May 14

Beginning and End--Maybe

“No, Mommy--”

“Honey, sometimes in life we have to move on. Your daddy did and I miss him every day, but it’s these things that make us stronger…” the mother's voice fades as she draws another ragged breath. Neither can stop the tears from falling.

“Ads… I will always love you, never forget that, please never forget me...” Realizing her last moments are close, the mother makes a final sacrifice, leaving her daughter with a clue to who she really is.

“If you are ever in need look to the stars…” the small girl glances up at the blurred pinpricks of light, and when she looks back her mother is gone--along with the only life she has ever known.

Adelaide LaFlynn's eyes shoot open, sleep long forgotten--this ritual has become routine. She must take several deep breaths to stop the vivid details of the dream from rushing back, but breaths won’t stop the memories. Adelaide glances up at the stars that timidly wave and blink through the thin crack at the top of the alley. This motion is less for the need of reassurance, that was promised years ago, but more from habit.

It is with the images of twinkling stars and a mother’s last breath that she heads out to tackle the day.