Aleteia

Rachel’s Contrition, Chapter 23

Sophia Institute Press
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Rachel is in a fog, but a few things are penetrating -- like Therese in her darkness, and Sinclair in his prayer.

Continued from Chapter 22

Rachel’s Contrition

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

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Through narrow slits of half-sleep I see Sinclair lean forward in the chair by my hospital bed, his head in his hands.

“I wish . . . it’s so useless to wish. I can’t change the past. Oh, how I wish I could! But I can’t undo it! What’s done is done.”

He sobs into his hands until his nose runs, and he snatches a paper towel from the dispenser by the sink to swab his face clean.

His voice whispers out, more resolute than before, “I can’t undo it. If only you could see that, Rachel. If you could see we only have the here and now, that with today we can shape our future, then we might have a chance. Why can’t you step out of the past?”

He finally looks at me. “Oh, I didn’t know you were awake.”

In my mind I am smiling, but I don’t think the expression reaches my face.

He runs his hand down my arm. His voice sighs, “Rachel.”

I don’t know what to say to him, or even if I can speak. I feel like I’m locked deep inside my body, unable to react.

“I got the best surgeon possible to work on your fingers. They’ll be sore for a while, but they’ll heal.”

My hands are nubs of bandages at the ends of my arms. The pain is a dull throb from somewhere distant; I am well sedated.

“Donald says you’re going to be fine, too. He says you went off your meds, cold turkey. Why’d you do that?”

“L-l-l-l.”Lilly. I can’t get it out.

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