Lucy appeared sitting cross legged on Tilda’s bed. 

“Baby sisters are awful,” Lucy said, and Tilda smiled so widely it made her heart ache.  

Tilda hated Daisy, all dressed up in that stupid hand crocheted bonnet threaded with pink ribbon and matching dress that Tilda herself had once worn. Daisy got so much fuss. And Tilda didn’t get any.

“It doesn’t have to be like this,” Lucy said.

And Tilda thought of mother and father having secret conversations and exchanging impenetrable looks at the breakfast table instead of looking at her.

“Remember those days before Daisy?”

Tilda thought of sunshine and laughter.

 “You could have those days back again.” Lucy jumped off the bed and stood in front of the mirror. She pulled up a sleeve of her grey shapeless shift. “See, not a mark,” she said. “Where I come from everything bad goes away.”

Lucy went to Tilda and held out her hand. “Come and live with me. There’s no Daisy there.”

Tilda looked around her small room. Her dolls stared back vacantly, her floppy rabbit was lying still, her bear was looking at something else.

Outside her door she could hear Daisy snuffling and her mother’s voice singing to her.  

“They won’t miss me,” she thought.

“Yes. I’ll come with you,” Tilda said.

Tilda took Lucy’s hand and they both smiled.

 

Daisy sat on her mother’s lap and sighed peacefully.

Her mother, staring at an old photograph, traced a finger round the outline of a baby girl dressed in a crocheted bonnet threaded with pink ribbon and matching dress. “You and Daisy would have been such friends,” she said.

She picked Daisy up and hugged her tight, wetting her head with yet more tears.

But Daisy was quite used to that.