Eveline slipped out of her room and headed to the nursery. She needed to get up and move around. She had been stuck in bed for the past three days, and she was getting sick of it.
She stood in the doorframe of the nursery, watching as Abigail and Jenny played happily on the floor together. They looked so happy. They ran and laughed and giggled. They had no care in the world. Eveline couldn’t tear her eyes from that scene.
“Hello,” the nursemaid said, coming up to Eveline.
“Hello,” Eveline nodded.
“Gorgeous, aren’t they?”
“Yes, they are.”
“Aunty Eve, Aunty Eve,” Abigail said, rushing over to Eveline.
“Hello Abigail dear,” Eveline said, kneeling down in front of Abigail.
“Come play with us Aunty Eve,” Abigail said, “Please.”
Abigail didn’t allow Eveline to respond to her question. Abigail grabbed Eveline’s hand and dragged her into the room where she and Jenny were playing. For the next couple of hours Eveline forgot about all her worries and concerns. There was only there and now. She had no past, no future, just the present.
“Bedtime,” the nursemaid said, clapping her hands together.
“No, no bedtime,” Abigail said.
“Yes, come on. You need to get some sleep, and I’m sure your Aunt Eveline has other places to be.”
“Not really,” Eveline said, standing up, “But, your nurse is right. It is your bedtime,” she picked Jenny off the ground and headed into their bedroom.
On one wall there were arched windows that allowed the moonlight to stream in. A crib with a canopy type thing over it was on one wall, with a smaller bed with a canopy on the other wall. In one of the corners was a rocking chair, the other one held a bookcase full of children books.
Eveline helped the nurse get the little girl’s into their night gowns, and got them ready for bed before sitting down in the rocking chair and settling Jenny and Abigail down on her lap. She gently pushed the rocking chair back and forth as she read them stories and sang songs until both of her nieces were fast asleep.
“They really like you,” the nurse whispered, coming into the room.
“Thanks,” Eveline smiled, “They’re great kids,” she said, looking at them lovingly.
“Yes they are,” the nurse said, taking Jenny from Eveline’s arms.
Eveline carefully stood up and laid Abigail down on her bed. Eveline pulled the blankets up over Abigail. She brushed some hair out Abigail’s face and ran her hand down Abigail’s cheek before lightly kissing Abigail’s forehead. She moved to the other side and gave Jenny a small kiss.
She stopped in the doorway of the bedroom and turned around. She stood staring at the two little girls sleeping peacefully.
“It’s a beautiful sight, isn’t it?” the nurse smiled, coming to stand by Eveline’s side, “I used to do the same thing. I would put them to bed and then just stare at them as they slept.”
“It’s hard not to,” Eveline looked over.
“Don’t I know it,” the nurse laughed, “I still do it on occasion.”
They stood there whispering to each other for a while before the two of them finally turned from the door, and quietly closed the door closed, leaving it open just a crack.
As Eveline left the nursery she felt certain of her decision to go through with her plans. Her nieces deserved the right to a mother who could take care of them, and not have to worry that the same thing would happen to them when they got older.
If for no other reason, she would do it for her nieces.