We left her behind. The baby Willa took. Willa was beside herself, clawing at me, pulling at her clothes, her hair, begging to take the child with us. But I won’t inflict that pain on anyone else.
They will be looking for her soon. It won’t take long for the authorities to connect the dots that lead straight to our home. We have to run.
Willa isn’t well. The truth is unavoidable now. It’s no longer hiding, the storm just beneath the surface of our marriage. She will never recover from our loss. I should get her help. I should. A better man would. But I won’t survive without Willa. She is the breath in my lungs. I will watch her. I will keep her from wandering.
We stop to rest, and I fall asleep with her in my arms, exhaling softly against my chest. In the morning, her side of the bed is cold once again.