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The Heart Response

Beside her, the book lay closed, front cover in the carpet and a single finger still holding her spot on the last page.

She’d read it. Read it all. And…

And she wasn’t the same.

Instinctively she turned her head to the wall, her hair hiding the rest of her face. And she sobbed. Quiet, shuddering sobs. Private sobs for a story that held her heart and wrung it out at the same time.

Two steps away, her brother pranced with plastic eggs, shoving them into the couch cushions, to be found in a month, or next year. But she heard none of it–she couldn’t–her grief too fresh.

We’d started the book (Racing in the Rain) yesterday. Together. And where I’d left off, she’d continued on her own. Curled on the couch. Draped against the counter. In the back of the van.

On her stomach now in the living room, she muffles her cries.

And so I call her to me. And again. And she comes. Hesitantly. Vulnerably.
She holds her hands in front of her face, her shoulders bowed. And so I pull her to me. I cradle my girl, all arms and legs of her. And we rock.

Rock and cry. And blubber about the best parts. While the tears fall as they may.

Without shame.

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