Chapter 10: Segment 6

“He drugged me.”

The words exploded from Mary’s lips as the memory cemented itself in her mind and, just as the last notes of the wedding march had died away, allowing her words to echo throughout the high ceilinged chapel. Her blue eyes locked with his dangerous dark eyes and it was Mary he looked at now instead of the bride whose father had just escorted her down the aisle.

Lucy followed Evan’s gaze over to Mary with confusion, unsure of what was happening but feeling the palpable tension in the air. Evan seemed to realize the gravity of the situation and regained his composure lightly laughing trying to shake off what was becoming a public moment of embarrassment. He was not certain if the guests could hear what Mary had said but the writing was on the wall. Mary remembered and it was only a matter of time before she told Lucy and everyone all about it.

Leaning down, Evan pulled Lucy’s top veil up over her head, exposing her face and giving her a tender kiss. As Lucy and the guests reacted to this gesture, he made a quick move, darting past the priest leaving his groomsmen, his bride, the bridesmaid and the entire congregation behind.

By the time the shock of his departure had registered, Evan Cooper was well on his way and he doubted any of them would be fast enough to catch up to him. They would not find him until he wanted to be found because a man like him always had an escape plan.

Chapter 10: Segment 5

“Mary?” exclaimed Evan in surprise, his body seeming to be half underground in some sort of ditch in the woods. “What are you doing out here?”

She looked around confused, not sure how she had gotten to this area of the woods when she had just been with Peggy and Hope at the library a moment before. Uncertain, she lamely muttered, “I don’t know.”

“Ask him what he is doing?” encouraged Tracey, sending the message into Mary’s mind.

Mary whispered back, “I can’t ask him that.” Why was Tracey asking her to speak up to a Summer Island instructor?

“Shhhh… Don’t let him know I am here or it will make him suspicious and put you in danger,” cautioned Tracey insistently. “You have to trust me. I led you here for a reason. Go ahead- ask him what he is doing?”

Taking a deep breath, Mary frowned slightly, nervous under the scrutiny of Evan’s dark stare as he climbed up to ground level, brushing leaves around with his feet before walking toward her and stopping just mere inches from her.

“What did you say?” he asked inspecting her closely with a look that seemed as capable of getting to the truth as an airline security scanner.

“Uh, I… Well, I was wondering… uh… What are you doing?” she stammered before adding, “Sir.”

Annoyance filled him at the nerve of this young girl to question him. He visually appraised her, trying to determine if she had remembered meeting him before. Evan had kept close tabs on Mary since she had arrived on Summer Island, using his relationship with Lucy to keep up-to-date and make sure that she still suffered from the amnesia that had caused her to forget, among other things, his attempt to kidnap her.

Thinking of the botched kidnapping annoyed him further. He had a successful technique that was tried and true but somehow she had escaped from his boat before he was able to transport her to Summer Island and keep her in captivity. He did not know how she had managed to escape but when she washed up, on the southern shore of Sapphire Port, ignorant of how she had gotten there, he had breathed a sigh of relief at the close call- for if the police had investigated him they might have uncovered his activities or, even worse, discovered the fact that, as a psychic, he was a fraud.

Evan had built a professional reputation as a psychic and had become addicted to the power of being famous. He was not about to give it all up for this girl. When she had washed up on Sapphire Port it had been storming and, apparently the coincidence of a storm also having occurred during her other traumatic experience of a car accident, caused her mind to jumble up the events and the drugs he had given her combined with it all to compromise her memory and leave her clueless- much to his relief.

For years he had worked for a dark force from another realm who gave him psychic information that allowed him to impress others but he had wanted more notoriety so he kidnapped young girls who could use their abilities to further his own agenda. These girls were never taken directly from Summer Island, and ashamed of being different, ignorant of the fame they could claim as successful psychics, these girls felt like outcasts and did not let others know they came to this special camp, making them easy targets as the link back to the island might never be revealed. In captivity they were under his control and he could bring them objects from the homes on Carousel Isle so that they could give him their impressions which he would pass off as his own during classes and lectures.

He was, at times, concerned that the dark entity would not approve but he was wrong. As it always had, the entity began to guide and manipulate him, using past event in Evan’s life as fuel for fury, into targeting specific girls. Mary Anderson had been a particularly important acquisition and the dark entity had been furious when she had escaped. It seemed dangerous to kidnap her again now in broad daylight on Summer Island but if he waited it out people might think that she was delusional and he could eventually sneak her away without arousing suspicion- but what should he do now. What if she had realized what he had just climbed out of?

