It was half past seven when she finally drove in the parking lot of her apartment building. It was already dark and the security guard was doing his rounds. His shimmering smile was visible in the evening glow. She switched off the engine and sat for a while waiting for him to pass. She smiled back and nodded, not in the mood for small talk. She had a lot on her mind – it was a hectic week and next week will be even more demanding. Who knew things would be so hard when they were this good. How was one expected to do all these on her own? How can one run a household, be a mother, a friend and run a business too, and people still expect you to have time for dating. Who needs a social life? She shook her head at the thought and fished out the keys of her flat from her purse. She stood, took a deep breath and got ready for yet another role she had to play. God knows this one needed the most of her energy.

“Mummy! Mummy is home!” The little girl launched herself at Lindy’s feet, grabbing her legs and hugging them tight as if life depended on them. Lindy fell back, dropping her purse and trying not to drop her laptop bag, as she hit the door hard on her back. Suddenly the day wasn’t so long anymore.

“Hello beautiful. Pony tails look great on you, little missy. Why are you naked?” she wrapped her arms around the little girl and held on for dear life. You complete me, my angel.

“Lindy, have you seen Grace? I’ve looked everywhere and I can’t find her.” Lu gave Lindy a wink and Lindy played along. This game never got old.

“Uh, I don’t know. When last did you see her? Did you check behind the couch?” Lindy waved Lu off with one hand while the other was hiding Grace. Lu played along; she went to look behind the couch as advised. Grace was giggling hard at this point; being invisible was so much fun. Lindy scooped her up and made her way to the bedroom, tiptoeing as she went, still hiding Grace. When they got to the room she bounced her on the bed and Grace’s laughter broke out. Lu came running and jumped on the bed and together they tickled her till she was breathless.

“All right, young lady, time to get dressed before you catch a nasty cold.” Lindy made her way to the dresser and got out Grace’s pyjamas and quickly dressed her. She was also breathing heavily from hysterical laughter. A beautiful girl with a beautiful, infectious laugh. MY beautiful girl. She was growing up fast, it seemed like only yesterday when she first held her in her arms and kissed that forehead and vowed to always love and protect her. She promised her she would provide for her and she would never lack for a thing. Five years later she had kept every single promise and planned to do more for her. Grace was everything to Lindy, her whole world was Grace. That was one choice she never regretted. She chose to keep the baby, even though the father was… well, who knows what the father was. She had built a life for herself and her daughter and seeing her smile and hearing her laugh was like sitting on a mountain and watching the world’s beauty from above. Perfection.

“Long day, how did it go with the advertisers?” Lu broke her chain of thought and handed her a glass of red wine.

“Those people will be the end of me. I swear they just want things for free! I spent the whole day renegotiating a simple, affordable price. I’m sure they think I’m Mother Teresa.” She sighed and took a sip, mmhhh chilled, just what the doctor ordered.

“Have you seen the viewership on the site? It’s tripled since this morning! Mark my words dudette, you will be one rich ass lady.” Lu was ranting again. About the website that went up three weeks ago, how it was such a hit and advertisers were lining up to get a piece of the pie. Pity I have to deal with them. But the online magazine was a great idea, it was long overdue. She now had a team of five working on it and it was a growing success. Lu was running DELIGHT, a small coffee shop they set up together three years ago and it too was a growing success. Lindy really was a rich ass lady, but none of that mattered. She did it all for Grace and having Lu by her side was just another blessing. They had come a long way since then, since Lindy sat on Lu’s lap crying her heart out. Worrying about the man she walked out on, the love of her life, the secret she carried for six weeks, the pain and heartache. They had sat like this, in Lindy’s shack back then, not the stylish upmarket apartment they now owned in Killarney. They got up and made their way to bed, tomorrow was yet another day and they needed their beauty rest.