If you wanted to talk to Connie you had to talk to Eloise, and Eloise would pass on your message. Eloise never told Connie anything unless Connie wanted to hear it.

When Eloise had arms and legs and beautiful clothes Connie had heard much more. But Leroy pulled her apart like he pulled them all apart. He came back after three years away and smashed their mother’s crockery. Dad had been yelling at him, telling him he wasn’t welcome any more, when Leroy saw Eloise whispering to Connie. So he took her and broke her. His threats and curses were the last thing Connie ever heard for herself.

Eloise told Connie about Dad moving out. She said it was Leroy’s fault. They’d been fighting about him; about if he was still their son. Eloise said he couldn’t be their son because Connie would never have a brother like that.

Dad left and then, a few days later, Leroy came back. Eloise said Mum thought he was getting better, even though he still called her horrible things.

Dad stopped calling. That was when Eloise told Connie about the poison. They agreed it would be best for Eloise to do it. They started collecting the things she’d need.

 

2011-Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)

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