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Thread: The Ceremony

  1. #1
    The Ceremony

    The Ceremony


    Albany, New York
    Republic of Gilead

    "Ofjonas is your name now."

    The older female voice said to her as they got into the car.

    'No, it's Amanda! Amanda Young!'

    She screamed back in her mind, but she said nothing. She had learned quickly that it was less painful that way. She couldn't speak her mind anymore. This wasn't America now. It was Gilead and she wasn't Amanda Young anymore. Not since she had been captured by the Guardians. If only Adam had waited to be born. She and Damien had almost made it to Canada. She had almost been free...Adam, their son, she had only seen him once. When he had been born in that old rundown barn. She had kissed his sweet little head, told him she would always love him and his daddy, and told Damien to run with their son. She would never forget the look in Damien's eyes when she told him he had to leave her behind. She knew he didn't want to but he also knew she was right. Their son should not grow up in this world. Damien had left her in the barn with Adam in his arms. Like she had wanted him to do. She had fallen asleep watching them leave. When she woke up again, she was alone with the Guardians. They had captured her and sent her to the Red Center. Where she got to learn the ins and outs of her new job. Being a Handmaid.

    It hadn't been that long ago, but...It felt like a lifetime ago. She prayed every night that Damien made it to Canada with Adam. That they were safe and happy. As for her...She was highly sought after. In a society where babies were hard to come by, someone who could carry a baby full term was very wanted. She had heard there had been a bidding war over her between the Commanders. Commander Jonas Morgan had won.

    She knew who he was. He had been the last President of the United States. And he was a traitor to his people. That's what Damien, her fiance, had yelled at the television when the news broke. That martial law was declared. Eventually America fell. She missed America. She hated this new home, but she said nothing. Women had no place. Even women thought highly of, like the wives and aunts, still were second class citizens to the men. Handmaids only served one purpose. For a young woman who had only had had sex with one man her entire life, the father of her son and the man she had planned to marry, it was heartbreaking to think what this new 'job' required of her.

    "Yes, Aunt Mary."

    She replied to Mary, the aunt who was taking her to Commander Morgan's home, her new post. She was supposed to give him and his wife a baby. Thinking that made her tear up a little, as she sat in the car with her hands on her lap. She wanted her baby. She already lost one and once she gave birth again, she'd lose that one too.

    She half listened to Aunt Mary tell her about the Morgan home. Telling her how fortunate she was to be chosen by him. She nodded her head as needed to show she was playing attention. She would have looked out the window, but the windows were tinted. Couldn't have the Handmaids know where they were going. After about a twenty minute drive, they had arrived Commander Morgan's home.

    He lived in a beautiful suburb. A rich man's suburb. A place that she and Damien would have never been able to afford. The house was easily valued at a million dollars. It looked like a fancy prison to her. She put her head down as she followed Aunt Mary to the home. Aunt Mary knocked on the door and was greeted by the Morgans' Martha. They were directed to the parlor room while she went to get the Commander and his wife.

    "Remember to be a good girl. It was a great honor for Commander Morgan to have chosen you."

    "Yes, Aunt Mary."

    She replied looking down at the hardwood floor. She didn't feel fortunate. She felt like a lamb being led to slaughter.
    Last edited by Sojourn; 03-31-2019 at 06:39 PM.
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  2. #2
    Damien Holiday

    Toronto, Ontario

    "How was he today, Miss Kitty?"

    Damien asked as he picked up his son from the playpen. Kitty, an older woman who was in her late fifties, smiled. Everyone called her 'Miss Kitty'. She ran the daycare center in Little America. She loved children and loved helping out how she could. She was too old to be a soldier, but in the war, fighting wasn't the only thing that was needed. For people like Damien, who Gilead forced to be single parents, she was a god-send. Someone who could be trusted with their children while they worked and tried to free their loved ones.

    "Oh, he was a good boy. As always."

    "He got that from his mother."

