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Somewhere in the depths of a grim North London Estate a seventeen year old girl sat on a wall staring at the sky. In her hand she held a looking glass with a silver gilt pattern on the handle, together with a small book tied together by a purple ribbon. The girl was tall for her age, with a medium build and long brunette hair. She wore the most unusual clothing - a long black skirt with purple blouse, and a ribbon to secure her plait. As she sat on the wall, tapping her feet to a familiar rhythm, she hummed a tune - staring at the icy moon as her eyes filled with incipient tears.
Below her feet, a previously grey puddle was beginning to crystallise with ice, the cold January evening only serving to amplify the girl’s bitterness. A gang of youths walked past her, their littered lager bottle breaking the delicately frozen puddle. They stared at the girl, laughing and gesturing as they made their way towards the nearest tower block. The dark haired teenager hummed the tune she knew so well and began to silently cry, her tears now running down an already reddened complexion. She held the diary tightly under her arm as though warning any onlookers it was for her eyes only.
Stephanie stared at the milky white moon and touched the purple velvet ribbon tied around her wrist. Above her the stars shone through the ominous density of rainclouds creating pinpricks of subtle light. She shed a tear which rolled down her saddened face to fall onto the looking glass she held in her hand. Staring at her reflection she shed another tear; the deep gash on her nose only illuminated further by the winter moonlight.
Stephanie took the diary from under her arm and laid it on her lap, the photos on the cover less clear under the watery moon. She opened it and traced the writing with her finger as though to remember every word. Held in a sewn pocket in the cover were a number of further faded photographs; one in particular she took out and held closely to her chest.
She sat and cried as she remembered her parents, finally a smile appeared as she recalled happy memories of days spent with her family - occasions now only dim recollections of a past life. She remembered what she had been told at the children’s home, when she had asked about her Mummy and Daddy. She remembered how Matron once took her into a tiny room and told her every intricate detail, her stern manner only serving to intensify the child’s loss. She tried to remember spending time with her parents, but never could, these photos her only companion and only reminder of her family.
Stephanie peered down at the looking glass and saw a dark cloud moving across the moon, obliterating its milky hue. A shiver ran down her immature spine and she softly whispered ‘Storm’ under her breath. Staring at the clouds, she repeated the word over and over, becoming aware of its every intricacy. Her mind started to race as she joined the word with her surname, repeating it over and over as though she was attempting to carve a memory.
Her scrapbook was almost full, but she knew the last page needed to be written. Stephanie took out a pen and wrote ‘January 31st 2013’ in the same curly handwriting, taking care to draw her trademark heart at the end.
I am now eighteen and it has been six years since I last wrote in this scrapbook. I am still living with the same people – Ella now has a boyfriend and she has calmed down quite considerably. I am starting university in seven months time and hopefully will be going to Brighton. I’m not too bothered about leaving school as I don’t really have any good friends and Ellesmead has never been a place where I have felt at home. Last year I decided that I wanted to become a historian and I am determined to achieve my dream. I have also written many short stories and poems, although I know I would definitely like to work in history. My life has changed recently and I am happy to have left my childhood behind. One day I hope I will meet someone who will become a lifelong friend, somebody with whom I will share my greatest secrets. For now I just have to look to the future and achieve high marks in my A-Levels. One day I will write a scrapbook just like this one, but it will be a wonderful, happy storybook. I would like to end it ‘happily ever after’ and share it with my best friend. One day I will do just that...........one day.