Jack and I stood still, holding our breath, thinking she’d turn and run at any moment. She kept coming though. When she was a few paces away from us she stopped and looked around frantically as though she’d suddenly remembered something.
“Walk, I’ll follow you,” she whispered.
“Your house or mine?” I asked Jack.
“Mine,” he replied, “It’s closer.”
I wanted to hurry. I wanted to get her inside to safety. She was afraid of something or someone and looked like she could turn and run.
“Do you think she’s in danger?” I asked Jack.
“Not sure, but somethings wrong.”
The footsteps behind us stopped, Jack and I continued walking slowly, hoping we’d hear them again. We did! When we approached Jack’s front door I was smothered with emotion. Not sure what was causing it, but it was overpowering. Maybe it came from Jack’s wife and daughter. Their presence was all around us. It felt good. I stepped onto the porch and turned to gesture Janie into the house ahead of me. She was smiling, her face was glowing. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. “Mama!” she said.
Jack was already inside and didn’t hear her, but I did.
The wind chimes hanging from the porch, whispered gently in the breeze. The sound comforted Janie. She looked like a different person as she stepped inside the house. I stood on the porch and watched her walk into the kitchen. She pulled out a chair and sat down as though she’d lived there her whole life.
Jack beckoned me to join them, he was smiling too. “Come on in Sheila. Janie’s home.”
I joined them, greeted by the smell of coffee and fresh bread.
“Mama brought me here,” Janie said, “She brought me home.”
Janie clutched the locket to her heart. “Mama and Granmama.”