Chapter 1. Vera.
Closing the nursery door as gently as she could, Vera sighed with relief. Finally, after what had felt like eternity Grace had stopped crying, and had fallen to sleep. Vera stretched her arms above her head, and yawned, 'what even is the time she wondered?'. Vera pulled to tighten her loose pony tail as her arms came down and she lightly turned on her heel to head towards the direction of the kitchen. Her hair was slightly matted, and a brush hadn't been through her soft brown hair for atleast two days.
'When did I last eat anything?' she wondered, carefully and quietly tip toeing down the stairs.
It seemed to be around dusk, the light outside was fading and the streetlight not too far from her hallway window was already on. She was losing track of time, her ambitions for a strict routine had gone straight out the window when she realised that Grace was almost as stubborn as her, and had other ideas.
It had been three days (or so she thought) since the pair of them had been released from hospital, after a fortnight of being kept in. After what had happened at the prison, and her rather traumatic birth, Vera had gone into shock and showed some signs of PTSD, unsurprisingly. Miraculously, Grace presented herself as absolutely perfect, and would have been discharged after a day or so had Vera not have needed more medical treatment than her. Vera still couldn't bring herself to really think about the events that had unfolded, everytime she tried her breathing would become rapid, her heart would race and she could feel the bile begin to move up through her body. She had to focus of Grace right now, she needed to get through the first few weeks of being a mum, and then when she was ready she would open that box and work through that horrendous day, that ended up being the happiest day of her life.
Vera glanced around the kitchen, empty baby bottles were scattered across the work top, washing wet from the machine still in a pile on the floor, untouched cups of cold coffee still sat there waiting to be drank. Vera tutted to herself, before opening the fridge and scrunching closed her eyes as the light from inside came at her without warning.
Vera jumped, banging her elbow on the fridge door as the sound of the doorbell echoed through her.
"Urghhhh, no!" She groaned.
Grace had literally just this second fallen to sleep, and was bound to wake up now. "You have got to be kidding me, if this is Jake, then I swear to god..." Vera slammed the fridge door shut, and dragged herself towards the hallway cursing under her breath as she baby monitor clipped her jogging bottoms began to crackle and Grace started to stir. She had specifically banned all guests for the the first week of her being back home, informing everyone that she needed some space to get into a routine, and time to get to know Grace on her own before she was ready to face anyone, that also includes Jake.
Jake had visited every single day that Vera was in the hospital, bringing flowers, fruit, baby clothes, coffee for Vera and to start with Vera was grateful to see his face, a little sanctuary in the great chaos of her head, but his insatiable attitude to wanting to be a hands on Father was begining to tire Vera's patience with him- afterall, she still wasn't ready for him to be a consistent part of her life yet.
The figure at the door made Vera stop in her tracks, even through the frosted glass there was no mistaking the tall, strong stance, and the outline of the hair before her.
Vera's stomach flipped a little, and felt her heart begin to beat a bit quicker. Taking a deep breath, she pulled open the latch and opened the door slowly.
Vera smiled softly, her eyes meeting those infront of her. "Rita, h...how on earth are you stood on my front step?" Vera blinked hard incase she was imagining things. She was tired, and had read somewhere that you can start hallucinating after not sleeping for 24 hours. A small, disbelieving frown spread across Vera brow as she absorbed the warm, radiating presence from the woman she last saw as a prisoner.
"It's a long story." Rita shrugged with a smile, and held out her arm holding what looked like a takeout brown paper carrier. "I bought you Chinese, do you like Chinese or...?"
Vera let out a disbelieving chuckle, and stepped aside from the doorway. "Please, come in."