When Kayla decides to move in with her mum, leaving her Dad behind, she thinks it's going to be just like the old days. Determined to have a better life, she sets off, wanting to start over. But once she's met Pierre, her Mum's new boyfriend, she realises it will never be the same again...


11. Aimee

At first, I'm blinded by a ray of light, but as I take another step forward, everything is in sight. The room is small - miniature even - but it's been painted a pale pink. I can't even imagine how the small window in the top left of the room produced that much light, and as I gradually move my eyes down, from the ceiling all the way to the floor, I realise who the room is for: a baby.

There's a small cot placed in the corner of the room, opposite it, a nappy changing unit. I walk over to it, reaching my hand up to the dangling mobile that hangs from the ceilings. Little shining stars circle the moon in the centre, and I form a smile. When I look down, lying inside the cot is a blanket. It's dotted with sequins, and knitted on the top is the sentence, 'Aimee, our dear little girl'. The world  seems to spin around me as I realise what has happened. Pierre and my Mum had lived together. They had had a child. Aimee had died. I'd never got here in time to see her. Little teardrops roll down my cheeks, as I try to brush them away. I just can't believe I was never told.

Then, I hear footsteps behind me and turn around to see my Mum, Pierre's arm around her. She tries to smile at me, but I turn away, back down to the empty cot, where my younger sister could have been lying. I bend over the rail, letting my fingers curl around the edge of the blanket. It's soft, gentle, perfect. I lift it up, bringing it to my chest and hugging it tight. It's then I notice something else in the cot. An outfit. I place the blanket to the side, reaching for the piece of clothing. It's blue at the top, green at the bottom representing a meadow. Little white bunnies are dotted all over, hopping about. It looks like pyjamas.  Pretty pyjamas. Aimee's pyjamas.

My eyes seem to blotch up even more, tears now streaming down my face. I rush over to my mother, burrying my head in her arms. Sh smooths down my hair, and pushes me away so she can see my face. Kissing me on the forehead, she tells me it's all ok. She tells me I don't need to worry anymore, that Aimee is in a safe place. But that's not what I want to hear. I want to know why life is so unfair. Why people die before you can even meet them. But I know there's no one to answer those questions. Not really. Not correctly.

I look up to see Pierre in my view, handing me something. I untangle my mother's fingers from mine, and take it. It's a photo. An old photo. On it, a little girl is placed in a cot. Her eyes are bright blue, her golden brown hair in cute ponytails either side of her head. She's smiling, looking down at the fluffy white bunny rabbits hopping about on her pyjamas. I bite my lip, fighting back the tears, but I know I can't hold on any longer. I look up, and for one second I think I can almost see her, see her sitting in that cot. But I know I'm letting my imagination get the better of me. Aimee is gone. Never to come back. I've never seen her, shared memories with her, but it seems like I've known her forever. She'll always be in my heart.

"She's beautiful," I whisper, looking up to my mother who's wiping away her own tears.

"I know," My mother says, hugging me tight and staring down at the photo still in front of me, "She really was."

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