Nana used to tell me that when I spent summers with her in Newcastle. At least back then, I could stay away from Mummy and how she looked at me.
As if she hated me.
Now, I have no Nana. There’s no one to take me away from here or tell me stories that transport me to other worlds.
Worlds with princes and knights. Worlds filled with so much magic, I dream of them.
I trot down the house’s stairs until I’m outside. The sun is so bright today, casting a bright hue all over the garden and the fence.
The sound of Mum and Dad’s fighting follows me until I close the door behind me. No one can hear them now, not the staff, not the neighbours.
Not even me.
I flop down on the step and lick on the pistachio gelato stick Dad bought me earlier. Silver says all gelato tastes the same, but Silver is stupid sometimes. Pistachio gelato is the best. It’s green and sweet and delicious.
If I weren’t so upset, I would’ve gone to her house and played with her Barbie dolls, but I don’t want to go anywhere.
My gaze strays ahead to the huge mansion across from ours. It has an ancient feeling, like those castles from Nana’s stories – the ones where knights and princes live. I want to go there, knock on the door, and ask him to come out.
We agreed on that last week – that from now on, he’s my knight. I even blessed him with a bamboo stick as the queen does.
Silver doesn’t care when I’m upset, but he does. Because he’s my knight. He always tickles me and tells me jokes until I break down in giggles.
The boy with golden hair and magical blue eyes, like the stories in Nana’s books.
Still sucking on my gelato, I rise to my feet and take slow but determined steps until I’m out of our garden’s gate. It’s the afternoon, so maybe he’s with Aiden and Cole. Maybe he doesn’t want to play with me today.
I hate it when he chooses the boys over me.
Their garage door hisses open and I freeze. A red car comes out, slow at first, then it gains speed on the exit.
She’s the one who plays the role of the queen in Nana’s stories with her golden locks and big blue eyes that are so kind and caring.
Aunt Samantha, who invites me in whenever my parents are fighting and gives me snacks and food. She sits with me and does my hair because Mummy doesn’t have time to. She tells me Mummy has an important job and that I shouldn’t hate her for that.
She’s also my knight’s mother.
Her face is blank, without its usual warmth. She appears upset, but she’s not crying. Or maybe she’s not upset at all. She’s like Mummy when she locks herself in her art studio, not wanting to see anyone.
I’m about to wave at her when I notice who’s running after her car.
The boy with golden hair and blue eyes that he stole from the ocean, the sky, and the magic in books.
Tears stream down his cheeks as he screams his mother’s name. His entire body shakes, but he doesn’t stop chasing her.
For a second, the whole world freezes. It’s a moment, just one moment in time. It’s so weird how all bad things happen in just a moment.
Nana left me in a moment, too. She was sitting with us one minute, and the next, her heart stopped. She was there, smiling at me, giving me gelato and telling me a story, and then my only grandmother was gone.
Now, it’s only me, Mummy, and Daddy.
I hate it when it’s only me and them. Because Daddy works a lot and I don’t get to spend much time with him. And Mummy…well, I don’t exist in front of her, not like when I existed with Nana.
She was my world. Now, I have nothing.
As I stand there watching Aunt Samantha’s car rolling away and Xan running after her with his short legs, my chest becomes painful, the same as it did when Nana left.
My heart beats loud and hard in my ears. I’m not hearing Xan’s cries and screams. I’m hearing mine when Nana dropped to the ground, closed her eyes, and never woke up.
I knew then, I just knew I’d lost something that couldn’t ever be retrieved.