All Evan could think to do was to drug her again so she would forget this encounter and then keep checking with Lucy to see what she had remembered. He could also set up recording equipment in her cabin. Yes, that is what he would do. He could set it up while they were at the baseball game. He was sure most everyone from the island would be going making it the ideal time to set up the cameras without being caught. And, as an added bonus, the entity would appreciate the invasion of privacy the tapes would inflict on the girls of the red cabin.

“Mary, you know you don’t look so good,” he said.

She looked at him blankly before distractedly looking over her shoulder. As her head was turned, he slipped the drug into the water canteen he wore around his neck.

Tapping her on the arm he drew her attention back to him, and, with a piercing look that bore into her, demanding respect and submission, he thrust the water canteen into her hand.

“You really better drink some water, Mary. It will make you feel soooo much better.”

Chapter 10: Segment 4

It stormed heavily that night following Lucy and Evan’s rehearsal dinner. Torrents of rain drenched the back lawn of Isle Inn removing all traces of the indentations caused by the tent and accompanying event equipment. The ocean surrounding the isle, thrashing as though having a violent nightmare, appeared at times to be poised to swallow the isle entirely, such was the nature of the aggressive swells that pounded the sand, gaining speed and proximity to the isle’s dwellings with each pass.

It was unlikely, in any case, that Mary would be able to sleep that night as it was, as she processed her newly realized, yet old and lingering, romantic feelings for Scott. With the added distraction of the storm, with its ear-splitting growling crashes and booms of thunder, blindingly brilliant flashes of lightning and heavy sheets of water exploding from the sky, it made sleeping impossible.

Mary awoke the next morning bleary eyed and thankful for the gift of make-up to block out her lack of sleep. She, Hope and Lila primped in the Victorian bathroom, their Summer Island cosmetic bags, curling irons and hair pins spread out on the beautiful white marble countertop. Hope pinned Mary’s hair in an elegant twist and Lila curled the exposed pieces of hair to beautiful effect. After putting the final touches on her make-up, Mary had just finished getting dressed and putting on her jewelry when Kate knocked on the door to their room to check on her progress.

“Oh, you girls all look so pretty,” raved Kate.

Hope’s long golden-brown hair was worn loose and curly flowing over her floral printed dress. Lila wore a butter yellow dress with her dark curly hair wound into a low bun. Gorgeous as they were, Kate was in awe of her daughter’s appearance.

With a bateau neckline, the bridesmaid dress was made of navy blue lace and was cinched at the waist giving way to a full skirt cut just above the knee. Her satin navy pumps clicked on the hardwood floor as she spun around in a circle.

“Darling, you’re stunning,” she said reaching out and giving Mary a tight bear hug.

“Aw, thanks, mom,” said Mary. “And thanks, girls for helping me get ready.”

“No problem. It was fun,” replied Hope, as Lila nodded.

“Hey, got room for us?” called out Peggy, as she lightly knocked on the open door to their room, with Cara right behind her. “Wow, you all look sensational!”

“You too!” responded Hope as she waved them into the room so that they could see them better. Peggy had pulled the sides of her red hair up, pining them with purple barrettes that matched her purple A-line dress, while Cara, whose blonde hair was in a loose pony tail, was wearing a floral dress but was relieved that it was a different cut and style from Hope’s floral dress.

“We just have to get some photos!” exclaimed Kate, wiping the sentimental tears from her eyes, and with that, she led them out to the third floor sitting room. She had taken multiple group shots of the girls with her own camera and Lila’s camera too, as well as some mother-daughter shots with Mary, when they realized it was time to get going to the church for the ceremony.

Mary hurried on ahead of them to join Lucy, the other two bridesmaids and Lucy’s mother in the covered carriage which would conceal the bride’s arrival to Carousel Chapel. As typically happens on wedding days, time clicked away at a quick, breathless pace and before long it was time to begin the ceremony. From the second story bridal room with its ornate wooden paneled walls, Lucy and her female wedding party had watched guests arrive and be seated from the hidden window which concealed them from the wedding guests but allowed them to see quite clearly into the chapel.

Nodding to her mother that she thought everyone was present in the chapel that should be, and stealing one last glance from this vantage point of her handsome groom, Lucy accepted the bouquet of pink peonies, deep blue hydrangeas and cream roses that her mother handed her and breathed in a deep cleansing breath. Her mother lifted her veil and kissed her lightly on the cheek before placing Lucy’s arm in her father’s, kissing him and heading down to take part in her portion of the ceremony in which Landon would walk her down the aisle before joining Evan and his other two groomsmen on the altar.

