Diane

“Daddy, where do dreams go when they die?”

“Um … not sure, son. Why do you ask?”

“Mummy was saying her dreams have died. When we visit Parkers Road Cemetery, we can see where Diane is. Where do we go to visit where mummy’s dreams are buried? Would that help her be happy?”

“I … think … Diane was a dream of your mummy’s. Mine too.”

“Is that why you’re sad all the time? Did your dreams die as well?”

He lost his fight against the tears. A year wasn’t long enough. Not by a long shot, and little Thommy was too young to understand. Even now.

“Diane was as special to us as you are, Thommy. We tried to give both of you what’s best, especially all our love. Diane loved … horses … so when we were able, we got her Thundersky. She was such a good horse, I don’t think we reckoned Diane was in any danger, but when she came off that day, we found out.”

“Found out?”

“We found out how wrong we were. Diane had learned all about riding, but she didn’t understand about—”

He choked.

“Daddy?”

“I—I can’t even talk about it any more. Dr Edgerton is going to kill me. Every time I see a horse, I still can’t help but think of Diane. Your mum too.”

“Is that why all the things from her room got packed away? And why Mr Patch is gone?”

“Everything in Diana’s room and your grandfather’s rocking horse was far too much for your mother. She won’t even watch the news because there’s sometimes horse racing on.”

“Is it because Diane was your happy dream?”

“Yes son. Diane was our happy dream, but all those dreams are sad ones now. We just can’t bear to have anything to do with horses any more. We have our Thommy, we have you, son. You’re our special dream. Your mother and I need to build fresh dreams together, but there will always be that place where Diane was, and that makes it extra hard. Sometimes dreams can’t be buried, even if there was a cemetery for them. No matter what, we’ll always love you.”

“I love you, daddy.”

“I love you, son. Goodnight.”

He switched off the light.

Thomas closed his eyes and saw his big sister riding a herd of horses, a happy smile on her face. Diane lived in his dreams now.

Maybe he’d be happy for all of them.

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