The social worker dropped off Holly at 7pm. She just carried her upstairs and sat her on her girly pink bed. Less than 10 minutes later, the social worker was already gone.

Holly has big black eyes, mostly full of fear. She is little, much smaller than a child of her age. She is quite, she moves around the house like a little ninja, careful not to make any noise. She talks softly, too softly sometimes to even been able to hear what she is saying.

The first night she didn’t cry, not even one small tear. She just stared at the dim light coming from the landing. Her eyes even darker and bigger than when she just arrived. She just gazed into the void, silent and without blinking, fixed on a point in space for what it seemed to be an eternity. Then she fell asleep.

Over the following few days, she occasionally asked about her mum, always in her whispery voice, but it was only on the second day that she finally cried. At first, it was a hushed cry, then it became loud and uncontrollable, and it finally exploded in a full display of desperation too big for her little body to withstand.

It breaks my heart seen Holly in such an unthinkable pain. I sit close to her, and I feel the room filling up with all her agony. I want to hold her, console, and stroke her hair. But I can’t. She won’t let me.

The more I try to get close, the more she pushes me away. The more I try to hold her, the more she tries to escape. The more I try to soothe her, the harder she rejects me.

In our house we play a game called “tickly fingers”. We run all around the house cheering “I have tickling fingers”, with our hands up in the air and waving our fingers, trying to tickle the others running away. Playing that game I can get close to her, so very close, but she never let me get close enough to touch her.

After all, I’m the villain. I’m the one doing all those things her mum used to do for her, but I’m not mum. I’m just a harsh reminder of what has happened to her.

For now, I can only sit next to her when she lets me. And I can wait with open arms for her to feel ready to give into me. Today she needs me to be Cruella de Vil, and maybe one day she will trust me to be her Nanny McPhee:

“When you need me, but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me, but no longer need me, then I have to go”

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6 Comments

  1. Mark Borg 29th January 2017 Reply
    • Laura Boccaleone 29th January 2017 Reply
  2. Nicole 2nd February 2017 Reply
    • Laura Boccaleone 7th February 2017 Reply
  3. John Sennett 9th February 2017 Reply
    • Laura Boccaleone 10th February 2017 Reply

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