If Only You Will Listen

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is another Story Opening i wrote in year 9 in preparation for GCSE (so thats why, in my opinion, its not as good as my other story opening 'The Butterfly Hunt'). I havent continued with this story and i dont think i intend to either. This is FICTION and not about me.

Submitted: July 18, 2009

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Submitted: July 18, 2009

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Here in no.13 Elmbridge Avenue there is certain eeriness, a shadow, cast upon each room. No. 13 unlucky for some, especially me and everyday I stay in this house I am reminded again of the torture and torment I endured here as a child. This house, left to me in a will, is the only thing my mum ever gave me and all that’s left of my past.
 
I always lived with my drunk of a mother. I knew she was different from the start but it wasn’t till I grew older that I realised how different. And our street was a long way away from the luxury terraces my friends lived in. But I grew to be strong of mind and I knew how to cope for myself. A characteristic I must have inherited from my father (whoever he was) as my mother just couldn’t cope.
 
I sit in the front room now; a dull evening light guides my eyes. I am sitting on an old tatty sofa, dusty and moth eaten. In one corner there’s a shelf with a solitary book upon it and on the floor beneath the shelf, a cardboard box, its contents a mystery to me. In the other corner a small cupboard in which, as a child, I was imprisoned quite frequently. It was always the same, grey and damp with little furniture. The floor is cold beneath my feet and despite wearing shoes I can feel the icy stone as if it were bare against my toes. It’s not just the floor that’s, cold the whole house is freezing and I shiver even in my thick fleece. I yawn loudly and hear it echo through the walls, just being here tires me, and I long to go home and sleep in my bed.
 
I did well for myself after leaving here, I was chucked out at sixteen because I was too big to share a house with her; a house with three bedrooms none of which I had been in. So I got a small job at a local newspaper and eventually they let me write some articles and realised I had talent. Now I have a well paid job doing problem pages in a teenage magazine. I get so many kids having troubles at home, and I had lots of experience in that department. I have a house of my own and a fiancé that cares about me and knows not to ask about my childhood.
 
I step out into the hall, to me, just walls of cold hard concrete to be thrown against, a passage between the outside world and reality. It has only one window which is boarded up with stained cardboard. There is a pile of post below the letter box, no doubt mainly bills, another present my mother has left me. The front door, a mask covering the face of our life, bright blue and cheerful on the outside but the inside, the side I saw most, was black, a colour that best described what happened when the door was closed.
 
Leading through another door off the hall was the kitchen, not a cupboard containing anything edible and not a window without a broken pane. On the sideboard, covered with a thick blanket of dust there is a half drunken bottle of Vodka and a glass in readiness for ‘that time’. Around the bottle and glass the dust shows finger prints, I bet my mother had time for one last glass before she died. I had moved nothing, every thing of my mothers was here, a bottle of Vodka and one book that I had never seen touched. I didn’t venture up stairs to see my bedroom, there was no point, I didn’t have one.
 
About two months ago I was walking through my local supermarket and I saw my mother at the till. I stood still, it seemed I had lived the last few years like she was already dead, but here she was in front of me. She had two bottles and some fags in her hands. She looked old for fifty two, wrinkled, drained and very pale. Only to be expected from years of smoking and drinking. She looked at me for a moment and it seemed she didn’t recognise me. But if she did then at least she could see how I had managed without her. A month later I get a letter informing me my mother had died and in her will she had left me the house. So, she remembered she had a daughter after all; maybe our meeting in the supermarket had jogged her memory.
 
And now I am here in this dreadful house. It surprises me to think that she thought I would ever want to come back here. Though finally with my mother’s death, I am free to come here alone, without insult, without injury.
 
I hope that by telling my story to you, in the cold walls of my childhood home, it will finally release me from its clutches into the real world where I can start again. I will become young once more and dismiss the horrors of a painful and brief childhood for a lengthy and joyous one.
 
So I will start this story here in this place, where better to write down my memories and maybe I will remember some new ones to tell to you. You might not be interested in my story, but then it doesn’t seem like my story any more, more like the story of a girl I once knew. I‘ve changed since my days here, a change hopefully for the better, and I’m not saying all of this was my mothers fault, I was a troubled, disruptive child who was always in trouble at school and I didn’t have many friends and I will tell this in my story too. If only you will listen.


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