Friday, January 13, 2012

Chapter Fifty-one

Chapter 51
Funter Bay, Alaska
12:37 AM

Deb lay on the bed in Bob’s guestroom.  She looked at her watch and heard the ticks of the sweep hand.
Reality hit her hard.
Her father’s loss.
Jake was somewhere in the world, fighting back against the evil that threatened Moira, threatened her, threatened him. She prayed he was still alive.
The wind rattled the house.
Deb had never felt so alone, so numb, so grief-stricken in her entire life.
Time had moved so fast. Now it felt like it had stopped.  She stared down at the face of the Timex and waited for the next tick. 
An eternity.
Tears streamed down her face.
At the next tick of the watch she buried her face in the pillow and sobbed.  Her mind recoiled and rebelled at the thought of being so far away from home, so adrift, so alone. 
Of course she had Moira, and Tonka.  But how did this happen to her?  She loved them, and had wanted something to blossom with Jake for a while.  But …
But not like this.
Not this screeching, horrific, mind bending journey one step ahead of rogue government agents trying to kill them, kill her.  Not the gaping hole of fear that filled her, wondering if Jake was already dead or …
She sobbed into the pillow until her tears ran dry.
When her tears dried and her sobbing ceased, she lay still and listened to the house respond to the wind.  The pop of the fire in the woodstove and the stove's fan murmured downstairs.  Tonka snored on the sofa beside Moira. 
The middle of the night exaggerates all our fears, she thought.  Her clinical mind knew that.  Her soul did not.
She sat up, pulled some pillows over and propped them against the headboard, sat up and stared back at the darkness.
I won’t give in. I won’t give up. I will not break.
Even though fear chilled her core, she forced herself to think about the good in her life.  She thought back to Mr. Spiers rocking Moira in his wheelchair, to Grace and Norris’ amazing kindness, and now the pure chivalry of Bob Maloney – whose warmth and generosity sheltered them.  Thinking on their warm words, their gentle natures and quiet strength suffused Deb with courage. 
Images of Moira’s laughter, of Tonka’s loyal gazes, of their ability to continue being themselves in the wreckage of what life had thrown at them – it was … amazing.  Deb sighed.  How can they be so strong?
She hugged a pillow to her chest and listened to the house.
Why have all these strangers been so good to us when everything else has been so … so very bad?
She stared ahead, set herself, then turned on the light.  She fumbled in her backpack and found her notepad and pen.  She looked at the pen, a Fisher Space Pen, the same kind astronauts used.  It was a gift from her father the day she went off to college.  The tears resumed but a smile dawned on her face as she remembered his admonition always to keep pen and paper handy at all times.
Her father’s words filled her heart.  He told her, when her mother’s cancer re-emerged, "In times of darkness focus on what you are grateful for."
She flipped to an unused page.
“Dear Jake,
"I wanted to write you and let you know how much I love you.  I wish we were together now and until we are I pray for your safe return to Moira, Tonka and me.”
Tears dropped on the pages as she wrote.
“We have been blessed with some truly amazing people that have helped me keep Moria and Tonka safe.  I think know you would like them all.  It is the middle of the night here and I am so afraid, Jake.  I am so lonely.  I am so heartbroken at the loss of my father, Jake, and wish you were here to hold me.”
"But you aren’t.  And this is the only way I can feel connected to you and let you know all that has happened to us since we were last together.”
"You know Mr. Spiers but I wanted to tell you how kind he was to Moira and Tonka.”
Deb’s tears continued to fall on the pages. The light at her side cast the darkness back as she poured her heart onto the pages with her father’s pen.

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