Grace followed Charlotte up the stairs to the loft above the bakery. As they got to the top of the stairs, Charlotte reached into her pocket for the keys and turned and smiled excitedly at Grace.
“I hope you like it okay. It may be a little musty but I can just open the windows and fix that no problem.” Charlotte said, smiling.
Stepping into the loft, Charlotte flicked on the light and turned to hand Grace the keys. Standing awkwardly in the doorway, Grace could see that it was a beautiful loft. Open and airy, full of light and beautiful furnishings. But Grace felt uncomfortable. She had just met Charlotte and she didn’t know what to do here. Should she just follow her in?
“Feel free to look around while I get some windows open and get some fresh air in here.” Charlotte said crossing the room to open the closest window. Walking back across the room, Charlotte noticed that Grace was still standing outside the door.
“Oh, sweetie. It’s okay.” Charlotte said, smiling encouragingly at Grace. “Don’t be so shy. This is your home. Take a look around.” Charlotte said sweetly. “I’m going to open the bedroom windows, I’ll be right back.” Charlotte pulled Grace into the loft, gave her a hug, and headed off to open more windows.
Stepping into the loft, Grace scanned the beautiful room. Then she saw it. She was shocked. She couldn’t believe it. There, before her, was a wall of photos of Sophie and her adoptive parents and Charlotte. Framed photos of piano lessons, backyard swim parties with family, play dates with friends at the park, camping trips, Christmas memories in front of the tree, a beautiful wedding day, it was all there. A lifetime of happy memories. Grace thought she was going to pass out.
Walking back into the room, Charlotte noticed that Grace was looking at her family photos.
“Oh I see you’ve found some pictures of my family.” Charlotte said, proudly. Trying to hold it together, Grace smiled back at Charlotte.
“What a beautiful little girl.” Grace said, her palms starting to sweat. “What’s her name?”
“That’s my sweet Granddaughter, Sophie. She’s a very special girl. My daughter and my son-in-law adopted her when she was little. She means the whole world to us.” Charlotte gushed. Grace couldn’t handle it anymore. She wanted to scream, she wanted to cry. She could feel herself start to lose it a little. She needed to pull herself together.
“She looks so happy.” Grace said, hiding the sadness and rage in her voice.
“Oh, she’s a wonderful girl. And what’s even better is that I’m going to be a Great Grandmother soon.” And with that comment, everything swirled in Grace’s vision and everything went black.