Normal had come with an abundance of chaos; in their former life, Ziva would take Fiona walking, Vicky prepared breakfast, and Milly brought the chaos. Their daughter chased the cats, splashed water in the bathroom or would have the sudden recollection her was homework was incomplete. Since Winterfest, Vicky struggled to find the motivation; Milly would find herself alone, shovelling leftovers in her mouth, walking the dog, amongst other chores she set herself. Taking a stern look in the mirror, Vicky knew this had to change; no time for baby steps; she threw her dungarees, Milly joked how they were learning to crawl, anything to escape another day of wear. Ziva had loved bright colours; Vicky had preferred those on her canvas but redefining her style with cropped hair breathed new life into her. The vibrant reds and yellows made her feel closer to the love she missed, as she twirled and strutted through the house, her daughter’s cheekiness continued to lighten the mood.
Having a child late in life meant difficult choices ahead; Vicky wondered who would support Milly when her time came. Her siblings had grown distant through the years, Simon and Liam settled, raising their families, while Alexis seemed to flit from man to man, her children had different fathers. Unlike Rylan’s children, Vicky’s family provided cousins similar in age to Milly, but getting them together, Milly shied, unable to relate to them. Excitement happened when Eliza visited, perhaps since, biologically, they were half-sisters, Milly felt a connection, or maybe she reminded her of Ziva. When Eliza had returned to her black locks, Vicky could see the family resemblance, calling her Ziva by accident. Eliza took it as a compliment; she admired her aunt, a knowledge thirst, and computer passion, their conversations lost the rest of the family. Either way, Milly needed to feel at home with the family when Vicky’s time came.
It was a difficult conversation one Milly struggled to understand, losing one mother and the thought she may lose Vicky, unbearable sorrow turned to anger with Milly feeling Vicky planned to abandon her. Vicky choked on words, failing to bring comfort to her daughter; they had encouraged honest communication; this was one time Vicky wanted to lie. She bowed her head, their meal going cold, wishing she could promise, be there as Milly grew into a beautiful, strong, and independent young woman. Sighing, she wrapped an arm across Milly’s shoulders; some things she should perhaps discuss with adults rather than her daughter.
School disappointed Milly, the words, numbers, and teachers; she would rather be home drawing. The discussion with Vicky had spun her thoughts in numerous directions, catching them, maintaining a balance and realism; Milly closed herself off, unable to deal with what might happen. Winter had continued its cruel path; the returning blizzard brought Grim again to their door, Fiona joined his list. It drove home Vicky’s message; Milly hated the idea she would one day bury another parent. Milly clutched her homework book, hoping the teachers would give her some slack, worries for her mother, a future without her, a constant distraction.