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Chapter Seventeen

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Introducing Mabel to the wonders of the store, Lush, threw our day out by two hours. We browsed for a few minutes just after we arrived in York, going back twice before our afternoon tea to look at the bath bombs, promising Adam, the lovely assistant, that we would be back by the end of the day.

Which led us to now, as Mabel balanced her knees on the wooden stool to swish her hands around the sink in the shop's corner. Adam wanted to show us the latest Halloween collection, drawing us in with the sparkly pumpkins.

"Look," Mabel said, wiggling her feet up and down. "It's beautiful."

I bent over her shoulder to see her tiny fingers swirling around in the water, the pigtails in her hair close to getting drenched when she moved towards the basin to smell it.

I reached for the curly strands, pulling them behind her head so she could have more fun, not wanting her to get drenched. "It's like magic."

"What's your favourite colour?" Adam asked her, smiling when he added more water to the sink.

"Pink," she giggled.

Adam gasped, covering his mouth. "I must be a mind reader. I knew you were going to say pink."

Both Mabel and I watched as he shot off across the room, squeezing through the mountains of customers to reach the other side of the room before disappearing through a door.

Mabel rested her hands on the basin's edge so she could turn to me with her smiling eyes. I loved that she was having so much fun. "Adam knew I was going to say pink," she said on a giggle, the gap where a few missing teeth sat making her appear so innocent. "Can you believe it?"

I shook my head several times, causing more sweet giggles to escape. "I can't. I guess he is a mind reader."

Adam came back, holding a bright pink jelly mound that had glitter running all the way through the colour, which told me Mabel would jump all over it. "Look what I have here. It's jelly soap."

"Jelly soap? Like the stuff I have for breakfast with fruit?" she replied, her small eyebrows curving inwards.

Adam dipped the soap in the water, beginning to scrub it on his skin. "Similar. But, you can't eat this. Also, can you guess what we make the jelly out of?"

Mabel shook her head.

He replied, "It's seaweed."

She sat up, bringing her hands out of the water to hold them close to her heart. "Isn't that what fish live in?"

"Yes, but seaweed has a lot if uses. Did you know you can eat it?" he asked, trying his hardest to involve her more in this purchase.

"Yeah, my daddy has it on rice."

"Good, it's delicious. Do you want to try some of this jelly on your hands?" He asked.

Mabel nodded several times, shoving her hands into his with so much trust. "Yes, please."

Adam dipped both their hands in the water to create a mountain of suds, causing Mabel to wriggle her fingers in all directions. "Does your mum want to get in on the bubble action?"

It took a while for the reference he made to sink in before Mabel took control of the situation. "Miss Rose is my daddy's girlfriend."

"Oh, I'm sorry." Adam appeared flustered.

"It's fine," I smiled, not wanting to prolong the poor guy's embarrassment by standing behind Mabel to wet my hands too. "Do you want to buy some of this?"

Mabel leant back into my body and tilted her head. "Can we? Please?"

I laughed and kissed her forehead. "Of course, sweetheart. We'll get a mixture of things."

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