Deborah swung her legs heavily over the side of the bed. Her husband, Doug, continued to snore loudly beside her.
She sighed deeply; another day.
But this wasn't just another day in Deborah's routine of days that she knew all too well. This day would be far different. Only she didn't know it yet.
To Deborah, it was simply another hellish day that she would have to endure for her husband's sake. She still loved him, she supposed, but certainly not like she used to. She rose from bed, and went about her routine; bathroom for a little freshening up (as if she really cared what stared back at her in the mirror these days), kitchen for breakfast, laundry room for some washing and folding, kitchen again for cleaning and dishes, living room for dusting, and on and on until she swung her legs heavily back into bed that night.
Doug would go to work. When he got home, he would go into the garage, emerging only for supper and bedtime.
This was Deborah's life.
Today, however, amid the washing and folding, the phone rang. Deborah held on to the towel, making her way into the den to answer it.
"Hello?" Her voice was even, dead.
"Hello, I'm looking for Mrs. Deborah Samson."
"Hello Mrs. Samson. This is Constable Reed calling."
The Constable paused, as though unsure of how to continue. He cleared his throat awkwardly. "Yes, I'm calling because we, ahem, have recieved news of your daughter."
The towel in her hands dropped to the floor.
Deborah spoke in a whsiper. "Is this some kind of joke?"
"I assure you, ma'am, this is not a joke. We recieved news of your daughter, Lily, yesterday and we now have her here with us, at the station."
Deborah clutched at her chest as her breathing became quick and laboured. "Lily?" She choked out the name. It had been so long since she'd said the name out loud, although not a day went by that she didn't think of it.
"Yes, Ma'am. I know this is quite a shock to you--"
"What is--How...is, is she alright?" Deborah's eyes began to well; before long the tears were streaming down her cheeks.
The Constable paused for the briefest of moments. "Perhaps you would like us to bring her directly to your home?"
"Yes! Yes, right away please, right away."
She hung up the phone and sat herself down on the chair beside her.
Her daughter. She was still unable to believe that Lily was really alive. It had been eleven years since she'd gone missing. She had only been four years old when she had disappeared from the front lawn one summer afternoon.
Its possibly one of the worst things that can happen to a parent; to have a child go missing. Furthermore, the body had never been found. If it had, at least Deborah could of had some piece of mind, but no. She had continued to hope, as well as blame herself, to the point of near destruction. The searching, alone, in the many months that followed, had been unbearable. Deborah often wondered how she had survived it, any of it.
Now Lily was back.
Deborah called Doug immediately and told him the news. He was in tears before she could even finish the sentence. They knew that Lily being gone had been the ruin of their marriage. Perhaps now they could try to regain some of what they had lost.
Finally, about forty-five minutes later, the doorbell rang. Deborah rushed to the door and threw it open. A uniformed officer stood before her.
"Yes?" She breathed.
"I'm Constable Reed."
"Where is she?"
"She's in the car, ma'am, but--"
Deborah shot past the officer and down the front walk to the police cruiser parked at the sidewalk. Deborah tried to remind herself that Lily would be much different now; she would be fifteen, practically a young woman. Deborah feared to think of how Lily would have been affected by the dreadful things she'd been through in her short life.
She neared the car and grabbed the handle on the back door, wrenching it open.
Inside, sat Lily. She gazed up at her mother with beautiful chocolate brown eyes.
Deborah backed away a step, involuntarily. She was confused.
Inside the car, sat a four year old girl, with bouncy brown curls, just as she had been those eleven years ago.
Deborah covered her mouth for fear of the sounds that might emit from it. It was Lily, all right. There could be no doubt.
"Mama!" Lily raised her arms to her mother and began to cry out for her.
Deborah stood motionless. Her daughter had returned.