Husband and I returned from sunnier climes.
Bella was reluctant to speak.
She had waived the holding fee, cancelled her right to purchase the new build.
Her money, we’re told, had been invested in The Big I Am’s house. She gave her money to him, his idea not hers.
We persuaded her, become joint owners of his house, legally.
The Big I am’s house was re-mortgaged. Bella’s name on the title-deed, the house was now shared, and the mortgage too. We should have been happy, raised a glass of cheer, our daughter owned property, a nice one at that. But we felt hollow inside, and joy did not bubble in our hearts.
Mr Big I Am organised life assurance policies, on Bella’s and his longevity. I questioned that. Not happy he waged her life to end.
I would visit Bella during the day when Big I Am was not home.
The house was pristine, an employed cleaner saw to that. All furniture, wall hangings, cream carpets (shoes off at the door) were his. Bella owned one glass bowl which was on display. He liked the bowl it was a designer one.
Bella was not relaxed in this house, it had not welcomed her. It had not made itself her home.
My daughter and I perched on the edge of the cream leather chairs, in that house, chatted about this and that. But, there was something in the air, something undiscovered.
I could taste it. I could feel it.