The first day or two weren’t a problem, in fact, Ellie didn’t even notice. You don’t really notice when things have fallen off a pin board do you? You just pick up whatever it is and pin it back on the board. So, the first morning she came downstairs to find one of Helen’s postcards (from the Isle of Lewis), picture side up, on the floor just inside the kitchen, she pinned it straight back up and gave no further thought to it. The day after next, when it happened again (this time the one from Edinburgh with a photo of the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, and again picture side up), she pinned it up without question and only gave slightly more thought to it than before in wondering if the pin board was maybe a touch overcrowded. She cleared a few things off it that weren’t needed any longer but that had been left on there after being forgotten about, including raffle tickets from the local school fete the previous summer (they hadn’t won the iPod, the shopping vouchers or the multi-speed MST3K mountain bike, but had at least won a stationary set and a couple of lollipops at the tombola on the day), an old dentist appointment card, and last quarter’s phone bill. Now all that was left on there (aside from a business card from the electrician they had used after the cooker had started playing up…after it’s guarantee had expired, naturally) was the collection of postcards, nicely spaced out and arranged. It certainly wasn’t overcrowded now, and all the pins had been pushed in tight to ensure they wouldn’t fall out too easily. She noticed the third time though, when she knew first hand from tidying the pin board that it couldn’t have just fallen off. But there it was. A card from Lake Windermere in the Lake District, on the floor just inside the kitchen, picture side up. She took hold of it and returned it to the blank spot of cork it had exposed upon falling, taking a moment to see if there was any chance that the spot where it had been could be brushed against going through the door. She was hoping that maybe it was something simple like Liam catching it with his coat on the way out of the kitchen to work in the mornings. Over dinner that night, she had plucked up the courage to ask him. She kept repeating to herself "Just do it...he won’t think you’re crazy, he’s not like that." If only she could be so sure about her own sanity at that moment. He told her that as far as he knew he hadn’t knocked the notice board or anything on it any of the days it had happened, although he did try to reassure her by adding that, with the weather having been bad of late (especially in the very early morning when he left for work), that he had been wearing his extra thick Parka so he wouldn’t have felt it even if he had. Ellie was temporarily satisfied when Liam told her that he would by doubly careful in the mornings, and would check and check again that he hadn’t knocked any postcards off the board. With a hug and a kiss for additional comfort, he managed to help her stop dwelling again, he just had that way about him.
(Chapter 4 due tomorrow, 21/12/08)