When teenage girl, Amanda, receives a new bookcase on her as a surprise present, she think it is perfect.
Until, that is, she finds someone's ashes hidden in a little box, complete with a leather-bound diary.
But written inside the diary, is a life of a girl which she will never forget...


1. The Ashes


My little brother, Robbie, scrambled to his feet and ran into the kitchen at the sound of Mum's voice. He had been ramming his motor cars into a cardboard box which contained my old barbies. I was finally going to throw them out this year. I had tried to, for the past three years, but I couldn't. They still seem real to me, even now, like actual people with personalities. But it was such an effort to hide them whenever one of my friends came over, and I had to beg Robbie to keep quiet about them. I usually had to put a chair against the door handle to keep him out of my bedroom. 

I followed Robbie as he went into our small kitchen, wondering what Mum wanted him for. If she called him by his real name, Robert, it usually meant that he was in some sort of trouble. He was, of course, as I could see Mum's face had turned a deep shade of scarlet. 

"Robert Presley Jones!" She exclaimed, putting he hands on her hips. "Although you are only ten, I trust you to do the shopping sensibly and buy proper food, not this junk!" She pointed to the shelves which were stuffed with crisps, chocolate and huge bargin bottles of Coke and Fanta. "Also," she added "you know its not pay-day until next week!" 

We aren't a rich family. In fact, we don't have much money at all. We only live in a small flat with tiny rooms. We lost all of our money when Dad went off with a girl half his age called Suzie. He was the money-maker in the family. He still has a fantastic job, which used to keep us in a lovely big home, with a huge garden. After he left with Suzie, Mum couldn't keep up with mortgage with her cleaning lady job, so we got moved out. The council placed us in this tiny flat. Robbie and I also had to leave all our friends behind, because Mum couldn't pay for the expensive school fees.  

Mum saw me peeping out from behind the door.

"There you are, Amanda" said Mum, giving me a wide smile. She beckoned me to come in. I walked up to her. "I have a present for you!" She announced, looking excited. Presents were rare in this flat. We usually didn't have any spare cash for present which weren't at Christmas or your birthday. I smiled at her and Robbie stamped his foot on the floor. 

"That's not fair!" He shouted, looking cross. "Where's my present?" Mum smiled at him calmly. 

"I don't think you would like what I'm giving Amanda" she replied. "Come on" she gestured at me to follow her. I did, and I was so excited!

Mum lead me into her bedroom, where I saw a large object covered in a dust cover. I opened my mouth, but no words came out. I wasn't imagining her present to be this big!

"Come on!" Mum said, "Have at look at what I got you!" I walked over to the huge object and tore of the dust cover. My mouth formed a perfect O. Mum had got me my very own bookcase! It was tall and a lovely deep oak colour, with big shelves with big glass windows so I could see all my books and two little drawers at the bottom. It was old, and gave of a musky smell. "Got it at a car-boot sale." Mum grinned. "Absolute bargin!" 

"Mum..." My voice trailed away. I was still in shock. 

"Come on!" Mum exclaimed. "Let's get it into your room!"



Later, once we had moved the bookcase into my room, I got the chance to examine it throughly. I opened the glass door and placed my books carefully inside. I opened one of the small drawers and put some of my favourite things inside. 

I then opened the other drawer, and got the shock of my life. I saw a small iron box, and a old leather bound diary. I opened the diary and started reading. It was a true account- of a victorian girl. I then noticed the box. I opened it and nearly shouted out in shock. I saw- somebody's ashes. 





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