Sweetness was not normally something she indulged in, but right now she needed sugar in the hot strong coffee to perk her up. It was a bleak day in February and she sat in a bookstore cafe reflecting on that holiday 20 years ago when everything had changed.
Enough! She moved over to the locked glass-fronted bookcases of the rare book section. They were of an attractive honey-coloured wood and she noticed how the sheen reflected her long blond hair.
The books stood erect, proudly advertising their subjects with chiselled titles, blocked in gilt and black. She imagined the smooth, waxed, deep-hued cloth against her cheeks.
“Could I look in here?” she asked. An assistant obliged and she examined several books, admiring tissue-guarded plates showing watercolours of oriental gardens and droll silhouettes illustrating children’s stories. She opened a tall red volume and a postcard depicting old cottages tumbled out.
Shell-shocked at the incredible coincidence, she recognised her own childish hand – ‘Dear Nanna, we’ve had a lovely time in Scotland. We’re coming home tomorrow’.
The image of an oncoming bus filling the windscreen was all she could picture as the wheelchair shook with her uncontrollable sobbing…

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