I stare at myself in the mirror.
I'm honestly not much to look at. People say I'm as pretty as my name, but I don't believe them. Rose. I could never live up to that name. My thin, lanky red hair falls all over my face, my freckles pretty much dominate my skin and I have skin the colour of curdled milk. Blecchh. I use my hair brush to try and tame the flyaway hair, but the thin bristles seems to make it rebellious. It just makes it worse. I sigh, and throw the hairbrush at the mirror.
A long thick crack appears on the mirror, reaching out to the corners, like water against a window.
I wince and do my hair in the traditional Pompadour style and tie up my corset, and get dressed.
I go downstairs, where I find cold porridge and fresh milk from the cow, with skin on top. Mother is sitting by the table, with the newspaper from the morning. She sees me, and raises a single drawn eyebrow. She says nothing.
I sit down and choke down the freezing porridge and gulp down the milk. The silence is awkward. 10 minutes pass.
"We need some more bread and eggs" The voice startles me. I stare at Mother, confused.
"I'll say it again, as you were obviously not listening. We need more bread. And eggs. You are going to go to the stores and buy some, alright?" Mother snaps at me. I nod my head quickly. She points at the 1 shilling and 2 1/2 pennies on the table. I pick them up and put on my worn, second-hand Middy Blouse and open the door. A fresh gust of wind blows into my face, and I see strands of my hair escape my tightly done hairstyle. I sigh. It took me ages to tame the hair. I begin walking and started to head towards the store.
The pavement is rocky and winding. I walk for 5 minutes silently. Then I start to hum a small song that I remembered my father used to sing to me when I was 6 years old, and before he had died from Typhoid fever 10 years ago. I still remember Mother never getting over his death. I am now 16. She turned cold and distant and it almost felt as if I wasn't her daughter any more... Just a stranger.
I remember the words as if he sang them to me yesterday:
"Stand side by side,
hand in hand.
Let the troubles slide off you,
let the sun glow on your face.
Time slips away,
From upon the Poppy Field."
I smile as I think about the song. Father used to say everybody had their Poppy Field. I just had to discover mine.