Connie Johnson’s life was going well until her mother, Dolores, leaves home to find her father. Dolores places her son, Samuel, in charge but as time passes worry starts to set in. A house fire breaks out causing Connie and her siblings to flee their home. After the tragedy Connie slowly tries to keep it together.
Before her life can go back to normal, Connie’s mother becomes ill and has to go into the hospital. Connie’s father appears just to move them to a new location. Trying her best to adjust, Connie’s days and nights are mixed with hurt and pain. She wonders who she can turn to for help or if help is ever coming to her rescue.
Connie had been gone several hours now, and it was getting dark. An old black station wagon pulled up and the window rolled down. The older woman driving said her name was name Lilly, and she asked Connie if she was lost.
Connie said, “No, I just ran away.”
“Why are you running away?” Lilly asked.
“Because bad things happened to my mother,” she responded, “and it’s all my fault!”
Lilly said, “Where do you live, honey?” and Connie was getting mad because she felt like the lady was asking too many questions, and her mother told her never to talk to strangers.
“No, I don’t know where I live, and I’m not going back-” At that moment, a large man got out of the car, and Connie took off running as fast as she could. She always thought about the Gingerbread man when she ran, “Run! Run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me! I’m the Gingerbread man!” All of a sudden, Connie was swooped up into the man’s arms, and she couldn’t get away. The man said, “Hold it, young lady. You’re not as fast as I am!” and Connie knew that voice. She looked up and it was her daddy. Connie was so happy to see her daddy, she told him everything that happened. When Connie arrived at home, her father had a long conversation with Dolores and left. Dolores tucked Connie in her bed and told her how much she loved her and never wanted anything to happen to her. Dolores was talking on and on, and Connie was too tired to hear what Dolores was saying and fell asleep.
The next day, Connie climbed out of bed and tiptoed down the hall and peeped into her mother’s bedroom to get a good look at Doty. Connie wanted to know if Doty was all right. The door was cracked open, and she stood there, watching her mother hold Doty up in the air, and Doty was cooing. Just then her mother said, “Come in, Connie,” Connie climbed up into the bed and played with her mother and Doty all morning.
Connie continued to watch her mother, but there was something was in her eyes, and Connie could feel something wasn’t right. She did what her mother asked and got dressed for school afterwards. Sometimes, Joe Junior would walk them to the corner and over the meadows, and they would run through the grass. The grass was always green and fresh, and it smelled good. Connie liked running through the meadows to school. When Connie and her siblings returned home that day, Joe Junior said, “Your mother is sick and she is in the hospital, she said for all of you to be good until she returns home.” Connie promised she would be on good behavior and sat on the couch with her brothers and sisters, rocking back and forth. Dolores was gone for a long time, and Connie ached badly just to see her mother. Dolores was gone for about two weeks.
Earlene Walker is a freelance writer and publisher who writes to bring awareness to the treatment of children. She is a wife, mother and works in the capacity that allows her to take care of others. Earlene resides in Indianapolis, Indiana. Missing Pieces is her first novel and she is currently working on her next book.