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Poppies: The Way Forward


To be honest, Gabriella Andrews was taken aback when she learned of her daughter's decision. At first, she didn't believe the girl. Then, it struck Gabriella like a bolt of lightning - Leanne Andrews; her only daughter - was no longer a girl.

Leanne was a woman. A bright, beautiful, brilliant young lady. But still, the decision deemed unusual for a girl of Lee's preferences.

Lee's decision had been to marry. For love. Leanne Elizabeth Andrews was - at the current moment in time - engaged. Those were words Gabriella Kimberly-Anne Andrews never thought she'd hear in her lifetime.

For Leanne, or as she preferred, Lee, was the kind of girl who had didn't believe in love. This belief of hers originated from the time when Lee's father, Henry, abandoned the two females suddenly. He had said nothing - instead, he had sent a letter a month later stating that he had no longer loved Gabriella, nor Leanne.

Now that she thought back on it, Gabriella felt that Lee, at merely eleven years of age, had handled the situation rather well. Her father's decision did not affect her behaviour at school, or with friends; it didn't have her shed even a single tear; nor did it stop her from taking on her mother's role, comforting Gabriella and taking care of everything else. It was a strenuous year for both of them but when Lee burst out that neither of them needed that man to survive; nor that he would ruin their lives, things fell back into place.

Though Lee had stated that Henry's decision would not in any way affect the two, it did. Lee lost belief in love. Lee had come to believe the phrase: "There's no such thing as love." (Of course, being Lee, she would never admit any of this.)

Yet here Lee was, looking her mother in the eye and saying - without uttering a single word - that she truly wanted to see her decision through to the end. Leanne wanted to get married. When the realisation of this colossal change finally dawned upon Gabriella, she'd cried. She'd sobbed. She'd bawled.

Leanne was in love and Gabriella couldn't be more happier for her daughter. She'd finally found the one thing that she was afraid of.

But as Gabriella sat at the front row at her daughter's wedding, watching the happy couple recite their vows, she realised something else. Lee would be married very soon: she'd no longer live with her mother; they'd no longer chat constantly; they'd no longer destroy the kitchen in attempts to cook; they would no longer share anything. Lee was going on to share her life with that handsome man - Adam.

Lee helped Gabriella pick herself up after Henry's disappearance. Lee distracted Gabriella from thoughts of Henry. Lee swore to never leave her mother's side. But that was exactly what Lee was doing: she was leaving Gabriella's side.

Gabriella knew that there comes a time in a girl's life where she has to start her own family. And as much as Gabriella wanted Lee to go through with this, she also wanted Lee for herself. After all, Gabriella had no-one. Raised in care, Gabriella knew nothing of her own family. And Henry was gone.

And now, so was Lee.

Most mothers would rejoice at the thought of their tomboy-daughter getting married. Deep down, that was how Gabriella felt - what worried her was that Adam and Lee had finalised their decision to live abroad. Far away. Oceans away.

The hours passed, yet Gabriella smiled through it all. For her daughter. When Gabriella had been suffering, Lee smiled for her. It was Gabriella's turn to smile for Lee.

Lee kept true to herself and shed no tears. Instead, she smiled at her mother and said the very thing she had said many years ago, "It'll be okay. We'll pull through this; just you wait and see."

Gabriella was determined to say goodbye to her daughter with a smiling face; as she so fittingly deserved. Lee hadn't mentioned of coming back to visit her mother, and Gabriella knew why. There were too many memories here; memories of the man who deserved to be forgotten. So Lee would leave, leave this place, and not come back.

Time flew by and many hours later, Gabriella Andrews laid in bed, staring at the abyss of darkness above her (referred to as the 'ceiling' when visible); she was pondering the value of how much she'd gave up today.

Lee was gone. Just like that. She had lost her daughter, her child, her baby - to the charming boy - no; man, that managed to steal her only baby's heart.

And the worst part?

Gabriella didn't know if she'd ever see her little Lee again.