Ray thought he was dreaming a sad dream again, he can hear a distant moaning. Just like the past few nights, his heart was heavy upon awakening from this troubled sleep. He can't recall any of his dreams except that it must have been a dark and sad one. He stirs in his sleep trying to wake up and realizes that the sound was coming next to him. He turns around and hears Livy. She too was having a bad dream again. He reaches to turn the lights on at his bedside.
"Livy" Ray gently nudges Livy to awaken.
"Oooh mo—" Livy said midway to pure consciousness, she turns to follow the source of the voice.
"Livy, you were crying in your sleep again—uh--come here baby" Ray puts his arms around Livy and pulls her close to him.
"I'm sorry to wake you, Ray" she couldn't understand why she had real tears. She barely remembers what the dream was about.
"Ssshhh" Ray soothingly says to her. This is the fourth day in a row that she woke up apparently distressed. Livy is bothered by the lingering melancholic feeling nagging inside of her. She wished she could remember her dreams.
"Did I say something, Ray? I can't remember my dream" Livy nuzzles securely in the crook of Ray's neck. His warm embrace somehow helping her calm down.
"Well—" Ray plants a kiss on Livy's forehead. "I thought I was having the bad dream" not so sure of himself now. "You were trying to call out Livy. Something must be bothering you this week."
Ray looks into Livy's eyes for an answer. Livy was quiet, she can't remember the dream but she knew what was bothering her lately. Things had changed so much in her life it was hard to believe that she was leading an entirely different life a year ago today.There are many aspects of her life that she eventually did not regret changing but also there are a couple of things she misses most in her old life back in Denver.
In the dim light coming from the window, Livy tries to looks into Ray's eyes. Here's a man she learned to trust and to share her feelings with, something she really needed when she left Denver. She remembered him saying that night she apologized and confessed about snooping through his things on her first day in the house. How what he said had affected her so, that he didn't have anything to hide from her. Indeed, he was in a way right. She was a walking mystery, closed to any feelings, hiding plenty of things from him. This was one thing she had set to change the day she realized that Ray was her God's will. Although she refrains from mentioning anything related to Denver, this time she is compelled to tell him what was bothering her."
One year ago, I lost my Momma…" Livy felt relief telling Ray.
"Oh Livy, I didn't know. What day?" Ray was visibly surprised. Ray didn't know this part of her life except for what she's told him. He was rubbing her back knowing too well that feeling of loss.
"Thursday, next week will be her…..her death anniversary", Livy disliked saying those words, a little part of her still refuses to believe that her Momma had passed. She wants to go to Denver but with a newborn at home and Ray busy at the farm, she didn't want to impose. She had been thinking of her Momma every single day since the year began.
"Why didn't you tell me Livy? Of course we'll go to Denver next week. Tomorrow, I'll make arrangements with Hank so he can look after the farm while we are gone." Ray assured Livy.
"No, it's okay Ray, I know you have lots of things to do in the farm. I understand if I can't visit this year. Momma would have understood anyway. This year, there's Danny, the house to take care—"
"Hush, Livy—It's okay" in his very calm and determined voice "this is important and I know this means a lot to you—and so it does to me too" Ray had interrupted her with a finger to her lips. "I understand Livy, I won't let this day pass without us going for a visit—every year, that's a promise."
Livy starts to tear up again. She embraces Ray hard "Thank you, Ray."
"No need to thank me Livy, I'll do anything for you, you know that".
"I know Ray, I know" Livy would never doubt that he means it.
"Now let's get back to sleep before we wake up Danny..mmm?" whispered Ray. "Right" Livy whispered back. As Livy turns around to her other side to go back to sleep, Ray follows suit hugging her from behind. "Good night Livy", "Good night, Ray" and that moment, the fitful dreams went away.
Livy found out that it wasn't hard to make arrangements with Hank for next week. Livy was a little concerned that the trip to Denver will put a burden to the Stewart family having to take care of two farms for a couple of days. Martha had even offered to take Danny for the time they were going to be out of town. But Livy wanted to bring Danny with them so she can bring him to visit her Momma at the cemetery. Ray reluctantly agreed. He relented knowing that Livy's family had not really met Danny and this could be the best time to do so if the time permitted such opportunity.
They were to leave on Wednesday morning and Livy had been busy preparing for the trip. She wanted to make it a day's trip but she knew the drive will just render Ray exhausted. At first she had a hard time communicating to him that she would rather stay in an inn or motel in Denver. Although she had called Abby to tell her of their visit, Livy didn't ask her if they could stay at her house nor did Abby offered for them to stay either. Livy thought it was just as well since she felt her sister was a bit rude leaving the farm without saying goodbye to Ray. It would be embarrassing if a similar incident happened again on such a solemn occasion. She was reluctant to tell Ray that they would have an added expense of staying in a motel for that one night in Denver but she mustered enough courage to mention it to him during the weekend while he was pouring over his farm registers.
"I don't care if we even sleep in the beet box" Ray was obviously teasing her, sensing the tension and nervousness in her voice. He smiles and winks at her. That ended her dilemma. She finally heaved a deep sigh as she walked back to the kitchen with a smile on her face.
On Tuesday night, Ray finally came to the house after packing the back of the beet box with the essential things they would need on their trip. Livy prepared Danny's things and powdered formula just in case he'd need it. They left early Wednesday morning, carrying a sleeping Danny in his bassinet that Martha gave them. Danny proved to be a camper, he mostly slept during the trip except when they stopped to rest or to feed him his milk.
As soon as they arrived in Denver, they scoured for a place to stay. Tomorrow morning they will go to the cemetery and this afternoon they planned to stop at Abby's for a visit. Abby's house is located just a short distance away from where the church and their parental home stands. On their way to Abby's, Livy can't help but look at her Father's house. Ray noticed that Livy had grown quiet and she stiffened a bit as they neared the intersection. He stopped at the red light and looked up at the spires of the church, he figured this must be Rev Dunne's church. It was a bigger and a nicer built establishment compared to what they have back in La Junta. The light turned green without a word from Livy. Ray is never the man to pry, he drove on going south on Main street. Livy instructed him to make a turn on a residential road three blocks down and they made a stop at a bricked Victorian looking home. Abby opened the door and welcomed them inside. Her house was elegantly furnished. It was evident the pieces in her parlor were carefully chosen to fit the style of the house.
Abby hugged Livy "Livy, you made it!" She happily chirped, happy to see her sister again....
to be continued
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