Bella wanted a handful of paracetamol. I said no.
She demanded to have them, made her way to the medicine cupboard. I blocked her access. She swayed in front of me, she needed them she said. I gave her two. A choked laugh spat from her throat. ‘These are no good to me, give me more.’
‘Absolutely not.’ I ushered her upstairs, settled her in bed. I went downstairs to wait for Husband to come through the door.
Bella shouted down to me, like an animal in a cage. She appeared on the landing, and demanded attention.
I shot back up the stairs. ‘Please be quiet, and go to sleep. Please let Dad come into a peaceful home, let me explain to him.’
No, she was having none of it.
My anxiety wrapped around my organs, like ivy round a vine.
Husband’s key slid in the lock.
She rushed down to greet him, he took a step back. I encouraged him to take a seat, before I told him what had occurred.
He stared into space taking in all I said. Bella stood in the doorway, with her arms folded. ‘Why won’t he look at me,’ she demanded.
I could feel Husband’s temper rise. I begged him to go to our married daughter, before he flipped his lid.
We stayed, Bella and I.
Married sister unhappy Dad had left me alone with the unpredictable child.
He returned home.