At this point, Mary began to feel somewhat nervous as she was to be the first bridesmaid to go down the aisle. Lucy’s female wedding party accompanied by her dad made their way down to the entry of the altar. The tall wooden doors had been pulled shut after Lucy’s mother had gone down the aisle and they stood closed now to shield the guests from seeing the bride until the proper moment. The wedding coordinator did a quick visual check and confirmed that Lucy and her father were obscured, as Mary and the other bridesmaids lined up, before she pulled open the wooden doors and clicked the doorstops into place. There was a sudden shift in the music and the wedding coordinator nodded at Mary, giving her the cue to begin.

Mary nodded back at her and walked to the threshold of the aisle cutting down the center of the chapel. As she had rehearsed, Mary paused there smiling for the photographer, holding her small bouquet of pale pink and cream roses with blue statice. As the photographer stepped aside, Mary felt a sense of déjà vu as she began her descent down the aisle, as it was reminiscent of the dream she had experienced, on her first afternoon at Summer Island, of marrying Chase.

Remembering to smile, she slowly made her way down the aisle, not really seeing the watching faces in her nervousness, as she focused on making it down the aisle, which was quite long, to her designated spot on the altar. She took a quick intake of breath, however, when she got close enough to realize that it was Scott playing the piano music of which she was pacing her walk. She supposed it made sense since he had played music at the rehearsal dinner but, as they had practiced without music, it surprised her.

As she neared the end of her journey, she came into direct eye contact with the groom and suddenly an eerie feeling entered her consciousness and the last paces of her walk seemed to be in slow motion. Evan stood in an ivory suit with a pale blue vest and tie. His hands were clasped behind his back and his smile conveyed enjoyment at being in the center of the spotlight while his eyes bore deep into hers with a severity that seemed to convey an urgent message of authority and power over her. She tried to block her body’s desire to shudder as she stepped into her assigned place.

The congregation’s attention now focused on the next bridesmaid to come down the aisle, during which time, Mary tried to make sense of what she had just felt. She suddenly realized that she had never really looked at Evan that closely and now she had a terrible, sinister feeling about him. Here she was standing on the altar of her cousin’s wedding and was questioning the character of the groom. Why, oh, why had this not come to her before now? Did her amnesia play a role?

“Remember,” Tracey’s soft voice whispered in Mary’s ear, giving her a chill and snapping her attention back to Evan’s face.

The last bridesmaid took her place on the altar and Scott began to play the wedding march. Frantically, Mary looked over to him at his spot at the piano but he was engrossed in his performance. Studying Evan’s profile as he gasped audibly at Lucy’s appearance with her father at the end of the aisle, she willed her brain to allow her to remember.

“You can do it, Mary,” whispered Betsy encouragingly in her other ear startling her. “Let yourself remember. Give yourself permission. We are here to support and protect you.”

“Remember,” repeated Tracey. “Remember. It’s so important that you remember.”

Chapter 10: Segment 3

A large elegant white tent had been set up on the back lawn of Isle Inn which accommodated round tables draped with linens in variegating shades of blue. White chiavari chairs with navy blue pads allowed rehearsal dinner guests to dine in both comfort and style. Planks of polished oak wood made up a square dance floor in the center of the tent, with a white baby grand piano off to one side, in front of which stood four microphones on their accompanying stands.

After a delicious seafood dinner, the bride and groom presented the bridal party with their gifts- pale blue crystal jewelry sets for the bridesmaids and cuff links for the groomsmen. Mary was stowing her jewelry set in her purse for safe keeping, when she noticed Scott get up from his seat at the next table over, and head to the dance floor. After a brief whispered conversation with Evan, Scott went to take a seat on the stool behind the piano.

Taking center stage, Evan looked the picture of pre-wedded bliss in white linen pants with a matching white linen shirt which complimented his tan skin. He ran a hand through his dark hair before reaching for a microphone.     

“Attention, please,” requested Evan Cooper as he spoke, his charismatic voice amplified and his dark brown eyes twinkling in anticipation. “I have a surprise for my beautiful bride.”

Lucy looked up from where she sat with Landon, her parents and Mary’s parents. In a pale blue flowing chiffon dress, her bridal glow was evident as she looked lovingly at her husband to be.

“Have a seat, my love,” smiled Evan with a toothy grin. “Whilst I serenade you.”

Taking his cue to begin, Scott began playing a beautiful original melody as Evan’s voice crooned sweet words of love and adoration.

“Is there anything Evan isn’t good at?” Mary heard a female guest at a nearby table say. “Too bad he doesn’t have any family, or at least a single brother!”

