Chapter 6 – Willow
Willow slowly rolled over and stretched one arm over her head. Why bother waking up? She had spent the last week questioning her sanity. She snuggled down under the covers on the bed and rolled onto her side.
Willow opened one eye and then the other. How did I get into bed? Suddenly wide awake, she sat up quickly. Scanning the room her eyes finally lit on the note and the cell phone on her bedside table. Picking up the note she read its contents,
Willow, when you wake up would you please call me?
I’m worried about you and need to know you’re okay.
Willow cringed. She looked down at what she was wearing and cringed again. He had carried her to bed? She must look a mess! How embarrassing!
She left the cell phone where it was and moved slowly from the bedroom to the bathroom. She stared at the shower for a minute before reaching out and turning it on. Even though she didn’t feel like it, a shower was necessary. She could go back to bed for the rest of the week after she was done. What day was it anyway? Avery probably came on Saturday, was it still Saturday? She determined to check the date on the cell phone when she was done.
Surprisingly, the shower made her feel more normal. By the time she had finished, dug clean clothes out of the still packed suitcase, and towel dried her hair, Willow realized she was starving. “Might as well find something to stop THAT ache.” Speaking the words out loud sounded even louder in the quiet house.
Willow headed downstairs, forgetting completely about checking what day it was. She found the next note on the counter as she reached for a glass to get some water.
I brought you a few things and stashed them in the pantry. I wasn’t
sure what you liked, but since you didn’t answer your phone this week
I had to guess.
Please call me!
She left the note where it sat and went to check the pantry. A carton of fresh eggs sat on the sideboard beside a refilled basket of bananas. A loaf of bread and what looked like a crock of butter was also there. She opened the ice chest and discovered he had also purchased a couple steaks, some deli meat, and a carton of cream. She found herself cringing again as she realized the steaks were probably supposed to be supper for the two of them. The cream inspired her and she quickly got the generator going and started the coffee perking. She hadn’t had coffee in a week! She really was losing her mind.
That thought prompted her to go back into the ice chest for one of the steaks. On the floor in a corner she spied two wooden crates, one with potatoes and one with carrots. Scooping up as many as she could carry in one hand she went back into the kitchen and dumped it all on the counter. Then she turned to look at the stove. She was going to have to figure this out at some point.
And then she hesitated. Other thoughts began to fill her mind. Why bother? What’s the point anyway? Sleep sounds better.
She left the food sitting on the counter and walked slowly to the living room and stared out the window at the water. It wasn’t a particularly bright day, and the grey of the ocean brought her spirit down to match it. Although it calmed, it did nothing to give her the will to live.
Then she noticed the next note.
You’re not my daughter, but today I definitely feel like a dad. As much
as I want to tell you to snap out of it, it’s not my place. You’re going to
have to figure this thing out. It’s a mess for sure, but it’s one God can
clean up. Read your Bible, Willow. I think you’ll find the peace you’re
looking for there.
Willow read through the short note a second time and then her eyes lit on a book sitting on the table to the left of the chair. Her Bible. She sank into the softness of the couch and the arms seemed to wrap her in a hug as she reached for the black leather book. She was fairly new to this Bible stuff. She had stumbled into a mission one night after walking around the streets of Rockland the day her life fell apart. She had heard the news of the Gospel and had gotten saved. The woman who had led her to the Lord had given her this Bible.
She opened it and the pages crackled with their newness. She started reading in Genesis 1 but found nothing in those first few chapters that brought her peace. Frustrated she placed it back on the table and went to where her violin leaned against the wall. The last note lay atop it.
I heard you playing that first morning here and the sound was beautiful.
God has given you a talent and if you choose to cultivate it you can still
use it for His glory, even out here all alone. Don’t let the music die inside.
Keep playing! Play for Him. Let Him hear your sorrow. But also share
the joys, they’re there if you look for them. Don’t give up.
Willow took the case to the coffee table and opened it. She took her time rosining her bow and tightening it. The she took the violin, adjusted the shoulder piece, and tucked it under her chin. She plucked a few strings to check the tune, and then placed bow to strings. Then Willow played. One of the only celtic-style songs she had ever learned. It was mournful, slow, and beautiful. She determined then and there to learn more. The classical repertoire she had been forced to learn had never moved her the way this song did.
Then she stopped, packed the violin away carefully, and placed it back against the wall. Slowly her footsteps moved back to the stairwell and up to her bedroom. She walked around the bed and reached the table where the cell phone lay. Her fingers lightly brushed the cold metal and then, as if it were a lifeline, her hand wrapped around it tightly and she picked it up. Spinning slightly, she sat on the edge of the bed and turned the phone on. She located Avery’s number and hesitated slightly before pushing the call through. It rang once and then picked up:
“Willow?” Avery’s voice through the line was like water to a parched tree. A tear slid out of the corner of Willow’s eye before she knew what was happening.
“Avery? Where are you?”
“Willow, I’m not far. I’m coming back and I’m asking you to trust me again, don’t be shocked, but I’m bringing someone with me. Someone who can help you. Give me 20 minutes.”
“Thanks, Avery.” The call disconnected and Willow’s hand dropped. She had made the first move. Now it was up to God.