    Damien replied with a sad smile, kissing the top of Adam's head. Adam nuzzled against his father's chest. He was already reminding him so much of Amanda. She should be here with them. It made him angry she wasn't. That the 'Commanders of the Faithful' denied their marriage license because he was divorced. He didn't know what was happening to Amanda in Gilead, but he was sure it wasn't good. He had heard stories from survivors, of what the government was doing to women. It made him sick. And feel guilty. Because if he hadn't been married before maybe they could have been together. Instead, he and Adam were free and she was trapped. He'd free her, he had to.

    Kitty smiled sadly back at him.

    "I'm sure."

    She replied. She didn't know what else to say. Everyone who had taken refuge here was missing someone. The war between what little remained of the United States and Gilead was on-going and loved ones were separated. Bless the Canadians who had welcomed the refugees. Little America was what they called in their home in Toronto, but many hoped to someday go back home and have America be whole again.

    "Yeah...Thank you and we'll see you tomorrow."

    Damien replied and Kitty wished them a good day. Damien put Adam in his stroller and walked over to the US consulate, it wasn't far from Miss Kitty's daycare. He went there every day. Hoping and praying that today would be the day he would hear news about Amanda. Sadly, today was no different then yesterday or the all the days before that since he had arrived in Canada.

    "I'm sorry, Damien. I have no news for you about Amanda today."

    The man at the consulate office told him and Damien sighed.

    "Well, thank you anyway, Ian. I'll see you tomorrow."

    He replied. He came every day, like clock work. Many people did. He was on first name basis with many of the workers. And Ian knew Damien and his son would be back. Damien and Adam came every day around the same time. He hoped someday to give them some news about Amanda Young. The worst part of it for many people was not knowing what was happening to their loves ones in Gilead. Not being able to give them any news was the worst part of Ian's job.

    Damien and Adam had a pretty set schedule. Damien had been given a job working at a local snack factory. He worked the day shift five days a week, Adam went to Miss Kitty's day care while he worked. Then they would visit the consulate office to see if there was any news. Then they would spend the rest of the day together.

    "All right, Adam, it's time for your and Tigger's picture."

    Damien told his son when they got back to their apartment. Every day Damien took a picture of Adam for Amanda with the little stuffed Tigger toy she had picked out for their son. When they had found out she was pregnant, Amanda insisted they go shopping. Even though Damien told her they didn't have to buy stuff right away. They had plenty of time. He had been through a pregnancy before, with his ex-wife, Cora. Although that baby hadn't been his. But Amanda had insisted, she was rightfully excited and wanted to buy something for their baby. She had argued that even though they couldn't know their baby's gender yet, they could still buy a toy. Tigger had been decided on. After all, Tigger could be for a boy or girl.

    That stuffed Tigger had made it with Damien and Adam to Canada. When he and Amanda had tried to run, Tigger had ended up in a book bag of their things. Along with a picture of Amanda that Damien had copies made of. One to hang on the living room wall and copies for him and Adam to have next their beds. Adam was far too young to know he was without his mother, but Damien was determined that Adam would know who she was. His greatest wish would be that Adam would someday be reunited with Amanda. He'd give almost anything for that to happen.

    He set Adam on the couch and sat Tigger next to him and snapped their picture. Everyday Damien took their picture. When they found Amanda, he wanted her to have lots of pictures of Adam. So she wouldn't feel she missed out on too much. Babies grew so fast and...He knew Amanda and knew she would be upset at how much she missed. He hoped the pictures would someday help.

    "Good boy. Now, it's time for your nap."

    Damien told him his son and picked him and the toy up.

    "Your mommy loves you and so does Daddy."

    He gave Adam a kiss and set him into his crib. Adam fell asleep and Damien sighed. Now was the worst part of the day for him. When he wasn't working or taking care of Adam, he was alone with his thoughts. Thoughts that would always turn to Amanda and what was happening to her.
    Last edited by Sojourn; 03-31-2019 at 06:41 PM.
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  3. #3
    Paige Morgan - Gilead

    Paige hesitated for a moment before she opened the parlor door. She was here to meet their new Handmaid - she had repeated that statement to herself a hundred times in the past hour, and it still seemed insane.

