The Entwining of Two Hearts

Published by Rose in the journal Rose's journal. Views: 403

[BCOLOR=transparent]Maybe it had been the warm daylight filtering through the dirty windows or an exuberant friend (@Constance) describing how wonderful this wreckage of an apartment could become that had given Rose hope. She was without each now, and an old, dull emptiness filled her heart as she glanced around what was her apartment. All the places they hadn’t cleaned or repaired seemed especially grimy in the cruel, yellow light. [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]More like a dump and less like home.[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] What was home anyway? She would be the worst expert on that.[/BCOLOR]

[BCOLOR=transparent]The thing which troubled her the most was the blank expression on the eight-year-old girl’s face who stood just a few steps back, still in the doorway. It wasn’t of disappointment or fear. Just...[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]nothing. [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] She wished all of the sudden that Constance was here. Her friend would have been able to bring a smile to the girl’s face in seconds. Her friend would have made this into a home just by her presence, but all Rose had now was herself.[/BCOLOR]

[BCOLOR=transparent]“Your room is down the hallway, Katie. Don’t worry, it’s a lot brighter in there and less dirty.” Rose attempted to smile down at Katie, but the girl just picked up her small backpack and disappeared without a word through the doorway she had pointed out. Most of Rose’s cleaning and repairing time had been spent on that room. She had painted it purple and put up various garlands. Things she imagined a little girl might like.[/BCOLOR]

[BCOLOR=transparent]Rose didn’t follow Katie, figuring the girl had enough adjusting to do in her room without having an audience. Even with that decision, she felt much hesitation within her. Something telling her she wasn’t suppose to let silence be okay. For the next hour or so, Rose worked on a makeshift meal for dinner. It helped keep her mind off of the here and now. Once or twice, in between the various noises she made and those of the neighbors, she thought she heard sniffling coming through the wall, like someone was crying. She wanted badly to go and comfort Katherine, but even if there was a blood connection between them, her hands were not those of a mother’s. Hers had spent their time fighting against everything under the sky, good or bad.[/BCOLOR]

[BCOLOR=transparent]She looked down at her cellphone many times, almost persuading herself it was okay to call Constance, but she didn’t. In her mind, she already knew what Constance would say. Her friend had already said it before. [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]“I’m here to tell you that you’ve already practically raised the most difficult person in the world! This is just a step down….so...get them fists up!...whatever that means...” [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]Though, it was debatable if her words had been true.[/BCOLOR]

[BCOLOR=transparent]When the meal was prepared, there was no longer a reason not to follow the drafty hallway to the closed door and timidly knock. Rose heard the voice from within grant her access, and entering, she saw Katie huddled beneath the many blankets piled upon her bed. The girl didn’t stir much at Rose’s entrance. She didn’t even try to brush away the tears streaming down her face. She had finally given up the brave cover she had been wearing for the past week.[/BCOLOR]

[BCOLOR=transparent]Seeing Katie there so miserable broke Rose’s heart. [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]Why can’t I do any better than this? [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]She carefully seated herself on the edge of the bed, unable to shake the feeling she didn’t belong. “I made...some dinner, Katie. It isn’t much, but I’m good at cooking, and once the kitchen is set-up, I’ll do lots of homemade meals.” [/BCOLOR]

[BCOLOR=transparent]Katie turned towards her ever so slightly and sniffed the air. The bowl Rose held in her hand was just soup, but it did have a good smell. Katie hadn’t eaten very much at all the last few days so Rose was glad when Katie lifted her head and reached out for the bowl of hot soup. The girl took a sip or two before deciding it was nice and edible. [/BCOLOR]

[BCOLOR=transparent]Rose lost herself for a few minutes as she just watched Katie eat. She never really had a chance before to sit in the same room and be there with the girl who resembled her in an alarming way. Even with being absent in the girl’s life for only nine years, there was so much that she wanted to but couldn’t figure out how to say. So much she completely didn’t know. How did one usually go about adjusting to the role of mother in the midst of tragedy?[/BCOLOR]

[BCOLOR=transparent]“We’re going to be alright, Katie. I’m going to make things work. I promise you that.” Rose stood up to leave and give Katie silence for the remainder of the meal but was stopped by movement in the bed. Turning around, she saw Katie had rolled over and hid her head beneath the pillow.[/BCOLOR]

[BCOLOR=transparent]Rose crept back to the bed’s edge and seated herself down. She didn’t know what to do. Reaching out her hand, she placed it gently on the girl’s shoulder. That comforting touch was all Katie needed. The girl rolled over and hid her head in Rose’s lap, still sobbing. Rose could feel the tears soak through her thick jeans.[/BCOLOR]

[BCOLOR=transparent]“I miss them.” There weren’t any other words to vocalize the pain that the small heart held. Rose could understand that far too well. The many years between disappeared, and she remembered when she was that age. She could understand Katie’s pain, but beyond that, she felt it. [/BCOLOR]

[BCOLOR=transparent][BCOLOR=transparent]“I know.” Rose brushed back Katie’s soft, brown hair, holding her closer with the other. Close enough to feel the steady heartbeat that she remembered hearing when it had first begun.[/BCOLOR][/BCOLOR]
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