The air is crisp and clean this October day, the fall colors are brilliant against the soft blue sky overhead. As I yawn and stretch; I draw in a deep breath, the remnants of my pumpkin latte still on my lips. I finish the last loop on my shoe lace, rise; and as I float down the steps to the path behind my house, the cool breeze gently lifts the curls from my forehead. There is a slight wafting of smoke from a fire that was probably roasting marshmallows last evening. My eyes narrow as I wonder who had been burning during this dry spell. A fire in the forest is the last thing we need this time of year, who would want to take this beauty away. I rub my neck as I continue on my trek along the path. After a bit, my shoulders relax and I settle into my stroll, the pops of orange, greens, and browns encompass my heart and fill my soul with the love of fall. I am so engulfed in my complete revelry – that I do not see the young girl as I have closed my eyes and am spinning around – as I stumble into her, my eyes pop open. “Oh excuse me,” I exclaim as I try to steady myself.

“oh dear,” the young girl tilts her head

I turn as I am still steadying my feet, and I look at her, but she is not looking at me.

“Sweetie, I am so sorry – I had not been paying attention to where I was going.”

“What was that – Hello? Oh no my auntie is not going to like this…Hello?” She swirls around looking straight at me.

“Sweetheart;” I say as I wave my hands in front of her face, “I am right here”.

The young girl places her hands on her head, “this cannot happen again,” she sighed, “please if you are here do not hide from me.”

I crinkle up my nose, and reach out to touch her shoulder; “ I am not hiding – I am right here, standing right in front of you.” My words come slowly as I see her unrecognizable stare.

“What is going on here,” a stern voice comes at me from behind.

“I am so very sorry” I begin again to explain myself- as a tall very sturdy woman stomps into the clearing of the trees. “Annabeth, what are you doing running off again like this; you were specifically told to stay in the camper, not to roam around the woods.”

“But Auntie – I don’t like it in there, I mean it is a nice camper, but I hate being stowed away, I am not luggage.” She rolled her eyes.

“Wait a minute, can you let me …” I tried to interject

“Is that what you think I am doing – stowing you away? I love you Annabeth, I only want what is best for you. I had to get you away from that counselor and that facility; they were corrupting your mind – filling it with untruths”.

“But Auntie,” the young girl, Annabeth covered her face with her hands as she started to whimper, “it’s happening again.”

“Excuse me…can I get a word in here?” I tried to push my way into the conversation.

“What do you mean Annabeth? What is happening? Has your sight returned?” the woman leaned forward with her mouth opened.

“I am not sure, felt like I ran into something on my walk out here, and then when I turned around, it was almost like someone touched my shoulder.”

“Because I did touch your shoulder – I was spinning and didn’t see you coming towards me.” I pressed my lips together and rolled my eyes.

“Just now, this happened just now? “The woman’s’ eyes grew wide.

“Wait, you can’t see me either, or hear me. Come on, what is going on, this is crazy.” I shake my head.

“Kasie – are you here? Are you trying to communicate with us, Kasie?” Now the woman was frantic - she was turning in circles and looking up to the sky.

“Auntie, don’t – this could just be my imagination. The counselor stated that when someone goes through a trauma this can happen you think you see those you have lost.  Please don’t …” the young girl hiccupped as she started to cry.

“Kasie, if you can hear me, please let us know you are here, we have searched everywhere for you, as you can see Annabeth is fine, I have watched out for her, just like you asked me too. I love her as if she were my own daughter, just like you would have sweet sister.” The woman started to weep as she slumped into a heap in the leaves.

The silence was deafening. Annabeth kneeled down to sit next to her Auntie. I looked on puzzled.

“Am I the only one here that is sane; come on ladies – you have to see me, I am standing right next to you.” I kicked at the leaves as I started to walk away. The sun hit my back, and I heard a sudden uptake in breath…and I swirled around.

“I think I just saw her Auntie…the sun glimmered off a red haired woman walking away. But it was just a glimpse, I think she may be here with us.” She touched her aunt’s head. “Wait – don’t go. Please Momma – I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye, please don’t go.” There were tears streaming down the young girls cheeks…cheeks I was starting to remember I used to caress when she was just a little girl.

As I walked toward them, for the first time, I could see the face of my little girl – my Annabeth sitting with my sister – they were crumpled in a heap on the ground; both girls sobbing.  This is what I had been waiting for, for my girls to come find me. I couldn’t leave without that last look – without letting them know how very much they were loved. The memories now started flooding back – Annabeth, my sister – a car, a big truck, a loud noise – sirens, flashing lights, then nothing.

Until I awoke in my bed – and each morning I would sit at my table drink a cup a coffee, put on my tennis shoes, and walk in the forest for hours; waiting. I had walked so many mornings; I had forgotten the reason for the waiting. Now as I looked on to these very special people, my heart leaped.  I stepped closer to them, I kneeled down and touched the wet cheek of the girl I loved, and said my goodbyes.

“Auntie – oh Auntie she was here…she was here.” Annabeth touched her check and reached out her hand, a gentle breeze picked up the light curl from her forehead, and they both smiled; mother and daughter. The waiting was finally over.

November 01, 2019 00:21

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Richard Sirianni
21:28 Nov 06, 2019

Didn't see that one coming. Nice.


17:16 Nov 07, 2019

Thanks. This was my first post on reedsyprompts! I enjoy writing. I appreciate the comment.


Richard Sirianni
15:06 Nov 08, 2019

Very Welcome. My submission, The House on Hooper Street, was the first for me as well.


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