    It wasn't a matter of jealousy. Paige had not chosen to marry her husband; she had been commanded, and had obeyed. It had not occurred to her to say no. She wondered what would have happened if she had tried... but that was a fantasy. Refusal would have been pointless. It would not have changed the outcome, merely made things more unpleasant in the meantime. Paige felt no real attachment to Jonas, and the idea of him sleeping with another woman caused her no pain. Sympathy, yes, since presumably the Handmaid was no more eager to go to the Commander's bed than Paige herself was. But jealousy? No.

    Rather, Paige wasn't sure what to hope for, because there was a secret she had never confided in anyone: that she was - as far as she knew - the only woman in Gilead who didn't want a child.

    With fertility rates so low and so few infants surviving, every child in Gilead was wished for, prayed for, coveted. Paige was fairly unique, though, in that she had lost out on so much of her own childhood because as long as she could remember, she'd had so much responsibility for caring for her younger brothers. Though she was without a child of her own, in a way Paige felt she had already raised her children as the oldest in her family without capable parental figures. She had absolutely no interest in spending more of her life bringing someone up.

    You couldn't admit that here, though. It was heresy. Practically treason. So she'd had to smile and pretend to be excited when she found out she was pregnant.

    She hadn't wanted her baby to die, of course. Her grief over the stillbirth was genuine. Genuine... but confused. It was a strange feeling, mourning the loss of someone else's dream that came from your own body.

    Paige had tried to confide in her mother once. It hadn't gone well. Her mother had cut her off with a stinging slap, then whispered fiercely in her ear, You had better just accept your lot in life. There's no Mayday that comes to save wives. Then she directed the conversation to the weather, as if Paige hadn't spoken. As if they were strangers.

    At the time, Paige hadn't known what that meant. Since then, though, she had heard the whispers about Mayday... and it seemed her mother was right. There was no way out for a wife. A wife wasn't supposed to want a way out.

    Paige turned the doorknob and composed her face into a soft smile, keeping her eyes downcast, studiously examining the rug. What if the Handmaid didn't like her? Was she about to be bullied in her own home? Paige knew that as always, she was pale with dark circles. She was too thin. She looked sickly. But it couldn't be helped.

    "Under His Eye," she greeted the Handmaid in a half-whisper, barely daring to look up for a brief glance at the new member of her husband's household.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 04-03-2019 at 05:58 PM.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea
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  4. #4
    Hernandez - Canada

    "Get your orders, Hernandez?" Jimmy asked.

    Hernandez nodded. "Back to Gilead. New York this time."

    "Shit, man," Jimmy said sympathetically. "You just got back. They aren't gonna give you any rest?"

    "I requested the assignment." At his friend and fellow rebel's quizzical look, Hernandez explained, "I think there's another lead. I don't need to rest. I need to check it out before the trail goes cold."

    "Shit," Jimmy said again. "Your sister?"

    "I hope so," Hernandez replied.

    That was why he had joined the rebels in the first place. Hernandez believed in the cause. He believed passionately, and was willing to die to bring freedom back to Gilead. But there was a personal aspect, too. His younger half-sister, Carmen, had not been able to escape to Canada with his mother and stepfather. She was back there somewhere, being used as some man's Handmaid. Hernandez wasn't sure where she was... but he was determined to find her and bring her home. However many missions it took.
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  5. #5
    Ofjonas, Commander Jonas Morgan, & Bryce Morgan

    Albany, New York
    Republic of Gilead

    She wasn't sure what to truly expect and that made her nervous. She knew what was expected of her. She was just a vessel to give Commander Morgan and his wife a baby. That was her duty. That was what God had chosen for her to do the Aunts said. She was an adulteress. All because Damien had been married before they met. Even though he was already divorced from Cora before they met. It didn't matter in Gilead. Divorce wasn't legal here.

