“Come, get up.” Ash held out his hand and Marjorie took it. She hated feeling weak and she hated the guilt of lying. “Now, shall we go downstairs and see what our daughter is up to?”
Marjorie unfolded up toward her husband. “Let’s do that. I’m so sorry to have startled you. I must have fallen asleep there. I don’t know how long I’ve been here.” She laughed. She caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror as she passed by and for a second didn’t recognize the person she saw.
Downstairs Charlotte was racing around the sunroom, the sun never having arrived this day with the rain. “Mommy, Daddy, look at the trees outside.”
They followed her to the glass doors out to the garden. “What dear? What is it you want us to see?” Ash took Charlotte’s hand and kneeled down to see at her level. “What’s there?”
Marjorie held her breath.
“Look, Daddy. The lady is floating under the tree again. She loves it when it rains, Daddy.”
“Charlotte, there is no one out there.”
“Daddy, she saw us so she went away now. You saw her. She was there in the orange dress.” Charlotte backed up from her father.
“Charlotte, you can’t be making things up.”
“I’m not making up. Mommy, Mommy, I know you saw her.” Marjorie stood still, frozen between her daughter and what she knew was outside.
“Dear I didn’t see anything.” Charlotte looked at Marjorie and her stomach clinched. She didn’t want to disappoint Charlotte, but they couldn’t go on with her seeing what wasn’t outside. That woman, Marjorie wished that woman would stop showing up in the garden.
Sarah came from the kitchen carrying lemonades. Like a cool breeze, the sight of the tall glasses filled with ice and deep green mint leaves calmed Marjorie. She let her eyes rest on the glasses as they came closer. “Here we are. Something fresh to cool this heat.”
Marjorie begged for something to cool the heat.