“Mum, mum, he hurt me, he hurt me!” Sophie runs across the room, hurling herself onto my lap. She curls tight and places her head on my chest, waiting for my soothing words. Peace is shattered. I sigh.
The decibels had gone up, steadily and I knew it was a matter of time before Sophie was in my study. She and Robbie had been playing companionably in the rumpus for an hour or so now. I guess an hour of solitude for me is nothing to scoff at, though it frustrates me how these two kids just can’t play amiably. There is a large space, enough to leave each other alone if they so choose. There is a wide selection of toys and games, both single play or shared play to occupy their attention. So…
I place my hand on her head, gently stroking her hair. My mind still on the recent past. “It’s alright, darling. It’ll pass.”
“No it won’t! It hurts and it’s all his fault. Robbie is mean.”
“Sweetie, Robbie’s behaviour is mean, is it? Tell me what happened.” I ask, already knowing her reply. Her reply has not changed since 5 months ago, and it won’t today.
“Well, Mum, he hit me on the head with it and he called me names.” Oh dear, this is new. Robbie is usually a gentle child. He is angry now and has resorted to name calling but hitting? This is disturbing.
“Sophie, tell the story from the start.”
“Well, I wanted to play with it, it’s so beautiful. But Robbie said I can’t. He keeps saying it’s his and it’s special. But I wanted to, Mum. Who made him boss?”
I can’t help a little smile forming, she is a feisty one.
“Okay, so you took it anyway?”
“Yeah and he chased me, and Mum,” Sophie looks up at me, tears still glistening on her lids, “I ran faster than him”. A tone of smugness creeps into her voice.
I hug her a little tighter.
“Anyway, he got me in the end, he is bigger you know. He snatched it and then, and then…” a sob escapes her lips.
“Hey, where does it hurt?” I guess Robbie’s behaviour can wait. I need to look after this little one.
“Here.” she pointed to the top of her head. I felt the lump. Not too bad… nothing a little lavender oil can’t fix.
I reach for the oil on the shelf next to my seat. This is one of my favourite spots, on this wing-backed occasional chair Tom bought for me and had it positioned overlooking my herb garden. Tom was always thoughtful like that. I had said how wonderful it would be to have a chair here, and the next weekend, he had insisted we went shopping for one. Wouldn’t take no for an answer. That was just before he left for his conference in Italy. Only 5 months… but seems like a lifetime ago.
Shaking a small quantity on my finger, I gently rub the oil on the lump.
Sophie smiles, “magic oil mummy…”. “Yes darling.”
Sophie relaxes into me, having had her ‘injuries’ attended to with the requisite TLC. Tender loving care, as we call it in our family.
“You sit here on my favourite chair and have a little rest… I’ll go and speak to Robbie, and bring back some afternoon snack for us, alright?”
Sophie nods and closes her eyes.
I cross the hall and into the rumpus room. At first glance, Robbie is nowhere to be seen then a soft sound from behind drew my attention. Turning to the corner table, I see Robbie sitting under it with tears running down his face. Clutched in his hands is the aeroplane, a model of the one which his father had died on that fateful day 5 months ago.
Flash fiction using visual prompt provided by Ronovan’s Friday Fiction. As usual, I am late for the deadline. but I figured it is good fun so why not.
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