    Personally she thought it was all horseshit. But it would be suicide to say that out loud. If she ever wanted to see Damien and Adam again, she had to survive. Even if it meant allowing Commander Morgan to impregnate her. She knew what he wanted but she wasn't sure what his wife would think of her. Most women wouldn't be too thrilled to have another woman in their home. Sleeping with their husband. She supposed the wives of Gilead wanted babies so badly, they would do whatever was necessary to get one. Allowing their husbands to rape other women to get what they wanted. Of course, it wasn't rape. It was her way to salvation. She was a sinner, the Aunts said, and sinners had to give penance. Giving the Commanders and their wives children were the ways Handmaids gave their penance. Their way into Heaven after their lifetime of sin. Or so the Handmaids were told at the Red Center.

    When Paige entered the parlor room, she looked up and was surprised. She wasn't expecting to see someone who looked about her age. She was expecting to see Rebecca Morgan. The woman who had loyally stood behind her husband on television as he told the former United States that he was enacting martial law. The woman whose picture was hanging on the wall. What happened to that woman, she wondered. Not that she could ask. Handmaids weren't supposed to ask many questions.

    "Under His Eye."

    She replied quietly back, looking up at Paige. Commander Jonas Morgan didn't make them wait long for him to join them. He and Bryce were in his office discussing his itinerary when the Martha told him that his new Handmaid had arrived. Jonas was beyond eager to meet her. He had already grown bored of Paige. She couldn't give him a child and Commanders were discouraged from having sex with their wives that could not conceive. They should focus their energies of the fertile Handmaids that could give them children and guarantee Gilead's future. Although he had a son already, one who was actually older then his young wife, he had to carry out his duty. It was all of the Commanders' duties to bring more children to their country. A duty that Jonas was happy to do.

    "Welcome to your new home."

    Jonas told her with a happy smile. He and Aunt Mary seemed to be the only happy ones here. She wasn't sure what to think of Paige or Bryce. He looked like a younger version of Jonas but was wearing the clothes of a Guardian. A servant in his own father's home, what kind of household did Aunt Mary take her to? She bowed her head to Commander Morgan.

    "Thank you. It is a honor to serve you, Commander Morgan."

    "We are happy to have you here, aren't we, Paige?"

    Jonas said to his wife with a smile. Surely she would be happy to have Ofjonas here. She would have a baby. All wives wanted babies.
    Last edited by Sojourn; 04-05-2019 at 07:19 PM.
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  6. #6
    Paige Morgan - Gilead

    "Yes," Paige said. "Yes, we're happy to have you here."

    Paige was in the habit of agreeing with her husband. Jonas Morgan was not a man who tolerated disagreement well, and Paige had never been taught any way of asserting her own opinion, so she typically just went along with him.

    For once, though, she was perfectly sincere. She dared to meet the Handmaid's eyes, and gave her a quick but genuine smile.

    Paige was happy she was here, but not for the reasons Jonas thought. The truth was, Paige was lonely. She was younger than most of the wives, and had little in the way of shared interests with them. Paige rarely had anyone to talk to, and now she finally had a woman her own age in the house. Ofjonas seemed like a nice person. Paige hoped that maybe the two of the could come to be friends someday.
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  7. #7
    Ofjonas, Commander Jonas Morgan, & Bryce Morgan

    Albany, New York
    Republic of Gilead

    "Thank you."

    She replied quietly to the Commander and his wife. She knew why Jonas was happy she was here. She could easily tell from the look in his eyes he found her attractive. Which made her feel a little sick. He was about the same age as her dad...She assumed the reason that Paige was happy she was here because she would provide her with a child. All the wives wanted children, that's what the Aunts at the Red Center had told her and the other Handmaids. Through her, Paige would be blessed as a mother.

    When Paige gave her a smile, she returned it with one of her own. Jonas was pleased. Paige seemed happy enough with Ofjonas. He had heard from other Commanders that their wives were jealous of the Handmaids being in their home, but it appeared he would have no issue with that in his own home. If the Lord was willing, soon Ofjonas would be with child and things would be even better in his household.

    Now that introductions were out of the way, Jonas said to his son.

    "Bryce, show Ofjonas where her room is."

