By Katherine Rockwell
“The doctor said it could be any day now. . . I know, I wish she was here too. . . okay, love you too, Dad.” Lily hangs up and paces in front of the bay window stroking her swollen belly. She glances out the window and spots a 1966 Ford Fairlane. “Hmm, that’s odd. Looks like dad’s old car.” Exhausted, she collapses onto the sofa.
At the sound of rain falling on the roof, Lily sits up and lets her eyes adjust to the pale light coming in from the windows. How long was I asleep, Lily asks herself. She shakes her head and wanders into the kitchen. She flips the lights on and her heart skips a beat. “What the hell!”
The entire kitchen transformed while she slept: green floral wallpaper covers the once purple walls, marble countertops are now laminate, and the floor is no longer tiled but wooden. An old rotary phone sits on the counter where her cell phone had been.
“I must be dreaming. This is how I remember the house when I was a kid,” Lily says.
The rain outside hammers down and thunder rumbles in the distance. Lily steps closer to the kitchen window and glances outside. The entire town changes before her eyes. The Tribbett’s house shifts from blue to yellow and the recent addition vanishes. A small grocery store plants itself further down the street and cars from the 1960’s era line up at the curb.
“Yep, definitely dreaming,” Lily says. She glances down at her pregnant stomach and says, “What are you doing to my brain, little one?”
Lily retreats back into the living room, turning on all the lights as she goes. The TV is still on and William Hartnell is fighting off Daleks in Doctor Who: Destruction of Time.
But…that episode’s been lost for years, Lily thinks.
Upstairs, a window slams shut and startles her. “Oh shoot, I forgot about those,” she says as she waddles up the stairs. Lily moves down the hall into her bedroom and closes the windows. As she stretches she feels something pop and a warm fluid runs down her legs.
“Oh no, my water broke! This can’t be happening n-ow!” Lily grabs onto her dresser as labor pains ripple through her abdomen. She settles herself onto the bed and concentrates on breathing. Thunder outside grows in intensity and rain pounds against the windows. Inside the bedroom, things start to change: the dresser turns into an armoire and the walls turn pink.
“Who are you and how’d you get in here?” says a middle-aged woman standing in the doorway.
Lily wipes her sweat soaked hair from her eyes. “I…I…ahh…I don’t know.”
The woman considers Lily and her eyes grow wide. “Oh my gosh! Are you in labor?”
“Yes, and I think she’s on her way out!”
“Oh sweetheart, I don’t know how you got here but it’s lucky you found me! My name’s Mary; I can help you.”
At the mention of the woman’s name, Lily looks at the woman’s face for the first time. Oh my gosh…she’s my mom! Another contraction forces Lily’s attention back to breathing and pushing. Mary wipes at Lily’s brow and helps her through each contraction.
“You’re almost there, just a few more pushes. That’s it and…push!”
Lily gives one final push and she hears her baby’s first cries. “Can I please see her?” Lily says.
“She looks just like you,” Mary says as she hands the child over to Lily. “You look pale, sweetie. I’ll get you some water.”
“Yes, that would be great, thank you.”
Mary leaves the room and Lily stares down at her daughter. She does look like me…she’s beautiful. She smiles at her daughter and laughs. “You’re more than I could have hoped for.”
Mary returns smiling at Lily and says, “You look exhausted. Do you want me to take her and let you rest a bit?”
“I don’t want to leave her with a…stranger.” Lily looks at her mother’s face and caves in. “I’m sorry. You’re right; I’m too weak right now. I know she’ll be in good hands.”
Mary smiles and cradles the child in her arms. “Have you thought of a name for her yet?”
“No, not yet. I have to think of a good one.”
“Alright, Hun. You get some sleep and we’ll be downstairs.”
Lily watches Mary leave the room with her daughter. As she does, she smiles knowing she got to see her mother one last time. Content, she closes her eyes and feels herself drift away.
An hour later Mary sneaks past the sleeping child and heads upstairs to check on Lily. When she enters the bedroom, the bed is empty with no trace of Lily anywhere. Where on Earth could she have gone, Mary thinks. Downstairs, the baby cries and Mary rushes down to her.
“There, there, Sweetheart. Everything’s going to be all right,” Mary says as she rocks the baby back and forth. She walks into the kitchen and dials Joseph’s work number. When he answers, she tells him the events of the past few hours. Not knowing what else to do she says, “Joe, I think we should keep her: she’s a gift. I doubt the mother is coming back.”
Joseph is silent for a few moments and says, “We’ll talk about it. God knows we’ve tried to have our own child and failed. I’ll be home in a few hours to meet her.” He hangs up.
“If I give you a name, he’ll have to let me keep you.” Mary glances around and sees a vase of white Lilies Joseph gave her. “Welcome home, Lily.”
34 Years Later:
“The doctor said it could be any day now. . . I know, I wish she was here too. . . okay, love you too, Dad.” Lily hangs up and paces in front of the bay window stroking her swollen belly. She glances out the window and spots a 1966 Ford Fairlane….
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Katherine Rockwell is a creative writer with a passion for fantastical and scientifically rich worlds. In 2010, she earned a National Silver Medal from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her poetry.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
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