It was only two in the afternoon but she was already stoned. Olivia had started early on this day. Usually she didn’t even have her first drink until dusk, much less three, or four, or was it five already? These things were hard to keep track. What she needed now was coke. She hadn’t indulged in drugs since college, but it was a special day and she needed some perking up. But who to call? Hazrir, was that the name of her dealer back then? Or Hatir? It’s been three or four years now. She thumbed through the contacts in her phone. Hazrir, there he was! Olivia made the call.
She starred at the picture of her parents cradling her when she was a baby while she waited for Hazrir to arrive with the goods. Goodness, they were an attractive couple. Her father, so tall and handsome, her mother with her dimpled grin. And both of them, looking at their newborn baby, instead of at the camera. Olivia, their miracle baby. Olivia, the baby they thought they could never conceive. She wondered if they would regret having her now. If it had been worth it.
Dagnabit. There she went again. She was turning so maudlin now. She turned the picture frame over so she wouldn’t have to look at it anymore. Where was Hazrir?
Olivia had another drink. As soon as she gulped it down, she knew she had made a mistake. She ran to the bathroom and barely made it to the toilet before she vomited. Her mother wasn’t there to hold back her hair so it got everywhere. Olivia looked at herself in the mirror. The image starring back at her was a surprise. My gorgeous Livy, her father had always called her. Well, she looked like a wreck now. What was the point? Seriously, she wondered, what was the point of it all? What was the point of living if she felt so dead?
The doorbell rang. About time, Olivia thought as she opened the door for Hazrir. But it wasn’t Hazrir standing outside. It was Anabelle, her neighbor from across the street. Olivia had gone to church with Anabelle when it first happened but she hadn’t gone for a couple of years now. Still, Anabelle stopped by to visit, or invited her over to dinner. Olivia hadn’t accepted an invitation for a long time but still Anabelle didn’t stop trying.
“Hi Olivia,” Anabelle said now, hugging her with one arm. Because her other hand held a pot of daisies. She presented the daisies to Olivia.
“Thanks,” Olivia said.
“Can I come in for a moment?” Anabelle asked.
“Well, I’m waiting for a friend, but sure, for a moment, I guess.”
Anabelle stepped inside. Olivia did not invite her to sit. So they stood in the alcove looking at each other.
“How are you?” Anabelle finally said.
“Great, you know. Just great.”
Anabelle looked at Olivia with sadness. “I’m here…if you want to talk or if you just want company.”
“No, I’m really great.”
“I’m sorry it’s so hard,” Anabelle said.
“I don’t need your pity.”
“I don’t pity you. I love you.”
It had been a long time since anyone said that to Olivia. The last time she heard those words, it had been her mother speaking them to her on the phone before her parents came to pick her up from the party. The party where she had been drinking. And then the accident happened on their way to get her. The car had glided over the ice and then the wheels spun and the impact with the other car. They died immediately upon impact on this very day 3 years ago.
Olivia began crying. Anabelle moved to her and wrapped her arms around her. “It’s not your fault,” she whispered. Olivia sobbed harder. “They loved you. And they don’t blame you.”
“It’s too late,” Olivia cried.
“It’s never too late.” Anabelle said. “They loved you. And I love you. And God loves you.”
“I can’t make this better. I can’t fix this.”
“Honey, you don’t have to. You aren’t expected to fix anything. God is the one who somehow against all hope, makes everything beautiful in its time.”
“I can’t believe it’s that easy.”
Anabelle looked at Olivia and pushed the hair in her face back. “It’s not easy, but it’s not something you have to do on your own.”
Olivia wanted to believe Anabelle. She wanted to believe that things could be different. That even she could be made beautiful again. Was it possible that God loved her?
“You’re loved Olivia,” Anabelle said again. “And now you have to decide if you want to hope in that or keep living this way.”
Olivia knew she didn’t want to keep living without hope, without love. She couldn’t anymore. It was killing her to live this way and she knew it.
“Okay,” Olivia said softly.
“Okay?” Anabelle said.
“Yeah, I want to believe.”
“Okay,” Anabelle smiled gently.
“What do I do now?” Olivia asked.