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She Cries in the Dark
Copyright © 2007 by Debi DeSantis
First Chapter reprinted with the permission of the
Maci Sullivan sat all alone staring out the window, as if she was looking for someone. She was beside herself with grief. If there was any way she would have known that her life was going to turn out the way it did, she never would have gotten married nor would she have had children. No matter what came their way though, she and her husband Steve had always managed to get through it. But not this time; this was different, and much more than anyone should have to face. The sadness was beyond anything she could describe.
Maci then took in a deep breath and sighed as she closed her eyes and put her head back against the pillow top of the chair. Her nights were incredibly lonely, and her days were solemn, something she could not come to terms with, nor was she willing to accept.
Within only a few minutes the sky opened, and the rain came down; the thunder roared from the heavens, as the lightning cracked furiously in the black sky. A summer storm had been waiting to explode. The Gods were enraged, and so was Maci. The cards had been dealt, and she held a losing hand.
The rain was falling harder now, but it couldn’t wash away all of the pain and sadness she was feeling.
Maci’s trembling hand was now holding her fourth glass of vodka with its usual twist of lime. It had become her favorite beverage after the accident. She lethargically took her finger and leisurely drew tiny circles in the dust on the table next to where she sat.
She had a daughter and a home to take care of, but none of that mattered to her at the moment. The only thing Maci cared about now was making it through each day without falling apart.
At times, she would sit in the dark and cry uncontrollably while she rocked back and fourth in her chair, like a child trying to find comfort, but it didn’t exist. Her life was in tatters.
Sadly however, there was nothing anyone could have done to prevent the terrible things that had happened, or…that were about to happen.
From time to time Maci would hear their voices, but then came to realize that it was simply her mind missing them as much as her heart was.
Will this emptiness, this void, ever go away? That was the question that haunted her every thought. It took all the strength she had, just to merely survive and get through each day. Maci had a mountain to climb on a daily basis, and unfortunately she could never make it to the top.
As she sat there silently, looking intently at the rain, Maci could not help but think about the secrets she now kept from her daughter. What if she found out the truth: would she ever be able to forgive her mother? Would Maci ever find the courage to tell her the truth?
Her daughter Regan was devastated after the terrible loss she had suffered. The poor girl needed her mother’s support and love, but Maci was too caught up in her own sadness to be able to help her little girl. Ever since the accident, Regan had been terribly depressed and was unable to go to school on a daily basis, or even play with her friends.
Maci was content as usual however, sitting alone and just drinking the night away, when all of the sudden she heard a very loud crash come from inside the kitchen.
She somehow managed to jump up out of her chair and run to see what had happened. She could just about hear the very faint cry coming from outside. Maci looked over at the sliding glass door that used to be there, and saw her baby girl lying in a pool of blood on the other side. She then noticed the chair lying on its side right next to the broken glass, and the upper cabinet door was open.
Maci suddenly felt a surge of adrenaline go through her body, then running over toward her daughter, and without caution, climbed through the mangled glass. “Oh my God baby, what’s happened?” She knelt down next to Regan and cradled her small bloodied head in her shivering hands “Tell mommy what’s happened! Talk to me!” But her daughter could not speak, and was having a very difficult time breathing as well. Maci was now screaming at the top of her lungs for someone to help her. “Oh God, Oh God, why is this happening? Somebody help me!!”
She gently laid her little girl’s head down before jumping back through
the broken glass of the sliding door. Maci was soaked to the bone and slipped
on the tile floor as she ran into the kitchen to dial 911. She was yelling
frantically into her end of the phone. “You need to come to
Finally, Maci just sat and held her baby in her arms as she sobbed out loud, just waiting powerlessly for help to arrive and aid in saving her daughters life.
Regan had shards of glass stuck in her little body and was no longer moving. By this time, Maci was bleeding now too. “It’s going to be okay pumpkin; mommy’s here.” She looked up into the sky and the rain pounded on her face. “Please hurry; come on, where are they!” she shouted as she cried. Maci knew she had to be strong for her little girl, at least until help arrived.
