Shelley decided to go up one more flight, to the attic. She pulled down the attic stairs and started to climb. Standing on the top stair, she spied a small cardboard box tucked away in an otherwise barren space. Ugh! I hope there are no spiders up here, but I have to get that box. She carefully worked her way along the floor rafters until she could reach the box, then cradled her prize and gingerly climbed back down the stairs.
The cover of the box was marked, Anna’s Things, in a black marker. Shelley’s heart started racing. She sat on the floor, wiped the dust off the box and carefully opened the lid, wondering what she might possibly find. A spider hurried out of the box making Shelley jump in fright. Once she calmed down, Shelly carefully picked up the first item in the box--a wooden plaque from the New Cornish Chamber of Commerce awarded to “Annalizzie’s Sunshine Boutique for Excellence in Service." Shelley fondled the plaque and determined to go online and check out the history of the store. The next item was a Birth Certificate for Anna Wilburn, born February 3, 1923 to Samuel and Helen Wilburn. Helen Wilburn. That’s the name on the ration book I found in the kitchen. Tucked under the certificate was a picture of two babies, identical twin girls. Shelley turned the picture over and saw the handwritten words: Anna and Elizabeth, two months old. Shelley was so excited she could barely breathe. I get it!Annalizzie’s Sunshine Boutique, named for both of them. I wonder what happened to Elizabeth. Further down in the box she came across a lease agreement for the boutique and pictures of other twins, this time a boy and a girl.
Shelley was mesmerized by her findings, unable to believe her good fortune. She stood up, stretched her legs, and looked out the window to watch Tony mow the lawn. After admiring his glistening physique for a few moments, she sat back down to see what else was in the box. There were quite a few photographs, most of them in black and white. One picture showed a man in uniform standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, another was of a different man in uniform in front of the Coliseum in Rome. There was nothing written on the back to explain who they were. Darn! There was a picture of a Thanksgiving dinner with happy people sitting around the table and a turkey being placed in the center. The back was dated 1945. There were a few pictures of a woman and a man. They seemed very happy together. I wonder if that’s Anna. But who is he? The next item in the box was a newspaper clipping dated August 30, 1947. It was yellowed so Shelley handled it ever so gently. The headline read: Local Man Killed in Crash on Wet Road. As Shelley read through the article tears clouded her sight.
The voices Shelley hoped to hear were now speaking to her loud and clear.
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