Solace ~ h.s.

If he weren't there... I don't know what would have happened.

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47. ⪻ 47 ⪼

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“Harry, where are we going?”

Currently, and as cliche as it may sound, I’m being led blindfolded through what feels like a grassy patch of earth on my way God knows where. Harry is directly behind me, holding me tightly from falling into the squishy mud that coats the ground and the bottoms of my shoes.

Wherever we are, I just hope it’s worth the mess on the ankle booties my mum and dad bought for me on my last birthday.

“If I told you that, I’d ruin the surprise.” He has confidence in his words, positive that I’ll enjoy the location I’m being led to.

“Can you at least promise me you won’t let me fall in the mud?”

“I promise I won’t let you fall, ever.” Harry’s deep voice whisper’s into my ear, causing shivers to run down my spine. Harry chuckles at me, noticing the goosebumps that must cover my exposed skin. Turning my head back to where I think Harry is located, I send him a smile.

“You’re too sweet -” In that moment, I lose my balance on an uneven piece of earth, falling in slow motion towards the ground. From behind me, Harry grips my body to his to keep me from ending up in the dirt. “Harry!” I scold, looking back in his direction.

“Sorry, sorry. I didn’t see that dip in the ground.” He apologizes, laughing at me before continuing to lead us onward.

“You walk like bambi, why did I think this was a good idea?” I say to myself, but loud enough for the man behind me to hear and scold me lightly.

“I can’t help that, love, you know I have one leg that’s longer than the other.” He sounds genuinely hurt whilst he says that, making me feel bad. But if he’s allowed to tease me about my obnoxious laugh then I can tease him about something.

“I’m just joking with you, relax and please don’t drop me.” And with that, he’s back to chuckling again.

After walking a couple more yards, we stop. Harry pulls me to a stop, steadying me before releasing his hands from my body. Things go silent for a minute and I fear Harry’s gone and left me here by myself, playing some practical joke.

“Okay,” His voice in front of me, causes me to jump a little bit, “we’re here. Now before you take your blindfold off, if you want to leave we can and I won’t be hurt. And please don’t hate me. You can take it off.”

Now I’m nervous, why on earth would I hate him or want to leave?

Pulling off my blindfold, I let my eyes adjust to the overcast place we’re standing at. Once my eyes adjust, I see the location and rather than feeling uneasy, I just feel confused.

“Why are we in a cemetery?” I wonder, looking around at the tombstones and sculptures of angels around us before my eyes land on Harry standing before me.

“Annabelle, Annis,” He says to me, “meet your mother.” He steps out of the way and my eyes fit down to a tombstone sticking up from the ground, directly in front of me.

My heart is immediately in my throat and I feel frozen in time, unable to speak or react in any way.

“Oh my God; Harry, how did you -” The words are caught in my mouth.

“Lorna told me where she was laid to rest. I know you’re upset about not getting to meet your birth mother, so I figured this was the next best thing.” I’m still frozen in place, just staring at the tombstone before me.

Grace Lynne Reid

Mother, Daughter, Sister

12 March 1979 to 20 January 2013

Seeing the tombstone in front of me and seeing that her family was kind enough to make sure that Grace was remembered for birthing a child, set everything into perspective. I don’t think the Reid family would have included mother if she wanted nothing to do with me, clearly she loved me in some way.

“Go on.” Harry says to me, motioning forward, closer to the tombstone.

“What do I even say?” I ask, suddenly overcome with emotion; I feel sad, scared, and nervous.

“Whatever you’d like. Maybe introduce yourself, yeah?” Nodding my head, I can’t find the words to say, but I know I want to say something. Harry wraps his arm around my shoulders and follows my eyeline to the tombstone. “Do you want me to give you a moment?”

“Yes, just please don’t go far.” I tell him. I don’t want him to leave me here all by myself, because I may breakdown and need him.

“I’ll be right over there.” He says, pointing to a bench that lies under a tree a couple tombstones down.

My heart thumps heavily in my chest as I watch him walking to the bench, feeling extremely nostalgic looking at that lone bench in the cemetery; it reminding me of the one that sits beside where my parents rest.

Once he’s gone, I feel scared, even just looking at the tombstone. It’s eerily quiet and my heart races. I don’t know what to say and I fear that once I open my mouth I won’t be able to stop talking, and crying. The tears are just now welling in my eyes.

“Hello Grace.” I start, already second guessing myself. There’s really not a how-to guide on how to talk to your deceased relatives. “You probably don’t recognize me, it’s been about twenty-two years. Actually I don’t even know if you can see me, or hear me. I’m not really good at this or sure what happens in the afterlife, so I apologize.

“Uh, it’s me, Annis, well I go by Annabelle now. I’m your daughter, in case you forgot or don’t remember. Um, this isn’t really how I pictured meeting you. Maybe if I had found out about you earlier we would have met in person.” I walk towards the tombstone so I can be a little close, before kneeling down, forgetting all about the mud that cakes the grass.

“I met your sister yesterday and she told me a lot about you.” And just like that, I’m crying. “Oh God, I’m crying, sorry. It’s just hard I guess. Lorna speaks so highly of you and I just wish I could have met you because you sound so wonderful. You were beautiful too, you still probably are.

“My parents, the couple that adopted me, died four months ago. I thought this could be a second chance for me, but the world is cruel so…”

My words are lost in the soft breeze that surrounds us and I find myself heavily wiping the falling tears away. I’m not even sure if my words and sentences are making any sense, to me they seem to be a rambling mess, but I can’t help it.

“I need you to know that I’m not mad at you, for giving me away. I understand, Grace. I’m twenty-two and I’m raising my five, nearly six, year-old brother and it’s so hard. It’s so bloody hard. Sometimes I wonder if he’d be better off with a family, but I can’t do that to him.” Wincing at my own words, I find them to be a bit contradicting to what I previously said. “Not, that you were able to do that to me. Sorry, I just mean that I understand the reasoning behind what you and Edan decided. Yeah, Lorna told me about Edan too.”

Glancing over to where Harry sits, he sends me a sad smile and I turn back to Grace. I don’t exactly know what I believe to be true about the afterlife, but I have to believe it’s peaceful and hopefully nice. Maybe we get reincarnated and she’s not even listening to what I’m saying; or maybe she’s up in heaven watching me; I don’t know. I do know that in this moment I feel completed and comforted by a presence I can’t see, maybe it’s from Harry.

“That guy sitting on that bench over there is my boyfriend, Harry. He arranged this entire trip to meet you,” Smiling back over at Harry, I motion for him to come over and join me as I stand to my feet, “and I’m really glad he did.”

Harry stands and joins me, wrapping his arm around me before placing a kiss to my cheek. In this moment I feel utterly complete. I feel 100%.

“Grace, this is Harry.”

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