Marie saw the faint yellow shack in the distance just beyond a hill. She was feeling faint and needed a place to stay. Walking there took every last breath. She gathered up every last bit of energy and strength and walked down to the shack with the African summer heat beating on her back. Marie barely made it. She collapsed and woke up inside an unfamiliar setting.
"Finally awake?" said a familiar voice.
"What is the time?" Marie asked.
"It is about mid afternoon," the man replied.
"What happened?" she asked with great hesitation.
He turned and looked at her, his eyes full of compassion as he gave her a cup of tea to sooth her nerves. He could see the fright in her as if she didn't know what happened. He looked around the room and tried to think of a way to explain it to her.
"I was playing the banjo with my grandson when I heard a thump at the door. I'll be honest and tell you I didn't worry about it at first. But then, out of curiosity, I got up and went to the door. I saw you lying there and you reminded me of someone that was lost in the shadows of my memories a good ten years ago", he replied, troubled at the site of her sad look.
"Would you play for me?" Marie asked, her eyes full of curiosity.
He smiled at her and saw how she really wanted to remember. She watched him as he strummed gently on the cords and hummed along with the music. Marie couldn't help but smile at his talent. Something was flickering in her memory at the sound of the melody. The words started to come back to her one by one as she sang along. She started to cry.
"My dad used to sing to me when I was little, before I went to bed." She gasped. "People would come from all over town to hear him play. They would call him a prodigy. No matter how times they would hear him play they never grew tired of him." She let a tear fall from her eye as she continued, "One day, about ten years ago he was late for dinner. I didn't worry much because, sometimes, so many people came to him he took a couple hours longer. He never came home that night," her face was full of tears now shex couldn't continue.
He looked at her, his eyes full of tears.
"Marie, Marie," he repeated, taking her into his arms.