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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I Stole Evil - Chapter 5

 That knock never came…
 …and everyday I loved Carmina more and more.
 She became more beautiful and was a joy to be around.
 By the time she was 6 months old, she drew attention from everyone who saw her.
 Everyday, when the weather permitted, we took walks around town.
 And each time, people would walk up to us and say things like, “Oh, she’s so beautiful.”
 Or, “You’re lucky to have such a gorgeous baby.”
 Although it made me feel sort of proud…
 It also bothered me a little as I wondered how people reacted to my real baby…where ever she was.
 It also made me wonder why no one seemed to be trying to find Carmina.
 Everyday, I checked the newspaper to see if there was an article about a baby being kidnapped from the hospital,
 Or about a baby being abandoned…
 But there never was.
 It should have made me feel relieved, but it bothered me a little, because it just didn’t seem right.
 Still, even at my worst moments…just being around Carmina never failed to make all the fear and worries melt away temporarily. 
 She was like a drug and she made my world brighter and brighter until the night that I had the dream.
 Carmina was asleep in her crib...
 And Nick was already asleep next to me when I finally crawled into bed.
 Soon after I laid my head on the pillow, I began to dream.
 “Mommy,” a tiny voice called out.
 “Mommy,” the voice repeated.
 I turned around and there she was, the baby that I had abandoned at the hospital. She appeared to be about 6 months old, yet she was standing up.  The spot where her eye should have been looked swollen and puffy.
 Although she was too young to talk, she spoke in a soft sad voice.  “Beware…she’ll get you when she turns four.”
 All I could do was stare.  “She’ll get you,” she repeated and added in soft a gravelly voice, “and you’ll be punished.” 

Those last words resonated through every nerve in my body and caused every hair to stand.
 But even that didn’t touch me as much as her next words.  Her one eye filled with tears and her small soft voice quivered, “I loved you.”
 My eyes filled along with hers, but no tears fell and I wasn’t able to return her words of love.  My mouth felt cemented shut to hold in emotions that threatened to spill out.
 “I loved you!”  she repeated in a much louder, forceful voice.  “I love you and you LEFT ME!”

The overwhelming guilt finally gave me the push I needed to speak, “Stop it!”  I said, but my voice sounded feeble next to hers.
 “I loved you mommy…I loved you and she’s gonna get you!”  She repeated again and again.

“Stop it!”  I yelled; unable to handle the words that made me feel as if I were unraveling slowly; losing my mind.  “Please, stop it!”

 Startled... awake, with the words still fresh on my lips, “Stop it,” I said one final time, as if the baby was standing in my room.
 With a heavy heart, I pulled back the covers; knowing that any further attempts at sleep would be in vain.
 The baby’s words still rang in my thoughts… ‘she’ll get you when she turns four.’

Nick was now awake beside me.  “It was just a dream Di,” he said as if he knew what was going on in my head.  And I wanted to believe him.  I really did.
“Come here,” he said.  I crawled back under the covers and allowed him to hold me.  He caressed my shoulder and whispered the reassuring words once again, “It was just a dream.”

Just a dream, my thoughts wanted to rationalize, but in my heart it felt more like a warning.



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