    "Yes, Father."

    Bryce replied and Aunt Mary told Ofjonas.

    "Under His Eye."

    "Under His Eye."

    She replied, she grabbed her simple brown suitcase and followed Bryce out of the room. She knew it would not be the last time she would see Aunt Mary. The Aunt would check on her constantly, making sure she was behaving. Seeing if the Ceremony was successful. Hopefully she would be blessed and it would only take one time...Although, she knew life wasn't always that simple.

    Jonas turned to Aunt Mary and asked.

    "When do you think the window will be open?"

    Referring to the window of Ofjonas' fertility for the month. Not that he could come out and just say that. Gilead was a proper society, not crude, like the United States had been. Aunt Mary gave him a smile.

    "Oh, very soon. From our tracking, it'll be open this weekend."


    Jonas replied with a smile. While the Commander talked to the Aunt, the Morgans' Martha quietly asked Paige.

    "Mrs Morgan, with your permission, could Ofjonas go shopping today? With this joyous arrival, I thought it was fitting to make the Commander his favorite dessert tonight, but I realized I do not have enough cherries."

    Jonas' favorite dessert was black forest cake and it seemed fitting with the arrival of his Handmaid he would want to celebrate that.
    Last edited by Sojourn; 04-07-2019 at 01:13 PM.
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  8. #8
    Paige Morgan - Gilead

    It took Paige an extra beat to recognize that she was being addressed. Being "Mrs. Morgan" still sounded strange to her ears. That was what she was, of course. And since Gilead didn't give a woman any options for leaving her marriage, it was what she always would be.

    "Oh. Uh. Sure. Of course. If she wants to," Paige replied, then wondered if that had been the wrong thing to say. Ofjonas wasn't a servant. Shopping was a standard Handmaid responsibility, but Paige didn't want her to feel like she was already being ordered around and put to work when she had only just arrived and hadn't settled in. On the other hand, Ofjonas might need a break from the pressure of being here. Maybe a walk would be just what she needed.

    Paige knew she was expected to be the decisive voice here, but she didn't feel decisive, so she just let the option hang in the air.
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  9. #9
    Ofjonas & Bryce Morgan

    Albany, New York
    Republic of Gilead

    "Of course."

    Luna, the Martha, replied with a small smile and a nod of the head. She was closer in age to Commander Morgan then his own wife was. She never said anything, but could tell being addressed as 'Mrs Morgan' was odd to the young woman. It wasn't her place to say anything, though. A Martha job was to cook and clean the house, not judge the state of a Commander's marriage. However, she took what Paige said as an okay for Ofjonas to go shopping.

    "Excuse me."

    She told Paige with a slight bow of her head and left the room.


    Once out of the earshot of Commander Morgan and Aunt Mary, Bryce quietly told Ofjonas.

    "Here, let me carry that."

    He said, referring to the bag she had brought with her. She was surprised and replied.

    "You don't have to, it's not heavy."

    Her bag only contained a few changes of clothes and toiletries. The clothes, other then her nightgowns and undergarments, were red. All she was allowed to wear was red. She was really starting to hate the color red.

    "Maybe not, but my mother taught me manners. One is to never make a lady carry her own bag."

    Bryce said. She was surprised at his comment. Since she had been captured by the Guardians, she was almost starting to get used to men treating her like a second class citizen. Even the Aunts and Wives played second fiddle to the men. But Bryce Morgan reminded her a little of how things used to be. Before Gilead, when men were taught to respect women. She handed him her bag and continued to follow him.

    Bryce lead Ofjonas to her room. Her thoughts that the Morgan home was a beautiful prison were even more confirmed as she walked through it. It was an old house, built before the First American Civil War. It had belonged to many wealthy families over the years. It had servant's quarters and a back staircase that lead to them. That's where she would live, in the servant's area.

    "It's small, but you have your own bathroom."

