Nobody knew what she did on those occasions—those times when she would apparently slip out for no apparent reason, and vanish for hours at a time. They all assumed that it was one more shopping trip, one more spree around the windows that displayed the latest fashions, one more chance to try on the new dress that she had seen in a vision before. Nobody knew the truth.
He ran faster, catching her scent on the trail that whispered of her presence not minutes before. The dirt kicked up beneath him as he made his way back to the white mansion, the house abandoned save for one. He took the stairs two at a time.
Three hours since he had last seen her. Three hours were far too long.
Her voice filled the air, causing him to pause outside their bedroom door. She was happy.
It made him smile as he went in.
She didn't bother looking up. "I'm just saying," she instead continued, ignoring him in favor of the two dolls in her hands, "that it would have been better if you had just told him."
The other doll gasped in mock drama, and the voice tone changed to fit the character. "How could you say such a thing?"
He tilted his head to one side, rapping lightly at the desktop to gain his wife's attention. "Is there room for one more?"
Alice sighed, dropping the dolls to the wooden floor and staring at him in annoyance. Her emotions, though, were anything but. "Jazz, the last time I tried to include you in this, you accused me of trying to rob your masculinity." She went to play with the red, curly hair of one of the porcelain pieces; it's dress was immaculate, perfectly straightened, the laces frayed out in delicate strands of material. The pink lips were forever embossed in a gentle smile.
He laughed. "I promise you that I won't accuse you of any such thing anymore."
"Very well," she conceded. "Would you like to be Ashley, or Jennifer?"
He grimaced. "You desperately need a man in your collection, love."
A bell-like giggle rang through the room, chiming as it hit each separate wall.
Nobody else knew that she enjoyed playing with dolls. None of them knew that she had a box of them stuffed into the back of her closet. She herself didn't know why she could never get rid of them.
Maybe it gave her a childhood back; the one that had been stolen from her the moment her parents made a hideous choice. She always was curious as to what she had enjoyed doing, back when she was still free.
Or maybe it was because she had to see the future so much.
See it, but rarely have the capability of changing it.
With children's toys, she had a choice. Their lives would be what she made them to be. Their futures could be decided by her, with no outlying factors that would change all that she had wanted to have happen.
Maybe, visions that one couldn't sway were harder to face up to than the rest of them thought.
In the end though, it didn't matter, because it gave her peace, which gave him peace, which made her happy.
4. She liked to play with dolls.