Writing 101, Day Fifteen: Your Voice Will Find You

Today’s prompt: You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. Today’s twist: read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!

Well, here goes part 5! Yes, I’m keeping up my ‘serialised story’ and following the prompts and twists! In this case it’s a wedding anniversary, which looks as if it won’t be celebrated any more…

As all the other parts, this post/episode can be read on its own, but if you’d like to read the previous parts, 1-4, just scroll down after reading!


Last night I dreamt I returned to…. Part 5.

I can’t remember the first day I met Stella because I’ve known her as far back as my memories go. We were born in the same year, in the same hospital, and lived on the same street. We played together at nursery school, of course I don’t remember that, my mother used to tell me about it. Apparently I chased her around the playground, and wouldn’t play with any of the other toddlers.

Later on, we went to the same primary school. We’d walk there together with our mothers. Sometimes my mother would take us both, because her mother had to work shifts at Highwood Hospital.

We were in the same class, although not on the same table. I remember she was on the blue table where the brighter girls were, and I was on the yellow table with the slower learners. She taught me to read and helped me with my maths. She was always cleverer than me. I liked it. I admired her. I showed off because my girlfriend was the cleverest girl in the class, and the prettiest.

I always said she was my girlfriend, even when she wasn’t, even when we split up for a time because she went to a Convent School and I went to the local Comprehensive. Even when she went out with Chris O’ Keeffe, because her mother said he was a nice Catholic boy. Even when she moved away from our street and went to College in Cambridge, I still said she was my girlfriend.

She used to say, ‘Peter, stop saying that. I’m not your girlfriend. I’m just your friend. I’ll always be your friend, but never your girlfriend.’ And then she’d hug me, and hold my hand, and tell me about her ‘other’ life, the life she led when we were apart.

Today, 20th June, is our wedding anniversary. There’s no way I’m spending today without her. I have to find her. We’ve celebrated it together since we married, thirty-eight years ago. Before that we’d been living together for almost ten years, and before that, well, we were apart for a few years, while she finished College and travelled the world. She said she had to get it out of her system. I waited. I knew she’d come back.

Meanwhile, I was apprenticed with my father at the bakery. When she returned, I had saved up enough money to buy our first flat, but when her father died, and her mother went to a nursing home, she wanted to live in this house, the house she was brought up in, so we moved. It was a mistake.

The bedroom floor is covered with uneven bits of broken glass and blood, and she’s left a note:

I’m sorry, Chris, but I have to go. I know I told you I would wait, but I can’t stay here any longer. I’ve realized it’s not my house, or our house. It never was our house. The terrible things which happened here — we thought it didn’t matter, but it does. We thought we could start again, but we can’t. I understand why now. He is still here. She knows. You shouldn’t stay either.
I love you. S.N.

Why can’t she just forget about Chris?


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