As she wandered around the deserted castle, the Lady in Grey was remembering her experiences with the family over recent months. One of the family, an eight-year-old girl, was starting to show tendencies to see the Lady in Grey, or at least to feel her presence. This was not unusual. In fact, there was always at least one child in each generation who could see her. And generally, the other children could feel her comforting presence if they had bad dreams. She had been the nurse for the children in the days that such things were done. Somehow, the children always felt her presence, and would quieten quickly when she entered their rooms. But they did not actually feel her presence or see her at other times. It was young Lucy who was the one to feel her presence when awake, and sometimes would turn suddenly as if she had actually seen her.
This relationship with Lucy would not last of course. It would follow the same process as it had with others. They would start seeing her more often, and even talk with her, as someone to discuss their concerns in private. She could not answer but she was sure that they could see changed expressions in her face as she showed concern or happiness. And they always went away more relaxed after their time with her. It was as they entered their late teen years that they ceased to want to interact with her. She did not know if they just ignored her because they did not want to be thought crazy. Often it happened when they entered into any sort of serious relationships, so she thought that perhaps it was when they no longer needed the comfort of her presence – and of course once they moved away from the castle, they could no longer interact with her anyway.
There was one though, Trudy, who came back to her every time she visited the castle. It took a little while before the Lady in Grey knew what was going on. Generally, Trudy would visit the old nursery, sitting silently until she entered the room. Once the Lady in Grey entered the room, Trudy would start talking about her children and life away from the castle. Trudy did not know that in general the children who could see her, lost the “sight” once they grew up and left the castle. It was one evening when the Lady in Grey silently entered her bedroom while Trudy was undressing that she saw the bruises. At first the Lady in Grey did not take much notice. After all, it was easy to get a bruise or two. But then at Trudy’s next visit she saw different bruises. When there were more bruises at a third visit, the Lady in Grey became very concerned. But what could she do? While Trudy could see her and talk to her, the Lady in Grey could not communicate in return. She could not tell anyone.
It was around this time that the Lady in Grey noticed that Trudy’s mother, who was one of the children who had known her presence, also started visiting the nursery. The Lady in Grey realised that she also was looking for some comfort, and seemed to be sensing her presence in some way. It was almost as if Trudy’s mother was sensing that there was something wrong. The visits seemed to coincide with the days after Trudy had returned to her own home.
This gave the Lady in Grey an idea. At Trudy’s next visit the Lady in Grey spent a lot of time following the family around. She did get a bit careless, but she needed to do something for Trudy. Trudy was wearing slightly looser clothes. Whether by design so as not to put pressure on her bruised flesh, or because she had lost weight was not clear – perhaps it was a bit of both. Anyway, the Lady in Grey took every opportunity to ensure that there were drafts that moved the clothes to hopefully expose the bruises. It was a few days before this ploy was successful, but eventually her brother (who lived in the castle) saw the bruises. Then her mother saw them also. Strangely enough, the tension that had been building up in the castle seemed to dissolve. While everyone had felt a level of tension, they all now knew the cause, and the solution. It was time to help Trudy escape from an abusive relationship and return home to the castle until she had healed emotionally as well as physically. Once she had found herself once more, she would be ready to go back out into the world with new strength and determination.
In fact, it was now many months since Trudy has visited her in the old nursery. She no longer needed the comfort of the mysterious Lady in Grey. She had gone back out into the world. The Lady in Grey missed her, but was finding comfort in Lucy’s growing awareness of her presence.