She knocked on the closed door. “Missy, its Callie. You need to open the door.”
Missy’s voice was tearful when it filtered through the door. “Please go away.”
“I can’t do that, sweetheart. Open the door.”
Callie’s patience was rewarded a few seconds later by the snick of the lock being turned. She pushed the door open, taking in the room at a glance. Drawers hung open, baby clothes dumped in a pile in the middle of the floor. Fairy tale print curtains had been stripped from the windows, the mattress and matching bedding taken out of the bed frame. Missy sat in a white rocker, holding a little pink box in her lap.
“I was cleaning.” Missy’s voice hovered somewhere between a whisper and a whimper.
“Do you need some help?”
Missy shook her head, refusing to meet Callie’s eyes.
“Do you feel like talking?”
Callie received another head shake in response. She took a position behind the rocker, placing her hands on Missy’s shoulders. She kneaded gently in an effort to relax some of the tension she felt in those knotted muscles.
“Jeff call you?”
“Yes, he was worried about you when you wouldn’t open the door.”
Missy lunged from the chair. She walked to the bare window and looked out wordlessly, clutching what was left of her child to her chest. “He’s not worried,” she accused. “Packing up the nursery was his idea. He just couldn’t wait to sweep Annie under the rug.” Missy faced Callie, her expression beyond grief. “I don’t think he ever wanted a baby. I think he’s glad she gone…don’t you?” Her voice broke on the final words.
Callie opened her arms to the distraught young woman. Missy stumbled into them with a groan. Callie wrapped her in a tight hug, holding her while she cried it out. She rubbed the heaving back, whispering words of encouragement in Missy’s ear, along with prayers for healing. When the sobs subsided, Callie held the younger woman at arm’s length. “No, Missy. I don’t think Jeff s glad about what happened. Do you really believe that?”
Missy closed her red eyes and drew in a shuddering breath. “I don’t know.”
Callie stood her ground and waited for Missy’s eyes met hers.
“No,” Missy whispered.
“You need to go tell him that,” Callie told her. “Jeff’s hurting too. He wanted to pack some of the reminders away so that you wouldn’t have to look at them every day.
“I’m not ready.”
“That’s fine. If keeping the nursery intact for a little while helps you cope then there’s nothing wrong with it.” Callie smoothed the hair from Missy’s face. “Sweetheart, grief is a process and it’s just like fingerprints, it’s different for everyone. No one can tell you what to do, how to do it, or how long it will take. The only thing I can tell you with any certainty is that you guys need to hang onto each other, now more than ever. Don’t let your hurt dig a gap between you that neither one of you can cross.”
“Callie, I’m so…”
Callie stopped her with a look. “Tell Jeff.”
Missy closed her eyes, allowing Callie to pull her back into her arms. Finally, she returned Callie’s hug. “Thanks,” she whispered as she left the room.
Callie busied herself for a few minutes, refolding the scattered baby clothes. She sniffed back tears of her own as she handled the tiny outfits. For just a second she found herself transported to her own empty nursery and shattered dreams. She ran her hand over the small stacks. Jesus help them heal.
She walked back to the front door, her footsteps silent on the carpeted floor. She paused briefly at the door. Missy sat in Jeff’s lap on the sofa, the pink box held between them. They whispered to, and cried with, each other, oblivious to Callie’s presence. She let herself out. They’d be OK for now.
***Our installment this week is a little long, but this seemed to be the nest place to break for the week. I hope you are enjoying the story. We're not done yet, I think we still have 4-5 before we start on a new thread. While you're here, please check out the tabs on the side bar. Karla is featuring 2 upcoming books this week, and Callie will have a new devotional for you sometime this weekend.
In the meantime what's your feelings about Callie's story so far. Can you identify with any part of her day so far?***