Site hosted by Build your free website today!

She knew she shouldn't be in that room, but she was. James was out, picking up a few things from the market, leaving Shelle to her own devices. She had gotten into the attic somehow and was surrounded by boxes, trunks, and her own reflection in an old-fashioned mirror. She almost choked on the dust in the air, but she ignored her hacking coughs as she peered through the dim sunlight shining through a small window as she observed her surroundings. A blue trunk with gold caught her attention because the colours reminded her of Lindy. She approached it soft of foot lest she disturb the memories of the room. She opened it and found newspaper clippings of James and Lindy's wedding, the two bands James was in, him and his best friends of his first band-there were plenty of those. There were some old clothes in the trunk also; full of colour and the whole Sixties style. Shelle tried some on and giggled at her reflection. She sorted through other boxes and found pictures of James as a baby and growing up. She found pictures of Lindy as a young girl and of their families and of their children. She looked closely at the ones of their children; she hadn't met them in her visions or in real life.

But the best of them all was a colour photograph of James and Lindy on the porch steps of the registry office where they had gotten married. There was an innocence about the picture and simple charm. The picture showed the newly wed couple kissing amidst flash bulbs of pestering photographers and the rains of rice from friends and fans.

Shelle put the picture to the side and dug in further, breathing in the past of the ones she loved that she had only read about in books. The pictures provided a movie for her. She lived their past as the scenes changed. Then she came upon a shot of Lindy and Shelle's father, about twenty, arms around each other's waists, smiling. Shelle grinned and put that one to the side as well. And then, leafing through some more, she saw two very familiar faces, in a gold frame. It was her mom and dad! They were standing on the porch steps of the Chapel of Love smiling as the minister's wife took their picture. Shelle's parents had told her about their wedding numerous times so she knew the chapel's name and all. It was a small wedding, like James and Lindy's, no wedding dresses or tuxedos involved. But James and Lindy had to wade through the media circus and Shelle's parents had to wade through the air and sunshine of a beautiful day.

So Lindy had forgiven her father-they had reconciled. She kept the picture and didn't throw it out and even framed it! The last picture she found was of herself, as a dark-curled, mischievous baby, in the rose garden of her family's first home. And it was also in a small frame.

She had gone through many of the boxes for those pictures and now she went back to the trunk. She put her hand in to feel and felt something soft and woolly. She pulled it out and knew instantly what it was.
It was yellow, knee-length, with buttons on both sides and a cloth belt. It was Lindy's yellow coat that she had worn to her wedding. Shelle tried it on, taking off all of the hippie stuff she had put on earlier. The coat complimented her perfectly. It fit her girlish curves and fell just a little below her knees. She picked up all of the pictures she had gone through and put them away, taking the framed ones and the two of James and Lindy and Lindy and Shelle's father and slipping them into the coat pocket. She put everything in proper order and left the trunk open so she could put the coat back when she finished wearing it.

She wanted to clean the frames so she started to get up and find some glass cleaner "stuff" that would polish the glass. But then she heard James's voice.

"Shelle? Shelle? Where are you?" He was whistling.

"Coming, coming," she said loudly and clambered down the stairs to the kitchen.

"Well, well, I've picked up some...." James looked up from the grocery bags as he saw her enter the room.

"Hey, James," she greeted. His answer was silence. "What's wrong?" she prodded.

"Where have you been?" he demanded. "Shelle, where have you been?"

"I...I was in the...attic," Shelle replied softly.

"The attic? This is my house; you're a guest...."

"I'm sorry," Shelle said, a tear sliding down her cheek. It hurt her to have James mad at her. His anger drowned out her natural spunk.

James put his head in his hands. He then lifted it and said,

"No, no, I didn't mean that. You're family, it's okay. I'm not mad. It's just that..."

"The coat!" Shelle wailed, stricken. "Oh my gosh, James! I'm so stupid-I forgot I was wearing it-Oh, I'm sorry!" She quickly started to take it off, but James stopped her.

"It's okay, Shelle," he told her gently. "I was just surprised to see it-I haven't seen that thing in years. Come sit with me." They went to the couch and sat down.

Shelle told him about everything she'd found and knew James wasn't mad or anything.

"James?" she said quietly when she was done talking, "Can I show you something?"


