I swing my bag over my shoulder as I try to keep pace with her.
“Hurry! Or we’ll never make it” she snaps. “The others are meeting us beside the tracks.”
I breathe in the cool night air and clench my fists, desperately trying to stop them from shaking. Nerves? Excitement? I still couldn’t tell.
I stare out the cracked window as Lily plays around the stream at the bottom of our Garden. She hums happily under her breath as she dips her toes into the water, staring at the lush Farm that lies on the other side. I call her in for her dinner and she hurries towards me, the innocent joy of childhood written all over her face. As me and my daughter enter the faded dining room I flip the light switch as I pass. Nothing. I grab one of the overused candles from the window ledge and set it in the middle of the large wooden table to provide us with some extra light.
It’s finally happening. Finally I can be free of this life. I remember dancing with Nancy before our Confirmation, I could see the excitement in her eyes. But slowly things began to change. I never saw Nancy that excited again. Until tonight. As we became part of the church we lost a part of our childhood. Our lives were no longer ours. We trailed along behind our families to mass every week as we were forced to confess our sins. We faced the same boring routine as we were encouraged not to stray from our duty in life. The life of duty that is now chasing us away.
I finish the washing up and turn to put the chipped crockery into the cabinet as Lily lingers in the doorway. I scoop her up into my arms and hold her close, allowing her warmth to overcome me.
“Why don’t you play me a song on the ...
... middle of paper ...
... stumble down the dirty streets the large brown factories. I help Lily wash her hair and tie back her golden curls with her green ribbon as she puts on her favourite white summer dress. I grab her jacket as we reach the bottom of the stairs, fastening it around her body as she slips her shoes on.
“Where are we going?” she asks me rubbing at her sleep filled eyes.
“On an adventure” I whisper in her ear. She giggles excitedly as I snatch up the bag that lies beside the door.
Lily grasps at my hand as we wander along the quiet streets of the city. When we finally reach the station and step out onto the deserted platform I see the questions in Lily’s eyes.
“Is daddy coming?” She asks me.
“No sweetheart, not right now…”
As I hear the train approaching the station I take out the locket from my jacket pocket and secure it around Lily’s neck as I lift her onto my shoulders.
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