My mother's gaze hardened. I'd never seen this much hostility in her eyes. "I'd like to have a word with my daughter. Alone." She said to Harry.

Harry's expression was hard to make out as reds and greens of the motel signage lights flickered against his face. "You don't know half of the things I've done to be with Thalia." He responded.

My mother peered down at Harry's fingers, and the edge of her mouth twitched at the sight of the unlit cigarette. "I thank you for your help." She said with a hardness in her tone, looking up at him again. "But I don't want Thalia to have anything to do with anything related to Damian. You have to understand."

"You have to understand. I've sacrificed too much to let her go." He said, moving to stand infront of me. "I love her."

"Love? Dear children what would you know about love?" My mother looked around, checking to see if people were around before she continued. "Having sexual relations does not equate to being in love, in that case you would have been in love numerous times before!"

"Mum!" I quickly cut in.

"You're giving me no choice but to be frank, Thalia." She said as my brother watched on silently behind her. "No doubt he's been with many girls before you. How many of them has he impregnated like he did you? You don't know!"

My anger and defenses were building. "You can't just assume things! Why do you think he left Fleese? He has nothing but his mum's relatives here. He's taking responsibility for me. I trust him, mum. I can't expect you to understand the entirety of our relationship but you of all people know how difficult it is for me to trust people. Harry's gained my trust. That's saying something. And we've been through too much to just pretend like nothing happened!" I attempted to explain, eventhough I knew deep down that it was a lost cause. I didn't know what more I could do or say to make her understand.

"I trusted your father! I held the belief that he was a righteous man long after his death," She trailed off, unable to add more to her words. Tears formed in her eyes to the extent of spilling.
"That boy isn't from the right crowd of people." She added shakily.

"Harry is nothing like his father." I said softly, overcome by emotions. 

Her grey eyes propelled between Harry and I. "You've changed. You aren't my-" She stopped mid sentence.

"I'm not your little girl anymore?" My chest ached as I finished the sentence for her.

"Gone for a few months, returned a stranger." My mother said, pulling Jakey beside her. It suddenly felt as if there was an invisible wall between us. I remembered how she had left me at the hospital when I was in what was possibly my weakest state, when I was in need of a mother's care and comfort. I understood how my pregnancy must have upset her, but I couldn't believe her disregard after the miscarriage. Until now, she had not even asked about my health. Not a single question inquiring how I was doing.

She loved me, I knew that. But she had this ideal image of me, and when I could not live up to it, she attempted to block me out and pretended the whole ordeal didn't happen. It was a subconscious thing that she did to protect herself from heartache, because she had experienced it too many times. She had been this way ever since my father died.

She'd done it to many of our family friends, creating these perfect images of them and then shutting them out completely when they didn't live up to her expectations. So at the end, we didn't have any friends.
Now it was my turn to experience her conduct first hand.

"Dar-Darren told me. He said there was something wrong, I didn't believe him at first but then I," She swallowed. "I saw that necklace under your bed and you were acting all strange, zoning out all the time-" She stopped, her lips pressing into a thin line.

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