I was all in when I went up to bed, it had been a long and difficult day, Rosie was having problems readjusting to being back in the orphanage and I was finding it hard doing what I was told to do. I am used to being my own boss, following protocols and filling in paper work wasn’t easy, especially when it went against what I thought was the right thing to do. Enid would have been amazed to see me do what I was told, without too many questions. I think you are allowed to ask why things are done that way, but if it comes to “that’s the way we do them”, you just have to live with it. Then again, Enid may have been watching me and having a laugh at my expense, I wouldn’t put it past her.
Anyway, when I went up to my room the only thought had been to sleep, earlier I had had visions of soaking in a nice hot bath, easing all the aches and pains away, but by the end of the day all I could think of was crashing out. Then Enid gave me Rosie/Ella’s file and all thoughts of sleep went from my head. I read every single word of the file, backwards, forwards and upside down, which ever way I looked at it, it didn’t make good reading.
There was no work in the town Ella’s parents lived in, so they had to look further afield. There was nothing within a suitable commuting distance, so they had to look further afield. Eventually Ella’s Father got a job, he travelled down to the work and stayed in a guest house during the week, then came home for the weekend. It wasn’t easy, but eventually they saved up the money for a deposit on a rental house, which meant that the family could be together. Then Ella’s Mum started looking for child care and a part time job that would fit in with family life. Things were looking up, until Ella’s Father had an accident, fell off a ladder or something, the tooth fairy was strangely vague on that. He was rushed to hospital and his wife was informed, she grabbed Ella and headed to the hospital. She was in a panic, probably not paying a great deal of attention to where she was going or what was around her. A van veered of the road, she had time just enough time to push Ella out of the way before the van hit her and then drove off down the road as if nothing had happened. A crowd quickly gathered round Ella’s mother, but none of them noticed little Ella. She stood and watched her mother being taken away in an ambulance and then waited and waited, till someone finally asked where her parents were, but by that time she had stopped talking, so they took her into care.
When her Father finally got out of hospital and went home he found the landlord busy emptying their things from the house in preparation for another tenant to move in. No one knew where his wife and child were. He contacted his wife’s parents, they didn’t know where she was, so he went to the Police and reported them missing. He arranged a removal van for their things and went back home to his parents.
No one knew whose van had run Ella’s Mum over. No one knew who Ella’s Mum was and that included Ella’s Mum when she came out of the comma. Meanwhile, Ella was now Rosie and not talking to anyone.
“What a mess,” I muttered as I sat back on my bed. “But solvable for all that. A walk in the park for your average Fairy Godmother.”
It was a week after Enid had given me the file. The anniversary of the day things all went wrong for Ella’s family. I was taking Rosie/Ella to the hospital for a check up.
Meanwhile someone, a student on a media course, had heard about Ella’s Father’s accident and wanted to do a programme about his miraculous recovery and his return to health. He persuaded Ella’s Father to go back to the hospital and thank the people who had worked so hard to get him well again. The hospital was happy for the positive publicity. Just took a few words in the right ears, it didn’t take much organising.
Ella’s Mum was in a hostel, they had called her Carol for want of something to call her. She was sue a check-up at the hospital.
Everything was lined up for a chance meeting that would reunite the family.
“Come on Rosie, you don’t want to miss your appointment,” I said when Rosie refused to get out of bed. She pulled the duvet over her head. This was going to be difficult.
“I generally find that children are quiet open to bribery,” said Enid from the other side of the bed.
“I don’t want to start down that road,” I hissed.
“Why? Should everything go to plan you wont have to worry about it setting up a bad president,” she replied. “And you do want her to be there, don’t you?”
“Of course I do,” I hissed at Enid.
“Rosie,” I said. “We could get an ice-cream on the way back, if you are good.”
The duvet was pulled back.
“Would you like an ice-cream?” I asked.
She nodded vigorously.
“Right,” I said. “I am going to brush my hair. I shall be back in five minutes, if you aren’t ready to go downstairs for breakfast, there will be no ice-cream for you. Do you understand?”
Again she nodded her head.
As I walked out of the room I heard her jump out of bed.
“Told you bribery works,” Enid said when I nearly bumped into her on the other side of the door.
“Thank-you,” I said. “And to what do I owe the pleasure?”
“I found your plan interesting and I just wanted to make sure it didn’t fall at the first hurdle,” she replied.
“So, are you going to hang around all day or leave me to it?” I asked.
“I’m going to make sure the other two get to the hospital on time,” she smiled. “I’ll see you there.” With that she slowly merged into the back-ground, the last thing to vanish was her smile, which passed on the impression that things were going to go wrong and she wanted to be there to see it happen.
There was a tug on my sleeve and I turned to find Rosie smiling up at me.
“Breakfast,” I said. “We don’t want the Doctor to say we are starving you now do we?”
I could see the student busy filming as soon as we arrived at the reception. I didn’t know what they were saying, the student had co-opted someone to do the talking whilst he did the filming. Rosie was fascinated, her eyes glued to the scene.
Then her Mum walked in and for a moment she was lit up by a stray shaft of sun light.
“Mummy!” yelled Rosie/Ella, pulling away from me and running across the reception towards her.
“My baby!” she yelled and ran to meet Ella.
“Jessie! Ella!” he yelled joining in a mass hug in the middle of the reception.
I was pleased that the student managed to stay calm and carry on filming the whole thing.
“Could you explain?” he asked.
“Before the accident, I was a happily married Father of one daughter. Then the accident happened and I couldn’t remember who I was, but seeing them here, it all came back,” he smiled, totally unwilling to let either of them go. “The staff at this hospital healed my body, without them I would be dead, but I always felt that there was something missing, something that I couldn’t remember. Now I can.”
“I was told that you’d had an accident,” said Jessie. “I took Ella and dashed here, I didn’t know if you were dead or alive.”
“It must have been terrible,” he said, hugging her. “But I don’t remember seeing you here.”
“I was crossing a road and a van came speeding down it, I didn’t see it till the last minute, I pushed Ella out of the way and then nothing. I woke up in hospital, in bed and I couldn’t remember who I was or anything. I’ve been living in limbo ever since,” said Jessie.
“It’s time to leave,” said Enid.
“I have a job to do, looking after Rosie,” I reminded her. “Along with several other children. I can’t just vanish.”
“Of course not,” said Enid.
“And they aren’t going to just hand her over to two people just because they say they are her parents. They will have to prove it,” I said.
“That can be done,” said Enid.
“A DNA check should provide prof,” I replied.
“And when that’s done?” asked Enid.
“I’ll ring you,” I said.
“I’ll be waiting,” she smiled.
by Janice Nye © 2020