“It’s a first-class sprain,” Shelle said ruefully as she hopped on her crutches in a silly way and continued to “hop” to the car.
James pulled out the car keys and helped her in and stared off into the sky, wondering if Lindy was seeing eye-to-eye with him.
“She is, James,” Shelle said softly, sensing his thoughts with uncanny accuracy.
‘ “She is’ what, Shelle?” James queried.
“Lovely Lindy is watching you and me and your children, though she sees you and yours more clearly than she sees me right now. She’s thanking me and comforting my family, because she’s our cousin.”
“What are you talking about, Shelle?” James demanded excitedly, sensing another part of Shelle’s journey and the other part of Lindy’s words (“Someone will be coming….”) was about to unravel.
“Lindy’s a relation of mine,” Shelle answered. “She’s my second-cousin, I think. Her and my dad are cousins.”
James stared at her and then knelt on the ground and took her hand.
“So you’re a link to Lindy,” he said softly. “A link. Is that why you came?”
“Sort of,” Shelle returned, with a youthful tenderness. “Lindy saw me when I was little and only once more after that. She was always telling my father to let me come see you and her when I was old enough. My parents reckoned Lindy’d always live here, but they were wrong.” Shelle looked at James sadly. “I was going to come when I was fifteen.”
“Why didn’t you come earlier?” James asked, looking thoughtful.
“So you’re really related to me,” James thought aloud.
“Only by Lindy’s marriage, though I believe that since you and I are a bit Irish, we might be related that way, too.”
“H’m. Well, let’s go get your stuff at the hotel.”
“I’m here, James,” her voice sang. “I’m with you always. I love you.”
He saw himself run to her and hug her and then she kissed him and faded away. Tears trickled down his cheeks. Even though it was about two weeks since she had died, he could not stop crying, but the ache that burned in his heart and soul softened a little and a little more when Shelle spoke of her. Shelle was sad too, but the way she talked made it seem like Lindy hadn’t died; Lindy was still around, playing hide-and-seek in the barn with their children of the days past.
He admitted it to himself. He accepted the fact that she was gone. But that didn’t mean he had to forget about her—that didn’t mean he didn’t have the right to grieve and cry.
“She just knew. Maybe it runs in our family. We have big, loving hearts and I guess we’re more open to this intuitive talent—we accept things because our hearts tell us it’s so.”
“You’ve inherited it, whatever it is. Lindy had it, now that I think about it. She could predict things with amazing accuracy. But she—and you—can’t always tell the future.”
He said that as a question. Shelle nodded.
“We only know about a few things—we’re not superhuman telepathic people or anything. Everyone has what we’ve got, but it has developed in us.”
James marveled at the girl’s thoughts and understanding of the whole situation.
Lindy was like that, too, he thought. She knew what she was saying even if she didn’t know what she was saying. Shelle’s pretty grown-up at such an age—she’s inherited some of Lindy, I think.
He dried his eyes and they got in the car. He started it and they were soon at the hotel. They didn’t have to say a word to each other, because their silence was so full of everything they’d said.
James, still a little red-eyed, helped Shelle out of the car and they walked into the lobby, passing the dining room where the guests were eating dinner. Everyone stared at her and James, but amazingly, no one ran up to him for his autograph. They all knew what he was going through and respected his privacy so left him alone, though they wondered.
“Look at that,” someone said as James helped Shelle up the stairs. “That kid was in here earlier eating breakfast all alone and now she’s got James Mac for company.”
“Maybe they’re related,” a lady said.
“Who knows?” her husband answered her.