The Girl Who Lived

My baby lay slumped in a corner of the room. I had ignored her for weeks and feared perhaps this time she might really be dead. I’d been tired and lethargic. Couldn’t focus. I had neglected her for so long. We’d been through this cycle for months. We were on again, off again, like a couple of co dependent lovers. It took a short spell in hospital over the Easter weekend to make me realise the error of my ways. Where I was going wrong. After so many questions I finally discovered the truth. A small invisible source was destroying my world. Its name was gluten.

In a bid to regain my life, I banished bread and all things baked. For the first few days I ate real food. Fruit, vegetables, meat. Nothing more. Slowly, I stocked the shelves with gluten free this and wheat free that, one eye cast on the lounge room corner, hoping my baby might stir just for a moment. It was several days before the miracle happened. As if by magic, the fog in my brain started to lift. My energy returned. My enthusiasm romped home wearing bells and whistles.

And then the most miraculous thing of all – the other night, my baby’s toes wriggled and her head lifted toward me and her mouth opened ever so slightly. She was calling me. My precious YA manuscript was back from the dead. And so was I. I reached down for her, and I pulled her into the light and watched as she squinted and blinked and wrinkled her margins in protest. I smoothed her crumpled edges and I whispered softly how sorry I was. I promised her this time would be different. And I think she believed me for she has let me reshape her, beginning to end. The two of us, no longer in sickness but now in health. We are back in business, my baby and I. She is the girl who lived.