Her eyes were so intent on the dough she kneaded, her palms and fingers pressing and pushing deeply into it. She was so focused on it that she gasped when she heard the girl outside her window call out to her.
"Mommy!" the girl's strawberry blonde curls bounced as she waved with both hands, as if she was unable to be seen.
It took a moment for it to all sink in as Ava's eyes drifted from the girl toward the man's that knelt to offer one of the three female rabbits that hopped along at their heels a carrot. "I'll be out in a moment, darling. Mommy's just going to pop this loaf in the oven and I'll come help you exercise with the bunnies."
She waved to them both with a wavering smile which the man seemed to notice even from so far away. It was uncanny how he could read the simplest of her movements, how in tune with her he was. As he looked at her she placed her left hand to her heart, her ring glinting in the sunlight as if it were a silent, 'I love you, I'll be ok.'
She finished kneading in the bit of cinnamon into the dough and placed it into a pan, then slid it into the oven. Taking in a deep breath she looked at a picture of her mother that rested on a shelf in the adjacent dining room.
"More than anything I wish you could see how I grew up. When I look at her I see myself and I know I look at her like you looked at me at that age. You would be proud of me. I just hope I can guide her as well as you guided me."
She washed her hands in the washbasin, wiping them dry and walking over to the picture. She ran her fingertips over the cheek of her mother's image with a soft smile. "I'll be the kind of wife and mother you were, but in my own way. I love you." She blew the picture a kiss and a wink as she moved to the door toward the courtyard of their home and to her family.
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