Shelle slid her hand into the coat pocket and brought out all the pictures and showed him.

James didn't cry or get sad. He laughed. He was laughing because he remembered his intense happiness the day he and Lindy had gotten married. They had had an argument the night before the big day, but still got married. He remembered his first daughter with her being born and he was happy.
They discussed the pictures and events and then Shelle asked, timidly even though she wasn't,



"Could I have that picture of you and Lindy?"

James looked at the earnest child and handed it to her after reading the date on the back: "James and Lindy Mac-March 1969. Marylebone Registry Office."

He kissed the top of her head and hugged her. Then he did something else. He smelled the coat and kept the scent of Lindy's faded perfume in his mind and then said,

"Shelle, I'd like you to have this coat. It's yours. I want you to have it and I'm sure Lindy would want you to keep it, too."

"Thanks, James." Shelle smiled and gave James the remaining pictures as she got up to telephone her parents about how great she was doing at camp.

When she was connected, she waited as the phone rang.

"Mommy?" she said. "It's me. Yes, yes. Yeah, I'm havin' a great time. Yeah, the line's bad. We're out in a forest. Maybe that's why. How's everyone doing? Uh-huh. Yes. Well, I just called to tell you I'm fine and I'll see you in a few weeks. Okay. You too. I love you. Yeah. Give my love to everybody. 'Bye."

Shelle hung up and turned to James. He was outside so she went upstairs again to look around. She saw a light in one of the rooms and went in. There were guitars and platinum records and something else.

On a small table was a picture of Lindy with a burning candle by it. A vase full of fresh flowers stood tall and under the vase was a piece of paper. Shelle lifted the vase and picked it up and knew what it was. And a memory that had somehow been forgotten in the space of a few weeks came back to her.
    ...So he settled himself down at the kitchen table-the scene of many happy family dinners and confidential talks-and put the tall white candle where Lindy usually sat.

    I'll always hold a candle for you, he thought sadly, even if there aren't any, I'll always have one in my heart.

    Lindy seemed to smile at him through the dim candle-smoke and that pleasing sight gave him the courage to take his pen to hand. It was about three days after her death, the night that James and his children had returned home to England.

    His undying love for Lindy and their children kept him awake and helped him write. His love formed words and fell into place as his tears fell softly onto the paper like a drop of water, unheard, but seen by all.

    He wrote on; praise of Lindy and words of love fell onto the paper as the candle burned low and his children slept in their childhood rooms above.

    It was just about the night of the day she had found out that Lindy had died. Her heart ached as she closed her eyes to sleep. The stunned feeling she'd had was starting to wear a little, but she tried hard to battle off her tears and keep them inside. She pulled the blankets tight under her chin as she lay, but when she closed her eyes, she saw something. Instead of the blackness behind her lids, she saw James, alone in an ocean of darkness at a table, writing by the light of a candle.

    A few days later, she picked up the newspaper and on the front page was a colour picture of James and Lindy and something written under it. The heading was "Loving Lovely Lindy" and Shelle knew that the words written there were by James himself, sitting alone at his kitchen table by the light of a candle.
    Shelle shook herself back to the present. The paper she was holding was the original press statement-all in James's cursive-print writing. But as she placed it under the vase again, she felt something and closed her eyes.
    James finished writing at dawn, with the sky just barely a faint gray. He re-wrote another copy and sealed it up and sent it out. He then took the original and went up to his music room-one of Lindy's favourites because of the view from its window. There was already a picture of her on a small table so he placed it right by it. Then he went out to the fields and picked some fresh flowers and put them in a vase and put the vase on the table and put a lit candle there, too. Then he turned and went into his bedroom that had once been Lindy's too.
    Shelle opened her eyes. Other people in the world would call James crazy, but he wasn't. He was only trying to pay homage to the bride of his youth and Shelle felt the sweetness of the room; it was almost like James was in there, a young man again, kneeling to his lady and giving her flowers.

    Shelle went outside and picked two yellow lilies-Lindy's favourite flower-and then ran back upstairs to what she would later refer to as "Lindy's room." She put the two flowers under the picture and then turned, softly shutting the door behind her.

© Lissa Michelle Supler

Background and pearly stars courtesy of Moira's Web Jewels