Holding her hand lovingly he led her to the door. She smiled uncertainly but allowed him to take her inside. The room looked familiar, photographs of their children, grandchildren, the two of them laughing on some windswept beach as the water splashed over their feet.
Someone else in the room released her hand gently from his, smiling reassuringly. They spoke quietly and calmly as though to a child. He let her go without her noticing, throat tight with emotion for his girl.
Had her father felt this way 50 years ago ?
" Come in a few days, " they said. " Let her get used to the place. "
Alone now and grief stricken, he'd forgotten a time when she could remember their life, their love, his name. Her memories ravaged, all connection severed.
Like the footprints on the beach in the photograph, her mind washed clean by the incoming tide.