A story about life, love and learning to let go.


1. Shutters

Shutters. Hiding me. Shutting me out from the real world. My mum used to tell me that the only way to get rid of things were to hide from them, act as if they simply aren't there. My mother had a knack of making things seem okay and she would tell me to close my eyes and wait for tomorrow to come and rescue me. For some reason I believed her. My father left her to it, in comparison to other men, he was weak and didn't see the point in arguing. He always wanted me to be open and embrace what I had. My mother made his dreams of having a strong dependable young daughter non-existent. 

Having very sensible parents, fights and arguments were unheard of. Nothing could make them fight. Except for me. I was too young to know what was going on but I remember every last detail.

I was crying for some reason and my mum sat me down and shut the curtains. It was something that shouldn't have been pushed aside like that so my dad had to make a stand. He stood there and confronted her. It went on for hours whilst I sat on my own in a dark room with my eyes squeezed shut and my hands clamped tightly over my ears. After an age my father came back to me and sat me down on his lap, rocking me from side to side and brushing the hair away from my swollen eyes. 

I woke the next morning tucked up in my bed. As I went down to eat my breakfast, I realized that my mum wasn't in the house. She would always make me my favourite toast with a fried egg on top to represent the morning sun but instead two slices of granary bread stood awkwardly in the toast rack. I swallowed. My father came in from the back garden. "Morning sweetie, ready for breakfast?" This never happened, I would always eat my breakfast with both of my parents and then I would go to the park with my dad. "Where's mummy?" I asked hopefully. He avoided eye contact and kept mumbling but in the end he couldn't keep it together. In a mess of tears and throaty intakes of breath, he somehow managed to tell me that my mum had left us. How could she? I was five for Christ's sake. "Oh, Scarlet" whispered my dad as he pulled me into a hug, rocking me in the same way as always. To see him cry was on of the hardest things I had ever endured. The man who tried so hard to keep me protected, the man who once, smiled without force. Who once lived to love. 


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