Matthew bent down and drew a Parallelogram in the snow.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Showing you where your father is.” he answered. Then he turned and was off through the trees.
“Matthew!” I called after him, but he was gone.
I woke in a cold sweat. Martha was bending over me with a look of concern on her face. Using all of my strength I pushed myself into a sitting position.
“Matthew!” I croaked urgently.
“Shhh Ruth,” Martha said soothingly, “It was only a dream.” Gently she pushed me back down onto my pillows.
It was only a dream, It was only a dream, It was only a dream...
What was only a dream? Matthew? The Parallelogram? My father? Where was my father? Where was Matthew? Where was I?
I was in the woods again, but this time Matthew wasn't there. I was alone, staring at a Parallelogram that was supposed to help me find my father. What did it mean? Was it a map? If so, of where?
While I was asking myself these questions a light snow began to fall. It drifted softly down, slowly down. It landed on my head and shoulders, it landed on the trees that stood all around, it landed on the ground and in the parallelogram. Still I stared and still the snow fell. Slowly it covered the shape that Matthew had drawn and I was still no closer to my answers.
“Eat some soup, Ruth.” It was Nancy this time.
“It's gone!” I whisper hoarsely, “I need to find it!”
“Your delirious,” Nancy said firmly, “Eat this. It will make you feel better.”
“I can't find it!” I cried.
“Shhh...” Nancy said soothingly.
“You can't find your father yet.”
Matthew's voice echoed around the clearing. “First you have to find yourself.”
Slowly I bent down and drew my own Parallelogram in the snow. As I stepped back, I realized it was the same shape as my bedroom. I stepped inside.
I was standing in the middle of my bedroom, staring at myself where I lay on the bed. I was sweaty and had thrown aside my blankets. I was sleeping restlessly. I walked over to the bed.
“Thank you, Matthew,” I whispered. Then I placed my hand on my sweaty forehead and found myself.
Father was leaning over me, smiling.
“I'm all right now,” I said.
“I know" he said softly, stroking my hair.