CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and EIGHTY-THREE
Tuesday morning — 11:05 a.m. MT
“You’re sure you’re going to be okay?” Aden asked.
Sandy gave him a slight nod.
“Okay,” Aden said. “Call me. No, scratch that. Don’t try to talk. Text me. I’ll come right back.”
Sandy gave him a slight smile. He shot her a worried glance, kissed her forehead, and left the room. Sandy listened as he made his way through the building. Finally, the front door opened and closed.
She was alone.
The children were all in school. O’Malley was in the basement playing his piano. Ava was at work. Even Maresol was out shopping.
Sandy sighed. This was the first time that she’d been really alone since everything had happened. She took a breath and then another.
The deep sorrow she’d pushed down came rushing forward. Tears rolled down her face, slowly at first, but soon she was sobbing.
She could hear herself at ten or possibly two saying: “Why do I have to hurt? Why does this happen to me and only me? What did I do?”
Past and present mixed. Her adult mind tried to put the brakes on the flood of images and pain, but she was on too much medication. Her resistance was too low.
Her dad — the one who’d rescued her and taken her from hell — was dead.
Her mother — the one who’d tried to keep her whole when she was being sold to have sex with men — was dead.
She was alive. She was in pain. Life is pain. Pain is life.
There wasn’t going to be anyone to help Sandy — not now, not ever.
Her body shook with sobs.
She would never get over this pain. She would never get well. And even if she did, something else would happen and she would be right here, all alone, in desperate, unspeakable pain.
She heard a sound and opened her eyes. Before her stood a brilliant light.
“You are never alone,” the light said.
It was her mother’s voice. Sandy was too stunned to remember her pain or her sorrow. She gawked at the light.
“I am with you,” the light said.
It was what her real mother, her birth mother, used to say to her every week when she’d have to return to hell.
“You are never alone. I am with you. Always.”
“Go to sleep,” the light said now. “Your soul is exhausted. Rest now.”
Sandy fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday…
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