Sorry for the wait again, guys. I've been unbelievably busy so I haven't had any time to type the rest of the fanfic up.
This time the flashback is about Rowan, which I thought would be pretty interesting to write as most of the flashbacks have been about Barney.
'Not now, honey,' Lola Hailwel whispered.
Rowan stood dithering, wondering what to do. Should she go and leave her mom to cry in peace, or should she try to comfort her?
Hesitantly, Rowan clambered onto the bed, craning her neck to see if her mom was crying. She was.
'Please, Mom.' Rowan touched her mother's arm carefully. 'Don't cry.'
This didn't help much and her mom continued crying, although now Rowan was next to her she tried to cover up her sobs. She reached out for a crumpled up tissue lying on her drawers and blew her nose quickly.
'Sorry, darling,' she told her daughter, smiling even though her eyes were red. 'I just…have a cold, that's all.'
Rowan stared at her, resisting the urge to raise her eyebrow. Who did she think she was kidding? She was almost nine; she wasn't a little kid anymore.
'I'm not little, Mom,' she told her mother seriously.
Lola smiled through her tears. 'You're still my little girl, missy,' she said, turning over and tickling her daughter. Rowan squealed excitedly, happy to see her mom cheered up a little. But the spell ended as soon as it had begun and her mom flopped back down on the bed, suddenly quiet.
'Do you miss Daddy, Mommy?' Rowan said, suddenly reverting back into a little kid. Slowly she edged neared to her mom, who put her arms around her daughter and hugged her.
'Yeah, honey,' she said softly. 'I miss him a lot.'
'I miss him too.'
'I know, sweetie.' Lola stared at her daughter's wavy brown hair sadly. 'We all do.'
'Do Dean and Frank?' Rowan asked.
'They don't talk about him.'
'They –' Lola hesitated. 'They think it's easier if they don't.'
'Oh.' Rowan wriggled a little in her mom's arms. 'Does Anna?'
'Yeah, darling. But…' Lola shuffled into a sitting position. 'They think it's better not to talk about him. But… we should, shouldn't we? We'll all be sad if we don't.'
Lola hugged her daughter again, her tears dried up. 'Okay, sweetie. I'll go get changed, shall I?'
Rowan nodded again, watching her mother pad out of the bedroom in her dressing gown. Her eyes automatically went to the picture of her father, which her mom had put on the bedside drawers. She touched the silver frame softly, noting her father's features. The dark blue eyes that always sparkled whenever his kids made him laugh. The wavy brown hair that Rowan and Anne had. His pale skin that would never tan properly, not even when they were on holiday (a running joke amongst the Hailwel family).
Her mom came back into the bedroom, dressed in a bright yellow top with dark blue jeans and a necklace with a droplet of amber threaded through, which she hadn't worn since her husband's death three months ago.
She noticed her daughter looking at the picture, and smiled bravely. 'Come on, honey.' She took her daughter's hand and they walked out of the room. Anne saw them, and grabbed her mother's other hand, just to feel included. 'Let's go and talk to Dean and Frank, shall we?'
I felt kind of down writing this chapter. Hopefully the next one will be a bit happier!