Chapter 19

 

It was a cold Saturday morning in December when I had a sudden urge to go out for an early walk. I must have been nuts for wanting to go out on this very cold day. The snow was really coming down, and the flakes seemed to match the tears that flowed for my love of Leo. Something about the way the wind brushed up into my cheeks made me think of all the times he whispered, ” I love you, Mia.”

I love you Leo.

I longed to greet the gloom of the day. It matched my mood perfectly, as I felt sad again and my mind was restless.

Besides, it was the perfect time since my mom and dad were still in bed. The house was quiet, and the coffee was set to brew at 6 a.m. I glanced over at the clock and read 5:45 a.m.

Goodness, it’s early! I didn’t sleep very well. Nightmares of Leo kept me up most of the night.

Suddenly, the anxious thoughts in my head began to overtake me. I looked at the calendar, and my hands started to shake. Here it is in early December, and I still have no idea what I am supposed to do about Dean Array’s offer.

I could still hear the excitement in Keyla and Courtney’s voices when I shared the news with them.

“Oh, what an amazing opportunity!” screamed Courtney.

“Mia, this is amazing!” Keyla chimed in.

But the biggest question on both of their minds was: “So, are you going to take it?”

The truth is, I wasn’t sure. I knew I had to come up with an answer by the end of the month.

Oh, I think I am going to be sick.

Well, maybe once I went out for my walk, I would have my answer. Yes, that’s what I need to do!

I stepped out into the cold air and felt an immediate sense of freedom. Who goes out in 15-degree temperatures for a walk? But I loved enjoyed the cool, liberating wind hitting my face.

The more I walked the more I thought about what it would mean to go to New York. There is a calming whisper in the air which provided me with some answers. I cannot really explain this, but I felt as if there was someone right beside me, trying to convince me to go.

Leo, is that you? Are you the one who is making me feel this way?

I also felt a closeness with God, who always provided answers even at my darkest moments.

I had not shown it much since Leo passed, but I believed it was his strength that also guided me.

I was almost a quarter-mile from home when I heard my mother shouting at me from her car.

“Mia Lauren Gerard, please get in the car now!”

Oh, my goodness! Did she just use my entire name? I squirmed at the tone in her voice and immediately turn to face her.

“Do you realize it is cold out here?” she asked. Goodness, does she not see I have a jacket?

I shivered “Yes, Mom. I know it is!”

“So, what are you doing walking in this cold, anyway?” She shook her head and wagged a finger in the air.

“Mom, please stop!” I’m quite embarrassed by her tone and turn to head back home on foot.

So much for privacy!

I get that she worried, but I needed this time to myself. Ever since Leo’s passing, I had not been able to think without both of my parents being there. Not that I am not grateful for their support, but there was no space to think and get myself together again.

I got so caught up in my thoughts I forgot my mom was still calling out to me, but I tuned her out.

The answer I had been searching for is hitting me all at once. It is so clear, I can’t deny it. I needed to get back to what I told Leo and my parents I wanted to do, and go where I told them I wanted to go. The answer has been inside me all along.

I thought my mother’s ranting at me from the car seemed to have lasted a long time. Finally, I decided to give in and get in the car with her.

She took her eyes off the road just long enough to glare at me from the driver’s seat. “Mia, what were you doing out walking in this weather?”

“Just thinking, Mother,” I said while holding my hands together. She sighed. “Mia, if you needed to think, please do it from inside.”

I looked down.  “Okay, I am sorry.”

She nodded. “Let’s get back. I will get some coffee for us. I imagine you are freezing.” She continued lecturing until she parked the car in the garage.

I was not bothered by it at all. Instead, I just let her get it out of her system. I should have known better.

Besides, I know exactly what to do now.

 

 

 

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