Callie lifted her hands over her head, arching her back in a stretch that was almost painful. Closing her eyes, she rolled her head on stiff shoulders, seeking some relief from an afternoon bent over her computer. She heard a small noise and looked up with a start. Missy Rich stood by her office door, hand raised to knock.
“Hi Callie, can I come in?”
“Absolutely.” Callie got up, meeting her on the other side of the desk. She pulled her into a firm hug, then turned her towards a chair.” “How are you feeling?”
Missy’s voice was soft. “I’m better.”
Callie heard tears buried underneath the simple answer. She watched as they were ruthlessly denied the light of day.
“I know you’re probably busy. I should have called first, but I wanted to come by and say a personal thank you and let you know that I think things are going to be alright now.” She bowed her head. “I had a dream last night.”
Callie leaned forward, elbows on her desk, struggling to hear the whispered words. “A dream?”
Missy nodded, looking up to meet Callie’s eyes. “I haven’t been sleeping all that well since...” She shrugged, “I toss and turn so much Jeff ends up on the couch most nights.”
“I can get Dr. Rayburn to write you a prescription for a mild sleeping pill if you think you need it.”
“No thanks.” She took a deep breath, turning her head to look out the window.
Jesus, she’s so young and fragile, Callie thought. I know how she feels, please give her peace.
When Missy’s gaze came back to Callie, the tears in her voice had taken up residence in her eyes. “I know you’re a Christian, Callie. Do you believe that God talks to us?”
Callie nodded, wondering where this was going. “I do, Missy. I believe if we listen, He speaks to us all the time.”
“Good, then you won’t think I’m being weird. I’ve been praying so hard for peace. Wandering through the house during the day, not sleeping at night. I know my Annie is in Heaven, but I needed more. I needed to KNOW. Is that crazy?
“No,” Callie answered. “It’s normal.”
Missy’s tears finally slipped free. “I saw my baby in Heaven last night. She was in a playground. Laughing and running with other children…” Missy swallowed hard. “God let me see what a wonderful place she’s in. I’ll always miss her, but I can’t be sad for her anymore. I think things are going to be alright now,” she repeated.
She stood up, fingering the buckle on her purse nervously. “Anyway, that’s all I needed. I’ll see you in a couple of weeks.”
Callie watched Missy escape from her office without another word. She didn’t go after her. She was finding some peace just as Callie had found hers so long ago. Gavin’s face materialized in her mind. She slipped the locket over her head, snapping it open to reveal a tiny lock of hair. She touched her finger to it in a light caress. “Enjoy your new playmate, baby,” she whispered.
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