentle prodding awake, Guppy scoops up his smallest small person. As he does so, a parent he recognises comes into the classroom.

"Oh, hey." Guppy smiles. "I didn't realise Esme-Rose and Anna came here."

The mum smiles politely. Esme-Rose runs up to her mum to put her coat on. Gil blinks blearily, then waves.

"Bye bye Elmo!"

Esme-Rose's mum gives him a look.

"Did he just call her 'Elmo'?"

"Oh, er, sorry, he's only little." Guppy says.

The other nursery children, who haven't had any success pronouncing Esme-Rose's name either up until this point, start also waving and saying 'Bye bye Elmo'.

"Ah, well, they're all quite little, er, see you at dance." Guppy says hurriedly, grabbing Brooke's hand and making a swift exit.


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