"Eleanor, are you listening to me?"
She was staring down at her bowl of cereal, using a spoon to scoop some up and then, rather than eating it, letting it slide off back into the bowl.
A hand tapped lightly on her shoulder. She glanced up and noticed a woman, Mrs Andrews, her mother, watching with a concerned expression on her face. She looked like an older version of Natalie and herself, only she always wore her brown hair in a messy bun. Eleanor's brother on the other hand, who was sat across the table shovelling toast into his mouth, had inherited their father's lighter hair, deep set hazel eyes and freckles.
"You don't have to go to school today," repeated her mother, now that she had Eleanor's attention. "You can leave it another week. I'll phone up the school to let them know. They'll understand." She ran some fingers through her hair, causing more strands to fall from her bun, and then reached for the kitchen phone.
"Don't," said the brother, through a mouthful of toast. Eleanor recalled his name to be Ian and about 18 months younger than her and Natalie. He had not spoken to her much since she had started to recover. Natalie told her that they were - "are" - very close, but that he had struggled the most out of all the family to cope with her memory loss.
"If she doesn't go now, she won't be able to catch up. She'll have to repeat again." Eleanor and Ian's eyes met for a brief second, but he quickly looked away and mumbled, "we'll be same year now and have some classes together. I'll look out for her."
Their mother opened her mouth to give another excuse, but Natalie interrupted her and sided with Ian.
"It'll be okay, Mum. I'll be with her too, and all our friends talk about is how much they miss her."
Her mother's soft brown eyes suddenly turned very cold, her frown resentful. She spoke in a bitter tone.
"If they missed her so much, they could have come round once in a while."
"They do come over!" replied Natalie, frustrated.
"Not for the last three months they haven't," her mother snapped back.
Natalie flinched, and so did Ian. It wasn't normal for their mother to be so quick-tempered, but lately Mrs Andrews had been a nervous wreck. She reached down into her pocket and felt the small box of anti-depressants that rested at the bottom. She would wait until her children were out of the room before taking one.
"You're smothering her, Mum," Natalie told her. "It will be better if she goes to school, with us. She might even start to remember some stuff. You do want to go to school, don't you Ellie?"
Eleanor did not answer. Natalie spoke to her again, this time calling her by her full name. There was another pause, but eventually she seemed to realise that everyone in the kitchen was waiting for her response. She nodded.
It was so easy to forget your existence when everybody spoke like you weren't there.