While most of the guests were captivated by Evan’s enigmatic voice and the touching tribute to his bride, Mary was in awe of Scott’s portion of the performance. His fingers gracefully caressed the piano’s keyboard with great speed and seeming ease. The bright blue dress shirt he wore complimented his blue eyes and, as her eyes locked on him, Mary found she could not tear her eyes away.

The sound of enthusiastic clapping brought her mind back to the present and she could feel Chase, who sat with his parents and sister, Casey, at a neighboring table, watching her reaction. He smiled at her and she smiled back just as Scott began to play another song which was familiar to Mary but she couldn’t quite place it.

Evan invited guests to join him and Lucy on the dance floor. Chase immediately stood at this invitation and came over to Mary, smiling warmly.

“May I have this dance?” he asked.

Watching as Hope left the table to dance with Landon and Lila with Reed, Mary turned to Chase and said simply, “Sure.”

Smoothing out her strapless pale pink satin dress, Mary stood accepting Chase’s hand as he led her to the dance floor. The sun had lightened his blonde hair even more and his skin bore the glow of a tan. Wearing a white polo shirt and khaki pants, Mary thought he had never looked cuter. As captivated as she was by Chase, however, as they began to dance and she listened more closely to the tune Scott was playing, Mary began to have flashbacks.

The memories came like snapshots flashing before her mind’s eye as she saw images of herself with Scott from childhood up until more recent years. With these images came an emotional connection, a feeling of friendship and adoration. It was a strange sensation for although, it was similar to tapping into her psychic abilities, this was different for these were her own memories, her own feelings and she had an attachment to the images she saw and the person with whom she was with. In this instant she now remembered that Scott had been her first love. Was this past tense? She did not know for these feelings, while deeply embedded in her heart from past experience, were new to her and conflicted with those she felt for Chase whose arms were guiding her around the dance floor.

As the song ended Scott bowed, accepting the applause for his performance. Returning to a standing stance, his gaze wandered and he caught her eye across the dance floor. A sign of recognition flashed across his face. Even from where he stood, Scott could sense that she had remembered their connection.

Chapter 10: Segment 2

“Well, we got our same room,” said Hope excitedly as she, Lila and Mary came into room 303 of Isle Inn. “This is going to be such a fun weekend!”

“It really is,” said Mary. “And I am so glad I get to share with you guys as well.”

“Are we keeping you from any bridesmaid duties?” asked Lila.

“Yeah,” said Hope. “We were so excited we just grabbed you without making sure you weren’t busy.”

Mary laughed, something which came so easily when she was with Lila and Hope, and which felt like such a release after the stress she had been under prior to being asked to be in the bridal party.

“Are you kidding?” she said. “Lucy is ridiculously organized and everything is all set. I am free as a bird to enjoy the rehearsal party tonight and all the wedding hoopla tomorrow.”

A soft knock on the door interrupted their conversation.

“Mary, it’s Dad,” Frank’s shaky voice called out from the hallway.

Mary exchanged a look with Hope and Lila whose sympathetic glances filled her with a surge of strength. Taking a deep breath she assured them that she would be okay, while deep inside she wondered just what to say to her father now that she remembered the truth of the car accident he had caused.

She crossed the room, brushing away some light tears that had begun to fill her blue eyes, opened the door and said, “Hi, Dad. Let’s go for a walk.”

He nodded at her and began to follow her through the third floor to the staircase. Shame colored him for he looked pale as… Well, as pale as a ghost, ironically, though Mary. The long conversation she had shared with her mother, Kate, earlier had scarcely prepared her for this conversation but it had helped and there should be some sense of tension relief once she had started talking to her father about what had happened.

She led him outside and to a small garden area on the front lawn of Isle Inn. It was a beautiful spot, that was also out of the way, so as not to interfere with those setting up and making preparations for Lucy and Evan’s wedding rehearsal and dinner. There on a white wooden bench shaded by an arbor covered in pale pink roses, Mary and her father began to talk honestly among the breathtaking variety of garden flowers, and Betsy, of course, was there too.

Chapter 10: Segment 1

Over the next several days, Mary tried to process all that she had learned. Her roommates were very understanding. They let her take her time sharing what she wanted, when she wanted and the boys of the blue cabin where equally understanding. She guessed that this was mainly because they were boys and felt awkward wondering if she would burst in to tears at any moment although she knew it was particularly difficult for Scott, Chase and, her newly found cousin, Landon, since they had closer relationships with her. Mary kept herself busy with the many activities and classes available to them on Summer Island and hoped that the sense of awkwardness she generally felt with all of them would pass as she became more comfortable in her own skin and after processing the vast amount of information she had taken in since first arriving on Summer Island.

