Part Four

Two days later, I had half an hour in which to run to the third floor, and tell the girl what I had discovered about my mother. I had been longing to do it since I found out, but the rain had stopped me. I wished my aunt had told me about my mother sooner, though. I didn't say anything about it, knowing how my aunt would react.

"A silly pipedream." She would tell me. Or, "your mother was wasting her life on a notion." She was jealous, that was all. Jealous that my mother had had the talent, the beauty.

I went into the room, and the girl was there, waiting. No music greeted me this time, but I didn't think this was odd, because sometimes it did, and sometimes it didn't. Sometimes the girl was there, and the music wasn't... sometimes the music was there, and the girl wasn't. It never seemed strange to me, it was just a part of my 'adventure.'

"Look what I found!" I told her, excitedly, showing her the photograph album with the newspaper clipping in it.

"You did?" She smiled. "That's wonderful. I was hoping you would come across it soon. It's almost time."

"Time?" I knew she meant time for her to leave. To leave, and not come back. But I questioned her anyway, hoping that I would be able to get something more from her. I didn't. I studied her closer than I had before, and as I did, a chunk of her beautiful hair fell away onto the floor. I gasped, but she was unfazed by it, as she was by everything. She suddenly took my hand in hers, making me jump. It was the first time she had touched me. She wasn't warm like a normal person. She was cold, and as I looked at her thinning hand, I could see the veins sticking out, and the bones showing. She was so skinny, I didn't know what was happening to her. Not really. I knew she was going somewhere, but something told me that she wasn't dying, although it looked as though she was. Huge, dark rims had formed under her eyes, and her once rosy cheeks were now as white as the rest of her. "What's happening to you?" I just had to ask.

"You'll know soon enough." She said. "Ellen." She gripped my hand a little tighter, and it actually made me wince- she had a strong grasp. "You must remember, that whatever happens, you can't stop playing the piano." Things were falling into place in my mind, and yet the picture was still hidden from me. So I just nodded, agreeing with everything she said, knowing that it would all make sense eventually.

The girl smiled sadly as I left the room that day, and I knew that I wasn't ever going to see her again.

The rain once again kept my family from leaving the house, and therefore, kept me from visiting my special place. When I finally got the chance, I felt a huge sense of urgency as I ran as fast as I could, and flung the door open. There was nobody there. I knew there wouldn't be. There was no music, and no sign of the girl. I came further into the room, my eyes falling onto a huge oak table, which hadn't been covered by a dust cloth. In the grey, was scrawled a message. Everything fell into place with perfect clarity.

"You are the girl, the girl whom you see,
You have the strength to follow your dreams,
Remember always, that I love you so,
For I am your mother, who died long ago."