"How much longer before it's ready?" Asked Piper.
"Not long. Two, maybe three days." Lina replied.
Sera piped up, "She has no idea about us or that she belongs here?"
"She doesn't seem to." Sighed Lina. "I'm not surprised. She was very young when she crossed through. But you'd think her mother would have told her something about where she comes from by now."
"Di left for a reason. Maybe she didn't want Amelia to drag her back." Piper suggested as she gathered herbs to add to the welcome home dinner she was planning.
Lina was collecting flowers for center pieces. "It's Amelia's choice, not her mother's. She should have been given the option once she was an adult, not fifteen years later, when we need her."
"She'll need a lot of training. I hope we can get her ready in time."
"Me too, Sera. Me too." Was all that Lina could reply.
Maia had dropped Emmy off at home an hour ago. Currently Emmy was sitting on the couch staring at a blank tv screen, with a book lying closed on the couch next to her, and unfinished knitting sitting in a basket at her feet with Othello chewing on one of the knitting needles. She had tried to keep herself busy to keep her mind off of the tree and her mother's inevitable reaction. She couldn't help but replay Dave's observations through her head. It wasn't only she who could hear the music. So it must mean that it wasn't just a coincidence. Someone else could hear it when they touched the tree, too. Emmy couldn't get her thoughts in order. It was all so impossible. She decided to take an early evening jog, to work off some of her mother's cooking and then call it an early night and try to get some sleep before work the next day.
Oh great, work. She'd completely forgotten about the girls at work. She hoped they'd all had busy weekends and wouldn't remember Friday afternoon and her strange gift. She had too much on her mind to deal with their snickering. Othello, seeming to sense her need to get her mind off of things took the opportunity to remind her that he was hungry and in need of feeding. He jumped up in her lap and wouldn't leave her be until she got up and headed for the kitchen where the cat food was housed. She decided there was nothing she could do about things at the moment, so she fed the cat and headed out on her jog. When she came home she was too worried to eat so she skipped dinner, showered, and headed straight to bed.
She wasn't sure she would be able to sleep, but she decided she would count sheep, or Othellos, or even willow trees if it would help. As she drifted off a noise outside suddenly woke her. Damn! I was just dozing. If I don't get back to sleep tonight, I'll never fogive whoever just woke me up... She crawled out of bed slipped on her robe and checked the clock as she headed outside. It was 1 a.m. so she had gotten some sleep after all. The cat, disturbed from his sleep, padded after her. She stepped outside into her roof garden. Othello ran ahead and started winding himself around the trunk of an aged old willow tree growing from the center of the garden. It was early morning and the light from the rising sun in the east danced through the leaves and branches gently billowing in the breeze. It was a beautiful morning. Birdsong filled the garden and Othello left the base of the tree to stalk a squirrel running across the brick path. He pounced it as it raced into a thicket of grass and a shower of butterflies flew up and fluttered to safer ground as the squirrel eluded the cat. Frustrated, the cat flopped down in the thicket and promptly pretended to fall asleep.
Emmy laughed at her silly cat and then stared at the willow. It was beautiful. Magnificent, even, but how on earth was it growing in her garden and not taking the building down with it. She looked over the side of the low roof wall and was amazed to find huge, thick roots that had pushed their way through the windows and doors of the building and were running right through the paved street and into the earth. She turned around to run back inside and call Maia, but the doors leading into her apartment were no longer there. Her apartment wall had been replaced by a low wall with a wrought iron gate in the middle and a green hillside beyond. She turned back to the willow and realized she was no longer standing on a roof top in the city, but in the back garden of a big estate, not much unlike her parents.
"You made it." Came a familiar voice. "We were beginning to worry that you would never find you way through." She turned back to see the man from her office standing by the iron gate. He unlatched it and held it open for her to walk through, green eyes twinkling at her as he bowed his head to her. She started to worry about her pj's when she looked down a found that she was wearing the prettiest flowing dress she had ever seen. She was sure she should remember owning something like it, but she racked her brains and could not remember ever buying such a lovely dress. Nor could she remember changing her clothes.
She looked up at the young man showing her so much respect. "You speak to me as if we're old friends, but I don't recall you ever saying 'hi' to me in the elevator. Or even looking my way. How is it that you are suddenly so familiar with me?"
The young man looked taken back. "I've known you your whole life, Amelia. As you have known me." He sighed. "I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that you don't remember. Rest assured, all will be resolved and you will remember me and the rest of us, once more!" He lifted his hand as if to usher her through the gate.
Emmy walked towards the wall. "My name is Emmy, not Amelia. Where are we going?"
"Forgive me Amelia...Emmy. We are going to a party. It's supposed to be a surprise, though, so do act surprised once we get there, won't you?"
"I won't be acting." Came her reply. Emmy walked though the gate...
...and right into her living room. She turned around and looked through her french doors out to her roof garden. It was just as it was before she had gone to bed. Garden swing, fountain, flowers, vegetables, cat lying in the middle of it all staring back at her, but no willow tree. She looked down at her robe and pj's and slippers. She must have been sleep walking. She hadn't done that since she was a child. She was suddenly aware of sirens. She went back outside and looked over the garden wall at the street below. She was half relieved and half saddened to see that there were no big roots forcing their way out of the building, only fire escapes and the occasional curtain billowing out someone's window in the night breeze. At the end of her street she saw what had caused the noise that she had gotten out of bed for. Someone had wrapped their green sedan around a fire hydrant. Water was gushing into the street as a police car pulled around the corner and shut it's siren off, but left it's lights flashing. An ambulance was already there with a man sitting on the tailgate answering the EMT's questions. Emmy turned back inside, headed for her bedroom, closed the curtains against the blinding emergency vehicle lights, and slipped back into bed to fall back asleep.