She had suspected as much earlier, back when they first met, but Noah's suddenly pinched face confirmed it. When she glanced at him from over her shoulder, he was staring at her table as if the oak grain were a television.
Her heart twisted a little as she turned back to wait for the microwave. Either he ran away from his mom and dad or he ran away from a caretaker. He didn't seem the type to not appreciate a good family- the small light of hope in his eyes when she agreed to show him around the clinic, the cautious smile as they spoke, the gratitude when he had to leave and she didn't ask questions- he was a shy, sensitive kid that she had to surprise into a smile. Even if he didn't have the greatest parents, he didn't have the heart to leave them the way she did hers.
The beep of the microwave hid her low chuckle. This was the second time today that she found that she shared something in common with someone else.
Charlie grabbed the potholder next to the stove and carefully carried one of the mugs to the table. "Here you go. If you want more sugar, cinnamon, or anything, just let me know," she said gently. Noah, never lifting his gaze, bobbed his head and mumbled his thanks.
Now I REALLY need that chocolate, she thought. But she never made it far enough.