“Good Morning, Mom,” Christina greeted Flora with a kiss on the cheek.
“Good Morning, sunshine,” Flora opened her arms as she received Christina and gave her a long, warm hug.
“What’s happening, Ma? I am not going anywhere,” she chuckled.
“I know, baby girl. Sometimes, I feel like holding you tight and not letting you go. I have no clue what I am going to do when you get married and leave me.”
“Don’t worry, Ma. First of all, it’s too early to even bring up the subject. I am only 16, did you forget? Second, even if I get married, I will make sure we all live together, happily ever after.”
Flora laughed hard at Christina and said, “Do you think it’s that easy on your husband-to-be? What you are saying is called fiction, sweetheart.”
Flora got up from her rocking chair, put her bible aside, and headed to the kitchen to prepare breakfast.
“Mom, don’t forget I need you to fix my dress for tomorrow night. You have no idea how excited I am!”
“Are you excited for the dress or for Christmas Eve?”
Christina went to the kitchen, wrapped her arms around Flora’s neck and kissed her again.
“Now, what’s up with you? You are being lovey dovey, today. What you need?” Flora asked as she was cracking the eggs into the pan.
“Nothing, just the dress.” Christina smiled at her mom and left the kitchen heading back to her room.
Her face was different that day. She was vibrant, full of life, and her smile was radiant. Flora felt a little pierce inside of her heart, but she didn’t know what it was. Nothing had happened yet to feel that way. So, she decided not to pay too much attention to the thought and went back to cooking.
“I don’t think she will make it. We did the best we could though.”
Flora overheard a couple of people talking while her eyes were still shut and her head placed against the wall. Her heart started to beat fast as she slowly opened her eyes. She was still dizzy and unbalanced trying to figure out whether all this was just a horrible nightmare, or it was her fate that she couldn’t escape. She rubbed her eyes, got up, and followed the wheeled stretcher wherever it was taken to.
Anxiously, she stretched her neck forward and moved her head left and right looking for Christina. She jolted when the nurse patted her on the back.
“How may I help you, Ma’am?”
Flora’s voice was logged with water as she was mute for a while. She raised her finger and pointed to Christina and said; “This girl is my daughter. I want to know if she is going to make it?”
The nurse looked at Flora with sorrow and said; “I will call the doctor for you.”
Flora was not at peace after she talked with the nurse. She knew it was a matter of time. She felt a sharp pierce penetrating her whole and causing emptiness inside.
“Ms. Victor, Christina’s mom?” A doctor in his late thirties approached Flora.
She nodded her head while biting on her lips, her arms were crossed as she held tight on them, hugging herself trying not to faint.
The doctor stretched his arms to reach Flora’s shrunken shoulders. He delicately pushed her down and seated her. He knelt down before her, held her hands tight and looked deeply in her eyes.
With a tender voice he said; “I know it’s hard, and I won’t lie to you and say that I feel your pain. No one can. But one thing I can tell you; we did the best we could. There is nothing else we can do. Let’s not lose hope though. There is still room for miracles.” He clenched her hands, patted on them, got up, and left.
“Oh, my goodness, Christina! You look so beautiful, honey. This dress is made for you.”
“Really, mom? You like it?”
“I love it, sweetheart! But, I feel it’s a little too much for the event. It looks like a wedding dress, baby girl.”
“I know, Ma. I know it’s a little too much for church but I just fell in love with it. I couldn’t resist buying it.”
“But its white, Christina, and its rainy and muddy outside. Why don’t you wear something different tonight and save the dress for your birthday next week?”
“No, Ma. This dress is made for this occasion. There is no better time, not even my birthday.”
“You are just stubborn like your dad!”
“I miss him so much. I dreamt of him last night, actually.” Christina’s voice changed a little and her eyes were watery.
“You did?” Flora felt the same pierce again. She cleared her throat and said; “Why don’t you share it with me?”
“Dad was riding on a white horse. He was also dressed in white. He took me by the hand and showed me around. It was such a beautiful, peaceful place, Mom! I didn’t wanna leave.” Christina’s face glowed as she was sharing her dream with Flora.
Flora’s eyes were wide open, her eyebrows almost met.
“What kind of place is that, Christina? Can you tell?”
“It was like a huge, green garden with different types and colors of trees and flowers. There was also a golden river with shiny, white boats taking people to the other side of the garden.”
“Did your dad tell you anything, or was he just showing you around?” Flora asked as she clenched with her fist on the gold crucifix chain around her neck.
“No, he did not say anything. But, while we were wandering around, a very beautiful, tall, young man in his early thirties came to say hi. He was the most beautiful human being, Ma. I don’t think I have seen or will see anyone like him. He was so loving, and he asked me not to fear anything.”
Flora’s heart dropped, the piercing increased, and her heart beat became louder than a drum. Quickly, her eyes were filled with tears. She couldn’t contain herself any longer. She ran to her room claiming that something was bothering her eyes and she got to wash her face.
To be continued……
Illustration by Iskander’s Art