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The Empty Nursery

An Excerpt

Kathy and Kenny spent the last hours of the night in her mother's guest room, but Kathy was never able to sleep. She lay in bed, staring at the gray rectangle that was the window, wondering where Haley was. Was she crying for her mother? Was she with a stranger who didn't know how much she loved and needed her pacifier or which formula she drank? Would they be gentle with her diaper rash? Would they even have diapers? The questions and the terrifying possibilities bombarded her mind in the darkness. She alternated between praying and crying.

Around 5:00 AM Kathy left the bed. The house was silent as she slipped down the stairs and let herself out into the still steamy air. The neighborhood of big, upscale houses was very quiet, but the whisper of traffic from Peachtree Industrial Boulevard could be heard in the distance. She paced around for a bit, the concrete warm beneath her feet, then sat on the driveway, close to the street where she had a clear view of the sky. Nothing in her life made sense at that moment. She could not remember ever feeling so alone or so helpless. Her body ached with the need for action. She wanted to do something -- anything -- to help her child. She wanted to drive around and look for Haley, but where would she go? How could she know where to look? She was still sitting there when the sun rose.