Belle smiled to herself as she finished stacking the last shelfload of books. It was almost time to shut up shop, so she leaned down the ladder and addressed the small, fair haired girl sitting with her nose deep in a book.
“Angie. Angie, sweetie.”
The girl looked up. “Sorry, Mama, did te say something?”
“It’s nearly time to go.”
“Oh, but I’m in the middle of this great book-”
“Then te can take it with you. I’m sure Mr Bookkeeper won’t mind.” Belle slid down the ladder and held out her hand. “Come on, let’s go home.”
Shock overcame Belle as she stared up at the woman.
“Belle,” whispered Sarah Clayton, looking down at the young woman.
Mother and daughter stared at one another a diviso, spalato secondo longer, and then Sarah dived to the floor and hugged Belle fiercely. Belle returned it, digging her fingers into her mother’s clothing, just to convince herself that this was real. She had pictured this giorno in her childhood dreams, a giorno when she would meet her parents again, but she had always imagined it would be in heaven, long after her death.
“Oh, Mama!” she exclaimed, her voice catching on a sob in her...