14th February - the following year

          A year since our problems started getting serious. I still can’t believe that both Kate and I suspected her of stealing! How wrong we were!

          Elle gets nightmares about what happened to her. I used to get up every night to comfort her, but it was doing me in. Now Kate and I take turns.

          Isabella finds it hard to have patience. She knows even less about what happened to Elle than I do, given that we kept some of it from her, and she moved out before Elle went missing for six weeks.

          Her traffickers came for her again but we alerted the police (long live speed dial!). I don’t think they’ll be troubling us again, as Kate said. They’re going on trial next month. If they’re not jailed, I personally will lodge appeal after appeal until they get what they deserve.

          I know that Elle is upset, but her therapist says she may have gone slightly mad. Poor Eleanor… My baby, her childhood stolen from her, along with everything else. I don’t care if she’s bad tempered with us. She’s my daughter.

          Two months ago now, she came into my room in the middle of the night.

          “Mum?” she said. “I think I’m pregnant.”

          So I’m going to be a grandmother before I’m fifty! Eleanor, a mother at fifteen! That’s her teenage years ruined. Of course, I promised I’d look after the baby for her… now that I understand why she wants to keep it. I don’t know if I’d do the same thing, but I think she’s doing the right thing.

          Trafficking has ruined her life. It happens here. It’s not some distant thing which doesn’t affect you. It affects us all.

          I saw it. I was there.

The End

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