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Jo Bettany opened her eyes groggily. She appeared to be lying on the floor in an unfamiliar room. She got to her feet and looked around her.

“Oh help. Where am I?” she thought. The last thing Jo remembered was leaving the Sonnalpe to go for a walk. She had just finished her last term at the Chalet School and after playing with the babes all morning had decided to go for a stroll before lunch.

Jo took in the room she was in. It had a piano at one end and sunshine streaming in the window through which there was a view of a mountain.  Jo didn’t recognise the mountain at all. There were a few photos in frames scattered around various surfaces. They were all of children, some of whom reminded her of someone, but she didn’t know any of them. Then another picture caught her eye.

There was a woman, in a lime green dress with her hair in great earphones around her ears, and standing next to her was a man with thinning fair hair. They were surrounded by a great hoard of people, many of who were children.  Jo was confused and was getting quite anxious.  The people in the pictures looked so familiar but she didn’t know them. The man and women in particular looked familiar.

Jo continued walking around the room. She even called out but there was no response.  She stuck her head out of a couple of doors but saw no one and felt that she could not just go wandering round a strange house. She passed by a mirror and gave it a passing glance to check if her hair was neat. What she saw gave her a complete shock. It was not her in the mirror. It was the women from the photo. 

Jo collapsed into a chair. She was now thoroughly frightened. She looked so much older but she knew that she had just finished school. She now realised that the man in the photo was Jack Maynard but why was he in the photo with her. Jo put her head in her hands and started to think but the sound of a door opening and the voices of little children distracted her. She looked up expecting to see one of her nephews or nieces.  A head appeared round the door and yelled, “Grandma” as a little boy ran towards her.

 Jo quickly looked round expecting to see someone behind her but the boy ran straight over to her and jumped into her lap.

“Grandma. We walked ever so far and I saw Aunty Hilda and Aunty Nell in front of the school.   Grandma, I’m hungry now. Can I eat something?”

Jo just stared at the boy. He had red hair and looked to be about 4 years old and she had never seen him before.

“Grandma. Let’s go get something to eat now. I’m hungry.” There was a quiver in the little boy’s voice now.

Jo just looked at him blankly.

“Grandma?  Say somefink.” His lower lip had started to tremble and there were tears forming in his eyes.

“Who are you?” Jo gasped.

The little boy laughed now thinking that she was playing at game. A young woman then walked into the room followed by a little red haired girl.

“I told you to wait for us to take our coats off Tom,” said the young women laughing.  “Quick, go and take yours off and make sure you hang it up. Hi Mamma, are you ready for the little scallywags today?”

Jo couldn’t say anything. Why were these people calling her Mamma and Grandma?

“Mamma? Mamma, are you all right? You are very flushed. Have you had some bad news?” The young woman was looking at her anxiously. The little girl was right behind her and was looking at her with big eyes and was chewing on her thumb.

Tom ran back into the room. “Grandma and I are playing a game,” he said excitedly.  Grandma says she doesn’t know who I am. What am I Grandma?” Tom got down on his knees and started crawling around on the floor roaring like a lion.

The little girl then said loudly, “Me want to play too” and she then started crawling round on the floor pretending to wash her face with a hand and miaowing like a cat.

The young women with a quick look at Jo told the kids to go to the nursery. They left quickly although they were plainly not happy. But they knew when their mother spoke in a certain tone it was best to do what she wanted as soon as possible.

Mamma what’s wrong? The young woman was asking.

Joey was finding it hard to concentrate. Her head, which had been aching when she woke up, was now throbbing hard. She also felt quite warm. All she wanted to do was lay down again. She closed her eyes.




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