They’d built the perfect life. Childhood best friends, inseparable at school, married by twenty-one. Their first house was barely a room and a half, but soon enough they were both making good money, and their first house turned into their second house, with a whole two extra bedrooms. Soon enough, one of those bedrooms became occupied, by a perfect little miracle. They called her Hope. She was well behaved, she did well at school, and on the weekends they would walk into town and play in the park. They worked 9-5 five days a week, paid the bills and had money to spare. The in-laws lived nearby, and if they weren’t available they had a whole town full of friends to step in with babysitting duties for their weekly date night. They took holidays to the beach, built sand-castles and ate ice-cream. They’d built the perfect life.
But cancer doesn’t care much about perfection, nor did it care about the close knit little family living in their second house in the town where everyone knew their name. It didn’t care about the little girl when it took her mother away, and it didn’t care about the husband who lost his wife. It didn’t care when the bills started to pile up, when food money got spent on a casket, and it didn’t care when a “For Sale” sign appeared in the front garden of the house. The perfect family, now just an over-worked father and a sad fourteen-year-old girl, upped and left the town where everyone knew them, and put down a rent deposit on a much smaller house in a much smaller town. And as a bitter summer burned into autumn, they wondered whether life could ever be perfect again.