Monday night — 9:57 P.M. MDT
“How are you feeling?” Mike asked Valerie when she got into bed.
“Uncomfortable,” Valerie said. She lay down on her back with her hand on her belly. He put a hand on her protruding belly. “But I had a nice time tonight. What a great distraction to go over to Jeraine and Tanesha’s house.”
“I’m glad you said that because I wasn’t sure if you had a good time.”
“I thought it was fun,” Valerie said. “The penthouse was really nice. I haven’t been to the Pinnacle before. It was kind of like ‘imagine your life.’”
“Would you want to live there?”
“No,” Valerie said. “But it’s fun to look.”
“Delphie is sure you’ll have the baby this week,” Mike said. “Everyone’s geared up. Do you think it will happen?”
“I hope so,” Valerie said. “I’ve had a lot of contractions and…”
“I keep thinking I see Mom,” Valerie said. “That’s what I was doing.”
“I thought you were cleaning the kitchen floor again,” Mike smiled.
“No, but that’s a good idea,” Valerie said.
“What were you doing?” Mike asked.
“I was coming up from the kitchen and I thought I saw Mom,” Valerie said. “I went to where I saw her and… nothing. So I started up the stairs again and I swear she was at the top of the landing.”
“That’s weird,” Mike said.
“I went to ask Delphie,” Valerie said.
“She just smiled and put her hand on the baby,” Valerie said. “It’s weird.”
“Sounds weird,” Mike said.
“I want Mom to be here so bad,” Valerie said. “I want her to be with me when I have the baby, to be a grandmother, and everything. I miss her so much right now. I wish she’d lived long enough to be here for this. She’d have wanted to be here.”
“I’m sure she wishes she was here now,” Mike said.
Valerie made some nondescript sound and pretended to go to sleep. Mike rolled over onto his side. He watched her face for a moment then fell sound asleep. Valerie opened her eyes when she knew he was asleep. She stared at the ceiling for a while.
“Is that really you, Mom?” Valerie whispered. “Or is it some kind of hormonal insanity? If it’s really you, can you give me some kind of a sign? Something only I would know?”
She waited for a moment and then looked around room. She hoped beyond hope that something would happened. But the nothing moved in the dim, quiet room. Turning over, she told herself she was imagining things and tried to get some sleep. A few hours later, a strong contraction woke her and Valerie opened her eyes. She was laying on her side facing away from Mike.
She was about to roll onto her back when she noticed a tattered stuffed white bunny with one missing button eye. Mr. Bilfry. She’d slept with the bunny every day of her life until she left for college. And even then, she slept with Mr. Bilfry every night she was home from school. She stroked the super soft pink inside of the bunny’s ear.
She’d left Mr. Bilfry at home when she’d gone to college. College wasn’t a safe place for such a precious and vital creature. But sadly, Mr. Bilfry disappeared when her mother and Delphie had moved to the Castle. Secretly, Valerie had searched through boxes to see if she could find him. She never had. Until now.
Mr. Bilfry had appeared right exactly when she needed him the most.
“Thanks Mom,” Valerie whispered and fell sound asleep.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday…