Written for ysabetwordsmith's prompt: How does Anna spend Yule?
Anna looked at the Christmas tree. The room was filled with the scent of pine and there seemed to be tinsel everywhere, but it didn't make her feel any more comfortable with the thought of celebrating Christmas. She knew it was what the family did, even though they weren't religious, and she felt as though she should do it for them, because they missed Charlotte. Sighing, Anna turned to leave the lounge, thinking about what was going to be best for her. Everything she had done in the last few months had been for Charlotte's parents, who still didn't feel like they were Anna's parents, and it was getting too much.
“Anna,” a voice asked from the kitchen, making her jump, “are you okay?”
From somewhere Anna summoned a smile and then she looked at Lloyd. “I'm fine,” she replied.
Lloyd gave Anna that look that told her that he knew she wasn't being entirely truthful. That did make her smile, because he had become her brother, rather than being Charlotte's brother. Anna was grateful that she had someone who didn't look at her like she was a failure, as none of her memories had returned and both Charlotte's parents had believed that they would have their daughter back by Christmas.
“You don't have to pretend,” Lloyd said. “I do know what's happening.”
Shrugging, Anna shook her head. “Some days it's easier to pretend.”
“It's not your fault.”
“I feel like it is, when they look at me. It's understandable, really, because they want their daughter back and I can't be that person because I don't remember who Charlotte is.”
“You are their daughter.”
“Genetically, maybe, but mentally? I don't feel like they're my parents any more than they feel like I'm their daughter.” Anna bit her lip. “I'm not even sure I want them to be.”
Lloyd nodded. “It has been...” He trailed off, shrugging. “Part of me is glad that you haven't got your memory back. It's selfish, but I'm closer to you than I ever was to Charlotte, and I don't want to lose that. If your memories return things will change between us.”
“I don't know if I ever could be Charlotte again. If my memory returns then I think that I'll see things from a different point of view, my point of view rather than Charlotte's, and that will change me into someone else.” She shook her head. “I'm not sure that they ever will return, if I'm totally honest, but if they do I won't be the girl I was before the accident, and I feel like I'll always be letting down the parents.”
“They didn't really know Charlotte,” Lloyd said, sounding thoughtful. “It's something I've noticed about parents. Mum and Dad think they knew their daughter, but really they knew the mask she put on when she was around them.” He smiled at Anna. “Try not to let their point of view influence you too much.”
“What do I do about Christmas, Lloyd?”
© K A Jones 2011
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