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The door bell rang and Helen jumped to her feet. It was here. It was finally here.

She opened the front door and smiled broadly at the postman.

“Parcel for Mrs Adelman?”

She nodded vigorously and just barely restrained herself from snatching at the electronic signature pad he held out. She took the parcel and waved the bemused postman goodbye.

She could barely contain her excitement but at the same time she rather enjoyed the anticipation as much as anything else. She put the parcel down on her coffee table, aligning it carefully in the centre, and went to make a cup of tea.

Although the television was still on, she paid it no attention. The sounds of late afternoon gameshows washed past her unnoticed as she drank her tea, gazing at the parcel with a little smile on her face.

When she finished her tea, she took the cup into the kitchen and returned with a pair of scissors. Using one arm of the scissors, she sliced carefully down the centre of the parcel tape. She closed the scissors carefully and set them down next to the parcel before prising apart the cardboard flaps. Holding her breath, and not even realising she was doing so, she lifted the contents out of the box. Slowly, as if trying to avoid making a sound, she extracted her latest acquisition from its plastic covering.

A smile spread across her face. “Perfect,” she whispered.

With shaky hands, Helen arranged the doll in a seated position and set it in place upon the shelf, next to its sisters.

© Kari Fay