It was her fault Alice died, so she left. She only took what she came with from the orphanage, her mother’s pink umbrella.
Walking down the lane, she greeted with relief the raindrops that would hide the tears streaming down her face.
She’d insisted on sitting in the front seat and the airbag saved her when the truck bashed into them, crushing her stepsister’s head instantly. He’d lost his real daughter and it was her fault.
A car slowed down and her stepdad rushed out.
“I-it was my f-fault!” she stammered turning away.
“No it wasn’t,” he held her gently by the shoulders.
“Your daughter’s dead because of me,” choked Lara.
“You’re my daughter, Lara,” he drew her close and she clung on for dear life, tears flowing faster than the rain.
“You still want to adopt me?” Lara asked softly.
“You were my daughter the minute I took you home.”
“Come on, let’s finish decorating the tree.”
She nodded, still holding on. It would be a merry Christmas after all.