The sound was faint at first. A whimper. It was a baby cry. I ran down the dark corridor. The further I ran, the louder it grew. Suddenly, to my left, another cry. This one sounded maybe a few years older.
“Mama!” she screamed. Mama!”
I ran, desperate to find her.
“Where are you?” I called “I’ll help you.” Suddenly, another cry to my right. “What-?”
“I’m sorry!” the voice yowled. “I won’t do it again!”
“What is this place? Where am I?” I took a step, straining to see in the darkness. I put my hand out, but there was nothing. Silence. I slowly walked forward with my hands out to my sides, hoping to grasp a tiny hand, or to feel any clue as to which direction I should go. Then…I felt something. A shelf. I let my hand glide over the soft wood to keep my balance. “Am I in a library?” I wondered. I couldn’t smell any ink, dust, or musty pages. The air smelled clean…pure. I listened…then…a faint sniffle…a familiar one. It started to crescendo into a wail.
“He was the best…dog…in…the whole world!”
No…It couldn’t be. As I drew closer, my hand hit something. I heard the faint clink of something tipping over. I could tell now that the shelves were full of small glass bottles. I clasped one in my hand and smoothed my fingers over it. It was icy and damp.
A woman shrieked, “How could he do this to me?! He said he loved me!”
I gasped and dropped the bottle, but not a sound followed. No crash. No sound of glass tinkling around the floor.
“That-That was my voice.” I whispered to myself. I could feel my heart beat faster as I desperately felt for the shelf. I immediately grabbed another bottle and held it close, expecting another sniffle when-
“NOOOOOO!” came a deafening cry. “WHY, GOD?! IF YOU LOVED ME YOU WOULD NEVER PUT ME THROUGH THIS!” A pause. Followed by a haunting whisper, “I hate you.” A lump rose in my throat. I clutched the bottle in one hand and held my stomach with the other. I remembered saying that. I remember feeling angry and abandoned. That he took her from me before she was even born.
I slid the bottle back on the shelf, my hands shaking. Silence fell again. Alone in the dark, I fell to my knees, my face down on the cold marble floor. Why wasn’t I crying? I should be crying. I was reliving the pain. I pounded my fist and willed the tears to come. Nothing.
“It’s time.” A gentle voice whispered. The voice startled me, but I wasn’t afraid. I reached behind me, but all I felt was air. I heard something. Soft music; a long solitary note from far down the corridor. The note became louder. It was a trumpet. The note didn’t possess a hint of sharpness nor any shortness of breath. It grew louder still. Blasting, but still never sour or wavering. It was glorious. The ground began to shake. I could hear the bottles rattling. I braced myself; sprawled prostrate on the ground. I could feel the pulsating rhythm of the vibrating glass. I threw my hands over my head, waiting for the bottles to crash over me, but then in an instant, there was light. I looked up. I saw Him; Clothed in white and shining brighter than any star imaginable. Joy swelled in my heart. Still no tears.
“My L-,” I couldn’t even say it. “What is this?” I asked timidly.
“No more.” He said. The bottles shattered all at once with a resounding crash. Thousands upon thousands of bottle shards floated around me, glistening like diamonds in the light.
“You kept them all.” I smiled.
“Thou tellest my wanderings:
put thou my tears into thy bottle:
are they not in thy book?”
Psalm 56:8 (KJV)