Ok here we go, I hope this is a little better. Please Review!
Nikki had been released in the early summer (or late spring whichever you prefer to think of it as) and as the winter drew in and the weather started to worsen Helen started to notice a change in her partner. It was a sort of impatience or agitation and it worried Helen greatly. One day Helen came home to find Nikki sitting on the large comfy sofa in their living room fidgeting restlessly and looking out of the back window, looking into their good sized, well kept garden. "Sweetheart, what is the matter?" asked Helen quietly, anxious about what the answer might be. What if Nikki was bored of her? or was missing Trish? or didn't love her anymore?
"When is it going to snow?" whined Nikki childishly, "I really really want it to snow. I love the snow. Why isn't it snowing yet?" Helen burst into laughter; relief and love sweeping over her.
"It hardly ever snows in London anymore I'm afraid beautiful. Global warming." she explained, trying to keep her laughter under control. But she couldn't help it when she saw Nikki's horrified face, she just collapsed into hysterical giggles. Nikki responded by pulling a grumpy face, but then melted into laughter too.
After a few minutes of joyful laughter Nikki turned serious again. "Do you mean it might not snow ALL winter?" she asked, "That's just not fair!"
"It probably won't snow in London but I know where it will." Helen replied with a smile on her face, "Nikki, would you like to go and meet my father?" she asked.
"Y..your...dad?" Nikki stuttered, surprised. Helen didn't talk about her family much, Nikki knew that her mother had died when she was quite young and that her father was a pastor but that was about it.
"Yes, my dad. I have told him about you, but he's not convinced that it's for real. I think that if he met you then he could see why I love you so much. And it will definitely be snowing back home in Scotland." she added with a grin.
Just two days later they had both managed to organise a few free days so that they could get down to Scotland for a short while. Packing had been an interesting exercise, they were both excited for the trip but their apprehension about the reaction of Helen's father was evident. One minute they were messing around and having lots of fun rolling about on the floor and tickling each other, the next, they were silently folding clothes, both lost in their own thoughts. Before long they were on the road in Nikki's sleek black sports car, trying to be lighthearted despite their growing nerves. Not long after they had crosses the border into Scotland, they saw their first sign of snow. At first the fields were just sprinkled lightly with what looked like icing sugar, but the longer they drove the deeper the snow became. Nikki was so preoccupied with admiring the crisp white landscape that she didn't immediately notice Helen pulling up at a small petrol station off a quiet dual carriageway. "Is everything ok Sweetie? We don't need fuel." Nikki pointed out.
"I'll just be a minute" Helen said quietly, getting out of the car. Nikki decided not to follow her partner, understanding how difficult this journey was proving for Helen.
A few moments later Helen returned carrying a small bouquet of spotless white lilies and roses. "It's only about twenty minutes from here," she said softly, "but I need to stop off somewhere else first."
"Ok, my sweet." Nikki replied lovingly, rather concerned for her partner.
Five minutes later they pulled up outside a small old stone church, looking incredibly picturesque under the soft blanket of snow. They parked in the deserted car park, "come with me," Helen whispered to Nikki, almost pleadingly. The two women walked silently across the snowy pathway, Nikki followed Helen who lead them to a tidy grey gravestone.
In memory of much loved mother and wife Fiona Stewart 1953-1990.
Helen crouched down in the snow, tenderly brushed her fingers over the dark stone and then gently laid the flowers down onto the grave. Nikki put her arms around Helen's shoulder and kissed her on the cheek. "Mum," whispered Helen, covering Nikki's hand with her own, "This is Nikki." Then she buried her head in her hands and started to cry.
Helen still had not said another word when they knocked on the door of the small stone cottage almost buried in white snow. A small elderly man with murky grey hair and thick round glasses stood peered through the low open door. "Helen." he sighed, and his daughter slid into his arms and started to cry again. Nikki stood there awkwardly until she was ushered in. She carried their bags into the small hallway and then followed Helen and her father into the cosy kitchen. A shrill bark came from the floor and a small terrier launched itself at Helen. Helen stopped crying immediately and swept the little ball of fur into her arms, cooing like you would at a young baby. "Joshy baby - look at you - I've missed you munchkin - give me a kiss," she scratched him behind the ears and he licked her face enthusiastically.
"Nikki, I'm glad to meet you. Would you like a cup of tea?" Helen's father asked while Helen was still talking to Josh.
"You too, and that would be lovely Mr Stewart." Nikki replied politely.
"Please call me Tim." he requested, switching on the electric kettle. Helen was now staring out of the window, Josh still in her arms.
"I'm going to take him for a little walk." she said, picking up the lead from a hook next to the back door and kissing both Tim and Nikki on the cheek before walking into the snowy garden.
"She doesn't really like coming home," Tim explained to Nikki, "The house feels too empty without Fiona."
Nikki did not know what to say to this. So they just made small talk for the next half an hour. Just before Helen returned Tim said, "I won't pretend to understand the relationship between you and my daughter, but I can tell that you love her very much. Do not hurt her. Promise me that. She has had too much pain for one lifetime."
"I promise." Nikki answered quietly then, seconds later, Helen walked in. "Feeling better sweetheart?" Nikki asked, concerned.
"Much." replied Helen, "Have you two had a nice chat?" she asked with a knowing smile on her face.
"I can see why you love her so much poppet," Tim said with a smile, "Now, I think that its time for me to start cooking some dinner."