The old voices seldom came anymore, but now there was this new one, quiet and still, making no sense at all. From dearth come life? Impossible. She clenched two handfuls of corn kernel just like the ones her and Michael plants month ago and wondered what did that small voice mean? You have to die to be reborn.
“Amanda! It’s mama’s time.”
A boy, Angel helped to deliver, to hold and know never would be in her future.
Paul came to the Altman’s Christmas gathering and Angel’s stomach sank at the sight of him, pondering what barbs he would aim at her this time. She had never had a real Christmas and this family wanted to include her. He wasn’t going to take her joy away.
Paul handed Miriam a present and she sent her own barb his way, “Thank you, Uncle Paul.” and kissed his cheek. A muscle jerked in his jaw as she turned away.
“Oh, Amanda, it’s beautiful” Miriam said she would wear the hand made dried-flower garland Angel had made. In fact she “would wear it on her wedding day” with that Paul got up and went out side.
Michael read the Christmas Story. Angel wondered about God, what kind of father would give his own son to be born for the single purpose of being nailed to a cross?
The dark voice came unexpectedly: You know what kind of father, Angel. You had one just like him. She shivered and looked away from Michael.
She saw John standing in the shadows beside Elizabeth. All fathers weren’t like Alex Stafford. Some were like John Altman. She knew Michael would be that kind of father. Strong, loving, forgiving if it came to that. He would welcome the son back who had left and come home again like another story Michael read her once.
Michael asked if they had given the baby a name yet? John said,
“we have, Benjamin Michael, after you.”
Angel was admiring the roses that bloomed early and thought back on that night. Miriam had handed the baby to Michael then put her hand on his shoulder and peered over him.
Angel thought to herself: ” Michael should have children. He wants children.”
Outside that night Paul saw the scene and thought to him self the very same thing.