A screech of brakes and a soft thud are the only signs of the turmoil to come in the young boys life. His mother stands to one side with the policewoman’s arm around her, heads bent in together softly talking.
Men feel arms and legs and get out sharp needles calling out names long and confusing to anyone without a medical degree.
Gentle voices murmur around them discussing what they saw. Nobody looks at the driver hunched down at the side of the road, keys clutched tightly in his hand as he throws up in the gutter.
A policeman stands next to him, hand on his shoulder whilst quietly talking into the black box attached to his collar.
Under the wheels of the car is a small red bicycle. Handlebars bent and twisted and a wheel softly rolled to the kerb, wobbled a while and now lies alone and discarded.
The helicopter rises with instructions being sent on to the hospital ahead and the mother is led to a police car to begin the hospital chapter in her life.
The driver hunches down in the back of the police car, feeling sick, and headed for a year of nightmares, as the onlookers now nudge each other and point.
Only later would it emerge the child had just pedalled off the road, straight under the wheels of an innocent driver in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
Tongue stuck out of one side of her mouth, she carefully slit a line in the daisy stem. Eyes scrunched in concentration she slipped one more daisy in through the slit and gently patted it to the end, careful not to mush the petals.
She remembered how Grandma had taught her, on a spring day just like this one, not long before she had gone to God.
Grandmas’s eyes had also scrunched up in the same way and, anyone seeing Leila would have said how much she took after her Grandmother in all the right ways.
Leila gently picked another Daisy from the clump she had found, that rested between her legs as she sat legs open wide on the damp grass. Her skirt splayed out in front of her it’s lace already had green tinges where the grass had stained it on previous Daisy hunts
She hummed Greensleeves to herself as she weaved the Daisies. Her Grandfather had told her about the King who had written that song for his one true love. Even though he had married many times, this was the one he really had been meant to be with. Romance was big in Leila’s life. She dreamed of white weddings and royal tiaras and …………
The peace was shattered as Sues rough tones broke it. ‘LEILA WALKER GET UP THIS INSTANT!!!
Leila tried to ignore her. After all, she wasn’t her mother, she was just a nurse! If Leila wanted to make Daisy chains, who was Sue to stop her?!
Sue grabbed Leila’s arm and dragged her up and started marching her back to the big house. In defiance Leila placed the daisy chain haphazardly on her head. She could see the faces watching her from the house and she pouted and wrenched her arm from Sues callous hand.
Shaking herself off she put her hand up, wiping grass across her nose as she tried to sweep the hair from her face. Shoulders back, nose in the air she marched past Sue and up the garden steps to the door.
From a window her granddaughter watched her enter the old peoples home, pouting but half smiling, with flowers in her hair.