THE CALLISON HOME
"I'm sorry that
Callison isn't here right now," Hannah Meadows said as she followed
Callison up the stairs and down the hallway to the bedroom.
"Hannah, that's more than
okay," Francis replied as she opened the closet and pulled down several
large boxes from the top shelf. "I'm actually here, now, because I
knew he wouldn't be. I just don't feel like dealing with him today."
Hannah nodded and then eyed her employer carefully. "Can I help you
"No, I just came to get a
few things that I'd left behind when I..." Francis paused for a moment as
if the vocalization of what had happened was too much for her. "when
I moved out. Actually, I'd like to be alone, if you don't mind."
"Of course, ma'am.
I'll be downstairs doing laundry if you need me." Hannah turned to
leave, but as she reached the door, she turned to look at Francis again.
With a worried sigh, Hannah shook her head and then left to work on her chores.
Alone in the bedroom she once
shared with her husband Charles, Francis took a deep breath and began to sort
through boxes that contained pictures, letters, and memories. An old photo
album caught her attention and she pulled it out of the box. After sitting
down on the bed, she began to flip through the pages.
A picture from her wedding
reception; a picture of her and Charles in the hospital the day she'd given
birth to Reginald, the tiny baby cradled in her arms; pressed flowers from the
funerals of both of his parents and of her father; pictures of the family trip
they'd taken to Florida when Maggie was just a baby...the memories that they
brought back were overwhelming.
Putting the album back in the
box, Francis walked back to the closet and reached deep inside. Was it
still there? Had they moved it to the attic? Finally, she found what
she was looking for and pulled out another box. After gently lifting it's
lid, she pulled out the long veil she'd worn at her wedding. Although
slightly yellowed with age, it still looked as beautiful as it had looked on the
day Francis had worn it as she'd walked down the isle.
Her lip began to quiver as she
remembered how happy she'd been that day. She'd found the love of her
life...the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. Now, she
was in the midst of getting a divorce. Carefully draping the veil over the
back of a chair, she turned to see the picture of Charles that sat atop the
Francis sighed as she fought to keep her voice from cracking with emotion.
She took the picture into her hands and then pulled it close to her chest.
"Where did it all go wrong? What's happened to us?"
Tears began to well up in her
eyes as she thought of how her life had changed. "I loved you so much
the day I walked down that isle and said those vows to you. I promised to
love, honor, and cherish you until the day that I died. I never
broke that promise...I never will."
Tears began to stream down her
face as her emotions began to break free. "Oh, Charles, I love you so
much. Why...why did you have to ruin everything? Why can't
you break free from that witch Annabelle? If you'd only forget about her,
I'd forgive you. I'd forgive everything! If only you'd stop
this foolishness with her,
we could put our marriage back together again."
Francis continued to hold the
picture of Charles to her chest as she sobbed. Little did she know that
her husband had come home early and was standing in the doorway of their
bedroom, listening to every word.