From the second she saw his casket crawl into the furnace, all Madelina could dream and think about was having the chance to pour his ashes down a toilet and slam the flusher. But, when faced with the watery abyss, she realised that she could not do it. Despite hating him for as long as she could remember, Madelina was not willing to break her daughter’s heart – even though he had broken hers a long time ago.
As Madelina emerged from the kitchen into the garden, she took a second to drink in the summer sun from the veranda, before turning to Daisy in awe and pride as she busied herself in the school bus that once stood between them and homelessness. Originally bought on a whim before the financial crisis, the bus soon became a lifeline when everything in Madelina’s world collapsed. Fast forward a few years, and it now stood as a converted playhouse in the shadow of a million-dollar house.
Sensing that the time was right, Madelina called out to Daisy and the two of them headed down to the foot of the garden, where a final resting place had been dug out. As planned, Daisy dropped her little sunflower into the hole and said a few words. However, when it came to Madelina pouring the ashes in after it, Daisy became adamant that she would do that part, too. With each grain that fell into the hole, Madelina watched in growing resentment as her daughter whimpered aloud.
With everything that she had, Madelina fought hard against the temptation to grab Daisy’s quivering shoulders and scream the truth in her face: her grandfather was not the man she thought he was. While Daisy knew him as the white knight who rescued them from a lifetime of struggle with the fortune he earned from growing and canning pineapples, Madelina knew him for the abusive, low-life drunk that he was, and would have continued being if it was not for his liver packing it in.
But, after the last ash fell and Daisy turned to her mother with tears still streaming down her face, Madelina could not bear to utter such words. Instead, she knelt down beside her daughter and told her what she needed to hear, before hugging Daisy with the all the love in the world and leading her back to the house.