Thief in the Night
I smiled at my little bundle of joy, smacked her on her cheeks then laid her in the cot for her usual afternoon nap. It was unbelievable when I thought that in another week Shauntelle, my sweet baby ‘Telly, as I had named her for short, would be three months old.
“How time flys!”
“Bye Basil, call if you need me, o.k. I should be home by 10:30.”
“Don’t worry sweetheart, I’ll manage,” Basil’s voice trailed off as he stretched in the sofa. He was still weary from his night-shift at the sof’ drink bottling company.
“Vroom, Vroom”, my Volkswagon rambled down the drive-way. I felt as though my heart was left behind as I headed for the hospital. The moment I began walking towards the Nurses’ station I was sure I had made a mistake in going back to work so soon after ‘Telly was born. I tried to put the thought behind me by telling myself that the longer I stayed home with her the more difficult it would be for me to plunge back into the world of work.
“Welcome back Marjorie,” greeted Sister Francis. I do hope that all is well.”
“Well? From 2:00 p.m to 10:00 p.m. ? Eight long hours! Impossible!” I almost blurted.
As the clock ticked so did my heart.
“Was my baby alright?”
“Brrrrrrring! Brrrrrrring! Brrrrrrrrrring!
“For Heaven’s sake, answer the ‘phone Basil.”
“Hey honey, its me. Is she alright?”
“She is fine, sweetheart, still sleeping.”
“Still sleeping? It’s way after eight O’clock.” Are you sure she is all right? Call me back please, I have to attend to a patient.”
No sooner had the shift ended than I dashed into my car and sped home. What used to be a full half an hour’s drive was done in fifteen minutes flat.
I ran up the stairs. Basil was sound asleep in the sofa.
“Where is ‘Telly?” I questioned. “Where is she?”
“Huh”? Basil rubbed his eyes and sprung to his feet.
“Oh you mean, aaah, aaah, oh yes ‘Telly. I fed her and put her back to bed, dear.”
I peeped over in the cot and there she was in her pretty pink night-dress and matching booties.
“Basil !” I shouted. “Basil ! ‘Telly is not breathing.”
Sure enough she was lying face-down as I told Basil that was the way to put her to sleep.
I held the precious, lifeless little babe in my arms and cradled her as Basil walked into the room still rubbing his eyes.
“Dear God,” I wailed.
“Why Lord? Why?
Has our little angel been taken on an adventure?
Did you plan this trip for her God?
She has escaped from us like a thief in the night. Will another angel sing to her on her journey, the way I did? Will you cradle her in your arms the way I do now and smile at her? Lord, you know the journey I took to bring her into this world – the tears and the laughter. Please Lord, please make a beautiful light forever shine on her pretty face.
Booo, hoooo, hooooo! Booo, hoooo, hooooo, hoo, hooo!”
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