Everyone is gathering at Memory House – #fridayfiction
It is New Year’s Day, and everyone is gathering at Memory House. Ophelia comes with Lillian, Sam and Pauline, her new friends from Baylor Towers. They arrive in the Baylor limousine, which is how Ophelia now travels. There is no more driving, not after what happened.
Just the thought of Ophelia or one of her friends behind the wheel of a car gives Annie hives. Blisters rise up, and there is not a potion in the entire apothecary powerful enough to rid her of the itch. Knowing the Baylor car is on hand to take the group wherever they want to go gives Annie the peace of mind an expectant mother needs.
She is not due until the second week of May, but Annie has already felt the baby move. On quiet nights when she and Oliver lie side by side in bed, he places his hand on her stomach and swears he can tell the baby is a boy.
“The way that little rascal is moving around, it’s got to be a boy,” he says.
Ophelia, although she has never had any children of her own, claims the baby is a girl.
“I’m practiced in knowing what’s beneath a person’s skin,” she says, adding that she’s also got a woman’s intuition.
“The child will be born with violet eyes and your gift of perception,” she predicts. “Before the girl is twelve, she will be able to touch her hand to a memory and claim it as her own.”
Annie turns away from such a thought because she is uncertain whether having this gift is what she wants for her child. It is a double-edged sword. True, the bicycle boy’s memories are what led her to Oliver, but there are other memories, ones with anger and violence attached to them. Finding the memories left behind by other people is like opening Pandora’s Box. There is simply no way of telling the good from the bad until you are holding it in your hand, and by then it is often too late.
Although she believes Ophelia’s prediction will turn out to be nothing, Annie is taking no chances. On the back burner of the stove a huge pot simmers. It is the black-eyed peas that have soaked in water since yesterday. This morning she rinsed them for a third time then added chunks of bacon and onion. In the oven a ham drizzled with honey is browning. Annie knows the ham is what people will reach for first, but it is the peas that will bring good luck. Hopefully.