One month later
Staring through the large bedroom window, I absently finger the silky green drapes. Until Phillip is found, we will not leave the country or even the state. After a few days of looking for a place to live, we bought a lovely and spacious condo in Biltmore Forest. I find it ironic that I am now temporarily living in an area I spent so much time dreaming about when I was younger. Under different circumstances I would thoroughly enjoy my surroundings, but I am no longer able to find much joy in anything.
Even after a month, the police still haven't come up with any leads and are no closer to finding Phillip. I continue to go through the motions of thinking positively, but my faith is so shaken, I feel utterly lost and nothing can comfort me. Various people we met at the wedding occasionally stop by and offer their support, bringing food and kind words. I appreciate their efforts, but no amount of comfort can soothe my aching heart.
* * *
Adagio manages to get through the days, but it is hard. He continually prays his son is okay and will return soon, but he also prays for his wife to return to him as well. She has been so distant and he misses her more than he can say. He misses the closeness they shared. He misses holding her, being loved by her. This whole ordeal is beyond painful and he needs her love and strength to help him through this, and he desperately wants to comfort her.
Jessica's presence does help to make things better for Ingo, but sadly, it does little to comfort Cisely. Still, Adagio can tell she is grateful Jessica is there, and so is he. He is also grateful for the week Sam was there. He had needed good friends more than he realized, and he appreciated Sam's love and support.
Adagio does his best to fill the void that both Phillip's absence and Cisely's distance leave in him by keeping busy with little projects around the house, as well as trying to do what he can to help locate their son. Whenever he is engaged in the latter, Cisely eagerly does what she can to help him. Those are the only times they seem to be able to connect. But he needs more than that.
* * *
I see the pain I am causing my husband every time I look into his sad eyes, but I don't know how to stop. I can't handle my own pain enough to comfort him. I try to pray for strength to be of some comfort, but how can I help him when I can't even help myself?
I turn slightly as Adagio enters our bedroom and closes the door, then my gaze returns to the window, though I look at nothing in particular. Our bedroom window faces the back of the condo, which is totally wooded. The only view is a forest full of trees, with the exception of a squirrel or two on the window ledge every now and then. I've even spotted a deer once. Under different circumstances I might go exploring in the beautiful woods. At another time I would find the prospect romantic. But I won't allow my heart to soften enough to delve into such simplicities. I can't. I tense slightly as Adagio moves beside me.
"Velma and Ted took Ingo to the mall. Jessica went with them."
"That was nice of them," I say, grateful for all they do to help.
When Velma and Ted came back from their honeymoon and were told what happened, Velma couldn't stop crying. She couldn't believe her mother could do something so cruel. She knew Gladys hated me and blamed me for all the things that went wrong in her life. She even knew her mother blamed me because she moved out and found happiness, but like me, she could never have imagined Gladys was far gone enough to kidnap our child as a way to exact revenge.
Velma immediately began to blame herself, despite Adagio and I doing our best to assure her none of it was her fault. She couldn't have known how deeply her mother's hatred was embedded, and even if she had, there was still no way Velma could stop Gladys from doing whatever she wanted. And what she wanted was to punish me. Sadly, I know Gladys better than Velma, despite the miserable years she lived under her mother's rule. She and Ted come over every other day and always try to help in any way they can.