As the train pulled into the station, Dotty began to once again think of herself as Dorothy. She sat next to Bessie, their gloved hands locked together. They’d already said their goodbyes, the real ones with kisses and tears.
The train hissed into the station, and Dorothy rose from her seat. “Until next year, Bessie.”
Bessie smiled, her eyes welling with tears. She grabbed Dorothy’s hand, and pressed something hard and round into it. Bessie closed Dorothy’s fingers and squeezed. “Later.” She said, her voice thick with emotion. “Until next year, Dotty.”
Dorothy walked off the train, her fingers locked around Bessie’s gift.
As she waited for the porter to hand down her bag, she slipped the object into her coat pocket. It was only after the train was gone, vanished beyond her sight, that she reached into her pocket.
Somehow Bessie had turned the only photograph of the three of them, Bessie, Dotty, and the late Helen, into a broach. All of them wore their Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps uniforms, and Dotty knew this picture was taken just days before Helen had died. Dotty, swallowed her tears, and clipped the broach to her coat.
“Daddy,” a child’s voice called out, “Look there’s mommy.”
Dorothy turned and cast a glowing smile on her husband and her daughter, Helen.