Monday, June 08, 2009

A Different Heart

Time passes. Things change.

Anna-mouse is nearly five. I am alone again. The Bim is around, constantly, but no longer with us.

Time passes. Things change.

Those few, casual lines of my Profile never fail to sting me now, ever so slightly, when I visit my own pages.

Madeleine McCann has a new face, it is almost unbearable to stare into that older photograph.

I can't come here to write in the same way that once I did, with the Bim safely ensconced downstairs, football and tea at the ready, and Anna-mouse slumbering next door.

I discover when I find myself here that I am not the person I was.

I am a person in recovery from a most turbulent near-decade.

Over now. Looking forward to the next.

So here is a story, and then Livvy's Life will have to undergo a transformation, because I can't hold on to what was anymore.

Be patient, all those who visit. You are dear to me: I am, as the Bim knew and tested again and again, loyal to the bone.

"Mummy can I tell you somethin'?" asks Anna-mouse.

I have found her whimpering to herself in her bed, ages after she should have been asleep.

I take her up in my arms, little thing, cradle her, feel our warmths merge.

We sit together on the bed, speaking softly, trying to unravel the sadness keeping her awake. The sadness her parents have caused.

"You see, Mummy," she grapples for words in a tired little voice, "I love

"I know you do, darling," I say, in my most soothing tone.

"I like Daddy," she corrects, as if she has discovered already the wonder that is loving and liking the same person. "He's my favourite friend."

"I know, darling, I know," I murmur.

"You see, Mummy," she tries again, at last finding the words for which she has been searching: "He held a laugh in my heart.... And when he moved out... my heart was different."

The light is penumbral blue. The air is thick and warm.

At first I'm too moved to speak. Then:

"Now you've made me cry!" I say.

She looks up at me in surprise; reaches up her hand to feel my cheek for tears. Finding them there seems to satisfy her, and I feel her body give a little in my arms. I know she will sleep now, and gently put her back to bed.

Downstairs, I cling to the armchair, trying not to make too much noise as I cry.

That was the wonder of it, the laugh held in my heart by the Bim.

And when he moved out, my heart was different, too.