Writing 101. Day Two: A Room with a View
Today’s question is: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?
I’d travel through time and space and look for a shy little girl who’s having a hard time adapting to a broken family, a new country, and a new school. She’s six years old and it’s 1965. She leaves her house in the morning of Friday 4th of June with her mother, and her baby sister, who is in the pushchair. It’s a special day because it’s her birthday, but she has to go to school, the new school for ‘big girls’, which she hates. They walk along the long narrow cul-de-sac which leads to the school, towering at the end. There’s no way out and no way back. Forward it is. The little girl is crying, tears are running down her cheeks because she wants to stay with her mother and her sister, but there’s no turning around. Move on Lucy.
I take her hand at the school door, gently, and I speak to her, softly. As we walk into the overbearing building I tell her not to worry because ‘in the end’ everything will be all right. Her life won’t be a bed of roses, but she’ll be mostly happy, and mostly healthy, and she won’t have to struggle to make ends meet very often, but she’ll have to work very hard.
Once inside, I sit down with her in the long empty corridor (everyone else is in class), and warn her about the mistakes she might be making, and tell her about the wonderful things she’ll be doing in the following 49 years. I’ll show her a school map, and tell her about the countries she’ll visit. I’ll tell her about the people she’ll meet who will help her through her life. I’ll also tell her about those she’ll meet but will never know how sweet and pretty she was when she smiled. I’ll tell her to dream, because if she doesn’t abandon her dreams, she’ll accomplish them all.
I clearly remember that day, 49 years ago, when I looked at me with caring eyes, and tried to say so many things in twenty minutes, because I was just there.