CHAPTER ONE - PART TWO
She nodded and stepped towards the room. Poor Aaron. How was he going to react to this? Not well. But she couldn't gamble with Zach's immortal soul. Aaron would never do anything to hurt Zach's chances at Heaven, but … If anyone other than Jesus had instructed her to do this …
Zach knew she was there the moment she stepped into the room. He fussed a bit louder, and she imagined him telling her it was about time. Normally she'd take a few seconds discovering what he needed — changing, feeding, attention, or something else — but not this time. She placed one hand over his mouth and plugged his nose with the other. He stared daggers into her, and then struggled, though he had neither the strength nor the weight to break her hold.
She kissed his forehead. "I'm sorry, baby. I know it hurts, but it'll be over soon. You'll be in the happiest, best place possible. I promise." Tears leaked out of her eyes as she said it, but she kept a smile on her face for Zach. He turned blue, then purple, and then stopped struggling altogether as the color drained from his tiny, angelic face. She held her hands in place for a few seconds more. He was gone; her Zach, her baby Zachary, was gone. She slumped against the crib and this time didn't hold back the tears.
"We both know it's for the best, Jenna."
Her head snapped up. Jesus' voice wasn't inside her mind this time, but beside her. There he stood, as if he'd walked out of one of his iconic paintings. He had long brown hair, a brown beard, and wore a white flowing robe and simple wooden sandals. His entire being glowed, not with a halo around his head, but as if he had one around his entire body.
"You've done the right thing. Now join your child in salvation."
She stared at him, not quite comprehending. He motioned her towards her bedroom. What? Then it dawned on her — the bathtub in the master bathroom. She could run a hot bath, put a razor to her wrists, and be with Zach forever in paradise. But where did that leave Aaron?
"No need to worry about him," Jesus said, touching her shoulder. Peace and acceptance flooded her, and she left Zach's body where it lay. He didn't need it anymore.
She walked out to the garage and grabbed a razorblade. Aaron had some in his toolbox. The ones they kept in the house were for shaving, and those were the disposable safety razors. Jesus kept pace with her the entire time. He didn't say anything, but his presence comforted her, kept her on task. All that mattered at the moment was getting to Zach in Heaven.
Once she had the bath steaming hot, she stripped and stepped in. She didn't mind showing her nude body to Jesus. Why would he care? The scalding water bit into her as she sat down and laid back. Jesus stared down at her and smiled, the loving smile of her gentle, omnipotent Lord. He'd see to it that everything turned out perfect.
He nodded towards the brand-new, never sharper razorblade on the lip of the tub, and she picked it up. Without another thought, she sliced her left wrist from her hand to her elbow. The flesh opened, almost delicately, and spilled blood down her arm and into the water. She took the razor in her now-damaged hand and slit her right wrist the same way. When finished, she tried placing the blade back on the tub's lip, but no longer had the dexterity to do so. It bounced on the porcelain and clanked to the tile floor.
The light-headed feeling that came right before passing out had already taken hold. She looked up at Jesus, ready to bask in more of his beauty, but instead let out a gasp. Jesus, her Lord and Savior, no longer sat next to the tub. Instead, a being made entirely of shadows took his place. It had no face, but she could feel it staring at her. She wanted to cry, to thrash about, to rise out of the crimson pool and strike down the evil, lying monster. But she couldn't. Her strength had already poured into the tub. All she could do was bleed out and die, knowing this evil entity tricked her into killing not only herself, but her beloved son.
With her final few breaths, as the invisible smile on the hidden face of the evil beamed down at her, she whispered to her Aaron, her beloved. "Sorry. So sorry."
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