The monotony of it all was greatly infused with new purpose when Lucy asked her to be a bridesmaid in her wedding to Evan which was quickly approaching. It was an honor Mary felt deeply touched by and graciously accepted much to the bride’s delight. It was to be a simple, small wedding on Carousel Isle with the ceremony at Carousel Chapel and the reception at the ballroom. Mary’s parents were among the close friends and family invited to stay at Isle Inn throughout the weekend’s festivities and her roommates, as well as the rest of the girls under Lucy’s mentorship, and Landon’s roommates were invited as well.

“Well, what do you think?” asked Lucy as she twirled around on the platform which stood in front of the three-way mirror which was the focal point of the old-fashioned dressing room, with its white paneled walls and intricately tiled floor in colors of  blue, rose and white, which had once belonged to Ella Matthews.

Mary smiled up at her cousin admiring her radiant beauty as she stood before her in the simple but exquisite ivory wedding gown. Made of antique lace, the dress was capped on the shoulders adding a sense of elegance to the straight across neckline with a trumpet style silhouette which suited Lucy’s slim physique perfectly. Lucy had gently placed the ivory cirque veil over the delicate crystal headband piece, which was encrusted with slender crystal buds and twigs, on her head so that Mary could see the full picture of how it would look on her wedding day. Her chin-length dark hair was perfectly brushed back and held beneath the headpiece drawing the eye to her beautiful face which held a rosy glow of excitement. The effect was stunning and Mary felt a surge of emotional connection as she realized the importance of being included, in such an intimate way, on such an important day in her cousin’s life.

“It’s beautiful,” breathed Mary. “You’re beautiful.”

Lucy leaned down and excitedly squeezed Mary’s hands with her own.

“I am so glad you are here with me sharing this special moment,” she said as she felt moisture begin to fill her pale blue eyes. “I know it was a lot to ask, seeing as we have only just met, but I feel as though we have known each other much longer than we actually have.”

“Oh, Lucy, I am so honored you would ask me,” replied Mary feeling her own blue eyes fill with moisture, a habit she had been experiencing daily since the revelations she had uncovered. “Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this special time in your life.”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now before you try on your bridesmaid dress, which I hope you love, I want to ask you something I have been meaning to…” said Lucy pausing but deciding that it was best just to proceed with her question rather than skirting the issue. “Do you still want to be hypnotized?”

“I have been thinking about that,” answered Mary thoughtfully. “And I do want to be hypnotized but not just yet. I want to wait until I… Well, I don’t know exactly until when.”

Lucy nodded understanding her cousin’s meaning in an instant. “Not until you are ready. I totally understand. You don’t have to say anything more. You just let me know when the time comes.”

Mary was just nodding when there was a soft rap at the door.

“Hmmm,” said Lucy. “Someone must have come in my room.”

Gathering her dress in her hands so as to keep it from skimming the floor, Lucy stepped down off of the platform and walked across to the ornately carved wooden door of the dressing room. Just as she reached the door, however, the crystal doorknob began to turn and a chill entered the room accompanied by a spiritual presence.

“I suppose this is to be expected at the inn.” Lucy looked to Mary in question as to whom had just entered the dressing room and joined them.

Frowning Mary was not sure what to make of their visitor for there seemed to be a hostile manner in the female presence, who seemed to be blocking her identity.

“I’m not sure,” replied Mary to the unspoken question held in Lucy’s eyes. She did not want the uninvited guest to spoil her cousin’s mood.

Just then a knock on the outer door to the inn’s room broke the silence, startling the girls who laughed nervously when they heard Mary’s mother’s voice announce her arrival.

“I’ll get it,” said Mary who rushed to the door, opened it and flung her arms around Kate Anderson.

“Oh, mom,” she said. “I am so glad to see you. We have so much to talk about.”

Chapter 9: Segment 5

When Mary awoke from her stupor, she found herself lying on a pale yellow canvas couch covered in lavender and yellow colored quilt, in what was a suite of the ballpark. Looking out through the glass patio doors in her direct sightline, to the deck of the suite, she saw that Scott and Cara were sitting on chairs which faced the baseball field while Chase stood leaning against the railing on the furthest edge of the deck talking to Peggy who stood beside him.  Idly, she wondered where the others were as she shifted her weight preparing to sit up but stopping, her body half up, when she saw felt a message from Tracey entering her mind.

