Ellie shifted in that space between waking and dreaming, finding the place of waking to be as unsure as the dream she had just left. She began a thoughtless stretch, trying to find the where and why before opening her eyes to the new day. Sliding across the sheets, her toes encountered warmth and gradually, uncertainly, she became aware of the warm brick wall at her back … the strong arms surrounding her. Persuaded she was still dreaming, she sighed contentedly and attempted reentry to that place of sleep and peace.
“Good morning, little one.” The words were familiar, resonating with a place she knew from long ago … accompanied by the brush of a breath caressing her shoulder, the tightening of the embrace enveloping her. Her eyes sprang open, taking in the room not her own, yet familiar – the room that mere hours ago had been filled with loss and emptiness - wondering at the comfort and security of this place and this moment that was now. It had been years since these arms held her, since that voice was the one to welcome her into a new day, years that melted away into the sunshine filling the space. In a flash, the confusion fell away and Ellie knew she was exactly where she belonged.
Today would not be an easy day. Today would challenge her in ways that would have otherwise been unbearable. Today ... this day ... opened the door to a tomorrow that was everything her yesterdays should have been.