Prologue

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Prologue

"I'll be home soon enough, I promise," he whispers over the crackling phone line. I look down at Emily and I just wonder what could be going through her mind at that moment. She looks down at the phone in her hands, tracing the buttons.  

"Daddy?" she murmurs.  

"Yes, sweetheart?" I see her take a deep breath in. To say I was proud of her was an understatement. She'd been through so much and for her to take it this well was astonishing.  

"Please be home soon. I miss you," she states, and I hear a sob. It wasn't from Emily or her daddy. It was from me. Emily looks up at me with her big chocolate brown eyes and studies my facial expression.  

"Of course, Sweetheart. Now go give mummy a hug, tell her I miss her. Love you, Darling..." he trails off and the phone goes dead. I raise my hand to my mouth to stop myself from spluttering. Emily carefully lays the phone on the table and hops down from the chair, where she proceeds to run across to me. I bend down and scoop her up into my arms, and she wraps her arms around me and buries her head into my neck. I feel my hand lightly stroke her back. She murmurs something into me but of course I can't hear her, so I pull her away for a moment and look into her eyes.

"What was that baby?" I blink. The corners of her mouth twitch and she maintains a straight face, surprisingly. I've taught her well.

"I want daddy to be home tonight," she demands, and I'd do anything for her. This was the one thing I couldn't help.

"I know baby," I take a strand of her jet black hair and tuck it behind her ear. She was so much like me. Her hand reaches out to the strap of my top and she starts to play with it, fumbling with it in her tiny hands. "Just not tonight." I sigh. She nods as if she knows what I mean but of course she never understands why her father takes such long trips. Sometimes I'm not fully aware.

In the early hours of the following morning, the phone rings from the receiver in the lounge. The sun was starting to rise and the grass outside was still dewy. It was a struggle to reach the receiver in time.  

"Hello?" I moan, still not fully awake. A slight grumble comes through the phone line. 

"Is this Megan White?" The voice across the line sounded serious and too awake for the mere hours of the morning. I stood up straight.  

"Yes, it is. Why?" I hear Emily stir in the background, the atmosphere was dead.  

"I'm afraid I have some bad news, Miss White." Those very words cause shivers to run through my body to the point I find myself fumbling around in the dark for a blanket.  

"Please do continue," I whisper into the phone. The voice clears their throat and I have a feeling I had to brace myself.  

"I'm afraid to inform you that there was a delay on the plane that your boyfriend was on," they pause, and I let out a sigh of relief, thinking it was something much worse.

"Oh, then whe-" The voice interrupts me before I have a chance to finish.  

"The flight he was on had an engine failure. Miss White, your boyfriend is dead." The very words I didn't think I'd have to face. The very words that then changed the path of my life- forever.

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