It was as though her mind had just been blank other than thinking of getting up, and now it was filled with a thought, rather a message, that was not her own. It was a strange, yet familiar, sensation that she was slowly becoming re-accustomed to.

She decided to lie back down as she used her mind to ask Tracey, “What was that?”

“I am here for you too.” Tracey’s message filled her mind. “Just like Betsy.”

“Thank you,” said Mary aloud, softly but audibly, forgetting that she could just concentrate on thinking of her response back rather than needing to speak audibly.

“Did you know I am another of your spiritual guides?” asked Tracey.

Shaking her head, Mary focused on thinking the word, “No.”

She was processing this sort of information and wondering how Tracey had become her spiritual guide when another communication from Tracey crossed through her mind.

“After I died while in captivity, I decided that I wanted to help others who had experienced the same fate as me and try to protect them. Deep inside of your mind, you know now that is was you that disappeared- not Betsy. You were taken just as I was. I know that you do not remember what happened but I believe it will come back to you and I will be there to support you when it does, as will Betsy.”

“Wow,” said Mary in a hushed voice.

Once again, she was taking in a lot of information for one day. In a way it felt oddly reassuring to know what she had learned- to know the truth and understand she had been a victim both in the car accident her father had caused by his drunk driving and in an apparent kidnapping, facts which she was still processing, and to know that she had two spirit guides in Betsy and Tracey but it was mind-blowing at the same time.

She thought back to those times she had slumber parties with Betsy as a child and realized that rather than an actual physical friend, she had been lonely and had set up the extra bed for her spiritual counter-part who really didn’t require the actual bed. Somehow by setting it up, she had fulfilled her need for company at a time in her life when she felt shy, isolated and often, in the case of her father, abandoned- pushed aside for his preference, his alcohol. She could only guess that her mind had felt those same emotions during the time of her kidnapping which had caused her to alter her belief of Betsy’s existence.

Now that she thought about it, the implications of the information she had learned were incredible for this meant that Scott had not had a relationship with her best friend at all because her best friend was not alive. Had she been Scott’s girlfriend and did she feel guilty because she couldn’t remember their relationship so she had conjured up a convoluted reason for why she could not be with him? Were their feelings she had for Scott that were buried deep inside her subconscious waiting to be revealed to her? Or would those memories remain locked indefinitely?

And, then if feelings for Scott did re-surface how would that affect her new relationship with Chase? And what did it mean that she had dreamt of marrying Chase? Was that who she was destined to be with or would her destiny be altered if her memory fully returned? Did she want her memories to fully return in the first place? It was clear that there was no danger eminent for Betsy, and Tracey had already moved on to the next life, so would it serve any purpose for her to regain that missing time, to account for the blind spots in her memory, if it would only bring up a very difficult, traumatic and tortuous time? So many questions swarmed in her mind at once that she could scarcely comprehend them and had no idea how to handle it all.

“You can do this, Mary,” said Tracey deciding to show herself in physical form. Her image hovered in front of the couch and yet Mary could see through her to her friends who were still just outside the closed sliding door. “The truth needs to come out. You need to remember. There are things that only you have the power to do. I know that this does not make a whole lot of sense to you right now but it will. You have to trust me on that. You will understand in the end how important this is.”

Mary nodded soberly, still not convinced that she was strong enough to accomplish all that Tracey was suggesting for it seemed that not only would she need to remember what had happened to her and face it but there were things she needed to do beyond that to make things right. She did not know how she exactly came to this conclusion but she knew, somehow in her gut, that this was the case. She did not know what lie ahead in terms of what she needed to do or how she would accomplish it and it was quite disconcerting, especially in light of trying to handle just what she had learned since she came to Summer Island.

It all seemed like a whirlwind. In a matter of a days, she knew a lot of information she either had forgotten or did not know in the past. She had two cousins from her father’s side of the family who were psychics and were here on Summer Island. She herself had psychic abilities that often manifested in dreams and the same could be said for her father. There were those who knew the truth of what she had forgotten but were waiting for her regain her memory on her own.

Scott was a psychic and that was why he had come to Summer Island last summer and why he was here again. It was not because of wanting to reconnect with memories of Betsy because Betsy was actually Mary’s spirit guide. And he had genuine feelings for Mary that were not conflicted by a prior relationship as Mary had once believed. He had watched as a new relationship blossomed between her and Chase which she could only imagine had been painful for him yet he put his feelings aside and gave her mind the time it needed to begin the healing process and, she was sure he hoped, to remember her feelings for him if that was possible. And neither of them knew if it would be possible.

