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This post was written for the Trifecta Writing Challenge, which was to write between 33 and 333 words including the word “grasp”, using the definition ‘to lay hold of with the mind – comprehend’ …

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She was beginning to grasp the idea. That didn’t mean she was taking it well.

She loved him. She had loved him for years and years. He had always been there for her, fulfilling her every need, and now he was gone. With just four words he was out of her life forever.

“You must have suspected,” said her Mum, who was holding her close and trying to ignore the burble of snot that peeped from her nostril with each sob.

Of course she had suspected. The stories of what he did and where his job took him had seemed more unlikely each time she had thought about them. She had countered this by not thinking about them.

“You knew,” she suddenly said accusingly. “You and Dad both knew. You lied to me.”

“We wanted you to be happy,” her Mum said defensively. “We did what parents do.”

“All parents lie?” she said. “Is that what you’re saying?” Her Mum had no answer to this.

“I just can’t believe I’ll never see him again,” she wailed, tearing herself from her mother’s embrace, running into her room and slamming the door.

“You’ve never seen him anyway,” said her Mum softly. It had been she who had uttered the fateful four words – “there is no Santa” – and she felt as if she had just killed a childhood.

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