Walking down a dark, wet, gritty highway – barefoot, feverish, and wearing only a nightgown.
At least the storm had quit.
Now if I could get my chattering teeth to stop, it would help – maybe.
A string of cars on the side of the road gave only a promise of help. Some of their lights on. No one inside. I noticed a broken window and an empty bassinet.
Draped over it was a knit shawl. Around my shoulders helped warm me, a bit. Not that it made me think clearer. Socks and shoes might have helped. Not the extra diapers or home-study course lessons left in that baby crib.
By those car lights I saw a city limit sign. Trudging that direction on pain-numbed feet, I soon saw lights ahead.
While my eyesight was blurry, my ears still picked out the wail of a crying babe.
So I hurried, despite my torn feet and shivering.
In that building’s front yard, tripping over toys – that didn’t help.
Once inside, I reached the source of the wailing and found why it was so loud.
I then realized we three souls had one thing in common.
None of us knew we why we were there.
I woke up not remembering much of how I got here, where I was, or who I used to be.
There were two babies, one on each side of me, who were sleeping soundly. All of us in a big bed that was soft and warm.
My hair and white muslin nightgown were drenched. Like I’d been out in the rain with them. Even soaked the sheets a bit.
But the babies were both dry.
I couldn’t hardly move from where I was, since the top sheet and quilted patchwork comforter had been tucked in around all of us so tight.
A little work at loosening these from under the babies allowed me to carefully scoot up a bit to more of a sitting position. The extra pillows helped me not have to go all the way to vertical and wake up those cherub-faced infants on each side of me.
But simply trying to sit up showed how weak I was. And how sore I seemed to be everywhere. Especially my legs and feet. Rubbing one sole on my shin quickly told me that I shouldn’t do that again. It felt like the bottom skin had been sandpapered off and was barely healed. I could feel the rough scabs and also the pain of those ragged cuts.
This new position did put my face visible in that mirror, a tiny image at its bottom above the frame.
That image had long and wavy black hair, in need of brushing and combing, as well as a good wash. Dark eyes, and dark under them told me I probably went through hell in the last few days.
Being alive, at least, was a plus.
A stirring next to me brought me back to these two tykes on either side. They were both going to be red-heads. And you can’t tell me any baby isn’t the cutest darling in the world at that time of their life. I couldn’t tell you how I knew about raising babies, but “cute” is too obvious.
Habit or not, I tucked the blanket in again on each side of me to make sure they were comfy and secure.
If I woke up without any memories, I at least was in good company. These two had none or few yet themselves.
Then the steps came up the hallway. I’d soon find out which door led out. But the question of who was coming in made my heart race a bit.
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