The days that followed, Amy followed me everywhere I went. She stopped talking; she would not allow anyone near her, but me. We brought her best friend around to play, she screamed, they had to leave. We would have to take it one day at a time. It seemed she was okay with Ben unless he tried to help take care of her. We tried leaving the house that resulted in screaming fits. Days turned into weeks, and we never left the house. The whole thing had scarred her for life. It would take months to undo what her mother did to her. Snatching her from her bed.
Ben never left our sides, and it made sense if he moved in. I could not leave the house, but we needed food, we needed to move forward. Thankfully, Ben took care of us.
Ben began by sleeping on the sofa, but after a few weeks, he moved into my room, waiting until she was asleep, we moved a bed for her in next to us, starting with her asleep in our bed, and then moving her to hers. The first few nights she would be back in our bed after a few hours, this went on for weeks, until it was only the next morning. It would all take time.
Amy slowly allowed me to leave a room, but leaving the house was still going to take time. We could not even enter the back garden.
Six weeks later, Ben arrived home, closed the door and locked it. He found us in the kitchen baking cakes, Amy loved to help. She stirred the mixture and licked the bowls and spoons after we were done. As he entered the kitchen, she took one look at Ben and ran to him; she had accepted that he was part of our family. We would not get back to where we in a hurry, we would take each day at a time, and each step towards building up her trust. She had still not spoken a word. In time I hoped that it would return.
Ben had asked me once again to marry him, but I told him, he needed to ask me when the time was right. He looked at me, cake mixture on my chin, and no make-up on. Amy had mixture in her hair and all around her face. She had put the bowl to her face and licked the bottom. She had smiled for the first time in weeks. She was dragging him towards me, very pleased with her baking skills, only a few had been iced, before she had placed her hand in and licked it clean.
"I think it’s time," he said.
"Yes," he said, turning to the drawer behind him, he moved a few items and pulled out a ring box, which he opened and asked me once again to marry him.
I looked at Amy, she had accepted him, the time was indeed right. I nodded. He scooped up Amy and carried over to me, we were going to be okay, we were going to be a family. Amy would one day have a baby brother or sister, but first we had to plan a wedding. Amy looked at me then at Ben and smiled.
"Baby?" I said, she said baby, this was the best day ever.
She nodded. We had talked a lot, Ben and I about our future, about having a baby was one of them. Had she taken it all in, she understood.
"Yes Amy, we will have a baby, but not yet. Big party first, you can wear a pretty dress, does that sound like fun."
"A big party? Are referring to our wedding as a big party!"
"Ben, it’s so much more than that, but yes , it is like a big party, and as long as you are there and Amy and I are there, isn't that all that matters."
"Yes, but our wedding night?"
"We will worry about that nearer the time, I am sure we can arrange something. She is doing better, she has accepted you. Maybe in time she will be able to be left overnight with Rihanna."
"I hope so, we may want to practice this baby making thing."
"It's not like we can while she is still sleeping in our room. I am not saying we have to rush that either. I am prepared to wait, but we can't make babies without doing it."
"I know, let’s just take it one step at a time."
"Okay, now where is my cake?"
It took a whole year for Amy to left with another person that was not us, she loved Rihanna, and the fact she would be family, we had to try allowing her to sleep over before the honeymoon. No point jetting off and Amy not settle with them. I would never be able to forgive myself.
The night arrived, Amy and I packed her things, we had progressed so much in the year that had followed Ben’s proposal. We went shopping, to the park, and even tried a toddler group. We went shopping; she picked her own suitcase, a ladybird one with wheels. She helped pack and was ready to go. Next step was to be able to leave her; we knew it would not happen the first time, so we planned to go for a meal, but just in case she was happy to stay, we took her suitcase.
The first time, we managed our starters. The second attempt two courses, the third time we were able to go for a meal and a movie, but come bed time it was a different story. The fifth time, we were prepared for the call, but it never came. We were waiting for it all night, and although we were alone and could, we never did. Sleep took us, as we were both on alert for the phone call.
Rihanna helped me get ready; it was just me from my side of the family, me and Amy. We were not having anything fancy, the party after was so much more. His father was going to give me away, it was not traditional, but we were far from a traditional family.
The adoption was finalised and his parents were beginning to be let in by Amy. I sat in the chair, in a white towelling dressing gown, my hair made up, my face plastered with make-up. I was not one to wear much, so it looked a lot, it was not to others. Amy wore a little pink dress, with a bow and short sleeves; we gave her a little basket with flowers in to carry. Grace wore a matching dress, the two looked adorable. Now they were cousins, and spent a lot of time to together. Rihanna admired the dress that hung up on the back of the door.
"So tonight is the night. Finally, you and my brother."
"I know, and don't say it like that, it makes it sound weird," I said.
"It isn't, because in a few hours you will be my sister-in-law."
"Family, you were already, but this seals the deal, Olivia. I always saw you as a sister, now you are going to be."
She hugged me tight, and stood back, wiping tears from down her cheeks, if she did not stop, I would start too.
"Now get this on so you two can get married, and start making babies, right girls?"
"Babies," the girls said together.
"You only want me to hurry up and catch up to this one," I said patting her tummy.
"Shush, I only told you because I’m not drinking, no one knows yet."
I smiled, it would be nice to be pregnant together, but first I had to marry Ben and allow him to whisk me away on the honeymoon, where, I had no idea. Just me and him for a week. A whole week, it would be okay, Rihanna assured me. I knew she would take care of Amy; she loved her as much as we did. Maybe we would be one of the lucky ones to get pregnant first time, but I knew Ben would enjoy trying. I was yet to discover about it all and it scared and excited me all at the same time.