I started and looked up. Guilt flooded through my body, as I noticed the look of concern on my beautiful angel. My baby. What sort of life was this for her?
I lay curled up, in my bathroom corner. My eyes were red from crying, and I held a bottle of vodka in my hands. Dressed in faded denim dungarees, with my mousy hair in a bun on my head, I knew I looked a state.
"Honey, it's okay. Mummy's okay." I whispered, and she moved forwards to sit on my lap.
Her beautiful blonde curls tickled my chin as she hugged me tightly. She looked up at me through her fathers eyes and I burst into a new set of tears.
"Why are you crying mummy?" She asked me, her bottom lip trembling.
"Because I'm just a little sad." I told her, gently brushing her hair with my fingers. I rocked her to and fro holding her tight. She was all I had now. She was all I had ever had. The only person who loved me.
"Want me to get Mr snuffles?" She asked me innocently. I laughed.
"No sweetie. I'm happy with you." I told her. She was so caring, so thoughtful. She didn't get that from me, and she certainly didn't inherit it from her father.
Her father. The mysterious, handsome, dreamy.... Stop! I couldn't think of the things that had made me love him. Yes he was handsome, but he used it like a weapon. One that had slowly over the years sliced my heart into pieces.
"Mummy, what are you thinking?" She asked me, sitting back. She looked at me like she was trying to see into my mind and I couldn't help but grin.
Did I regret meeting him? No. All the pain, the waiting, the disappointment. It was all worth it, for my little sunshine who sat in front of me.
"I'm thinking, we should move house. Move away. Start something new." I told her, tickling her chin. She grinned.
"But mummy, where will we go?" She asked me, her blue eyes widening.
"Anywhere you want." I replied. "Somewhere better than here."
She stood up, suddenly.
"London." She told me, bossily. I laughed again, wiping my eyes with the back of my hand.
"And why's that?"
"So I can meet the Queen silly."
I couldn't help it, I smiled. How wonderful it would be to be her age again. To dream the impossible and not care about how it would never come true. Oh how I wanted to protect her from growing up.
"Can I have a new room?" She asked me, putting her head to the side. She knew what to do to make me say yes. I didn't mean to spoil her but I couldn't help it.
"Yes honey. You can have a new room." I told her, standing up. I placed the bottle in my hand on the sink. She jumped in the air, cheering.
"Thank you, thank you. My rooms so small, I want a bigger one. And I want to decorate it. Bright pink. Hot pink. Can I? Can I mummy?"
"Hot pink it is." I whispered. She ran out of the room, and I leant on the sink with my head in my hands.
I had needed to get away for so long, but I had never had to the guts to. He had held me back for so very long, but I had been blinded. Blinded by his attention and tokens of affection. Had he ever loved me?
I guess I would never know. But one thing I did know was that he didn't love her. He had never loved her, just her money. All the opportunities she brought to him. Well he could keep his false wife, and his false life, and his false job.
I was going. He wasn't hurting me no more.
I picked up the bottle, and poured it down the sink. There was no room for that in my new life. I was going to make something of it.
Life was going to look bright, ahead of us. No, it was going to look pink. Hot pink.
Next colour shall be..... Navy