There were all the challenges that came with being a psychic and, on top of that, Mary had to face the very difficult fact that her father had nearly killed her by his reckless actions. He put not only himself and others on the roadway at risk but he put his daughter at risk rather than choosing to call a cab or simply stay home. She could not remember where they were going that day nor the more finite details of the accident. And the period in which she recovered was completely hazy. In fact, she could not recall exactly what her injuries had been, obviously, other than the amnesia.

Then, at some point after the car accident and after her recovery from it, she had disappeared in what was apparently a kidnapping. Other than the dream vision she had experienced in the Summer Island library while Peggy and Hope were doing research, Mary had no memory and no idea of what had happened to her. There was also the vision about Tracey trying to escape but she did not know how much that connected with what had happened to her, although based on the messages from Tracey and her own instinct, which she wondered if she could really trust, it seemed the disappearances were connected. It was no wonder that her mind had become completely boggled- for her body first needed to heal before her mind could with all that had happened.  And she wondered if her mind would ever heal completely.

Filled with self-doubt, it was with much trepidation that Mary thought about how her friends had found her wandering the woods just the previous day. She would have to face the fact that, even as recently as the previous day, she had experienced some sort of loss of memory for she did not know how she came to be in the woods nor why. She only felt embarrassed and confused about it afterward.

Tracey spoke to her once more saying, “I know you doubt yourself but I have faith in you. Do you know why I chose to be your spirit guide?”

Shaking her head, Mary thought to herself, no, she didn’t know or understand a lot of what had been happening. She felt clueless. It was as if she was staggering through a storm, similar to the storm from which she had been rescued the day of the car accident. In the darkness, with rain pelting her and obscuring her path even further, she fought the elements and searched for the answers to all her questions that she might find peace, that she might find the rainbow at the end of the storm, or that, at minimum, there would be a break in the clouds so that she could rest, gather facts and gear up for the next stage of the storm.

“I’ll tell you,” said Tracey, smiling as she looked down at Mary. “I chose you to guide, not only because I feel connected to you and not only because I want the best for you, but because you can help me to grow. I know that you are capable of achieving what I could not. You are strong, Mary. You have a beautiful heart. You can help people with your unique gifts.”

“In my life I was not the nicest person, something for which I am now atoning for. In order to, move up so to speak, in my realm and to find peace with my own passing and peace with the mistakes I made in my own life… In order for me to grow spiritually and to look back at what I have accomplished with no regrets, while helping someone whose character I greatly admire, I seek redemption by guiding you to a path which I could not reach myself.”

Chapter 9: Segment 4

“I am always with you, Mary,” said Betsy. “Always.”

Mary looked up at the exquisite, transparent silhouette of her beloved Betsy and began to weep for she knew now that she was too late. She would not be able to save her best friend. Death had come much too soon and Mary was too late. Tears flowed down her face hitting the skin of her arms. The steady steam seemed endless, stinging her eyes with moisture and her heart with heavy sadness.   

“Oh, Betsy,” she cried. “I’m so sorry.” She began to wail, so deep was her grief that if felt like physical pain. Guilt crushed her essence leaving her to feel weighted down and emotionally exhausted.

Betsy’s serene face winced momentarily. “Why are you sad, sweet, Mary?”

Surprise flooded Mary quickly followed by understanding. She could not imagine why Betsy would ask such a question but then she realized that Betsy was an angel now and would relish the role. This was the spiritual plane Betsy was meant to be on. It seemed so right and perfect for the young girl Mary so admired. She imagined Betsy wanted Mary to be happy for her. After all Betsy had done for Mary, she felt it was the least she could do so she tried to put on a brave face but failed at the task when once again she burst into tears.

Betsy glided forward and leaned down to touch Mary, passing a warm glow through her that calmed and ebbed her sadness. It was as though she had been wrapped in a blanket of comfort that filled in the cracks of her heart, replacing sorrow with acceptance. 

“You are an angel now,” said Mary softly, looking up at Betsy with reverence and pure love.

“No, sweet, Mary,” soothed Betsy. “You have forgotten. I am like an angel but I am actually your spirit guide.”

Genuine surprise now filled Mary once again and, just as had happened before, she immediately felt that she understood. However, this time she seemed to truly understand, for the certainty of Betsy’s declaration struck a chord in Mary and she instantaneously knew, deep in her soul, that it was the truth. Still she felt the need to question, to confirm, to validate what she knew- as she lacked confidence with a mind that had been so deceptive, withholding realities it felt she was not strong enough to face.

“You became my spirit guide?”

