It had been two years since Rob had died and Lilly still grieved for him, living in his house that he had left to her in his will, was not giving her any closure. She knew that Rob had changed for the better and she still wondered what her life would have been like if he had lived. She also knew that he would have been a good father to the children, he idolised Daisy and he would have been the same with Ellie.
Mary, Rob’s mother was supportive, she helped Lilly with the children and would have them for her any time she asked, the girls loved staying with their nanna and Matt.
Matt still lived with Mary, he and Lilly had made their peace with each other and he had become someone that she could rely on over the past couple of years.
Walking around the living room, picking up Ellie’s toys off the floor, it was quiet in the house, Ellie was having a nap on the sofa and Daisy was sitting at the kitchen table drawing.
As Lilly walked into the kitchen, Daisy glanced up and smiled at her, she was the spitting image of Rob, even more when she smiled. Lilly had told Daisy that Rob was her father only a few months ago when she had asked, why she called Mary her nanna, she knew that Mary wasn’t Lilly’s mum and was curious about it. Daisy handled it well when she told her that Rob was her real dad, she would have told her sooner but she could never find the words to tell her. Daisy loved Rob, she was devastated when he died but at the time she just thought, Rob was mum’s boyfriend.
Looking forward to the next two weeks, Lilly was going to have a long break from the girls, it was the beginning of the school summer holidays and Mary was taking them away to visit relatives.
After checking that everything was packed in the suitcase, she poured herself a glass of wine and sat at the kitchen table with Daisy, patiently waiting for Matt to pick the girls up for her, to take them to Mary’s. Lilly had made plans to go and have a drink at a friend’s apartment that evening and Matt was running late.
Eventually Matt turned up, as he walked through the back door he was his usual cheery self.
“Matt,” screamed Daisy as she run to him and threw her arms around him.
Lilly watched Matt pick Daisy up and cuddle her, he loved the girls and was close to them both. It made Lilly laugh sometimes when they were all out together, people would think that the children were his because Matt and Rob looked alike, so the girls looked like him.
Matt put Daisy back down and walked across to Lilly, “sorry I’m late,” he said as he kissed the top of her head, “where’s Ellie?”
“She’s having a nap on the sofa, I’ll go and wake her up for you,” she answered as she stood up to go into the living room.
Matt held her by the arm and leaned close to her, “you’ve been drinking again, haven’t you?”
Lilly pulled away from him, “I’ve only had a couple of glasses of wine.”
Matt stared at her, shaking his head, over the past few months he had been worried about Lilly, she had changed. He always smelt alcohol on her and had tried to talk to her about it but she kept fobbing him off telling him that she was alright and not to worry.
Lilly had been drinking again over the past couple of months, she was depressed, her sleeping had become erratic and she was tired all the time and had lost a lot weight.
Matt stroked the side of Lilly’s face, “Lilly, talk to me, I’m worried about you.”
Lilly half smiled and turned away, “I’ll go and get Ellie ready,” she said then walked away.
Matt wished that she would open up to him, every time he looked in her eyes, he could see nothing but sadness. He still loved her, he knew he had let her down before and had apologised so many times to her but she just saw him as a friend or a fool like his friends said he was.
Watching her deteriorate, was killing him inside, why wouldn’t she just let herself be happy. He couldn’t fault her as a mother, the girls were her life, the only time he ever saw her smile was when she was with them but he could see a darkness building up inside her that worried him.
Lilly got the girls ready and took them to Matt’s car, she kissed them both and put their seatbelts on then kissed them both again and told them she loved them.
Matt put the suitcases in the back of the car then went over to Lilly, “you know where I am if you need me,” he said as he hugged her.
“I know,” she said as she hugged him back.
“Now you’ve got all this free time, do you fancy going out one evening, my treat?”
“Damn woman, you’re still playing hard to get aren’t you?” he laughed as he squeezed her tight.
Lilly laughed as she pulled away from him, “you better go now, your mum will be wondering where you are, you know how impatient she gets when she’s waiting for the girls.”