    Bryce told her, giving her a brief tour of the room that his father said to give her. She would share the servant quarters with Luna. Who she was expected to help with the upkeep of the household. Bryce lived in an apartment over the garage. It was a nice enough room, but it felt like a prison cell. Bryce set her bag down on the bed and she looked around the room. This was her jail cell, for the next two years. Two years was how long an assignment was in a Commander's home. It could be less, if she produced a child sooner. After two years, if there was no baby, she'd be assigned to another Commander's home. A Handmaid only got three tries to produce a healthy baby before she was considered an 'Unwoman' and sent off to the Colonies. The stories the Aunts told of that place...No one wanted to go there.

    She was surprised when she turned back to face Bryce he had an old Polaroid camera in his hand.

    "Could you take your wings off? I need to take your picture."

    He said to her. Wings were what the white bonnet on her head was commonly called. It restricted her peripheral vision. She assumed so Handmaids couldn't get too aware of their surroundings and escape. At the Red Center it was beaten into the Handmaids heads that they were to be 'good'. Part of being a 'good' woman was to never ask questions. To be seen, not heard. That referred to the Commander in charge of the house, his Wife, and even the Guardians. Still, she couldn't help but ask.


    "He wants a picture."

    Bryce replied, implying that his father requested it. She nodded her head and took of the wings, revealing a simpler bonnet that covered most of her blond hair. Of course, Commander Morgan would request it. She didn't even want to think what he might want it for. She rolled her shoulders and stood in front of Bryce. He held up the camera and paused for a moment and asked.

    "Could you smile for it?"

    She gave him a look. Smile? Really? Did his father want her to pretend she was happy to be here? Is that how he was going to justify what he was going to do to her? Have a picture of her pretending that she was happy to look at before he went to bed at night?


    Bryce added. She sighed. He was being so polite about it, it was almost unreal to her.


    She said and gave him a smile, one she didn't really feel. Bryce snapped her picture and said.

    "Thank you."

    "You're welcome."

    'Not like I had much of a choice,' she thought to herself. She watched him wave the picture around as it began to develop. She hadn't seen one of those cameras in years. She remembered her grandfather had had one. He kept it long after digital cameras became the norm. He never liked 'newfangled' technology. She missed her grandfather, thank God he had died before Gilead rose to power. His funeral was the last time she had seen her parents or her brothers. Damien had went with her and while her grandfather had liked him, because they had both served in the Army, her parents didn't. After the funeral, they had their last fight. Her parents had disapproved of Damien because he was older and divorced. They thought she was too young to be involved with him and at nineteen years old she had screamed she was adult and could live her life as she saw fit. In hindsight, that hadn't been a very adult thing to say.

    She wondered how they were. Were they alive? Did they escape? Maybe her mother was a Martha to someone. Her father and brothers....She heard that many men had died. Men who resisted the new world order. Not wanting to treat their women like servants. Seeing their daughters become Handmaids....Not knowing was the worst thing of all in Gilead.

    Thoughts of her family left her when Luna arrived.

    "I need you to go to the store. You are to pick up cherries and sugar for tonight. I already made the arrangements. Your shopping partner is waiting for you outside and Mrs Morgan approved. She wants Commander Morgan to have his favorite dessert."


    She replied grabbing her wings to put back on her head. A Handmaid could not go out in public with out them. Mrs Morgan surely wanted her husband to be happy. Having a favorite dessert was a way to make a man happy. Especially on a 'joyous' occasion. Like this was supposed to be. Joyous for them maybe, she thought grimly. Because the wings restricted her peripheral vision so much, she missed the fact that Bryce discreetly handed Luna both the camera and the picture he had taken.

    Aunt Mary had been seen out by the time she had made her way back down stairs. Jonas was eager for the weekend and retreated to his office to continue his work. They probably would not see him again until it was time for dinner. Luna retreated to the kitchen to start cooking and Bryce walked her to the front gate to meet her shopping partner. She wondered who it would be. She had met many other young women like her at the Red Center. Despite how training had been, she had liked some of the women she met there. Although her heart ached for them as much as it did for herself. This job...None of them asked for it.
    Last edited by Sojourn; 04-08-2019 at 06:14 AM.
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  10. #10
    Damien Holiday

    Toronto, Ontario

    "Adam! You're supposed to eat it, not make me wear it!"

