It is the evening of the funeral of Tally’s mum. Dad has been into her room to say goodnight and give her a gift with a letter that Mum had left for Tally. He also talked to her about his future plans and Tally is feeling pretty wretched.
Tally couldn’t obey her mother. She couldn’t ‘not cry’. The tears burned down her cheeks and her throat did that horrible achy thing it does when you try to weep quietly. It had been such a wretched day. She wanted her mum to be here, to hold her and make everything all right.
She looked at the pendant. How come she’d never seen mum wearing it?
Probably because how was anyone able to wear such a chunky thing? It would stick in her chest and keep her awake all night, she thought crossly, and she shoved it onto the bedside table. A precious object it may be, but it wasn’t her mother. It wouldn't change anything. It might be priceless, but it could be worthless for all she cared at that moment. It wouldn't bring Mum back and that’s all she wanted. She would figure it out in the morning. Right now she wanted only to cry herself to sleep.
She’d better put the lid on over the angel first though, she thought, and she reached out. Then she snatched her hand back. How odd! Hadn’t his eyes been closed before? Now they looked very much open, like they were looking at her. Something compelled her to pick the pendant up.
Tally expected it to be cold, but it was warm, and although made of stone it didn’t feel scratchy or hard. She studied the chain. It wasn’t long enough to slip over her head, but there was a clasp, so tiny it was nearly invisible. She opened it easily though and put it round her neck.
There! She didn’t even have to fumble - she did it up with no help from anyone and let the heavy, yet strangely light angel pendant fall onto her chest, just below her collarbone. Then she lay down and pulled the duvet over her ears.
She had got cold sitting up. She carried on weeping but did it quietly into the pillow. She didn’t want Dad to hear her. He was probably dealing with his own sadness and wouldn’t want to cope with hers too.
Eventually she got drowsy. The pendant seemed to nestle against her chest like a miniature hot water bottle. Then she had the strangest sensation, as if she were shrinking; getting smaller and smaller until she was no bigger than the tiny angel and he could stretch his huge wings and fold them all around her to warm, comfort and protect her. They were so soft, like duck-down or a fleecy blanket, yet strong enough to hold her weight as if she herself had become a feather. Her deep sadness lifted, and she allowed herself to sink into the downy depths of the angel’s wings and drift gently off to sleep.