Daffodils Part 3

It was a few weeks, before we ventured back to the chapel. I often wonder now, that if we hadn’t, would things have turned out differently. I suppose you can’t live your life on ‘what ifs’. I did try to avoid going back, believe me. However, Millie kept on going on about it. Telling me that the people in the graveyard would be lonely, if we didn’t go back.
‘Don’t be absurd, Millie. They’re dead.’
‘They’re my friends.’ She said firmly.
I felt a twinge of anxiety. Was it normal for a three year old to want to hang around in graveyards?

In the end, the decision was made for me, when we went to the supermarket in the town of Knutsdown, about three miles from our village. I made a habit of going there about once a month to stock up on food. It was whilst we were there, that Millie insisted that we buy some daffodils.
‘Mummy, look yellow flowers.’
‘Daffodils. Yes they are lovely aren’t they?’
‘Mummy, we need to buy daffils.’
I was swayed when I saw that they were on special offer.
‘Okay then. We can put them in a vase in your room.’
Millie looked like she wanted to say something, but then she pursed her lips and nodded her head.
The shop up was as tedious as ever. The whole world seemed to have descended on the store. We were jostled and bumped as we made our way up and down the aisles, filling our trolley. Eventually, we headed through the automatic doors into the sunshine, where Millie helped me load the car.
‘Can we go for a walk when we get back?’
I nodded.
‘After lunch.’
We pulled into the driveway and as I unloaded the boot, I handed Millie the flowers and told her where to find a vase. Again, she looked hesitant, as though she wanted to say something.
‘Is something the matter?’
She shook her head, though she wouldn’t look me in the eye. I manhandled the bags into the kitchen and began to unpack them, whilst Millie went through to the living room to do some drawing.
‘Lunch Millie.’ I called.
Millie sat down at the small, wooden Kitchen table, which overlooked the rather overgrown garden. She started to eat her cheese sandwich. Her blonde hair was all tousled and she had some red pen marks on her cheek.
‘You are very quiet. Are you all right?’
‘Yes’ she whispered.
‘Where would you like to go for a walk?’
‘The chapel’ she muttered.
‘Oh Millie, that’s a bit grim. It’s such a beautiful day. Perhaps we should go to the woods.’
She shrugged and continued to nibble on her sandwich.
‘I want to go to the chapel.’
I looked at her anxious, little face. We seemed to have this conversation every time I suggested that we go for a walk and so far I had always got my own way. Perhaps if I let her go to the chapel, it would placate her?
‘Okay, chapel it is then.’
Her smile made my heart melt.
‘Let’s go’ she said, sliding off her chair.
‘Hang on, hang on. I haven’t finished my lunch yet.’
‘C’mon mummy.’ She pulled on my arm.
‘Look let me finish up. You go and get your shoes on.’
I finished my sandwich and when I went into the hallway, Millie was standing there, shoes on and daffodils in her hand.
‘Millie, why have you got those with you? Leave them in the vase.’
She shook her head.
‘No, I want to take them for my friends.’
‘That’s really sweet, Mills. But they are yours.’
She shook her head again. She could be so obstinate.
‘All right. All right, take them, but we’re not buying them again if you are just going to dump them in a graveyard.’
I opened the front door and Millie skipped ahead of me into the sunshine. It was the last time I remember being happy.


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