Minutes later, the paramedics pulled into her driveway and rushed in to immediately try to help the little girl. “Ma’am you need to let us do our job. What happened? Can you tell us what happened?” They had to pry her away from her daughter.
Lena Falcone from next door ran over in the rain too, after she saw the ambulance. “Is there anything that I can do?” Mrs. Falcone panted. Without hesitation, the paramedics told her to please try to keep her neighbor calm so they could help the little girl who was now in a fight for her life.
Maci continued screaming and crying out. “They need to help her. We have been through hell around here, and I can’t take anymore!”
Underneath the tears, Maci waited anxiously to see if her daughter would
be okay. Mrs. Falcone calmed her down enough so she could stammer answers to
the questions the medics needed to ask her. The elderly woman could smell the
liquor on Maci’s breath, but said nothing. As she watched things unfold in
It was only about four months ago that Maci had stood at the bottom of this same driveway, crying for her son too. “This can’t be real; it has to be a bad nightmare,” she was struggling to console herself under her breath.
At that moment, the sirens went off and startled her back to reality. This was not a dream; this was real, and yes, it was happening all over again.
After Mrs. Falcone pulled cautiously out of the driveway, Maci made an attempt to call her parents, but they were out of town on business and she wasn’t able to reach them. She wanted to leave a message, but thought it best not to. After all, what would she have said?
Maci was tremendously panic-stricken; she could not believe what was happening. Her ears were ringing, and her head was spinning; it was so reminiscent of what had happened several months ago. “Hurry, we need to go faster!” Her heart continued pumping and beating at a rapid pace.
“Maci please, I need for you to calm down dear. I am going as fast as I’m allowed to go. We will be there in a few minutes. Just try to take it easy.” Mrs. Falcone was making every effort to be strong for her inconsolable neighbor, but she was also starting to fall apart; afraid that if Maci completely lost it, she would likely lose it too. She hated having to watch her young friend go though this again.
Mrs. Falcone recognized though, that in order for this grieving young woman to ever have the slightest hope of finding happiness again, she would ultimately need to search inside her soul. It would have to come from within. It was obvious now that Maci was the one person that would be responsible for taking on such a giant feat. Within time, her spirit would heal and the memories that were so fresh in her psyche would be stored away in the back of her mind. And Maci’s life would someday be worth living again. Love would eventually find its way into her heart once more…. when she least expected it.
As the ambulance finally pulled into emergency, they removed Regan from the back of the vehicle and rushed her into the area’s only Trauma Unit: which happened to be located at the closest hospital. Maci then ran inside and merely stood there in the middle of all the confusion and chaos while everyone ran around in what seemed like circles to her. A million thoughts were now rushing through her pounding head. How could there be so much sadness in her life? Was she going to lose the only person that she had left to love? Was she no longer allowed happiness, or was it a privilege that she did not deserve?
Nevertheless, there didn’t seem to be the slightest flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. And at that point; Maci could never have predicted that over the next several months her life would change direction and lead her on a path to happiness once again.
Maci knew she would never forget her loss, but hopefully she could some day forget the pain of the loss. But now she had something else to deal with too: the terrible guilt she felt for not being there, not taking care of Regan, at a time when her little girl had needed her so desperately.
Maci sat alone in the waiting room as the minutes ticked by, anticipating even the tiniest bit of news about her daughter. She silently reminisced to herself how good her life had been before this year and all that had happened to her and her family. She fondly recalled the circumstances that led up to the birth of her children and what an adventurous ride it was. Maci and Steve were very young parents, but they had built a wonderful life together. There were a few ups and downs, and they had their problems as with any relationship, but if you asked, they would tell you things were good. As she remained there, in the emergency room waiting area, her mind drifted back…
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