Little Dreams by Justice Beers

Bearing children is the light of most women’s life, yet the ability of creating a mini version of herself was snatched from Meredith. She was infertile and has been since she was a little girl, yet her dream was to have a child of her very own. Her and her husband, Russell, had discussed various forms of getting a baby in their arms. She was against surrogacy, and adoption was too long of a process. Her husband wanted to adopt, yet Meredith had discovered another option: Little Dreams.

Little Dreams is a social network where you can swipe right to like an orphan or swipe left if you would rather have a different one. You can see the profile of orphans and text them if you match with one another. Meredith thought this idea was genius, yet her husband thought it was unethical. Sure, it may be unethical, but it is a good way to get an orphan quickly.

Russell had made his disapproval of Little Dreams clear when the two of them began discussions on adoption. Despite his disapproval, Meredith went behind his back and created an account for ‘The Wilson Family’, which she labeled as a loving and growing family. She wanted a child, and she was not willing to wait just because her husband deemed it unethical. She then began swiping on the app, seeing children who were in desperate need for homes. Meredith had strict standards of what she wanted. For example, her first kid had to be a boy. She was not about to have a daughter prior to having a son. She had many other standards. She did not swipe right on many children.

After she had swiped right on 2 children, she got a popup. Little Dreams was no longer allowing her to swipe, without cost. It listed the following prices:

$499.99 monthly subscription: ten right swipes for each day

$999.99 monthly subscription: unlimited right swipes

$1999.99 monthly subscription: unlimited right swipes and you see which orphans match you

Meredith’s eyes scanned over the list of prices. They were expensive, but it was cheaper than it would ever be to adopt a child. She contemplated for a moment, taking a sharp inhale before she clicked the button to purchase the most expensive subscription. She wanted to find the perfect son, no matter what it took. Hopefully her husband would not notice the two grand that would disappear from their joint bank account. Not even he could stop her from her dream life and her dream son.

For the past few days, Meredith had been swiping relentlessly on orphans when she was not under the gaze of her husband. She had strict standards, so it was hard to find the perfect child for her. Most of them who swiped right on her were not good enough. Perhaps orphan Tinder was too good to be true. Well, that was until she made another match with a six year old boy named Wesley. This boy was her dream son. She had to message him;

The Wilson Family: Hello Wesley! I’m Meredith and my husband Russell is the man shown in the photos. We are looking to adopt a little boy and take him in with warm, loving arms- and from what I see from your profile, you seem like the perfect match for us! I’d love to get to know you better.

Wesley: Hi! I would love to join your family if I get to know you better.

That is how it all began. Every spare moment Meredith had, she spent texting Wesley. It gave her a rush of adrenaline, she was finally able to get what she wanted: a son of her very own. She could already feel herself loving this boy; she would only have to figure out how to bring this up with Russell, who had no idea why his wife had been glued to her phone all of a sudden. 

After a week of his wife speaking to Wesley, Russell discovered the truth. He noticed the loss in their bank account, it was nearly impossible for him to not notice 2,000 dollars being taken away for something called ‘Little Dreams’. He did not know what that was; he knew of sites to get orphans like this, but he knew none by name. He turned to research, discovering what the site was. His wife went behind his back. He could not believe it. He went to snoop on her phone after seeing the purchase, clicking the app and seeing how often she had been chatting with this specific boy. He checked out Wesley’s profile. He seemed like a sweet kid. Maybe he was wrong; maybe this was the way to find the perfect child.

The next day, he knew he needed to confront his wife. “Meredith, why have you been texting a little boy behind my back?” He questioned his wife. He was aggravated with the betrayal but he knew it was out of a good place. 

His wife turned flustered at the confrontation, “because I want a son, Russell. He is everything I’ve ever wanted. I want to meet him. I was going to tell you but I did not want to make you upset.”

Russell snorted at that, “When were you going to tell me? After you got custody of him? I’ve had enough with this bullshit, Mer.” Meredith then had tears streaming down her face, all she wanted was a child. Perhaps Russell was being cruel, and he realized this. “Fine. You can meet him but I’m coming with you.” Her tears vanished as a smile crossed over her delicate features. She could have her little dream come true.

Russell let Meredith plan a meeting with Wesley, and within a few days he was driving her to the cafe where they agreed to meet. Meredith was beaming with excitement, yet Russell was not hopeful this was going to work out. This had to be too good to be true; this silly little dating site could not actually land them the perfect son, could it? 

He followed his wife’s lead into the cafe, his eyes darting around. He did not see a little boy yet, perhaps he had not arrived? Suddenly an old man who sat alone with a cup of black coffee looked up at them and croaked out, “Meredith?”

Meredith whipped her head over to look at the old man, “Do I know you?”

He chucked sadistically, a smug smirk covering his lips, “You don’t recognize me? Come on Mommy, it’s Wesley.”

Her eyes widened as her face filled with fear, “Where is the boy?”

“There is no boy, Meredith. You have been speaking to me all along.” The old man brought her to reality, and with that phrase, she darted out of the door with tears.

“All I wanted was a son.” She muttered to her husband, wiping her tears from her eyes as she got in the car.

“I know dear, but perhaps Little Dreams was not as good as a dream. It’s more of a nightmare.” He muttered to her, rubbing his thumb over her hand in a form of reassurance. “You’ll get your dream son one day, I promise.”

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