She had no warning that something like this would happen.
The arms of a stranger – cold and eager … what did it matter? It’s just a body. A commodity. An art she developed dispassionately. And she found herself a nitch. Not on the streets, but with a friend, who told a friend, who told a friend, until one of the ‘friends’ wanted to pay for it all. She had hit pay-dirt.
An unfamiliar sound brought her back to the hospital room she occupied – for who knows how long? She never cared for doctors, so she never went to one. She figured she’d just walk in, get it over with, and leave.
Get it over with and leave. It’s what he did when she was a kid – then the tables got turned. She'd paid a high price because of that Jerk; now they all had to pay a high price for her. Anger had protected her – contempt became companion and solace.
A knock on the door released Leah from the stupor of her thoughts.
‘Yeah? Who is it?’
‘Miss Connell? My name is Kayla Torres. I’m from Trinity Church. May I come in? If you’re resting, I’ll just leave my card on this table in case you need anything later on.’
‘No, it’s ok. What’d you want?’
‘We have a New Mommies Ministry where …’
Mommy? Leah was off again while this lady rambled on.
She looked at the living bundle squirming in her arms. The scent of new life – the fragrance of new purity shot through her like a bolt. She had no warning that something like this would happen.
A protective rage coursed through her veins as she tightened her hold on this tiny human with tiny fingers and toes. She brushed the softness of fine baby curls across her cheek.
Words like precious, sweet, innocent … helpless, came flooding back from long forgotten fairytales and poured over this … this … rosebud. She looked like a little pink Rosebud.
All her senses absorbed the wonder of such pure beauty and trust. No one … NO one … was EVER going to take her away. And no one … NO one … was EVER going to touch … her baby … her little girl. How could anyone ever do those…?
Leah’s legs began to shake. Heart pounding, she felt her arms weakening. The thought came quick – terrifying, I can’t breathe! Blinking, Leah tried to clear the blur of her baby’s face while she tried to control her voice. But her words sounded muted and far away, ‘Lady, I don’t know what you’re sayin or why you’re here, but if you can help me – I need help … now.’
Rushing to Leah’s side Kayla whispered, ‘Do you want me to get the nurse?’
‘No! No nurses! No Doctors! I don’t want ‘em!’
Kayla spoke calm and soothing as she directed Leah’s attention to the baby beginning to respond to her mother’s fear, ‘What’s her name?’
Name? She had no clue what to name a baby! With her thoughts diverted back from whatever caused this unexpected terror, Leah answered through the fog still clouding her mind, ‘Um … I haven’t decided yet. I was thinking … maybe … Rose. But no, no kid is called Rose. You said you’re from the church? The only thing I remember about the Bible is Genesis and the Adam and Eve thing. Jenny kinda sounds like Genesis – kinda like the beginning. You know … like the beginning of the Bible … but …’
Her words came soft and slow now, as she looked at her baby sleeping so peacefully – so relaxed. She lifted her close to her lips inhaling deep and sure, her own eyes closing – enraptured by the pure scent of new life, ‘Like … the beginning of something new – like maybe … Jenny Rose.
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