“I need to step out for a moment,” Nicolette said. She knew what she had done, and felt as though she would vomit any second. Running down the hall to the public restroom, hovering over the toilet, Nicolette threw up for the first time. As a child, she was never sick. The main reason was that she was never allowed to attend public school or spend time with others. Arison made her a recluse, and she knew no other life other than the one he offered her. It was his way of keeping what was his all to himself. Slowly she realized that she was property, not loved.
Nicolette cleaned herself up, planning on rejoining Gypsy and Grace, but the sobbing from across the hall caught her attention. It was a very young mother mourning the loss of her child. She couldn’t be over the age of fifteen, but death is never forgiving no matter the age. She stood across the hall, watching as the priest arrived to do the blessings on the newborn, Nicolette could see the mother holding the child to her chest. She was refusing to give the baby up even though it had died. Nicolette knew she could fix this. She was a sin eater, and if she touched the mother just once, all the pain would be on her, and the mother would be able to rest. Her dilemma was, do you take away the pain and memories of someone, or do you allow them to keep them? For Gypsy, she took everything, but in the end, she knew she was wrong. The young girl needed to remember it all so it would never happen again. This girl, though, was so young. She had an entire future ahead of her.
The need to cleanse her soul won out in the end. Grabbing some flowers from the nurse’s station, Nicolette delivered them to the room, casually touching the girl’s arm and extracting all of the sins. As the girl finally handed the baby to the nurse and laid back, allowing the sedative to work, Nicolette mourned for her. She was fourteen and the child the product of a first time sexual experience. She would now be able to live the life of an average teenager, go to the prom, fall in love, and have a family when it was right.
As the nurse brought the baby out and the door closed, Nicolette followed her down the hall. She watched and waited for her to leave the child in the morgue. When she did, Nicolette paid her respects.
With the newborn in her arms, she held her tight, crying as she spoke.
“I am so sorry for what I did, but I couldn’t allow Grace to die. She’s been through so much already, and,” she said, stopping as she felt a hand on her shoulder. It was not Thanatos this time.
“My sweetest child, you didn’t do wrong. Do not blame yourself for this loss. I know that this is hurting you right now, but you did the right thing,” the woman said.
“Mommy?” Nicolette asked.
“I have waited a lifetime to see you, and now, I am going to do you a favor done for me. I am going to take that child to heaven with me. I promise you that she will be fine. I will never let her out of my arms, just as I wanted for you,” said Sister Mary Grace. “I never had the chance to hold you, so please allow me to take her home with me. I’ve missed you for so long that this will never give me the chance to be alone again,” she said.
Nicolette handed the child to her mother, taking in all the memories of her. She never wanted to forget this moment. Nicolette had waited all of her life to meet her mother. Now she was giving her the chance to be a mother again. “Please take good care of her, and Mommy, I love you. I was never ashamed of you, Nicolette whispered, closing her eyes because watching her mother leave for the second time was not something she could mentally endure.
As the two left, Nicolette reached her hand through where they both had stood, knowing what god takes from one, he gives to another.
“I love you, Mommy,” she whispered.