Lie in a Look

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story based on an the memoirs of the fictional persona Meggie Sutherland as she writes about her primary school memories growing up in a dysfunctional family on a wolverhampton council estate where she was subject to the cold-hearted domestic abuse inflicted by her violent father.

Submitted: April 20, 2017

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Submitted: April 20, 2017



ON my bedroom windowsill, every night before I go to sleep and every morning when I wake up; I see her there. Encased in an old red picture frame,through the dusty glass she stares at me, her mouth fixed in a wide beaming smile, eyes radiating with childlike joy, innocence and energy. But this person is a liar- because this person is me.

I was ten years old when I got this particular primary school photo. It’s to me significant as it was the only one which managed to somehow be redeemed from an almost certain fate of either being lost in some dark corner of the house, or destroyed by my father in one of his many drug related violent outbursts.

I still remember the day that photo was taken. It was a mild spring day, and I and several of my friends were sitting on a wooden bench directly adjacent to where the photo booth had been set up. I remember some of my friends excitedly chattering eagerly at the prospect of sending copies of their photos to every single friend, relative and relation they could call to mind. It was clear they were all looking forward to having the photographs taken, as the more confident individual took their place in front of the lens; beaming in what they hoped was a photogenic pose like a world famous supermodel.

Not me though. Not me. As my turn came closer, I could just imagine once again as in times past, my father glaring at it as though beholding some grotesque monster from some low budget horror film, and with a few well chosen remarks about my personal appearance would hurl it at the nearest object at hand (whether it be animate or not). He always did that… and I knew he would never stop.

‘Meggie!’ The mention of my name seemed to blow my train of thought of the rails.

‘Meggie hurry up it’s your turn’, the teacher cried more impatiently this time. Hesitantly, I gingerly moved over to the table where the camera was set up and sat down. I waited quietly as the photographer adjusted her lens and lighting, and on the command of: ‘Smile for me bab’, I forced the most pleasant, sunny beam I’ve ever given a camera in my life!

That day was probably one of the most monumental in my life. It was the I realized who I was- a liar. Despite the fact the constant soundtrack of doors banging, shouting and screaming accompanied most of my memories during my primary school years; outwardly it never showed. Sometimes, when I can't sleep, I find myself staring into the eyes of my ten year old self portrayed in the picture. I often wonder what it could have been like if I could have had happy primary school memories, like other children who after school would walk hand in hand with their parents back to their respective homes. But then I remember her, the girl in the picture, who is a constant reminder to me: to amount to anything in life, or even to survive for that matter; I have to follow her example, and be who I am best- a liar.

© Copyright 2018 Jay Sudworth. All rights reserved.

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