“I’ll call you tomorrow then, yes?” he said as he got in his car.
Lilly just smiled and nodded, she watched Matt drive off and waved to her girls until they were out of sight. Walking back into the house on her own, tears began to swell in her eyes, she was going to miss the girls but she needed the break. Pouring herself another glass of wine she went upstairs to get ready to go to her friends for the evening.
Putting on a loose pale blue summer dress and matching dolly shoes, she then brushed her hair and put on a little makeup. Standing in front of the mirror as always, she turned around to make sure she looked alright, she wasn’t going out to the pub so she didn’t really need to get dressed up, so she had kept it simple.
Lilly called for a taxi to take her to her friend’s apartment in the city. On the way there she began to think about Paul and Tina, for the two years since she had been back in the area she had never got back in touch with them or her mother, she hadn’t seen or spoke to them now for nearly nine years.
When she arrived at her friend’s apartment, Hanna opened the door to let her in, “your late, I thought you weren’t going to show up.”
“Matt picked the girls up late, so what’s on the agenda for tonight?”
“Nothing much, I’ve made a lasagne and we can watch a DVD.”
“That’s fine, what DVD have you got?” Lilly asked as she poured herself a glass of wine.
“Well,” Hanna said as she picked up the DVD and held it up to show Lilly, “finally we are going to watch 50 shades of Grey.”
Lilly’s hear sunk, “can’t we watch something else?”
“Don’t be such a prude,” Hanna laughed, “I only want to watch it to hopefully see Jamie Dornan in the nude.”
Lilly cringed inside, she really didn’t want to watch it because of the storyline in it.
Lilly sat down on the sofa and curled her legs underneath her as she watched Hanna setting the plates out for their meal. She had only known Hanna for a year, they had met in a pub and had hit it off straight away and had been friends ever since. Hanna wasn’t aware of what happened between her and Rob, so didn’t know what Lilly’s real problem was with watching the film.
They both sat relaxed talking for a while and ate their food, when it was time to put the DVD on, Lilly changed from drinking wine to vodka, she needed something stronger to help her through it. Lilly’s body was tense as she sat in silence all the way through the film waiting for something bad to happen to the girl in it. Inside she was shaking, thinking about the bad time she spent with Rob, when it was close to the end of the film and Grey hit Ana six times with the belt, Lilly burst out laughing.
Hanna was shocked at Lilly’s reaction to the scene, “What’s so funny about that?”
Lilly was laughing so hard she was holding onto her stomach and could barely get her words out, “she said show me the worst, he’s got a whole room full of gear and he only hits her 6 times with a fucking belt!”
“Wasn’t that bad enough?”
Lilly shook her head, trying to control her breathing, “I think it’s time for me to go, it’s getting late.”
Hanna was confused with Lilly’s reaction to the film, “Don’t you want to watch the end of it?”
“No, I’ll give it a miss,” she said as she took her mobile out of her bag to call a taxi.
Lilly said her goodbye to Hanna and waited outside the apartment block for her taxi, but it didn’t turn up, she then decided to walk further into the city to see if she could find one parked up somewhere. As she walked through the city she realised she was by the pub she used to drink in years ago when she was younger. Pausing outside, she pondered whether to go in or not, she then decided to go in out of curiosity to see if there was any of her old friends in there. As she walked in, she smiled to herself, the place hadn’t changed one bit. As she walked to the bar, she was already feeling a bit drunk but ordered herself a vodka and coke then stood back watching everyone having a good time.
Then she noticed a familiar face in the corner, it took her a while to figure it out who it was then realised, it was Paul. Her heart began to beat fast as she stared at him for what seemed like forever, Paul was talking with some friends, he began to laugh and was about to take a swig of his beer, when he looked straight across the room at Lilly. He turned away and drunk some of his beer then turned quick to look back at her. Lilly and Paul stared at each other for a while, he looked shocked to see her. He then walked towards Lilly, she could barely breath with nerves, as he got closer to her, she ran out of the pub.
When Paul managed to push through the people in the pub and get outside, Lilly was nowhere in sight, she had disappeared.
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