The voice called softly from out of the darkness, and Corinn jumped a little.
“Yes?” Turning, she looked down the shadowed hallway she had just passed, expecting to see a forlorn child standing there, looking back at her. There was no one there.
Fiona, her 17-year old daughter, was fast asleep in her room. Corinn could hear her faint snoring now, through the thin walls. It wasn’t her.
Jake, her 13-year old, was conked out in his room as well. Rustling came from his end of the hall, as he rolled over in his sleep, undisturbed. It wasn’t him. He wouldn’t have called her “Mommy” anyway. He was too old for that “baby stuff” as he put it now.
Both children sound asleep, and yet Corinn had hear the voice as clearly as if one of the children had been standing right in front of her.
Of course, this wasn’t the first time this had happened. It wasn’t even the fifth time. Strange things had been happening for years now, and always around the same time of year.
Early spring. The same time of year she’d gotten so sick all those long years ago.
The same season when she’d lost the baby.
A “blessing in disguise” some had called it, “not meant to be” others had said. Corinn knew that it was neither…and both, in some ways. Still painful, although time had softened the edges of it, and she only thought of it occasionally now, instead of the constant, grating ache it had once been.
But now, almost 19 years later, the voice out of the darkness.
“Amelie?” Corrin whispered softly to herself. “Is that you, baby?”
Corrin waited, straining for any sign… but, nothing. Just like all the times before.
Then, out of nowhere… a small hand reached up and touched her own, hanging down next to her.
Corrin held her breath as she looked down at her side.
-Jan. 2, 2014