"You know I love you louise? Take care and I'll see you real soon, okay?"
"Yeah dad. I love you too. Bye."
I climbed inot the front seat of my Auntie Sue's car and, as she pulled away from the pavement, I watched my dad turn and walk into the B&B.
It had been my Auntie Sue's idea that I go stay with her after the funeral. We all needed somewhere to stay as our house was still a crime scene - althought here was nothing to find.
My dad and brother had found refuge at the local B&B and it would be better (and, more importantly, cheaper) if I went to stay with Auntie Sue until things calmed down.
After the funeral I had spent one night at the B&B with my dad and Tom then I had got up and packed my clothes into the primark carrier bag that I had got them in the day afyter we had moved into the B&B. Then, at nine o'clock in the morning, my Auntie Sue drove up to the pavement, beped her horn, then opened the car boot for me to put my miserable little plastic bag filled with my miserable little pile of belongings into the car.
She had hugged me and my dad before asking how we were and where Tom was. I stood in silence and let me dad fill Auntie Sue in on how everyone was coping fine and that my brother was sorting out the flowers and other things on my mums grave now that it was filled in.
Now, as I sat in my Auntie Sue's car, I asked myself if this was really a good idea or if we would all be better off staying together, coping together, grieving together.
"So, how have you been, Lulu?" That was my Auntie's nickname for me, Lulu.
When I was younger I had loved and appreciated the name so mucht that I had learned the worlds to some of Lulu's songs and I used to perform them at family occasions. When everyone else would be cheering on Louise my Auntie Sue would be shouting for Lulu. My favourite was shout.
I looked down at my knees and murmured, "Fine, you?" and in reply I got an unexpected one armed hug. This made my eyes well up with tears and I blinked them back as my favourite auntie put both hands back on the steering wheel. The rest of the car journey was silent. My Auntie Sue left me to my thoughts.
That was one of the reasons that I liked her, she didnt force conversation. I thought about lots of things during that 20 minute car journey, but mostly I thought about mum. I thought about all the things we had done together, all the things we had planned to do together, and about how our time had been limited, cut short.
I thought about when I was younger and my mum had taken me to the build-a-bear factory for everyone of my birthdays since I was four. On my fifth birthday along with my build-a-bear and countless other presents, my mum and dad had got me an indoor playhouse. I dubbed this playhouse 'House of BAB'. This stood for 'House of Build-A-Bear'.
My dad had made a sign to go above the door. It read 'Louise's House of BAB. Do Not Enter(unless you want to)'. I had chosen what to write on it and I had helped my dad and brother paint it pink and blue.
My mum had made pretty wooden flowers to decorate the house with and we had painted them together before sticking them all over the outside of the house. Then Tom had come up with the idea of ivy as well, so we had made that too. The house was perfect, every little girl's dream and more.
The inside had then been filled with build-a-bears of all shapes, sizes, and colours. I sometimes got them for Christmas aswell so, by the time I was 10, I had 11 build-a-bears in total. But for my 11th birthday I asked for a phone instead, and so the tradition had died out.
And now, four years later, my mum had gone. I no longer felt like that little kid. I felt like my childhood had died, like the tradition, like my mum.