I had a dream last night. My sister, Millie, was a little girl again. She was smiling and happy. She was pushing a tiny pram that contained her favourite teddy bear, Belvedere. He was brand new with a plum-coloured velvet jacket. My Mum found Belvedere a few days ago under a pile of newspapers. He’d had a cigarette put out in his soft tan fur. I wonder how it is that things can have changed so much; that things which were once valued have been so cruelly discarded.
My sister won’t talk to me. She says that if I loved her I would understand that she can never leave her husband no matter what he does. If I hadn’t been sitting down her words would have knocked me clean over. Never is a very long time. I give up. I can’t bear to remember the way it used to be. Belvedere looks at me with his sad eyes. I have washed him three times but I can’t get the cigarette marks out. Sometimes I wish I could just fly away…..