Week 204 – Peace
Sapphire Hatcher stared out the window at the falling snow.
It was Christmas morning, she should be downstairs with her husband Gideon, their eight year old son Leo, and five year old daughter Katie.
But she wasn’t.
Because of the phone call.
The phone call that had flipped her world upside down.
She ran her hands through her long brown hair, how was she supposed to process this? How was she supposed to to tell her family?
Her four sisters, their husbands, and her nine nieces and nephews including the newest little one who would be celebrating her first Christmas this year, were her life. She loved them all more than anything, and this phone call was going to change everything.
She turned to find her son watching her with his serious green eyes. He was definitely her son. He had inherited her disposition, while little Katie was a ray of sunshine, laughed to laugh and make jokes, and was always having fun. Leo on the other hand was like an old man in a kid’s body.
“Are you crying, mom?”
“What?” Sapphire touched her cheeks and found them wet. “Its nothing, honey, lets go back downstairs with your dad and your sister.”
“What’s wrong?” Leo asked, not to be deterred.
“Sapphire?” Gideon appeared behind their son. “What’s going on?”
“Mom is crying,” Leo said. “On Christmas.”
“Go check on your sister,” Gideon told Leo. For a moment it looks like Leo was going to argue but then he nodded and left the bedroom. As soon as they were alone Gideon came to her and pulled her into his arms. “You’re scaring me. Why are you up here alone on Christmas morning crying? Is it one of your sisters? One of the kids?”
“No,” she whispered pressing her face against his chest.
“You better tell me what’s going on in the next three seconds.”
“It was the prison.”
“The prison? Is it what I think?”
“Yes.” Twenty years after the nightmare she and her sisters had ensured and it was over.
“They’re dead?” Gideon asked. “Both of them?”
“She committed suicide when she heard he had been killed,” she explained. “It doesn’t feel real. I have to call everyone else and tell them.”
“I’d say I’m sorry, honey, but I don’t think you’re sad,” Gideon said, one hand smoothing up and down her back.
“I’m not. I feel … at peace. That’s okay, right?” She lifted her head to look anxiously up at her husband.
Hands clasping her shoulders he looked her straight in the eye. “Considering your parents sold you and your sisters I don’t think you have to feel bad about not being sad they’re dead.”
“Really.” Gideon kissed her forehead.
“Mama, look I made myself a tinsel princess.”
Katie came breezing into the room, wrapped in long tinsel garlands. The smile on her face was enough to light up the darkest of nights, and Sapphire felt it like a balm on her soul. For the longest time she had worried about her ability to be a good mother given the atrocities her own mother had committed, but looking at this happy little girl, and her serious but sweet son, and she knew she had done okay.
“You look adorable,” Sapphire said, wiping away the last of her tears. Her parents weren’t worth shedding tears over.
“Mama, can we go make snow angels?” Katie asked.
The phone call to her sisters could wait. She’d play with her kiddies, and then at their family lunch today she’d break the news, it would be better in person anyway.
“Of course we can, sweetie,” she told her daughter. “But the tinsel has to come off.”
“Okay,” Katie agreed cheerfully. She handed one end of the garland to her brother and began to spin in circles to unwind herself. “I’ll put my coat on,” she squealed, already running for the door.
Sapphire was about to tell her she’d need snow pants too but stopped herself. They’d come in as soon as they were done to warm up, pajamas would be fine to wear.
“Mom, you okay?” Leo asked.
Taking his face between her hands she kissed the top of his head. “I have you, and your sister, and your daddy, I’m perfect.”
He gave her a scrutinising once-over, then nodded. “I’ll put on my coat,” he said, following his sister downstairs.
“Snow angels time,” she said, taking Gideon’s hand.
“I already have mine,” he said with a grin.
She rolled her eyes at him. “You’re so silly.”
“Its how I won your heart.”
“You own my heart you know. You and those two munchkins downstairs. My own little family. Twenty years ago I thought my life was over, now my life is perfect. I love you, Gideon, thank you for bringing light back into my life.”
“I love you back, more than you can ever know.” Gideon’s arm curled around her waist and his mouth claimed hers, kissing her until her toes started to curl.
“Mo-om, we’re waiting,” Katie called out.
“Raincheck?” Gideon asked.
“Oh, yeah, tonight when those two are all exhausted from presents, and candy, and playing with their cousins, and we tuck them into their beds, then its mommy and daddy time.”