It has been two weeks since I escaped.
I haven’t seen or heard anything about it. I suppose the asylum does not want the news to spread. This has played in my favor. I have waited, impatiently so, before trying to see my daughter. I know I can’t let William see me. He would not be happy, and I would only be sent back away from her. I won’t go back now. I can’t. I am not sure if the asylum reached out to them about my escape. I needed to wait and see before seeking out Ruth.
I have altered my appearance some. I cut my hair short. I collected some clothes here or there to help me blend in more. I am not dressed as a lady. Those ideals are gone. I could never be that person again. I want to live simply. I want to work to keep my happiness. I cannot go back to doing what others ask.
From my vantage point on the bench, I look up and finally see my first glimpse of her. She was barely smiling then. She is walking now, and her whole face is bright and happy. She is with another woman, her nurse I remind myself. They are walking through the park. I look at Ruth. Really look at her. She is beautiful. That same feeling I once had in my heart comes rushing back. I know I cannot spend another moment away from her. A stage of her life was taken from me, and I refuse to let that continue.
I watch and wait as she plays with the other woman waiting for the right moment. Then it happens. The woman turns to set out a blanket and what looks like lunch for both of them. I run for Ruth expecting her to scream at my presence near her, but as I get to her, she looks up at me with her blue eyes and smiles. I reach for her and she is quickly in my arms. I take a very quick second realizing I have my arms around Ruth again. It is the only place I want to be. Then, never for a moment stopping to look back, we escape from the lives we once lived. Together being all the happiness we need.
For days we didn’t stop. Ruth is a wonderful, kind child. Almost as if she sensed the importance of her demeanor on this journey. She was quiet and never left my arms. I soaked every moment in, letting the importance of what I had done overtake every decision I made. Once we were far from the city where no one would know or recognize us, I began to ask around for a place to stay for a newly widowed woman and her child. With my change in appearance, no one questioned my statement. With my husband dead and appearing to be from a low-income family, it would appear there was no one to turn to for survival. This is the only way to keep Ruth without raising suspicion.
Soon thereafter a farmer’s family took pity on us and let us stay in their barn and work for them. Ruth and I may not have had much, sleeping on the hay with the other animals, but we were finally together again. I would do everything to make sure it stayed that way.
After some time, we could get a small cottage for us. Ruth was growing quickly, but she never questioned our lives. She was happy and content. I never felt the way I once did after she was born. I overcame everything and found a way to provide for us. We were together.