Joyous times, our daughter back home with Husband and me. As parents we relaxed. We inhaled the fresh, innocent air.
Our sensible, happy daughter, our funny, good-looking daughter, back with her family for good. ‘Stay with me and Dad for as long as you like before moving into your own place,’ I said.
Laura was happy with that.
I followed her around, hugged and kissed her, chatted the hours away. I was so happy to have her home, happy to have her fixed.
A couple of days went by. Happy days.
Laura became restless. She did not like being told to pick up her dirty cup. She did not like going outside to smoke. She wanted to get on with her life. She wanted to move into her own place, and so she did.
I bought her new clothes to update her wardrobe. I encouraged her to come home for meals. I visited each day. I took her out, included her in everything I did. I tried to protect her. I tried to keep her near.
Laura was legally free to drive, her driving ban, due to drink driving, had expired. Her car was parked to the side of her house, waiting.
I called round to Laura’s house to share coffee. She stood, then sat. She kept looking out of the window. She was agitated.
‘What’s up?’ I asked.
‘I’m looking out for the postman. It’s ridiculous. When is my new driving licence coming?’
‘Be patient, you’ve only been home for two weeks. Everything will slot into place.’ I did not like to see her agitated performance; it reminded me of her days of bad behaviour.
‘How’s it going with the girl next door … the one we warned you about … the one who went after a man with a baseball bat?’ I asked.
‘Oh, her …’