Flash Fiction – Broken

‘What are you arguing about?’ asked Lilly. She’d noticed it a lot lately. One minute they were a happy family, and then it seemed her parents didn’t like each other anymore.

            ‘We’re not arguing,’ her father had said. He pulled her in for a cuddle. Lilly loved cuddles with her dad; it was warm and cosy, her safe space. It never usually lasted this long though. When he released her he held her hands and looked into her eyes, Lilly wondered if he was starting a staring contest. ‘I love you, Lilly, don’t ever forget that.’

            Lilly giggled, ‘I know, you tell me everyday, Daddy.’

            She let go of his hands and ignoring her mother, she ran out to the garden. Unlike the atmosphere inside, the garden welcomed her; the flowers smiled, the trees waved, the insects kept her company. Outside, she felt wanted.

She sat cross legged on the grass and hummed a tune while she busied herself making daisy chains. For a moment the only sounds were the breeze and a little blackbird calling out for some attention. Then she heard her mother shout, making Lilly jump.

            ‘If you’re going to leave then go, we don’t need you, me and Lilly will be fine without you.’

            Leave? Lilly didn’t understand. Her mother was wrong, Lilly wouldn’t be fine without him, she needed him. She left her daisy chain and marched up the garden path, she had to make them see. A door slammed and she knew it was too late. Her walk turned into a sprint and then words came out of her mouth that she hadn’t planned on saying, ‘Daddy,’ she called as she entered the house, ‘don’t go. Mummy’s wrong, I do need you Daddy.’ But he had gone.

Tears escaped from her eyes and she turned to her mother for comfort, but her mother had none to offer. She was sat at the table with an opened bottle of wine. Lilly recognised it as the drink that made her parents happy. She’d never seen them drink it at breakfast though. Her mother picked up the glass and Lilly said, ‘I hope you feel better after that, Mummy.’ Her mother looked at her as she pressed the glass to her lips.