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Out of the Shadows, Part Four

2.

How often a gift is misperceived as a defect or an illness that needs to be treated rather than being something which could and should be nurtured, encouraged even. The darker a light is, the more it will be hidden or misused or punished. Why is it so often the case that when something very difficult to understand comes along that it almost immediately is perceived to be evil or bad? Some things may indeed be evil or at least come from evil but they don’t necessarily need to remain as such. From out of the shadows a good can arise.

When a guide, the right guide, could nurture uniqueness or maybe even take the darkness away and allow the light to shine then a path forward can become clear and a good can come from what has been intended to be not so good at all. The wrong sort of guide can mislead one further into darkness. A gift given in darkness is still a gift. How it is used is what really matters.

A little before nine in the morning on the ninth day of May of the year 2000 and Jenifer Smith is rushed through the main entrance of a maternity hospital. This by far has been the most difficult of her three pregnancies. Lack of sleep and a lot of excess pain has kept her mostly bed bound for three weeks or so prior to this moment. Now she is bleeding and has been since she awoke and her pain is presently at its most severe.

Tom is at a complete loss for what to do. He is panicked and fearful and has never in his life felt more useless than he does in the here and now. It is suggested that he should take a seat somewhere close by and wait, let the hospital staff do their job. His wife has gone into labour and child is to be born approximately five weeks early so waiting in a moment like this one is not an easy thing to do and finding a seat to wait in is the last thing he wants to do.

The wait is a short one despite it feeling more like an eternity. At nine thirty six a third daughter is born into the Smith family. It is subsequently not long before Tom is at Jenifer’s side. He takes her hand in his, knowing of what is to come. Her fingers weakly interlock with his and that feeling of helpless he had been having all morning now intensifies all the more; somehow he will try not let that show.

‘You are amazing, you know that?’

‘It hurt Tom, I never felt anything quite like it before, so different to the other two girls.’

Her voice is so soft spoken that every word is a struggle and comes out so slowly and piercingly that Tom cannot hold back his tears. He should be strong; he needs to be strong for her but instead he is turning into jelly.

‘What … what do we call her?’ the only thing he can think of saying in this moment.

‘Majella, my mother always … always loved … that name.’

‘Madge … really?’

She smiles, it is with great difficulty … ‘… yeah …’

‘I love you Jenifer …’

‘Love you too …’

Her eyes close, all grip in her hand ceases. He kisses her lips before completely crumbling. The rest of this day for him becomes a total blur. It wouldn’t matter how much time would come to pass, there would be no other detail about this day that Tom will ever remember including the moment he had the opportunity to bring his third daughter to her mother’s side.

How odd it was though, if this instance could be remembered, that the new-born appeared to know exactly who her mother is and the infant even sheds a silent grieving tear for the loss. Tom puts the thought of his newest child possibly feeling loss down to an impossibility, having possibly displaced and projected his own sense of loss, then thinks of this no more.

There was something else in all this, whether Tom will ever remember or not, a man in black walked the halls of the hospital, mostly keeping to the shadows. He arrives to the ward and goes unnoticed as he peers in at three members of one family united in a time of grief. His presence at a place, at a time worthy of his magnificence, the future of darkness has never been so … bright.

*

Raising three little girls on one’s own is never an easy thing to do though as any good person can, Tom does the best that he can. Three years to the day after the loss of his wife, Tom notices something about his third daughter. It is difficult to celebrate anything on the anniversary of losing one’s soul mate; it is his children that he lives for now and life must go on.

A birthday party it is. Where do the years go? And why does it also feel like an eternity has passed. That moment on the sofa with Jenifer, why couldn’t it be eternal? How he wished he could be right back there in that moment for it really does feel as if it were a lifetime ago. If only he had that moment to live over with the knowledge of what was to come … thing is though that he would never, he could never make a choice, sacrifice one for the other, still if he really could have had such an option then who knows?

No, he could not give up a daughter to bring back his wife, as he surely would not be able to let go of his wife if he could know what was to come. If only he could go back to his last perfect moment and simply be with Jenifer once more. If only he could have his family whole and complete.

The three girls are oblivious to the full significance of the day, a third anniversary, a third birthday, in a way so too is Tom … oblivious. His role is to function as best he can and he does … function. He cannot know that the death of his wife and the birth of his third daughter are influenced by darkness, nor can he know that darkness will one day come to claim daughter number three.

Yeah, in Tom’s world, Majella is third of three in terms of order of birth, for Satan this child is one of nine, the first of nine, born to early and if there can be any order regardless of times and dates of birth as to where Majella numbers in this nine … well, Darkness has a worry to consider, an abnormality a little out of sync, still … he is confident she will give herself to him when the time comes.

For Tom, Abigail, now eight years old, has questions. There is only so long that dad can blow those questions off, then it will also only be so long before Lisa and Majella will also have questions. Today a party is still at hand and Tom is determined to make it as good a party as he possibly can, so not answering questions may be the plan at this time though plans can’t always be adhered to.

Music, clowns, face painters and magicians keep all occupied and the fun level is at a maximum until aunt Lynn arrives. Lynn is Jenifer’s one and only sibling. To Tom, Lynn’s physical likeness to Jenifer is both pleasurable and unsettling and for a moment or two he considers Majella’s odd behaviour on this day to be some sort of reaction to that likeness. This surely cannot be.

Surely the three year old has no memory of her mother, there only had been the briefest of moments at birth, besides aunt Lynn has been around before, many times, so why the reaction now? Tom cannot help but see Jenifer each and every time Lynn comes around and he still cannot tell if this makes him happy or if it upsets him, in all honesty it is possibly a mix of both and so much more.

Tom and Lynn greet each other with a look, a nod and an attempt at smiles then Lynn makes a move to where the kids are. Abigail runs into her aunt’s arms the moment she spies her. Their hug is a tight one and Abigail hopes to hear more tales of her mom from her aunt. Lisa too is delighted to see her aunt and another hug is incoming.

The first opportunity she gets, Aunt Lynn makes her way towards the birthday girl. Little Majella is sitting on the grass out back of the Smith family home. Looking forward to having the little one in her arms and also not wanting the birthday dress to be spoiled by the ground her youngest niece sits on, Lynn moves towards Majella with delight though that delight is soon thwarted.

As soon as Majella sees her aunt coming she begins to cry. As Lynn gets closer, Majella attempts to move away. Of course Lynn is much the faster of the two so when she gets close enough she reaches for the little one and the stirring temper tantrum steps up several notches, to the point Lynn has no option but to back off from reaching for the youngest niece.

Dad is soon close enough to pick up the three year old and she goes to him so quickly and easily that it were as if her life depended upon it. How odd this is, Aunt Lynn has indeed been round many times before and without incident so she is definitely no stranger to Majella, still Majella appears to want nothing to do with her aunt. Majella’s reaction to Lynn is somewhat similar each and every time a visit is made from here on in.

Tragedy hits a little over six months after the day of the party when a terrible accident brings Aunt Lynn’s life to disastrous end. Circumstances of the death are baffling as if interference brought about an end, interference that is untraceable and cannot be investigated.

 

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