‘Don’t worry Mummy, I’ll be okay in nursery.’ Not for the first time in her life, Laura wondered who the adult was and who was the child. ‘I will paint everyone a picture – you, Daddy and Nanny.’
‘That will be lovely darling.’ Laura didn’t want to let go of her child’s hand. She strived to protect her from the childhood she endured, but was no longer in control of the outcome.
‘Do you think they’ll have lots of toys to play with Mummy?’ Tabitha stared deep into her teddy bear’s eyes, ‘Buddy needs a friend to play with.’
‘I’m sure darling.’ Laura knelt, so that she was face to face with her daughter. She had always resembled her daddy – her fair hair and tight curls had a life of their own. ‘Remember you have to be a good girl and listen to the teacher.’
‘I’m always a good girl.’ Tabitha said.
‘I know you are.’ Laura hid the tears, which threatened to over spill.
With no choice but to let go of her hand, Laura watched Tabitha’s confidence soar. As she ran through into the colourful classroom Laura waved. A smile planted on her face. When she was out of sight, there was nothing to stop the sobbing.
As she stumbled over the paving stones, Laura found herself at the end of her mum’s road. She often stood there. Wondered if she could just visit, while her father was at work, but soon changed her mind.
Instead, she delayed on the corner and tried to impede the guilt. She was safe now, thanks to Martin, but her mum was in constant danger.
Her father would kill her mum one day.