The International Writers Magazine: Lifestyles: Growing Up:
heavy oak gate swung open.; I noticed dreamily that is was at
least three times my height. My tiny index finger traced the grain
of the rough wood, sodden due to the previous night of unforgiving
Fresh, crisp, autumn
wind stung my face. The dew on the shining blades of grass beneath my
feet was trickling over my shiny red wellies; forming patterns that
resembled icicles at Christmas time, on the stone path that ran the
whole distance of my freshly mowed lawn back to my house.
Glancing absentmindedly along the uneven path, I noticed tiny ants scuttling
along like miniature people in a mad rush to get somewhere. Maybe
their home is flooded and they have nowhere to live, I remember
thinking sadly. Looking along my garden and up at my house I felt guilt
swell up inside my chest. With a glance at the swingset and brightly
colored plastic toy house on the left side of the path I smiled. Guilt
within me subsided and was replaced with happiness. The ants could
live in my toy house! My world was good again.
A girls fresh warm voice called to me, disturbing my thoughts,
"come on: Ill race you to the park!" My face, flushed
pink with the cold looked up and through the open gate. A blurred vision
of woolly pink and purple with a glossy mane of black flying behind
dashed towards the now damp playing field upon a hill.
Bright red on the posts of the swings was peeling, fading; the yellow
and blue of the slide posts had seen better days. The day was hung with
miserable clouds but the posts gleamed in the drops of rain that remained
The chill from the wind as I ran freely, and looking down the grassy
hill -alive with drops of rain shimmering every color of the rainbow
like a handful of beautiful crystals in the sunlight made me smile,
Absolutely uninhibitedly, in the way only someone who doesnt know
real hurt and pain, someone whos never had to worry, in the way
only a child can: I laughed.
I stood in the solid doorway-the white
paint peeling in places to reveal bright blue beneath it-picture
perfect image; gleaming, black shiny lace up shoes, vivid white
knee high cotton socks with snowflake patterns cut in; fresh, crisp
blue and white checkered dress hung loosely around a childs
frail frame, waist length hair pulled into a neat plait, and a nervous
smile playing on my lips.
Behind me a man
larger then any other human I had seen before, a person whose eyes were
always full of life, intrigue and enthusiasm, whose smile resembled
the moment the sun breaks out from behind a miserable cloud- my new
headmaster who I would soon grow to love as you would a father and who
would respect and care for me beyond the boundaries of the standard
teacher-pupil relationship, stood with his monster size hand resting
gently on my tiny and fragile shoulder.
"Ok class, this is the new girl, I want you to make sure she feels
These words spoken softly, so softly in fact that the noisy rabble of
the class hushed in order to hear what was being said, floated over
to me from across the sun filled classroom.
Dead straight, honey blond hair cascaded over shoulders covered in a
baby blue flower print. The floral dress flowed around a slim figure
revealing only golden ankles, adorned with heavy silver jewellery. I
noted also that the toes peaking our beneath worn roman style sandals
were painted a steely silver to match.
Blue twinkling eyes radiating warmth met mine; a smile beamed from my
new teachers lips. A face glowing like the sun on a brilliant day continued
to shine upon me.
"The new girl", how many times had I heard that phrase?
I had acted out this moment many different times, always with the same
feelings of nervousness, regret and worry rising in my throat, threatening
to burst out as streaming tears; but always that glimmer of hope, the
possibilities of the future keeping it at bay, leaving it echoing threateningly
Every time I had left a home, but every time I made a new one. Each
group of friends I believed to be the best in the world were soon replaced
by even better ones. Every time I panicked I wouldnt fit in, Id
never feel at home, these people would never accept me-but as I continue
trudging along the road that is life, I always manage to make a new
home, theres always someone who was just desperate for a friend
like you, it never is the end of the world.
Of course that doesnt help in the least when you are standing
there, the odd one out while they are all in groups, you prey this will
all work out while they simply wonder who the latest edition is.
Once again I was the new girl.
A sea of faces gazed intently upon me. Each face holding the promise
of a different story to tell, behind every pair of staring eyes was
a unique world, soon I would be a tiny village in each world I saw within
the eyes of my future friends that sunny, fresh spring day.
© Gemma Williams December 2004
Gemma is a creative writing student at Portsmouth University
all rights reserved