It’s A Family Matter

With Ethan Studying Online, It’s Time To Bring In Outside Help!

Spring, Year 4
Daisy swallowed as she held her niece. “You want me to what?”
“Please, Daisy? I wouldn’t ask if I wasn’t desperate. You said you didn’t mind when I phoned you before Christmas,” Hollie said, sounding exhausted. “You said you’d be happy to baby sit Jenna while I’m at work and Ethan’s studying.”
“Well yeah, but I didn’t realise it could be for years!” Daisy’s eye widened.
“How long did you think a degree took? I said it could be until Ethan finishes his degree. He only started in the autumn.” Hollie sighed. “Come on Daisy, you’re my sister.”
“Fine.” Daisy rolled her eyes.

As a peace offering, Hollie volunteered to take her sister shopping to buy some things for her. Daisy was moving in with them to help look after Jenna while Ethan was studying and while her younger sister wasn’t too pleased, Hollie was determined to make things as easy and pleasant for Daisy as possible. And if that meant buying yoga equipment, then so be it.
Daisy wasn’t too pleased.

Feeling fed up, Daisy trudged out of the shop. Dedicating the next three years to helping her older sister out was not what she’d had in mind and she began to feel a little trapped. She had no plan in particular but if she did, this would definitely not be a part of it.

“You okay there?” A voice said behind Daisy. “Gosh, you look familiar. Hollie?”
Daisy turned around. “No, I’m Daisy, Hollie’s sister. And you are?”
Gerald Davies. I was at University with your sister.” He smiled. “You look tense.”
Hollie rounded the corner in time to see Gerald giving her sister a massage. She gave him a filthy look and he murmured something in Daisy’s ear before slinking off down the road.
Daisy scowled. “What’s your problem?”
“That’s Gerald. He’s bad news, Daisy, don’t even think about it. He messed my friend Ellie around for a year before she broke up with him. Just don’t go there, okay?”

Hollie took Daisy over to the flea market in the city before heading back home. She began to wonder if inviting Daisy to live with them was such a good idea after all. Daisy was a little wayward and could be easily duped by somebody like Gerald and Hollie really didn’t want to see her sister hurt. Unfortunately, her timely intervention had made Daisy angry with her and Hollie wondered if she was being over protective.

“And then I come round the corner and there he was, massaging her shoulders!” Hollie took a gulp of coffee. She’d invited Andrea over for a drink and to discuss the situation. “Am I being silly over this?”
“I don’t think so.” Andrea said thoughtfully. “Gerald is a bit of a case and with the way he’s been messing the Livingston sisters around, I don’t blame you being cautious. I would be too.”
“It’s just that Daisy’s so impressionable. Gerald’s exactly the sort that would take her in and that’s why I’m worried.” Hollie sighed unhappily. “Maybe I should just mind my own business.”
“We’ve all got the right to make our own mistakes,” Andrea said, shrugging. “It’s tough but as long as you’re there for her if things do go wrong, there’s not a lot you can do, Hollie.”

“Look, Daisy I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be over protective with you. I just worry about you, and I know Gerald.” Hollie bit her lip.
Daisy sighed but didn’t answer. She was fed up with Hollie’s opinions.

After that, the sisters started getting along better. Hollie relaxed more and Daisy took up her old hobby of knitting. She was keen to start a new online shop on Plopsy to sell her creations and make some money and Hollie was happy to support her.

“Oh Jenna, what am I going to do?” Hollie mused. A week had passed and everything had been going very nicely. Daisy and Hollie had agreed not to discuss Daisy’s love life and since then, everything had been harmonious. “This is really bad timing.”
Jenna stared thoughtfully at her mother. Hollie was visibly upset but Jenna just blinked.
Scooping her daughter up, Hollie cuddled her close. “I suppose things are going to change again, poppet.”

While the sisters fought and made up, Ethan buried his head in his studies. He was determined to make this work this time and really knuckle down and pass the degree. He couldn’t provide properly for his wife and daughter on the money he was making – it wasn’t working. But working with Alexander on a programming project would be a lot more lucrative and that was his goal. Whatever it took, he wasn’t going to sabotage this, no matter how many distractions there were in the house.

“Say that again?” Andrea said disbelievingly. Hollie had invited Andrea and Cristina to the cinema for a quiet afternoon and to deliver some shocking news.
“I’m pregnant.” Hollie shook her head. “Ethan will go mad. We’re barely making enough money as it is and we don’t have the space for another baby! Daisy’s sleeping on a sofa bed in the lounge and Jenna’s room is too small.”
“Calm down! Look, I’m sure it’ll work out, Hollie. But you have to tell him! He’s got a right to know!” Andrea said, soothingly and Hollie was forced to admit she was right.
This year really wasn’t going according to plan.

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