It was easier to concentrate completely on Tabitha. She was pointing to a packet of white buttons on the shelf.
‘Nanny, will you buy me some sweets? I’m so hungry.’
A fifty pence was retrieved from her purse. It was handed to Tabitha, along with the packet of white chocolate buttons.
‘Thank you, Nanny.’ Tabitha put both arms out for a hug, which was given freely.
‘You are more than welcome.’
Laura joined in, feeling her frail shoulders, ‘You’ve lost weight again.’
‘I need to lose a few pounds, but there will never be less of me to love.’ Martha’s legs buckled when Laura pulled away. In an instant she was heading towards the till, her lids heavy from the tears, which were on the verge of falling. Once she was outside, she stood as still as a statue. It was as if the world was spinning out of control. It wasn’t often she wanted her life to be different, but at that precise moment wished that very thing.
Then she berated herself for feeling negative. Not all women were part of a successful team. However, no matter how much she thought about the positives in her life, there always remained a seed of self-doubt.
By the time she arrived home it was about three o’clock. As usual the house was immaculate, but to make sure Martha vacuumed every room. Even the glass sparkled in the bathroom; not a speck of dust could sully her hard work.
It was only when she was satisfied there was nothing out of place, she reluctantly stopped. Thomas had some work to do first before he arrived home. There was enough time to settle her nerves with a bath, filled with her favourite jasmine bubbles. She then changed into her best blue evening dress, making sure she was going to be the perfect hostess. When Thomas arrived at the house, a slight hint of alcohol on his breath, dinner was ready to be served.