Sitting on the end of her bed, watching her sleep, I felt peaceful for the first time in days. I knew she was safe now. Nothing would ever harm her again; I would make sure of it.
After the ritual, I had taken Rosa straight home, she was very tired so she went straight to bed, and I had been sat there, watching her all night, too scared to move, just in case anything happened to her.
“Rosa,” I whispered, gently, touching her shoulder, “Wake up honey, it’s time to get up,”
Rosa’s eyes opened slowly and her beautiful dark eyes met mine for a split second, and then she looked away, got out of bed and walked away from me.
I was confused for a few seconds, she’d never walked away from me before, it had always took her so long to get out of bed in the mornings – the confusion didn’t last long, she had just been dead for three days after all, she was bound to be feeling a bit weird, and I should look at the fact that she got out of bed quicker as a good thing, it clearly meant she was feeling better, perhaps she wouldn’t be ill anymore. Maybe Willow Lee’s ritual had managed to heal her.
I went downstairs to see Rosa sat on the sofa staring out of the window of our tiny flat, which was situated right in the centre of the island on which we lived. I sat down next to her, but she didn’t acknowledge me at all.
“How are you feeling?” I asked her gently
“Fine,” She replied, still staring out of the window,
“Are you sure? I mean, you did just come back from the dead after all,” I said, starting to get slightly worried,
“I’m fine,” She said, her eyes meeting mine as she smiled at me, “I feel a bit weird, but I suppose I will do, I’m sure everything will be just the same as before in a few days time,”
I immediately relaxed, and smiled back, taking her hand in my own. The second I did, however, I quickly pulled it away, in shock. Her hands were freezing, like ice, even colder than they were when she first died.
She stared at me blankly before asking: “What is it, mum?”
“Your hands are freezing,” I whispered, the shock clear in my voice,
She just shrugged and turned back to the window. I immediately regretted how shocked I’d reacted, it wasn’t her fault, and she was probably scared too, I’d just gone and made it worse.
“I’m sorryRosa,” I moved so that I was sitting closer to her, “I was just surprised is all,”
“I know. It’s ok,” Was all she said, still looking out of the window.
Rosa stayed in the same spot, not even moving for so long that I demanded we got out of the house, we went looking round all of Rosa’s favourite shops, and I had bought her a new dress when Melanie came bounding up to us.
“Rosa!” She cried, flinging her arms around my daughter, Melanie was Rosa’s only friend. They’d known each other since they were little, and had always been inseparable – except for when Rosa got very sick, obviously.
“Your mum told me that you were really ill,” Melanie said, letting go of Rosa, who had just stood there, completely still – she’d never been much of a hugger – “She said that under no circumstances could I come in and see you, that you had to be quarantined or something,”
Rosa shot me a quick questioning look, to which I nodded, before she said: “Yes, I was really, really sick, but I’m all better now,” She smiled warmly.
“I’m so glad, I hate it when you’re sick, I missed you so much,” She said, hugging Rosa again, this time Rosa wrapped her arms around Melanie,
“I missed you too,”