Chrysanthemum George (otherwise known as Chrys) is drowning in a world of self-harm, suicide and dark thoughts. Recovery has never been her plan but when a new face arrives on the scene will Chrys have any choice in the matter? A story about the darkness eating at a generation and the difficult route out of it.


4. Chapter 2, Part 2

 I let Tomas and Eric struggle with the door as they pretend to be grown-up for about five minutes before heaving myself off my seat and pushing it open. Jen has already gone into the Home and so I wheedle Tomas and Eric off by throwing two lollies towards the front door so I can shut the door behind me. I catch sight of the childish logo on the door and grimace. It’s certainly not the sort of thing you want plastered over the vehicle that picks you up from school.

A garish yellow sun peeks out from behind a green house with a red roof. A stick girl in a blue skirt the same shade as the minivan jumps in front of the building. Or at least I assume she’s jumping, her feet don’t quite reach the ground. The only professional part of the logo is the stylised writing that reads ‘Joy Children’s Home’.

Joy. What idiot decided ‘Joy’ was a good idea to put into the name of a Children’s Home? Of course the older children here say ‘Joy’ sarcastically. For instance, only this very morning Marcus had wandered out of the front door towards the minivan waiting to take us to school and whispered to me as he passed, “Oh, what a joy it is to live in Joy Children’s Home'. The younger children didn’t know any better and so they didn’t say it sarcastically. You could say they were joyous to be here.

I lock up the minivan and head on through to the kitchen where I know Jen will be trying to keep Tomas and Eric out of the biscuit tin. I got to pick what biscuits we got this week so I know that right now they’ll both be clamouring to her for white chocolate chip cookies. It isn’t hard to see why, those cookies are Heaven. Speaking of which, I poke my head around the kitchen door and call out Jen’s name before throwing her the keys. I receive a cookie thrown in my direction directly afterwards and with two outraged cries of indignation Tomas and Eric turn on me. We lock eyes for just a second before I launch myself away from the doorway and out into the back garden.

The sounds of running footsteps chase me out of the house and I leap across the old sandpit to reach the tree house at the other end of the garden. I practically throw myself at the ladder and then quickly scurry up it in the blink of an eye. I stand at the top of the ladder for a second or two and watch the flashing of their shoes race across the garden. Their giggles reach me before they do and so I stand and wave the cookie tauntingly at them as they approach the foot of the ladder.

“Come on Chrys, that’s no fair!” Tomas calls up.

I can’t stop a smile spreading across my face as I notice Eric trying to sneak up the ladder without being noticed. A difficult feat when you remember that each step he takes causes another disco to erupt in his shoes.

“Life isn’t fair boys, but oh, doesn’t this cookie look delicious? I think I’ll just gobble it all up now!” I tease, holding the cookie near my open mouth.

Wails and playful screams reach my ears as they begin to speedily climb the ladder. I wait a second or so more before pushing my way past the stray hanging ropes and branches sticking out from the tree to dive into the tree house.  I wiggle past the cupboard in the corner and reach down into the bottom corner, feeling along the bottom of the planks of the wood. Finally I find the gap in between the planks and I pull them apart to form a space big enough for me to slip through. Tomas and Eric are young enough to not know about the secret escape entrance and so I put the planks back in place behind myself after I wiggle through, knowing full well my disappearance will mystify them long enough for me to make my escape. Oh, as well as eat my cookie.

Cries of disbelief sound from inside the tree house and I cover my mouth to stifle my laughter. I dangle my legs over the edge of the platform and reaching for one of the stray ropes I slide down it before running back for the Home. When I reach the door the boys still haven't figured out the secret behind my disapearing trick and so I take my time to eat the cookie, savouring the taste in each bite. I was right; these cookies do taste like Heaven.

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