Melody printed up the last of the receipts with the Epson TM-T88V, then typed the password required into the computer to shut down the store for the night. She was glad this day was finally over with even though she loved mingling with the holiday shoppers and helping them with their purchases. To her, working at this store was more than just a job, no matter how hectic the day was.
People were her passion and she believed everyone deserved to look and feel beautiful in their own special way. This holiday season had been especially wonderful because she’d helped a little girl find the perfect gift for her mother. But it wasn’t just the feeling of helping the little girl, it was also the excitement of being noticed and accepted by the young shopper , since most of the adult shoppers were not as open-minded as children often were.
On a few occasions there had been older shoppers who had been able to see her presence, but once they realized her true form, their kindness turned to fear and they hadn’t been back since then.
Now the owner, Sandra, suspected something was amiss, but she usually just ignored those who spoke of Melody’s presence and those times like tonight when she helped close the shop for which she was thankful for. For years Melody had simply wandered around the store lost in a state of confusion with nothing to pass the time. She’d became very bored waiting for someone to really notice her and help her find her way home. But today, that person had made her way into the store, smiled brightly at Melody and asked her for help in choosing a gift for her mother without fear.
Melody smiled to herself as she went around the store checking to see that all of the doors were locked and all of the display lights were off. But as she made a final pass at her nightly routine, she heard the jingle of the door and froze. She had doubled-checked the doors and made sure they were locked. Maybe Sandra had forgotten something. Yet Melody had a sinking feeling that wasn’t the case and suddenly wondered if someone had broke into the store.
Ready to face the intruder with every ounce of her spiritual being, she stepped out from her hiding place and stared into the eyes of the little girl she had helped earlier in the day. “How did you get in here?” She asked and suddenly wondered if the girl had snuck in the store and hidden until closing.
“Hello.” The little girl smiled. “Can you help me find a gift for my mother, please?”
“But I-“ It was then that Melody noticed what she hadn’t earlier during the busy shopping day. She could see through the little girl clearly now just as the little girl could see through Melody clearly. It would be another Christmas season come and gone where neither could leave the store and no one would know the truth. Sandra had made sure of it. She wanted no one to realize the truth about the forgotten mother and daughter of so long ago. The truth that lay buried far beneath the store’s basement.