Just a Silly Little Girl

A young girl, who has recently run away from home with the "love of her life" writes a letter to her mother... consequently the last letter this young girl will ever write.

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1. The Letter

Dear Mother,

I’ve never been much good at English. But you knew that. Those crumpled spellings sheets I dutifully brought home each Monday; Five out of twenty, sometimes less. The second hand, charity shop editions of “Bobby Ball’s Day Out” that I stumbled through each bed-time always ended in hot tears and both my (and your) cheeks flushing into rather unbecoming shades of ruddy red. Did it hurt you, mummy? Did it? ...seeing your little girl transformed into a dumb blonde before your eyes.

But I’m not writing to discuss my lack of literary intelligence. What does it matter now? Did William Shakespeare stop me from falling in love? Will “I before e except after c” stop me from what I am going to do? No. What did they tell you, mum? Do you think you know everything about it? The police and the school each had their own tale to spin about me, I suppose. Now it’s time for you to hear mine. I’m not sure how long it had been going on. I don’t suppose anybody knows when they fall in love. Except I didn’t fall. I stumbled, at first, battling with my conscience and then I plummeted into an abyss of pure, irrevocable joy. True love, my dear mother, is not clichéd. The common person cannot experience it. They are blind to it. But for the certain elite few, it is every quavering breath, every snippet of a glimpse, every heartbeat. And the most deliciously, beautiful thing was that I had someone who returned these feelings. And his name, a name that would, in time, come to tear up my family, was Henry. New Boy. Cherub-like. Untainted by any slut in the school. He was rich; the father was a notorious banker, the mother was a “lady of leisure”. Henry was one of those who could easily fit in, wherever he went. And, indeed, he wormed his way in to the higher society of “St. Augustus Secondary” like a key through a lock. Now that I look back on it, I’m almost disgusted by the manner of how we first met. The commonness of having simply met through friends at the park is quite sickening, as our relationship was like nothing that has ever been or will be. But still, there it is. Golden evenings where we “goofed” around in the local park, vandalizing the swings and rolling about in the bushes and skate park. It was all relatively innocent… ha! I’d almost forgotten about that word. Innocent. It’s been such a long time since I’ve had any innocence.

Summer. Henry and I had been seeing each other for almost 6 weeks. We were notorious, unstoppable, not just at school but at home too. Of course you, mother, didn’t approve. In fact, I’m sure you would never be satisfied until I married a missionary or something dull like that. Do you remember the day that I came home, rambling on about how Henry had invited me to his family’s country house in Sardinia? I do, as clearly as I see the ink from my pen taint this plain white paper as I write to you. I’m not going to thank you for letting me go, mother. I’m sure you would never have let me go if you had known what was going to happen. But these things can’t be helped, can they mummy? Oh, if only mummy’s magic fingers could make it better.

So there we have it. The last day of school came and went and we hurried off to the airport. I said goodbye to you and that I would miss you, even though we both knew that I wouldn’t. I told you to give my love to Dad, even though I wasn’t being sincere. But there we have it. A short enough plane journey and then a summer of beauty, bliss and new experiences. The love we shared in those few weeks was more than so many people love in a lifetime. The family home was situated on the south coast, in a small town called Santa Elena. There was a massive Grand hall, with marble pillars and 36 rooms, not to mention a few servants. I’m not going to go into any details about what we did together. I’ll spare you that, as I’m sure you’d have fifty fits if you found out. I remember clinging onto him in the sea, afraid to let go of him in case he was swept away by a wave. It’s silly, I know... but there we have it; I’m just a silly little girl.

We’d planned to go out to the little market by the shore one day. Oh, how I remember that day! The humidity had risen abnormally and rain was expected in the afternoon. Henry’s parents had business further north-west in Iglesias and so we were to have the day to ourselves. However, Henry began to complain of a headache so I left him at home with a pot of coffee and toast that I myself had prepared. The market was a small 10 minute walk from the house and I set out at about half past 12. The market was submersed in a dust road next to an olive grove. It was quaint and refreshing to see the produce made by local farmers. I walked up to a stall run by a grotesque old woman with sagging wrinkles and teeth that were few and far between. She was selling antiques. A terracotta pot with black markings depicting a typical Roman feast interested me particularly and I bought it for 10 Euros. My wonder around the market came to an abrupt halt as the predicted rain came down upon us mercilessly. I ran home, suspecting that I had been out for about 45 minutes. 

With my newly purchased item in one hand, I mounted the steps of the front porch and turned the door knob as quietly as possible, so as not to disturb Henry. I slipped off my shoes and tip-toed up the marble stair case until I felt the familiarity of the first floor carpet. Across the hallway was Henry’s room. My hand met the door handle and I pressed down. And then I made the worst decision of my life. I stepped inside. Henry, my Henry was in bed, resting. He was in bed, resting without any clothes on, just like the servant girl next to him. My blood froze, I didn’t know where to look, where to run. “Oh God, not now, not now!” I thought, as I felt the contents of my stomach rise up and uncontrollably erupt out of my mouth. The vase I that was tucked under my arm dropped and shattered, as did my hope of ever forgiving Henry. Blood rushed to my head and constant ringing commenced in my ears. I vaguely remember the servant girl squealing and desperately attempting to get dressed and Henry leaping forward to clasp my hand. I didn’t, couldn’t, look into his eyes.  I stumbled towards the staircase, another level of sick worming its way up my gullet. Henry caught up with me and spun me around. I stared at his arms, the arms that I had once wrapped myself in. He was talking to me, or rather talking at me. At least I thought he was, I wasn’t listening. I kissed his cheek and pushed him. I pushed him down the stairs.

I am a murderer. I am a murderer. I am a murderer. I was God. I had the power, the almighty power to decide who lives and dies. No mother, please don’t stop reading. Please read my story. I don’t expect you to like it. I don’t expect you to understand. You can’t justify murder, I know, but please read it, for me.

I staggered to my knees, pulling out my hair. My eyes bulged and I felt that my brain might burst. I screamed a hoarse, guttural roar that left an unpleasant dryness in my throat. As wasps are attracted to melting ice-cream on a hot day, servants are attracted to a catastrophe. The butler and maids swarmed around the body as the consequences of what I had done began to dawn on me. I stumbled to my room and threw the belongings I had in immediate reach into my suitcase. I grabbed Henry’s wallet from a jacket that he had left in my room and ran down the back stair case and out of the back door. I sprinted around the house and out onto the street with my hair down and my sunglasses securely over my eyes. For about an hour I walked, trying to seem as calm as possible. You will never understand how desperately hard that was. The rain had matured into a storm and I began to drown in my thoughts. Eventually, as the storm began to withdraw, I checked into a relatively secluded hotel on the outskirts of Santa Elena. No questions were asked. The room was cramped and the bed might as well have been made of straw.

And here is where you will find me. But where you find the real me, you will not know. Because, while you are in bed or hanging up the washing or making the dinner, mummy, my lungs will be slowly filling up with the water of the Mediterranean Sea. Don’t mourn for me mother. I am not afraid. I have lived and loved and laughed during these 16 years. I will be happier dead, rather than having to face a world where I know that I have killed the love of my life. I am a lost soul in a big scary world. Goodbye. The biggest adventure is to die.  

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