If there was one thing that Donna heard learnt recently, it was that it is amazing how much can change in a seemingly short about of time. Before everything changed, she had been a single mother, independently raising her daughter and living her life plodding from day to day as she managed her small island traverna alone. Now, she was married to the man who had always been the love of her life, and they were running the growing traverna together, all whilst her daughter Sophie was off having the adventure of a lifetime with her fiancée Sky. Donna could never have imagined that it was all going to end up like this. She had always held this lingering fear that she was going to be left all alone when Sophie grew up, a fear that only grew tenfold when she heard the words 'Mom I'm getting married' come out of Sophie's mouth. For all the years before that moment, it had always been just her and Sophie, and then suddenly there was this new person. Sky, the young man who had become just an important part of Sophie's world and even though Donna had to admit that he was good for her daughter and could see that he absolutely adored her, she couldn't shake the thought that he was there to take Sophie away from her. And that was a thought that terrified her to her very core.
What she didn't see coming was the very unexpected and somewhat ironic twist. The event that she had feared would destroy her, Sophie's wedding day, turned out to be the event that would change her life forever. Three ex-lovers, one daughter and a wedding that turned into her ceremony rather than Sophie and Sky's. It was a whirlwind of one surprising moment after another. She had been stood there, watching Sam, Bill and Harry agree that they were all happy to share the role of Sophie's father. Then the young couple of lovebirds decided that it wasn't the right time for them to be getting married, they had their whole lives ahead of them and a world just waiting to be explored beyond the reach of the island. In that moment, Donna could have sworn that her heart was breaking at the idea of her precious Sophie leaving the little island and leaving her all alone, but then, there was Sam asking her to marry him. She had been shocked and terrified at the idea of it all, marrying a man that she had told she never wanted to see him again some twenty-one years ago, but that didn't seem to matter now. He was standing there before her, such hope and love in his eyes, and with a simple glance Donna could see Sophie watching her. She was stood, loved and protected in Sky's arms, a smile on her face and Donna knew that she wanted this for her mother and that it was the right thing to do. So, it was a yes, and it was one of the best things that she had ever done.
From one of the best things she had ever done to one of the worst things she had ever had to do, in the space of a few short hours. Standing on the jetty in the moonlight, Donna had to say goodbye to her little girl. But, of course, she wasn't a little girl anymore. Sophie was twenty years old, in a perfect and loving relationship, and was ready to see the world that had always seemed so far away. Donna had hugged her tightly, planting kisses on her head and weaving her fingers through the tresses of long blonde hair. She had been the one to hold and support this girl for twenty years, ever since she was that tiny baby placed into her arms, and here she was passing her to someone new. But at least, she thought, she was passing Sophie to Sky. The young man had come from the chaos of working on London's stock exchange for a holiday a couple of years ago, and had never left. Donna had heard him say many a time that he couldn't go back because he couldn't possibly leave his world behind. Sophie was his world and Donna could see it in every ounce of his being. The gentle touches and kisses to her forehead, and the way in which he looked at Sophie as if she was the most precious thing in the universe. Nevertheless, as Donna hugged him and watched him take Sophie's hand in his, she told him that he had better look after her if he knew what was good for him. There would be hell to pay if he ever hurt her baby. As she stood there on the jetty, watching the little boat sail away towards the mainland, drifting over the moonlit waters, she felt heartbroken at the realisation that she wasn't going to see her daughter's beautiful face every day every day as she had for the last twenty years, Donna looked back and saw Sam standing there, ready to be the one to support her.
That was six months ago, and now, every morning she woke and she was so happy to see Sam there. She had never thought that she would be married, let alone to him. The idea that he had always loved her was amazing yet come with the regret that she knew that it could have happened a lot sooner. He had come back all those years ago, only to find the news that she was off with some other guy, and those were twenty years that they could never get back as a couple. But at least, they were together now and had so much ahead of them. The traverna had been his idea in the first place, a small hotel on an idyllic little island, an escape to paradise. She had built it in the way that she could afford at the time, and now with Sam's help, it was growing. New rooms and a new bar, all perfect to attract more visitors. And it seemed to be working. Down by the beach, the traverna's reach was also growing, with the work on the floating casino nearing completion. The idea of a casino on the sea had been Sky's idea, a draw to bring in rich customers and in turn bring them to the island and the hotel. Pepper and Eddie, despite neither being the brains of the operation, had worked hard on the part to get it into working order, and it was nearly ready for its maiden voyage.
And as much as she loved her life now, it couldn't possibly be completely perfect without Sophie there. Donna would be working around the hotel and think for a moment that she would turn and see Sophie there, smiling and being her normal happy go lucky self, ready to brighten Donna's day. But, of course, Sophie wasn't there. She was exploring the world with Sky. Sure, there had been phone calls occasionally when the time differences allowed and postcards for many amazing places, Bali, Italy, America, Australia, but really the only place Donna wanted Sophie to be was at home with her. She knew that she was being selfish, wishing her daughter home when she was having the time of her life, but she couldn't help it. She had never gone this long without seeing her, without holding her, but it was beginning to tear her apart. When Sky had first come into the picture, there had been a horrible realisation that he could take Sophie back to London with him and Donna would maybe not see her again. But he stayed on the island and there was not even a mention of the possibility of going to England, much to her relief. And as much as Donna knew that this adventure was what both Sophie and Sky really wanted, Donna's heart strings couldn't stretch that far.
Also, in some strange way, Donna missed Sky and that was something she had never thought possible. When he first came to the island, he had been a guest, but when he kept extending his stay by just a few more weeks, Donna knew what was coming. She had seen them together, Sophie and Sky, and really Donna had to admit that they had always fitted together, made for each other. Within a few months of first arriving, Sky was working at the hotel and staying in the small staff boarding house with Pepper and Eddie. He became part of the team and Donna couldn't fault his work. But, of course, she could see that he wasn't there for the work or for the hotel, he was there for Sophie. Stolen kisses and evenings spent taking moonlit strolls on the beach, young love at its finest. Eighteen months later and there was a ring on Sophie's finger and Donna had to accept that Sky was now more than a worker, he was part of the family that was always going to be there. Donna found herself missing seeing him around the hotel and seeing him and Sophie together. The sight of young love was always enough to lift her heart and make her smile.
Six months later and she wasn't sure how much longer her heart could take it.