I had been undone
So slowly and tenderly
That I didn’t realize it was happening
Somewhere mixed up
In all the pain and the grief
I was changing
Into something more
Than I ever knew I could be
I had gotten used to the clouds
Casting shadows over my life
And raining down on my dreams
Drenching them until they became so heavy I couldn’t lift them anymore
The crashing of the thunder didn’t startle me like it used to
I remembered I had seen a clear blue sky once
And it was so beautiful and calm
That I had committed it to memory
But that was so long ago I didn’t bother to try and remember the details
Because it hurt too much
I turned my eyes skyward today and I saw it
A brilliant sliver of blue, peeking through the clouds
It was accompanied by something I had never seen or felt before
It warmed my face, my skin, my soul
I watched as the golden rays began to dry my dreams
One by one they expanded and lifted from the ground
Shining in an untapped brilliance
I gathered the dreams together and like a bouquet of helium balloons, I tethered them to one another and used them to carry me skyward
I needed to reach that sliver in the clouds
I needed to push the clouds apart and have my blue sky, my calm
Dad moved us into a cramped studio apartment on the fifth floor of the Cedar Dove apartment complex when he accepted his newest job opportunity. We’d made the drive, only two states over, packing our measly belongings into three suitcases before hitting the road. But that’s how we lived, out of suitcases, never putting down roots. Dad’s a rep for a pharmaceutical company. He trains hospital staff about new drugs and once he’s done, he’s stationed at a new hospital. He loves it, he calls our life an adventure. People must be jealous of all the places we’ve been, all the things we’ve seen, he’d tell me.
He comes home to find me sprawled on the couch that came with the apartment, flipping through channels on the small t.v. I watch his hands, he holds a small array of post cards. He’s always done this, collecting a post card from each place we visit and tucking it neatly in a small scrapbook. It’s always seemed like some sort of bread crumb trail to me. If we ever go missing, people will know the last place we were. I turn my attention glumly back to the t.v.
I hear the sound papers make when they brush together and know he’s flipping through the cards, picking the right one worthy enough for the scrapbook.
“How’d school go today?” Dad asks.
I shrug, though the movement is hidden by my loose fitting hoodie. “Fine.”
“Your tone says otherwise.” He sets the cards on the table near the door and crosses the room, taking a seat next to me. “Are you having trouble again?”
I chuckle at his phrasing, trouble. “Nothing I haven’t dealt with before.”
Dad clasps his hands together in his lap. “I could make a call…”
I sit up quickly. “Don’t do that, please. I’m fine.” His expression is unappeased, so I continue. “We’ll be gone in a few weeks anyway.”
The concern flickering in his eyes fades before he nods his head. “Alright, then.”
“I’m gunna hit the hay, early day tomorrow,” I say, retreating hastily from the room.
He watches me go, closing my bedroom door and even then I still feel him staring. I pull a bottle off my dresser and shake a couple of pills into my palm before swallowing them down dry. The only good thing about my dad’s job is I get great drugs.
I’m out like a light in two minutes flat.
This idea came to in a dream so I just sat down for ten minutes and this poured out. I’m really excited to explore this.
When I was fifteen, I had to make a choice. A big choice, a life changing one. Not just for me, but for the life of the little one I had grown for the last nine months.
“Are you sure this is what you want to do, Josie?” My mother asked, gripping my hand so tight it lost feeling. I know she wanted me to keep the baby, to raise it. But, I wasn’t ready. I was still a child myself, I couldn’t give this child what it deserved. A family, support and stability. I could see the tears starting to build in my mother’s blue eyes. Her lip trembled and her breathing had picked up. I didn’t want to break my mother’s heart as well, but I’d already made up my mind. It took me that moment, with only a week left til my due date, to get to this office.
I looked up to Mrs. Talbot’s soft eyes, she had been my rock through all of this, not pressuring me. Always being understanding. She was the director of the adoption agency I decided to go with. She found the best family to take my baby, to give it the things I wasn’t able to. Marcus, the baby’s father, was out of the picture. He was older than me, and the moment he found out how old I really was and what had happened, he split. Never to be heard from again. I had grown up without a father as well and I would never wish that on my baby. I rested my hand on my large belly, feeling the dips and rolls as the little one fought for room inside my under developed body.
“It’s alright, Josie. This is all up to you, everything is in your hands.” I know Mrs. Talbot was trying to be supportive, but that comment cut me to the quick. I picked up the blue pen that was resting in front of me. I gripped it so hard it nearly shot across the room. The moment I brought the tip down on the line that would officially release me of my baby, my mother broke down. Her sobs wracking her body.
“I’m sorry, I can’t…I just…” With that, she took off, out of the room to who knows where. I wanted to comfort her, she had been there for me my whole life, with nothing but love. But this wasn’t something I could help her through. I was barely holding myself together.
I looked up one more time to the kind, older woman in front of me. She gave me a reassuring smile. And with that, I signed my name.
I gave up my baby.
And…every day for the last nine years, I’ve cried for the life I never got to hold. To know. I never even found out if I had a boy or a girl. The adoption was closed. The moment I pushed the tiny body out of my own, a nurse swaddled it and took it out of the room, shutting the door behind her. That was the first night the dreams came.
They haven’t left.
That’s why today, I’m at Mrs.Talbot’s office. Desperation pulled me here. I need answers. I need to know my baby is safe, is taken care of. I want to know if I gave birth to a little boy with my blue eyes or a little girl with my dark blonde hair. I won’t be able to sleep for another ten years if I don’t.
With that thought, I pull open the large door with Miracle Adoption Agency printed on the glass.