She Stands in the Gap

Groggily, I rolled over in the hotel bed and looked at my phone. 4:00 a.m. Two missed calls, three text messages, and a voicemail from Mom. Tears welled in my eyes and a knot formed in my stomach. “No, no, no,” I whispered as my lungs constricted. I needed to call Mom back, but I already knew.

Trembling, I stumbled toward the bathroom. I grabbed a box of tissues and, fighting nausea, went back into the bedroom. “I have to wake her up. I can’t do this alone.” I thought.

Clutching phone and tissue box in one hand, I carefully pulled back the blanket of the other bed. “Anna,” I whispered as I sat down. Startled, my friend opened her eyes. “Mom called. I don’t want to call her back.” Tears pooled in her eyes. She knew, too.

She put her arm around me as I pressed the button to return Mom’s call…

~*~

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