Amelia, look how much you have grown. I say, as I show her the line I had just marked on the door frame. She giggled and jumped up and down. Her curly red hair bounced till it looked like an untamed mess. Her blue eyes shined brightly, as she smiled at me. Her dimples just showing through. She was only four, but some days she acted like a teenager. My Jonathan would have loved to see her grow up. But, fate wouldn’t allow it. He died in a car accident when she was only two. Her red hair had come from him. She didn’t get my brown hair, but she did get my blue eyes. Johnathan's eyes were green. So now every time I see her with that red hair, I see him.
I shake my head to keep from tearing up. Even after two years, my heart aches. Amelia is already grabbing my hand, and wanting to go outside to play. I took her outside so she could play on our swing set. I breathe in the fresh country air. Our little white house looks peaceful with the backdrops of fields surrounding it. My husband and I bought this place when we were pregnant. This was our home, and the thought of possibly losing it, had me wringing my hands together. I watched Amelia as she picked some of the butter cups that had started to bloom. I didn’t want this moment to end, but I had much to do before running to town. Amelia, time to go in, I call. I sweep her up into a big hug before carrying her inside.
‘’Lindsey, I need some help here’’. I walk into the living room. My sister was already halfway in with a bag of groceries. What is all this, I ask Sarah. I figured while you were out, Amelia and I would make up a pot of spaghetti, her favorite. You really didn’t have to do that, I tell her. I know she explained, but I love cooking with my little sweetie. Fine, she is in her room playing. I will only be gone a few hours. I know she said, shooing me out the door. I chuckle to myself, as I hear her calling for Amelia.
I make my way to the bank and take a couple deep breaths. Money has been tight lately, and making some of the payments was getting harder and harder. Jonathan did leave some money when he passed, but not enough. Amelia needed surgery last year to remove her tonsils. Now, even with me working as a secretary, it has been hard. All I needed was a loan so I could pay off some debts, and be down to just one payment. By consolidating this way, I could keep us afloat, and back on track. I checked my make up in the mirror one more time before I headed in.
I wave at a few people I know, as I make my way to Mr. Deaton’s office. Why hello, Mrs. Bradley, please come in. Thank you, but please call me Lindsey. I wait patiently as he goes over my finances. After several minutes, he looks up, with his glasses pulled down on his nose. He runs his hand through his short brown hair. Lindsey, I know this loan would help you out quite a bit, but this is considered a risky loan. I just don’t know if the bank will be able to help you without any form of collateral. I try to keep from wringing my hands together. I understand, but the only thing I have is the house. I understand, said Mr. Deaton. But unfortunately, it is your only option. The thought of such a big gamble, made me break out in a sweat. I rub my hand over my face, and take a calming breath. I know there is no other choice. I finally agreed to use my house as the collateral for the loan. I finish signing all the papers and stand up to leave. Mr. Deaton gives me an encouraging smile, but I only half-heartedly return it.
I walk down the street, just taking some time before I have to head home. I decided to stop in at Sally’s bookstore. The smell of old books always seemed to calm me. Why hello Sally, how is your day going? Mrs. Sally was a widower, who bought the store when she retired from teaching. She was in her late sixties, but I thought she could pass for late fifties. She was barely even gray headed. ‘’Oh, hello my dear.’’ My day has been kind of slow, but I'm sure I’ll be getting busy soon, she said. I nod my head absently, but my thoughts were elsewhere. Lindsey, I can tell you are a million miles away, she said. I’m sorry, I just have a lot on my mind is all. Sally gives me a long look. Are you having money issues, she asks. I’m completely dumbfounded by her directness. I stammer for a minute, then shake my head. No, of course not I try to explain. But, it sounded flat even to my own ears. Sally just shook her head. ‘’You know I love you and Amelia as if you were my own kin”. I smile at her already knowing this. I know, and we love you too. I have already talked to the bank, and everything is fine now. I could tell she didn’t really believe me. After reassuring her that everything was going to be fine, I was able to head out.
As I’m driving home, my cell rings. Hello, I answer. Yes, Mrs. Bradley, this is Mr. Deaton. I try not to let the panic show in my voice. Why would the bank be calling me so soon after I had left? I just wanted to call and let you know that everything was finalized, and the money will be in your account tomorrow. Oh, thank you Mr. Deaton for letting me know. Also, there’s one more thing he continued. I start to sweat a little at his words. Yes, I answer slowly. Are you aware that a substantial amount of money was just deposited into your account very recently. I immediately pull over on the side of the road. I was completely confused. I’m sorry, how is that possible, I ask him. It seems that an anonymous person has transferred money to your account. I try to keep my breathing from going erratic. Why would someone do that, I thought. Are you sure, it isn’t some mix up I ask. No mam, I double checked it myself. Is there any way you can tell me who it’s from, I ask. I’m afraid not, but this is great news, he explained. I thanked him and hung up. While still sitting there, I realized it had to be Sally. I quickly called her. As soon as she answered I started asking her about the money. ‘’Lindsey, slow down my dear”. I don’t know anything about any money. Are you sure, I ask. I explained to her what the bank said. Oh, she said quickly. What is it I ask? She proceeded to tell me that a young man who was in the back of the store while I was there, asked who I was. What did you tell him I asked. I talked about how you were a hard worker, with the sweetest little girl. Do you know the man’s name I asked? “I’m sorry dear, I sure don’t”. Do you think he could have been the person behind the money she asked? At this point, I’m starting to think it might be possible. I don’t know, I answer. Sally, I have to, but can you not mention any of this. Sally agreed and we hung up.
I finally calm my nerves and start heading back home. It was very possible a complete stranger would be so kind. But, in this day in age, it was hard to believe. I decided it would be best not to mention it to my sister. At least not yet. When I got home I could hear the two in the kitchen. Amelia was already asking about cookies after supper. I stop by the door frame and run my hand along the markings. Thanks to the anonymous helper, there will be many more marks to come. I smile to myself, knowing that everything is going to be, Ok.