She swallowed as she spoke. Then. Barely a whisper.
"Don't. Please. Don't."
I moved towards her. I could smell her breath. Sweet and familiar. Marshmallows I realised later as I washed the sticky film off my own hands.
But back to her.
In my garden.
Starting to shake with fear. Her face pressed against mine. Her hair tickling my cheek.
My arm around her. Shushing. Trying to calm her. Saying it was OK. She sat up on my knee. I stroked her back. Looked at me and broke my heart.
"Please don't make me go back home."