The huddled form of a small girl lying on a suitcase is just visible through the trees. Morning breaks in sleepy little Leadworth and as the birds begin to sing, the child stirs in her sleep. The girl wakes with a start and her flaming red hair whips around her face as she tries to remember where she is, as though she has forgotten why she's lying in her cold garden in her nightgown and coat. She calms herself almost immediately, and her frantic turning becomes slow. She remembers. The girl looks around her, looking for something. She closes her eyes and pulls her woolly hat down tightly and as she does, she lets out a small whimper. It's almost a sob.
You said five minutes.
Towing her suitcase behind her, the girl traipses back to the house and pushes the front door open. She lingers in the doorway and turns her sad eyes back to the garden. She's still searching for something that isn't there. Her expression is unusual for such a young girl: there's a deep hurt in her eyes. As though she's always left alone, just as she was last night in the garden. Everyone always leaves.
Why did you say five minutes?
He came back.
She doesn't even notice when he runs from the rooftop. She turns and when she doesn't see him strutting around in his new clothes anymore, she just knows where he's going.
She's not being left behind again. Not a second time.
Amy Pond runs as fast as she's ever run before. Her long legs carry her down the staircase, through the front doors of the hospital and around the winding village roads. It's a miracle she doesn't trip over her own feet as she races to her house. She doesn't care that her skirt is far too short to be running in. She doesn't even look to see if Rory is still racing behind her. All that matters is that she doesn't lose him. The pain in her side is no deterrent, and she thunders on.
She sees the back of his silly tweed jacket whip around the side of her house and into the garden, and she darts after it. Amy hears Rory gasping for breath behind her as she comes to a stop under her vine-covered trellis. The Doctor's spaceship sits next to the shed. That magnificent machine. Did it really have a pool in the library, like he'd told her all those years ago? Her thoughts are broken by a shrill, grinding noise that she remembers from her childhood and that police box quickly begins to fade. Strong gusts of wind blow around her garden as she watches him go. She wasn't quick enough. She wonders if she'll ever be quick enough. But would that really matter?
She fell for it again. Nothing had changed.
Amy Pond. The girl who waited. You've waited long enough.
I'm so sorry.
She is empty. She knows she's still herself, Amelia Jessica Pond, but she doesn't feel it anymore. She doesn't feel anything anymore. Everyone around her is speaking but she hears nothing. How can she? It's all too much.
She was so frightened and so, so alone. Her husband and her Raggedy Doctor weren't with her and she gave birth on her own. She tried her best to keep her hope that they would come for her. She felt that they would, but every day that passed created more and more doubt in her mind. It made her question everything. And that woman - that awful woman - took her daughter. Her defenseless little Melody Pond. And now, after the Doctor spews out a jumble of words, he's leaving her again. She runs after him, but she's learned the hard way that it's no use and she stops in front of him. He promises to find her daughter, and she hears that thundering noise once again as the TARDIS vanishes, leaving a burst of cold air blowing in her face. It's all too familiar.
But that doesn't mean it hurts any less.
Demons run but count the cost; the battle is won but the child is lost.
"Amy Pond. The girl who waited. All night in your garden. Was it worth it?"
"Of course it was."
She's not so sure anymore.