Excerpt #2: Angel Incarnate:One Birth
From Chapter 2- Opening
Catherine’s client sat nervously holding the chair with both hands underneath the sides. “So…,” Catherine began. “My name is Catherine Moore. I’m sorry Elizabeth won’t be able to continue with your case, but I will do everything I can to help you.”
Olivia looked directly into Catherine’s crystal blue eyes and stated directly, “I want my daughter back. How can you help me do that? I cannot believe she’s with complete strangers, people who don’t even love her. This is all so ridiculous. Can I please have my daughter back now?”
Catherine was accustomed to this level of intensity from the parents of children who were placed in the system. There was no way to discuss this delicately, that it would require quite a bit of time to have her daughter returned to her.
“Well Olivia, we are required to satisfy certain requirements before we can possibly do that. There are statements from witnesses and a report in your file about the circumstances of what happened the day the police were called. The Division of Family Services cannot recommend your daughter be returned to you until they are satisfied that she is safe. That is my job here, to ascertain the safety of your daughter.”
Olivia got up from the chair and paced nervously back and forth. As she spoke, her arms moved up and down at her sides. “I love my daughter. Why don’t you all understand that?” She shot Catherine a fevered look of desperation and regret. “I didn’t mean to hurt Sarah. I really didn’t. No one can understand what happened. I have talked over and over to different therapists and the other case worker. No one seems to be listening to me.” Olivia stopped for a moment, came closer to the desk and put her hands down. “You have to be straight with me. Is this hopeless? Have I lost my baby girl forever?”
“I can be straight with you Olivia. I think there’s a good chance you’ll have Sarah back with you. You just have to keep doing what you are doing, which is going through the logical steps required by our department. Please continue with the recommended therapy, keep cooperating as you are now, and things should go very well. We are doing everything we can to help Sarah deal with her situation and the incident that happened at your home that day.”
Olivia became animated again. “Oh God, you must think I’m some sort of monster, don’t you? I don’t know why I did what I did! I would never dream of hurting Sarah, but that day I…I just lost my mind”.
Catherine looked carefully at Olivia and just knew that she was no abuser. The case file also contained a documented history of domestic violence of Olivia at the hands of her husband. But Olivia had dropped the charges just one month before her attack on young Sarah.
Suddenly the energy in the whole room shifted and became very still. It was palpable. Olivia’s eyes widened as though she was suddenly struck by an intense thought or memory. Her gaze became remote and distant. Catherine rose from her desk and reached out to support Olivia’s arm and help her back to the chair.
As Catherine’s hand touched the fabric of Olivia’s sleeve a strange sensation ran through her fingertips. At first, it was a feeling so slight that she almost didn’t take notice. Then suddenly, a huge wave of tingling sensation moved through her entire body. Her body tensed and her eyes felt heavy, as though she would suddenly fall asleep.
Catherine tried to open her eyes and focus but the room around her was completely dark. Then her nose caught a distinct smell. She could smell bacon in the air around her, a familiar aroma from her childhood. She watched the light smoothly grow brighter like a person turning up a dimmer switch. As suddenly as the episode had started, the room was flooded with white light which caused her eyes to close quickly. Catherine opened them again slowly and to her amazement, she was now standing in an unfamiliar kitchen.
Catherine began to panic and thought her heart would stop because it was beating so rapidly. She stood there frozen in place trying to figure out where she was. It was so real she could smell and see the bacon frying across the room. Then suddenly she saw Olivia’s form fly past her in a pink satin robe with her husband running close behind. He was reaching and grabbing for her long hair.
Olivia was screaming wildly and clamoring to get away from him. He caught up to her, grabbed her and threw her to the floor right directly in front of Catherine. When she looked down at Olivia’s frightened, battered face it was as if she could look straight into her, feel her terror, pain and sorrow in that instant.
It was horrifying to witness the scene in front of her and Catherine reacted by screaming, “Stop!” But, the two figures in front her didn’t react to her command.
What am I doing? How did I get here? What…