Gentle Whisper


When you dream you only dream you're Annabel.
Sleep reminds you takes you there, oh Annabel.
Gentle whisper, endless winters, Annabel.
Why they could have let you be both Annabel.

A Tales of Us story..

A Companion Piece to Endless Winters

The girl wandered aimlessly in the darkened garden; her only solace being the genrle whisper of an Autumn breeze softtly swaying leaf and branch…

The office of Alia Edelsohn, LPC….

The boy sat one end of the long couch. Alia pushed aside the urge to rephrase his words and asked him to repeat what he had just said or rather asked. Teddie turned to Lissa and bit his lip before continuing.

“How… how…why did you let them do this, Mom?” He used the back of his hand to wipe his face even as more tears spilled onto his shirt. He sniffled before turning away. Lissa sidled over and tried to hug him….him? But Teddie just shrugged her off.

“I’m so sorry, baby,” Lissa wept in return. She had not known that Jack and the elders had planned the ‘intervention,’ but even so, her inability to confront her husband before the fact had enabled him to take such drastic action. Even now she was hesitant, but her child had no energy to look past even the most reasonable excuse of her mother’s own fear. She began to sob.

“Oh Teddie,” she said and went to stroke the girl’s hair out of habit. But instead of shoulder length tresses, her hand fell upon the course buzz cut that had barely grown out in the two weeks since her child was set upon by an angry, loving group of her step-father’s friends from church. Lissa pulled her hand away as Teddie continued sobbing.

“Mommy….Mom…?” She stammered; the hurt and shame seemed to turn her towards Lissa. Alia used her hands in gesture to urge Lissa closer. Mother opening her arms to her child… to the daughter she had abandoned to ignorance in an effort to keep the peace in her home. The same peacemaker who placated and negotiated between her own parents in her own shattered childhood. Noting Lissa’s expression, Alia spoke gently but firmly.

“Tell her, Lissa.” Teddie looked up and saw the terror in her mother’s eyes. Fear that goes beyond sorrow from the dread of rejection. A new, healing fear in a way that wept, not for her own shame alone, but thankfully that ‘what did I do to my sweet child?’ shame. She began to speak but the words got caught in her throat, Fearing the irretrievable hurt she had inflicted, Lissa began to weep; a sad but necessary counterpoint to her daughter’s melody of hopelessness. She lowered her head but moments later Teddie’s pleading kisses helped them both begin to heal.

“Don’t leave me, Mom….don’t leave me…” Teddie stammered, recalling all too easily the loss she still felt at the death of Teddie Sr. and the all-too-painful contrast between her father's acceptance and Jack's passive rejection. She had lowered herself and was sobbing in Lissa’s lap. Somewhere above and far away, perhaps, her Daddy might be weeping in prayer; Teddie seemed to see even with eyes screwed shut. The gentle touch of two hands on her shoulders that might have been a touch from heaven was merely Alia tapping alternately; a therapeutic touch in the process even if it might mirror something more personal. Lissa leaned forward and embraced her daughter as the their sobbing ebbed into peaceful, gentle weeping.

Years later… at Wegmans Supermarket, Irondequoit, New York....

The woman closed the lift-gate to her CR-V and pushed the preset on her Smartphone.

“Hi… Angela? Sweetie? Be a dear and pick-up Baby-girl at Soccer practice? Yes, I got Mommy’s card and a cake. Ginnie’s picking up the food at Golden Pond. And tell Ronnie she’s the best mother-in-law ever… Back in about thirty. Love you too…(mwah!)”

Teddie pushed the empty shopping cart toward the store when she noticed a tallish man heading the same way.

“Need a cart?” She stopped and the man accepted the gesture. As he went to turn his eyes widened in recognition.


“Hi, Dad.” Her eyes began to tear up. How long had it been? He smiled awkwardly.

“How’s your mom?”

“She’s doing well, Dad.” He shook his head in confusion.

“I forgave you a long time ago. Mommy and Ginnie. Tony, too. We all loved you… still do.” He put his hand to his face and stroked his chin.

“I…I gotta get going….good to see you,” he said; almost trying to convince himself before saying finally,

“God bless you.” With that he turned once again and quickly walked into the store, failing to hear the soft, tearful response over the gentle whisper of the Spring breeze….

“God bless you too….”

Land of the lines, of the years below still lies.
You are the truth they denied.
Run like the sea, tangled there in porcelain.
Under the stars you begin.

Words and Music by Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory.
As performed by Alison Goldfrapp

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This story is 882 words long.