    Damien said with a laugh as he tried to feed his son some baby food. More of the mashed carrots were ending up on him, his son, and the high chair instead of in Adam's mouth. Adam laughed at his father and smashed his hands on the tray of the high chair, sending more carrots flying. It was a fun game to the baby. The phone rang and Damien got up from his chair.

    "Hang on, buddy."

    He told Adam, who just kept playing with his food. Damien grabbed a towel and wiped his face as he answered the phone.


    "Damien, it's Ian Reinbolt. From the Consulate."

    Damien only knew one Ian. A man he saw everyday. A man who promised to call if there was ever any news about Amanda. Day or night. Damien's hand tighten around the receiver as he replied.


    "I don't have any news about Amanda herself but...A woman just arrived at the Refugee Center. She said her name is Cecilia Young. The names of her next of kin...She said she had a daughter named Amanda..."

    He gave said the birth date that Cecilia gave for her daughter. It was the same as Amanda's. The other names Cecilia gave matched the names Damien had given for Amanda too. Surprisingly she had given his name as well.

    "...Do you know her?"

    "Yeah...she's Amanda's mom."

    Damien replied looking over at Adam. He hadn't seen Cecilia in four years. Not since the day of Amanda's grandfather's funeral. The last day they had saw Amanda's family because she and her parents had a big fight. Over him...They hadn't even told her family about Adam. Damien said she should but Amanda could be stubborn. Saying she'd wait until Adam was born. Then they would just have to accept their relationship if they wanted to see their grandson. Well, then the war happened and now...He was the one going to have to introduce Adam to a woman he was pretty sure hated him. If Cecilia didn't already, she surely would now. Once she knew Amanda was still trapped in Gilead and it was his fault. He told Ian.

    "I'll be right there."

    He said goodbye and picked up Adam.

    "Looks your dinner is going to have to wait. You're going to meet your grandmother."

    Adam just cooed at his father, having no idea what he said.


    After cleaning them both up, Damien put his son in his stroller and walked to the Refugee Center. It was in the same building as the US Consulate. All refugees checked in there, hoping to be reconnected with lost loved ones and given new starts in Toronto if they had no family in Alaska or Hawaii. Little did Damien expect to see his almost mother-in-law there. He was greeted by Ian who took them into the waiting room and went to get Cecilia. She looked she had aged at least ten years since he last saw her. She was wearing sweat pants and a tee shirt. Her blond hair was turning white and tied back in a ponytail.

    "Cecilia, I-"

    Damien stood up from the chair. He hadn't known what to expect when he saw her again. The last time he had saw her, it hadn't been pleasant. He didn't expect for her to start crying and hug him. He wrapped his arms around her. He wasn't sure how long they were just hugging each other when Adam started to babble in baby talk.


    She turned and looked at the baby in the stroller. Cecilia hadn't seen him at first. Damien let go of Cecilia and picked Adam up. Holding him up to her.

    "This is Adam, your grandson."


    She said, in shock and took the baby. She looked down at him. Adam reached up and touched her cheeks. Saying hi to her and she smiled back at him. It was a shock to meet him, her daughter's son. A baby she hadn't known existed until right now.

    "Amanda wanted to name him Adam...after her grandfather."

    "My father. She was always so close to him."

    Cecilia replied. Amanda had loved her grandfather very much and the feeling at been mutual. Grandpa Adam had loved all his grandchildren. Spoiling them rotten with toys and sweets. It had been her father's funeral where they had became estranged.

    "He looks just like her."

    She said to Damien as he directed her to sit down. Damien nodded his head as he sat next to her.

    "He does...I....we....Amanda was going to tell you but...."

    Cecilia sadly nodded her head.

    "After the funeral...We didn't part on the best of terms."

    Damien sadly nodded his head. Seeing Cecilia with Adam...His guilt was starting to feel even stronger then it normally did.

    "Is Amanda...?"

    "She's not here. I..."

