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.
Hearing a noise she froze, listening, alert. She must not be found here.
The boy startled her anew as his nose pressed against the window
suddenly, squeaking against the cold pane.
She needed him to open the window, to climb out over the ledge to her
so she could play with him but he just sat on the end of his bed, nose
pressed against the glass, squinting out into the night.
Obviously hearing a noise from beyond the bedroom door he turned his
head and listened intently, then a muffled ‘Yes Daddy’ as he slid off the
bed and toddled towards the bedroom door.
She sat in the tree, head slightly on one side as she wondered if he
was coming back.
Time passes slowly when you are sitting in the arm of giant branches
just waiting for someone or something but after a little while, the boy
returned to the room and jumped back under his duvet, sitting cross
legged with a sandwich grasped tightly between chubby fingers.
She softly tapped on the window. She was hungry too.
The boy remembered she was there and scooted to the window again
and slid back the bolt. She sat eagerly waiting for him to join her.
Tommy closed the window again. It had been a bit of trouble
persuading her to come inside but the promise of sandwich had done
it. He scrunched back down in his bed, pulling the duvet up and over
his head, creating a tent under which lay the tabby cat, licking her
paws clean of peanut butter spread. It was much warmer in here.