Into the West: Most Wanted
February 16, 2020
When they lost their daughter, Martha, in the flood, it had devastated Stacy. She knew she had become overprotective of their son, Timothy, but she was still dealing with the constant fear of losing anyone else in her life. She had an uncontrollable need to protect him.
Stacy could not bring herself to tell Tim, but when she first saw Elizabeth, she wanted nothing more than to pick up that beautiful little girl and never let her go. That feeling scared her so much, she just shut the girl out as much as possible. Stacy was terrified of letting herself love this little girl. If she let her into her heart and then lost her too . . . Stacy wasn’t sure she could recover from that again.
If seeing Elizabeth fall into their well could have this much effect on her when she is still keeping that girl at a distance what would it do to her if she let herself love her? The very thought brought a painful, gut wrenching feeling.
Stacy quickly leaned over on her hands and knees in the the tall, damp prairie grass and wretched until there was nothing left in her stomach. When she finished heaving, Stacy rolled over into a clean patch of grass and stared up at the clear, blue sky.
She wasn’t sure how long she had laid there watching the few white, billowy clouds slowly make their way over the vast Kansas sky. When the sun began to make its decent toward the horizon, Stacy finally roused herself and headed back toward their home.
When she reached the house, she noticed the bucket was still on the ground by the well and the buckboard was gone. Stacy went into the house after she put everything back in their proper places. Inside Stacy looked around their home. It was so quiet. She began to wonder if Tim had taken Timothy with him or not, assuming he had left with Elizabeth on the wagon.
Panic began to take root in her chest and she began to search the house for Timothy. She looked in her bedroom first but he was not there. She went to his room next. Timothy was sleeping deeply in his own bed. Stacy went to him and sat on the edge of the bed staring at her son. He was so small. She reached out and brushed his hair back from his face. He didn’t even stir.
Stacy could see trails on his face where he had likely cried himself to sleep. What was she going to do? This girl was here and that was not going to change, Tim had seen to that by legally adopting her. Stacy felt trapped.
In this moment, there was nothing she could do about the situation so instead she just crawled into bed with her son, hugged him to her chest, and fell into a deep fitful sleep.