    Damien explained to her what happened in the barn, back in New York. How they waited too long to leave. How he and Amanda had first been denied a marriage license because of his previous marriage. How they tried to run. How they almost got the border but she had went into labor. How he had leave her behind...He looked down at his feet as he said.

    "I'm sorry. It's my fault."

    Cecilia adjusted Adam, so she could touch Damien's shoulder and hold the baby at the same time.

    "No, it's not."

    "But it is. You and John were right. I wasn't good for her. If she hadn't loved me...She wouldn't be there."

    Having only God knew what done to her. He didn't like to think what it was, but deep down, he knew. Older women, pass fertility age, were Marthas. Younger women, especially ones that had given birth, were Handmaids. It didn't take a rocket scientist to guess what Amanda was assigned to be. If she was even still alive.

    "John and I were wrong. You made her happy. I know you did what you could. You did what she wanted. You brought him here. You saved him. I know my daughter, Damien, and...Saving Adam was more important then herself."

    He looked up at Cecilia and saw that she meant what she said. He didn't see anger, but understanding in her eyes.

    "Adam would have ended up in one of the Commanders' households and you would be dead. And Amanda...She'd still be where she is."

    Except with Damien alive, there was hope. She could see how much Damien loved her daughter. She had been too stubborn to see it before. His age, his divorce...It didn't seem to matter now. Damien sighed.

    "What happened to you all when it started?"

    He asked. Cecilia was by herself, without her husband John or her sons.

    "We realized, like you did, what was going on too late. We tried to leave but...John and Dylan were killed by the Angels guarding the border."

    She said looking down, tears coming her cheeks. Adam reached up to try and almost wipe them away. The little baby didn't understand tears, although sometimes his daddy cried too. It seemed when he wiped at the wet things, it made his daddy happier. Maybe it would help this lady too. Damien wrapped his arm around Cecilia.

    "I'm so sorry."

    Although John and Dylan, the older of the two sons, hadn't been that nice to him that day, he hadn't wished them dead. Cecilia sniffed.

    "Thanks...Zachary and I were separated after that. I don't know what happened to him..."

    Sometimes younger boys were recruited to become Guardians. He had only been twelve when she last saw him. She had no idea if he was still alive.

    "I was assigned as a Martha to one of the Commanders in Philadelphia. I escaped with the Commander's Handmaid because of Mayday."

    Cecilia said, naming the rebel group that was trying to liberate Gilead and its citizens. She told Damien how the rebels had set the Commander's home on fire and that she had escaped with the household's Handmaid. The young woman had just given birth and wanted to keep her baby. Mayday used the fire to cover the escape and Cecilia had went with the woman and her baby. The young mother and child were on their way to Alaska, where the girl's aunt and uncle had escaped to. While Cecilia was here.

    "I'm glad you made it out."

    Damien said with a smile and Cecilia smiled back.

    "Thank you."

    "Cecilia, I don't know where you plan to stay but...If you want, you can stay with us. Our apartment isn't huge, but we'll make room."

    Giving their interactions in the past, Cecilia was surprised at the offer. Just as Damien had thought she didn't like him, she was sure the feeling was mutual.

    "Are you sure? I wouldn't want to impose."

    "I'm sure. Adam needs you in his life."

    Damien said with a smile. Adam cooed, taking part in the conversation. It seemed the baby agreed. Cecilia smiled.

    "I want to be in his life."

    "Good, it's settled then. Come on, let's get your things."

    Damien said standing up and holding out his hand to Cecilia. The refugees were always given a small book bag of clothes and some toiletries. A few things to start their lives over with. She took his hand and stood up. Not ready to let Adam go yet. She didn't have her children, but Adam was a part of her daughter. And she wasn't quite ready to put him down yet. Not that Adam seemed to mind. Another person was here to love him. Damien grabbed the stroller and walked with them. If Amanda could see them right now, Damien was sure she'd be happy. Their son had met his grandmother who already loved him the moment she saw him.
    Last edited by Sojourn; 04-08-2019 at 11:17 AM.
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