A Photograph

Her usual morning headache had all but passed so Melody stood in the centre of her spring bed. She tested the resistance under her feet. "Preparing for take-off," she said under her breath as she bent her knees. "Three, two, one." She looked up at the spot of mould on the ceiling. "Take off!"

She took a small bounce, followed by a deeper one and reached for the spot. She missed it again, but she was certain it was the closest she had got to touching it so far. She landed on the mat with cat-like ease.

There was a creak on the staircase and her heart thrummed. "Miss Melody!"

It was just Doctor Renfew. She blew out a breath and stood up, straightening her dress. He knocked on her door. "Come in!"

He stuck his head around and smiled that weary smile of his. "There's mail for you; how do you like that?"

Melody furrowed her brow. Mail? That was a first. He handed it to her and she looked curiously at it. There was a stamp with a bird that had red markings over it: New York, New York.

"Well aren't you going to open it?" he asked.

Melody smiled up at him and then tore it open. She slid out what was inside and stared at it. A photo of a red-haired lady with a little baby.

Renfew was thrilled. "Why that's you, Miss Melody, when you first came to us. But who's that lady with you?"

Melody shrugged. "I don't know."

"How curious," he laughed his tortured laugh. "It's a lovely photo anyway. I'll get you a frame; I think I have one in the office." He scuttled away to fetch the frame and Melody examined the photo again.

Her lips hitched into a tiny smile that displayed barely a fraction of the soaring joy in her heart. She knew who the lady was because she remembered her. And the man with the funny bow tie had said, "You should call her Mummy."