Chapter 24

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My eyes open and all around me is darkness. Where am I? I look around, and my eyes start to get used to the darkness. Barely, I think I make out the walls of the carriage. I strain to look out the window, and then I realize what is making me struggle to get up.

 As I sit on the carriage seat, Felix sleeps next to me with his arm around my waist, looking as if he were keeping me safe as well as Lynette and the baby. His hair shades his face as he sleeps with his head on my shoulder. Across from me and Felix is Gregorio; sleeping soundly, snoring like a pig.

 I look at Lynette in my arms. “Did you wake me, sweetie pie?” I whisper. Her sweet eyes stare at me as she smiles. “Mama, yes…” I whisper. She smiles wider.

 “Mama.” She says. My heart quickens.

 “You said a word!” I whisper excitedly. She says it again staring at me. Yes, I'm your mama-

 I think of Heather. No, this is the way it is supposed to be. Heather would have wanted this- me with Lynette. Heather would have wanted me with her instead of someone else, like the Destroyers for instance. They would have taken her if I didn’t. They might have even turned her into one of them to be against me. I cannot bear that thought! My own daughter against me! She would have been an enemy. She would have had to be killed-

 Beside me Felix moves. I look at him and nudge his shoulder. “Felix…Felix!” I whisper loudly.

 “What?” He asks tiredly.

 “Lynette said a word!” I say. He stares at me with a small smile.

 “That’s good.” He says. I sigh.

 “You just don’t understand. Go to sleep.” He chuckles and does what I say. Soon, I fall back asleep too.

 Suddenly, there is a big thud that awakens all of us. Lynette begins to cry. I comfort her and cradle her in my arms.

 “Is she okay?” Gregorio asks.

 I nod my head and say, “Yes, she is fine.”

 “How are you feeling?” Felix asks me, setting a hand on my shoulder to turn me to him. “You slept for quite a long time.”

 “I'm fine, I assure you.”

 “Was it the baby?” He asks.

 “Yes; it took the energy right from me!” I say.

 “Well I am glad you are better.” Gregorio says.

 “As am I. So where are we?”

 Felix looks out the window and shakes his head. “I would say we are just out of Italy.” He says. I grumble.

 “What?” Gregorio asks.

 “I hate all these long trips.” I say irritated.

 “Ohh, I see. Felix, how long do you think this trip will take?” Gregrio asks.

 “Maybe a week or longer.” He says. I groan again. Felix and Gregorio laughs.

 “Why is it so long?” I ask.

 “It is a long ways away to get to Russia, darling.” Felix says.

 “You know,” Gregorio says, “I still have the medicines the council gave me.”

 “You do?” Felix asks.

 “I do. Perhaps I could give something to Evelyn?” Gregorio says.

 “Medicine for what? And why do you have medicine, you are not a doctor.” I say.

 “Well, he was going to be a doctor.” Felix says.

 “Oh?” I say.

 “Yes. You know how I said he used to visit me while I was training?” Felix asks me.

 “Yes.”

 “Well, while he visited, the council gave him options on what to do with his life. He could have been a doctor, a preacher, a writer or a guardian himself.” Felix says.

 “I chose to be a doctor because one; the Lord told me I was not fit to be a preacher, two; I have no talent in the art of writing, and three; I had no want to be a guardian. Felix, Evelyn, has a gift of love for you and a gift of want to save you that I, I'm sorry, could not have for someone I never met before.

 “Now, I chose to be a doctor because I had lost a sister to pneumonia. So, the council gave me medicine after my medical training. Evelyn, I have some sleep medicine that will let you sleep for the whole ride into Russia to Harpeth. Would you want it if I gave it to you?” Gregorio says. I look to Felix.

 “If you want it, go ahead.” Felix says.

 “What about my nightmares? If I take the medicine, you probably won't be able to wake me.” I say.

 “Darling, if you have been taking your nightmare medicine, it shouldn’t bother you.” He says.

 “Are you sure? What about Lynette?” I ask.

 “Hey, I'm her parent too.” Felix says. I smile and utter a laugh.

 “So do you want the sleep tablet?” Gregorio asks. I think for a moment. Felix will have Lynette just as well as I could. And Gregorio I know will be fine, and if he has to take care of Lynette that will be okay. He has had children, too. And they are grown!

 “Okay, I will take the pill.” I say.

 Felix asks the driver to stop so Gregorio can get his medicine bag. As I wait for Gregorio to find it, Felix and I step out to get some fresh air and to stretch our legs. Felix and I walk side by side along the forest line that is on either side of the long country road. I look out ahead of me into the distance and I see the bright morning sun like a dot at the end of the country road. It looks so beautiful.

 “Evelyn,” Felix begins, I turn my eyes to him, “I have watched some of your dreams as you sleep at night to be sure they are not nightmares and to see if the medication actually works, and I have noticed you keep having a dream. Over and over this dream appears. Do you know which dream I am speaking of?” I look away from him and to the brightening light ahead of us.

 “Indeed I do know what dream you speak of.” I say. Felix is silent.

 Finally, Felix breaks the silence. “I have given great thought on this, and this could just be my imagination, but does the woman standing alone on the sand look like your mother?” He asks.

 “I have thought that, yes.” I say. I feel a strange thing in my abdomen, so I place a gentle hand over the bump. When I do, I notice in excitement that the bump has gotten a bit bigger.

 “But the young girl, I cannot place where I have seen her.”

 “You are speaking in regard of the young girl in the gate near the home playing with the dolls?”

 “Yes.”

 “She looks like an older Jane.” I say in our native tongue.

 “You really think so?” He asks, saying back to me in the language I spoke. I nod.

 “Yes. Felix, why do I keep having the dream?” I ask. He shakes his head.

 “I have no clue.” He says. He begins another sentence but stops when he is interrupted by Gregorio yelling at us.

 “Come back!” Gregorio yells. Felix and I laugh and turn around and head back to the carriage.

 I sit next to Felix on the seat inside the carriage. Gregorio holds Lynette and watches her with care. “Just take it, Evelyn. I will not let anything bad happen; I promise.” Felix says. I nod my head and in one hurried motion, I stick the pill in my mouth and swallow.

 All at once, the world around me spins in circles. The circles are slow at first, but gradually begin to get faster. The light outside turns from a bright yellow to a creamy purple, then to pink, and then everything at once turns black. Suddenly, there is an enormous gust of wind that pounds my face. Then, in a farther distance than I ever knew existed, there is a light.

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