By Melissa L. Webb
Callie held the old photograph album open across her knees. Carefully she studied each photo before her, taking her time as her eyes moved over every detail they offered. Even as a little girl, she would do the same thing; staring at them over and over. Time stopped around her when she was immersed in the images of the past.
Everything in these photos called to her; the clothes, the homes. These were simpler times, where you knew where you belonged and worked hard to get there. She wished she had been a part of it. The past seemed so nurturing, so welcoming, nothing like the harsh future in front of her.
“Are you ready to go?” a voice demanded suddenly.
Looking up at the man standing in the parlor doorway, she a felt a rush of bitterness rise up in her throat. Why had she agreed to this? What had convinced her he was her savior?
Her future husband was worse than her family. He demanded so much more than they ever did. She had been a prisoner in her family; but with him, she was property, nothing more than a slave.
Her fiancé continued glaring at her. “Well? Are you done? I want to go.”
Nodding sadly, she resigned herself to the fate she’d become sealed into. “I’ll be there in a second. I just need to put these albums away.”
Grunting, he turned away. “You have five minutes. Not a second longer,” he warned as he walked away.
Callie felt moisture invade her eyes as she turned her gaze on her ancestor’s photo album once more. The smiles on their faces told her all she needed to know. These people were happy. Really happy. She knew once she left here, happiness would only be something she dreamed about. How she wished she could join the people in the pictures. A tear dripped down her cheek as she closed her eyes, mourning for the life she could never have.
The tear slid from her skin, falling on the opened album, soaking into a picture and disappearing completely. The book vibrated under her fingertips.
Callie eyes snapped open. Her gazed sought the pages before her. A blue light shone from them, washing over her as it did. Her look of shock ebbed and wonder replaced it as she stared deep into the light. She knew everything would be all right now.
Luis walked down the hall to the parlor. How dare she keep him waiting? If she thought this was the way their marriage was going to work, she was sadly mistaken.
“We need to leave now,” he told her stepping into the parlor. Stopping, he looked around the empty room. She was gone. He turned quickly, anger boiling in his eyes. So she thought she could play games with him, did she? It was time to teach her a lesson.
He left the room, not noticing the open photo album on the couch. Or the extra person in the photos, smiling as if she was having the time of her life.
© 2011 Melissa L. Webb
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