By Francesca Novy
The room is filled with laughter as a constant giggle flows out of her little perky lips. Her soft golden hair floating in the air as she dances around the room. You can hardly hear her chubby toes bouncing of the cool wooden floor or her floral dressing swishing around in the air. Every Monday and Thursday my daughter Ellen drops her daughter off at my house while she goes to University to complete her degree.
“Clara, the cookies are out of the oven!” I called out calmly, “come and sit up on the table and we can try one.”
A mischievous glimmer appears in her lively blue eyes as she runs over to the table before stopping suddenly with wide eyes.
“Lets have a tea party!” she exclaims.
I chuckle at her sudden enthusiasm.
“Its tea party time.” I announce.
10 minutes later we are sitting round her ‘tea time’ table, my legs squashed up against the edge with Betsy her toy bear, Nellie her patchwork elephant, Josephine her doll and woof her dog. We were wearing big flopping pink sunhats and she was wearing a pretty pink dress that was 10 sizes too big.
The food was on the table and everyone had a cup of tea in front of them.
“Yummeee, everyrun must try one of those licious cookies” Clara said in her best English accent.
After an hour of sipping tea and talking to her little friends about boys, work and clothes it was finally time to take her home.
“See you soon grandma, love you” She mumbled as she let go of my leg she had been clinging onto since we arrived at the front gate.
The loud buzzing of the telephone woke me from my trance, quickly I wondered from the sink to the ringing phone.
“Mum, mum, mum, its Ellen. I have good news!” said a hysterical voice on the other line, “I got my Uni results.”
“Hi bubs, how did you go?” I replied.
“I GOT A DISTINCTION! I ACTUALLY PASSED. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT MUM, NO MORE UNI!” she screamed, deafening me slightly.
I squealed back and for a few minutes it was like we were both children again opening presents on Christmas day. Unaware of the stresses caused by work, money or family. It was a perfect, special moment shared between and mother and her daughter.
“Well I think we are going to have to have a celebration!” I finally said when we had both calmed down, “What about we all go out for dinner tonight, my treat.”
“Sounds wonderful mum. How about I pick up John from work and drop by your place at about 6:30? Then we can go to a nice restaurant nearby.” Ellen replied. “See you soon, and Congratulations! I’m so proud of you, always remember that. I love you Elle”
“Thanks Mum, I love you too” She quietly sighed.
My whole body froze, my breathing came to a complete stop and I stared blankly at the while wall. But my brain was spinning out of control, unable to fully comprehend the words I just heard. Turning my head around I looked at the clock. 6:28. They would be about to arrive, probably pulling up in the driveway any second, Ellen was always on time. I slipped my phone into my pocket and fumbled my way through the hallway and out the front door.
The flashing red and blue lights were blinding as I finally made it to Cothaem Street. Policemen and paramedics were rushing around, writing things down and talking to each other, mumbling words I didn’t understand. It was near the curb of the road, on its side glass shattered all over the floor and doors and windows completely destroyed. Another car was over near a tree. Two figures, one little and plump, the other tall and slight, lying limp against the grass only meters apart. I closed my eyes shut trying to block out the horrific sight and it wasn’t until I felt two warm hands gently grasp my shoulders that I realised I was shaking.
“I should be lying next to them,” a quiet husky voice said shakily. “I should have been there, it should have been me.”
Shocked I turned around to see broken man, wet tears stained his…