The Photo in the Frame
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A woman, tired of the daily routine, entered a big old house in the end of the street. At first sight, the house seemed to her like a beautiful masterpiece, which she enthusiastically regarded. Of course, now she is a grown woman, who works in the local journal and writes the most estimated articles. Though, at that time, when her parents moved this house, she was a little girl, whom fascinated the whole mystery of their apartment. Her room was situated on the second floor, near the attic, and it was the loveliest place in the house. The room was full of toys, books, little pretty things, which every girl likes. However, the main thing in the room of the young lady was a little white table. She imagined herself being a princess and gathered all the dolls, telling them fabulous stories about distant countries.
Unfortunately, those times are in the past. Now this huge and mystery house belongs only to her. Each day its owner comes back from an office, opens glass doors with the painted swallows on it, and puts keys on the ash commode. There are no more long pleasant evenings, family dinners, charming and heart-to-heart conversations. At one time magic house turned into the hiding place from the whole world. Since the mother of the young girl died from cancer, everything went wrong. She started becoming estranged from the father, lingered over books in the library till late at night, and almost did not talk to him. When their quarrels reached the limit and there was no opportunity to coexist together, the father moved to the noisy city and leaved his daughter this white house, where their family was happy before.
Therefore, now her every thought was aimed to deal with the old things in the attic and finish hew article. After making herself coffee, she moved upstairs and opened an old door with the ancient lock. The attic was full of different things: boxes, books, and broken furniture, which was not used for a long time. The woman started disassembling all objects and, fist of all, she decided to finish with the boxes of various papers, journals, and letters. One by one she examined yellowed from time pages of journals with the chimerical images of people, buildings and scientific inventions. She remembered those times of her childhood, when every morning she was sitting on the father’s knee and with infant curiosity looked through the text and pictures. In spite of the mood or problems at work, her father always had a story, joke or even instructive advice for his little pretty daisy. Oddly enough, at that moment she was wearing a pin with little daisies on it. Then her attention was attracted by an ancient photo in a frame. There was shown three figures of a young man, woman, and little girl with curly blond hair. The young man was holding the little girl and smiled to the camera.
She remembers that moment very clearly like it was yesterday. Her mother begged her to comb hair, but the little child was naughty and did not want to obey. Thus, she won and her curly blond hair war played by the warm august wind. A sad smile appeared on the face of the grown woman. Much time has passed from that moment, but it is sheer happiness to collect and save in memory such pretty little things, which every girl likes. Shortly, she coped with the feelings and continued working with boxes. In two hours the routine bored the house owner and she decided to leave it for tomorrow and have some rest. She picked the photo in a frame and went downstairs. Father’s smile did not leave her head, and she was confused by this thought. After mother’s death they encountered difficult times and both were sure that the idea of living apart is the solution of all their problems and lack of understanding. However, now a strange feeling of sadness did not leave her, the old memories flooded with even more power. She put the photo on the commode and kept looking at it. Mother’s eyes sparkled brightly, and she smiled lovely to the daughter. When the mother was gone, she gathered all the photos and personal things into the boxes and locked them on the attic; the memories of the life they had before were too painful. Therefore, at this moment it seemed to her usual and normal, and the photo did not cause depression or sadness.
It was already too late and she was tired enough to finish the article. Thus, the women went to her room and prepared to sleep in the comfortable and worm bed. The amazing thing was that she closed her eyes and immediately plunged into the world of sleep. It was the first night of restful sleeping and dreams devoid of nightmares. The morning met her with the breeze and bright rays of the August sun. She slipped from the bed and moved to the kitchen for the refreshing coffee, which always awakes her from the remnants of sleep. The day was nice and she was full of energy and enthusiasm like she returned from the long-term holidays. The ancient photo in a frame was still on the commode. Deep black mother’s eyes look through her somewhere in the most distant recess of her heart; they were full of love and care.
The woman put the cup of coffee on the ceramic blue table and went to the phone. She dialed a number and impatiently waited for the answer. After few seconds she heard hoarse voice at the other side, and the terrible chill feeling passed through her body.
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