It had been a difficult drive getting here, but now Fee was glad she had come. She set her bag on the ground to let the feeling rush over her for a second, then turned around to see where that mischievous toddler of hers had gone in the last second.
Luckily, Chris hadn’t gone too far. Instead of walking with Mommy, Chris was running around the base of the stairs to the bushes that lined them. She sighed, left the bag and went running after him.
“Christopher Richard McCormick, get back here this instant,” Fee yelled as she ran, answered by Chris’s excited giggle and quickened pace.
Chris turned his head, giggling again, and that was when disaster struck. Fee watched as his tiny little foot caught on the root of a nearby tree that was sticking up, and her heart filled with fear when he tripped, fell, and starting crying for his mommy.
The sound must have alerted someone inside, because as Fee was gathering Chris up into her arms she heard someone coming down the steps. She didn’t look up, just continued what she was doing until her little boy had calmed down.
“Is everything all right out here?” An unfamiliar young voice said.
Fee carefully got to her feet, still holding Chris, and turned around to see who had come out. As soon as their eyes met, Fee knew who she was, and she nodded.
“I think so,” Fee said. “Chris just decided to take a spill is all.”
“But he’s ok.” The young woman’s eyes were riveted on Chris’s face. “Right?”
“He’s fine.” Fee smiled and looked down at Chris, who was already squirming against her to be let down. She let him down and he latched onto her leg. “You’re Alabaster?.”
“I am.” She nodded. “You must be Fiona – wa-nv-hi?”
“Yes, that would be me. It’s nice to finally meet you.”
Alabaster nodded, then looked up the stairs to where a distant figure was holding the door open. “Would you like to come inside, then?”
“That would be lovely.” Fee picked Chris up again, and as soon as she had him settled on her hip, she started to follow Alabaster – picking her bag up from the stairs before they went up.
Fee and Alabaster had an unusual friendship, to say the least. Until today, they had never met in person, and the only reason they knew each other was because of Alabaster finding a link to Fee’s web journal on a site for women who had survived heinous crimes.
While Fee didn’t know why she and Alabaster had been led to each other, she knew that they had been. People always left comments on her journal entries, but something about the young woman’s remarks caught Fee’s attention. Their shared knowledge of tsalagi hooked Alabaster, and from then on they were fast friends.
Like Fee, Alabaster had been raped. Like Fee had, Alabaster was about to give birth to a child created by the crime. And, like Fee, Alabaster had lost the man she loved because of what had been done to her. Unlike Fee, however, Alabaster was choosing to give her child up for adoption.
“How can you do it?” Alabaster asked, placing a hand protectively over her swollen belly. She was close to her due date, and Fee could tell without asking. “How can you be a mother to something that… is so horrible?”
“Chris isn’t horrible.” Fee smiled as she looked at her son, who was now asleep on the couch. “How he was created – that was the worst experience of my life, but he’s not the one who hurt me.”
“I still don’t understand,” Alabaster frowned. “You had so many choices. Why keep him?”
Fee’s smile turned wistful as she looked away from her son to answer the question. “Because he’s a part of me. How could I turn my back on my own flesh and blood?”
Alabaster paled visibly at the answer. Knowing she had caused it, Fee went straight to Alabaster’s side.
“I’m not judging you for what you’ve decided to do,” Fee said, putting a comforting hand on Alabaster’s shaking shoulder – a hand that Alabaster drew back from.
Knowing how Alabaster felt, Fee didn’t give up. She crouched beside Alabaster and continued to talk. “It takes a strong person to realize their limitations. I did what God told me was right for me – but that doesn’t mean the same is right for you.”
“You say that like you mean it.” Alabaster went stiff, but she didn’t try to run away.
“I do.” Fee took Alabaster’s hand in hers, pressing it against her heart. “God knows what is right for each and every one of us. He knows my heart - that I could never just walk away from something that is so much a part of me - and He knows your heart, too.”
“Then where does… it fit in?” Alabaster looked down at her stomach. “If I’m not supposed to be a mother…”
“I don’t know.” Fee let Alabaster’s hand down and just stared at her. “But what I do know is that He’s got something planned - otherwise you wouldn’t be having a baby in the first place. You just gotta have faith that His plans are what’s best for everyone.”
“How can you be sure of that?” Alabaster shook her head. “You don’t know His plans any more than I do.”
“No, I don’t.” Fee sighed. “But I said it before, and I’ll say it again. God’s got something planned for you and your child, Alabaster. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something. Just hold onto that.”
She sighed again when Alabaster looked away.
“I’m not like you,” Alabaster said, refusing to look at Fee. “I don’t think I can do it.”
“No one said you have to be like me.” Fee turned herself so that she was in Alabaster’s line of sight. “Just do with this child what God tells you to do. It’s the best you could ever do.”
“You’re sure about that?” Alabaster looked puzzled, like she wasn’t quite sure what to believe.
“Absolutely,” Fee nodded as she saw her son sit up and start rubbing his eyes. “Now, if you’ll excuse me a minute, I have to tend to part of God’s plan for me.”
“Understood.” For the first time since Fee had met Alabaster face to face a faint smile rested on the young woman’s lips. “And if you don’t mind, I need to tend to something, too.”
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