I’m listening and trying to gauge her level of estrangement from reality. Is she just temporarily anguished, or adrift in crazy waters over a nasty undertow? I weigh her words against my understanding of angels, and spirits, and babies. I am one of those skeptics who would love to believe in angels and that there are guardian spirits who love us and want us to be safe, happy, and healthy. In my youth there were dark and lonely hours where I prayed for their kindness and deliverance but never saw or heard them. I gave up hope and stopped asking but I couldn’t give up on them completely. I buried that hope in the kind of disappointment that waits for evidence. A dormant seed waiting for that first ray of vernal sunshine.
It’s possible that angels were keeping her functioning and, if she believed, I couldn’t take that from her. She’s still talking, mostly repeating what she’s already said about angels and spirit babies and being alone. At moments when I think she’s not looking I use my periphery to keep an eye on the two interior doorways. I listen to hear if we are truly the only people in the house. Then I sit in a chair opposite of her and make note of anything within her reach that could be used as a weapon. Just in case.
She doubles over, both hands pressed to her stomach, and moans. Her body shudders and she falls to her knees beside the table. It takes me a moment to get up and stand behind her. My right hand on her shoulder and my left stroking her back, trying to put her at ease. She is talking to me and to her angels. Talking about the pain, the impending delivery. “I’m so afraid, I’m so afraid,” she says.
She groans, as if urging contractions, and cries towards the floor for her angels and for release from the pain. Her hair is long, black and wavy. It falls all around her head, strands are stuck to the wet on her cheeks. I continue rubbing her back, telling her the angels are here. That she isn’t alone. We spend several minutes like this as I try to understand what she is saying. Between the accent and the tears it’s pretty difficult.
She begins to stand and I help her, one hand supporting her arm and another around her waist. She is slight, thin but muscled. We walk into the dining room. Sparsely furnished with a couch, dresser, and a Christmas tree on a coffee table. She motions to her left, into a small bedroom. Too small for a bed, it has a couple of dressers. Clothes, shoes, books and toys are neatly arranged around the perimeter. We walk in, her body shudders and she lowers to the carpet on her hands and knees. I put my hands on her back. Her entire body is shaking, it seems beyond her control. She is rocking and pleading with her angels. She braces again and I am wondering just what it is I can do.
I want to help her. I ask her if she needs a doctor or an ambulance. She tells me her body is strong and that there is nothing wrong with her. She is determined this is a spirit baby she has been carrying for the angels, that he is ready to be born and I am the one to help her deliver it. In between gasps and tears, she insists again the archangel Michael has shown me to her. Her fingers dig into the carpet and she cries out again. So loudly I wonder if anyone walking by the house could hear us. She calls for her angels and I tell her they are around us and that she isn’t alone. She says her water has broken.