A Visitor

A strange visitor helps a girl in crisis.

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1. A Visitor

The beach was empty and freezing. There was no breeze, you could almost see the icicles hanging in the air like tiny, invisible snow queens, each one wanting to bite the nose off you. 

Amy was supposed to be in school but she couldn’t bear another day of mindless girls, who were supposed to be her friends, talking about the school play and how amazing it would be. It was only Scrooge. How original, to have kids acting out Scrooge like almost every other school across the country this Christmas.

    

Her big black puffer coat hid her school uniform. She hated the uniform, she hated conforming. She especially hated how girly it was. She had black patent leather shoes, white knee high socks, a red tartan skirt, white shirt and green cardigan. It was awful. The boys in her school got to wear grey trousers and a green jumper with the school badge on. It was much simpler and warmer. It was blatant sexism. What happened to women’s rights? She pulled the bobble from her black hair and let it fall about her face and shoulders. She hated ponytails too, but was forced to wear her hair like that for school.

 

Carefully reaching into her pocket Amy took out a small razor blade that she’d stolen from a sharpener, she rubbed it between her fingers and it comforted her. Pulling up the left arm of her coat the elastic cuff clung snugly around her elbow. The small white scars lined up on her arm like tiny little scar soldiers and she felt satisfied. No one could take this private ritual away from her. She ran the blade softly over her scars until she reached the next vacancy of flesh. Amy dug the blade into her skin until she saw the red dot appear. The pain was like a pinprick that travelled through her body to all her nerve endings. Swiping the blade across her arm she made a shallow cut and watched the drop of blood run down her arm and drip to the sand. The blood soaked into the grains. I’m part of this beach now, she thought. I’ve bonded with it. She took a deep breath and held it, closing her eyes.   

 

When she opened them again she was looking straight out to sea. The sea was a flat expanse, calm like a millpond. Something caught her eye. There was something in the water. It didn’t look like a rock but it was stock still. Amy stood up and began walking to the edge of the sea. 

 

The image was becoming clearer now but she was finding it difficult to believe. She could see it was a man, just standing in the sea, the water above his waist. He was looking out at the ocean and Amy could now make out what he was wearing; a cream shirt, a navy waistcoat and a trilby hat. He looked like he had just stepped out of the past, she remembered seeing a picture of people dressed like this in History once.

 

‘Hey’ Amy called but there was no response.

‘Hey, weirdo! You’re gonna freeze out there.’ 

The man began to turn slowly and Amy felt uneasy. She had seen enough zombie movies to be on her guard. There was no one else here, what would she do if he was a mad man who tried to kill her? He started moving towards her and Amy found that she couldn’t move, she knew she should be running but she was gripped to the spot. As he got closer her fears began to subside a little as she could see his face. He had a kind face. His cheeks had dimples in them, right in the centre, and he was smiling at her. The smile spread to his bright blue eyes. They were overly bright, there was something piercing and magical about them. She realised that he was standing right in front of her. 

 

‘Are.. Are you ok?’ She managed to shake the words out. 

‘I’m fine Amy. It’s you I’m worried about.’ He took her by the hand and she felt a warmth radiate up her arm and then flow through her body. She couldn’t feel the ice in the air any more. They walked away from the sea edge to where the sand was dry and he sat her down next to him. He still had hold of her left hand and looked down at her arm. Amy realised that she hadn’t pulled her sleeve down and he could see the blood and the scars.

 

‘You’ve been cutting yourself again. You can stop doing that now.’

‘Do you know me? How do you know me?’ But her words lost meaning and her thoughts floated away from her as she became locked in his gaze.

 

‘I’ve always known you. I watched you crying when you were a child, I watched your father break your arm, I watched your mother leave you behind and I felt the pain they caused you. I watched your first day of school, I watched you become someone else when you sang and I felt your passion. Don’t let the bad take over the good Amy. There is so much good. And you will be needed and loved.’ He didn’t break his gaze for a second. Amy was powerless. She couldn’t move or speak but the whole time she could feel the warmth pulsing through her body. It was love, true love. She had never experienced how it felt to be loved and know she knew.

 

She looked out to sea and the spell was broken. The ice in the air was biting her nose again and she knew he was gone. A breeze came from nowhere and flicked her hair from her face.

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