“Dear, girl, I have always been your spirit guide- ever since you were born and even before that. And I will be here with you until you, some day, transition back to heaven. I was destined to help guide you. I have never been alive at the same time as you but we are family. I am from another generation of your father’s family, one that existed before even his time. I am sure this bond feels sisterly to you, like that of a best friend, which is why you became confused about my identity when you suffered memory loss. Take heart, dear one, for I am the same as I always have been and ever will be.”

Chapter 9: Segment 3

The accident had happened so quickly. One moment she was talking to her father and the next the car was careening off the road hitting the guardrail with violent force and tumbling down a hill at great speed, slowing down only once it reached a body of water at which point it slowly began to sink. She could not say how long she had been in the car before a rescue diver pulled her out into a climate that had changed to a raging storm which seemed to match the storm raging in her mind as she came to grips with the fact that her father, who was laying on a stretcher next to her profusely apologizing, had risked everything by drunk driving.

The reality of what had happened hit her just before she was pulled under once again to a physical state of unconsciousness. There were times when she could hear people talking to her from what seemed to be a faraway place but she felt too weak and incapable of pulling back the veil that separated her from the physical world and she felt most comfortable in this spiritual sort of realm which was painless and enlightened and, most importantly, gave her a clear connection with Betsy.

Chapter 9: Segment 2

The five girls vowed to enjoy the afternoon and try to put the stress of the missing persons’ investigations on the back burner temporarily. The weather was perfectly warm but not too hot. Marveling at the many carnival type games available at Carousel Enchantment Park and the fact that, unlike typical carnivals, the games were all free to play, they quite enjoyed themselves trying various games including balloon darts, ring toss and loop-the-bottle, the water propelled car race where they sat in stools in separate lanes and used water guns to move their cars up, and they even stopped at one booth to learn how to juggle. They were laughing about how much practice they would need to be as good at juggling as the young man teaching them, when they decided to ride the carousel before heading over to the baseball game. They would save the Ferris wheel for later when they boys were with them.

The menagerie style carousel with its rich array of animals for riders to choose from was a true work of art. The girls dispersed each picking different animals to ride. There was the playful cat with a fish hanging from its mouth or its other cat counterparts, the tiger or lion, who were both visibly roaring. There were the more unique animals which were unusual to see on a carousel, such as the ostrich, bear, rabbit, pig, deer or giraffe. And there were plenty of traditional horses to choose from in varying colors and two chariots with intricate carvings along their sides. Traditional organ music added to the sensory experience as they whirled around and around, enjoying the beauty of the old-fashioned carousel construction and the whimsical fun that carousel rides evoke.

Walking to the back of the park where the baseball stadium was, they were fascinated by the various museum quality miniature displays depicting the history of baseball which ran all along the outer perimeter before the entrance to the stadium seating. The girls went into the stadium and chose a row of bleacher seats. For the most part the stadium was modern but there were touches everywhere that were reflective of the past including the outfield signage that showed period advertisements that were reflective of a span of years from the 1910s into the 1940s.

The girls proceeded to have a fun afternoon enjoying the baseball game and cheering on the boys who, in the end, were victorious. It was Reed’s homerun that broke the tie which gave him the honor of being lifted in the air and riding on the shoulders of Chase and Scott as they carried him to the outdoor tea room which was the popular post-game hang-out.

The first years were fascinated by the assortment of food and beverages the tea room offered. From tea sandwiches, petit fours and scones to the more traditional hot dogs, peanuts and cracker jacks, the open-air deck boasted baseball delicacies that spanned the history of the sport and were among Ella and Henry Matthews’s favorites. The beverage selection included old-fashioned sodas in a variety of flavors, iced and hot tea, fresh-squeezed lemonade and the only beer they could serve to minors, root beer, was offered plain or as a float.    

Wooden picnic tables, painted in a variety of pale colors, spread throughout the white-washed deck area. The kitchen building was located to one side while the buffet offerings, sprinkled impressively across a giant island made of concrete decorated with a combination of shells and translucent tiles in shades of sea glass and topped with a countertop of gleaming white granite, sliced down the center of the tea room.

It was sitting there in between Scott and Chase on a pale turquoise picnic table that, without warning, a memory flooded Mary’s mind just as the music playing overhead changed and with the new song came a moment of recognition. It was like a jolt of lightening to her system, a sudden electric shock, and the incident her mind had fought so hard to keep inaccessible swam to the surface of her consciousness like a violent wave crashing against the shore during a storm. And there she sat feeling immobilized, as though water surrounded and trapped her, pulling her into the memory and absorbing her mind completely while adding more and more layers of detail in exceedingly quick succession.