Mists of Time

As the mists swirled around them they joined hands and staggered forwards....or was it backwards?


1. In The Beginning

"Wait Mai"  


Headphones firmly in, Mai carried on walking down the street, oblivious to the call.  


"Mai, wait" 


Mai was absorbed in the music, a new rock band recommended to her by her friend, Sarah.  As she turned the corner to head down the hill, she turned back and noticed Sarah running towards her, waving her arms. Mai smiled and turned off her phone's music. 


"Mai, will you wait for me", Mai now heard as Jen closed the last few steps and stood beside her. Despite having sprinted the entire length of the road, Sarah wasn't out of breath.  


Sarah threw her arms around Mai and hugged her. Mai still couldn't get used to this ritual, being quite a reserved person. Mai was in England with her family, whilst her father studied for his Phd. 


Mai looked down at Sarah, smiling. Sarah was smallish, had thick curly brown hair that dropped below her shoulders. You could tell that she did loads of sports, her body was thin and toned. Sarah always had this amazing smile on her face, like she was constantly happy. She was the first person in Stockby who had befriended Mai and throughout the last year they'd become great friends. 


"So you're going to give scouts a try tonight ?" Sarah asked as she linked her arms with Mai and they walked towards the centre of Stockby. 


"I don't know...." Mai answered quietly, "Not sure that my mum will let me, you know how she can be at times" 


"Ah, you'll be OK, tell her I'll look after you. Tonight should be good, we're going to light some fires. Sam will be there", Sarah said, digging Mai in the ribs playfully. Sarah knew Mai's mother liked her, she was always treat really well when she visited their house. 


"I'll ask" Mai said smiling. 


"I'll pick you up at half six then, got to go home now" Sarah said as she hugged Mai once again before heading back up to the hill towards her home. 


Mai waved and continued down the hill towards the town. She wasn't sure if her mum would let her. Scouts meant boys and Mai's mum wasn't sure that was the best thing for Mai. 


She walked on towards the house she shared with her mother, father and two sisters. Passing a shop she caught her reflection in the glass. She paused and looked. She wasn't vain but lately she'd spent increasingly long times in front of the mirror. She smiled. She liked what she saw. She was tall for her age, had long shiny black hair tied in a ponytail that cascaded down her back. Her asian looks were smooth and not too pronounced, her skin a dusty brown colour. She was slim. ***Yes Mai decided that she felt good with her body. 


Mai loved living in the UK. She loved her own country of Malaysia, but somehow the weather in England suited her perfectly. She loved those mornings when the mist hung in the valley and a steady drizzle fell. She looked forward to the days when the valley was covered in a deep layer of snow, an experience she hadn't ever had before. She even liked those mornings where the rain seemed to be coming from the ground and everyone else seemed in a bad mood.  


She'd made friends slowly in this reserved Pennine old mill town, Stockby People around here didn't take kindly to 'incomers' and both her and her family had found it difficult to settle. Racism was a slight problem, they'd been times when she'd been called names, told to go back home. Thankfully they'd been few and far between, no more than she'd experienced in her home country. No Stockby didn't take to anyone from the outside. Her dad had told her that some in the nearby city of Wheatown said the locals of Stockby had extra toes because they never left the valley. The main employer of the town was a steel mill but that was in decline now, most commuting to the nearby towns and cities for work. Stockby had seen it's best days. It was never going to be truly beautiful, despite what the local town in bloom society thought.  It's a bit grimmy Mai thought, but it's home. She smiled and walked on. 




"Is that you Mai?" Her mother said. " where have you been ? Adhila and Hamiza have been home for ages" 

Mai hung her jacket up on the hooks by the door. They lived in a small terrace house on a really steep street leading to the town centre. It had 2 rooms downstairs with a little offshot kitchen. on the first floor were two rooms and a bathroom and stairs then led to the attic.  


"I was helping out in the library" Mai replied, "Mrs Collins wanted me to pick some more Manga books for the library. Reading and writing were two of Mai's favourite things. She never could understand why some didn't read.  


"I sometimes think you ought to move into the library, you seem to spend every minute of every day in there" her mum chided. 


"Oh mum, it's just so quiet. I get to read, draw and play chess" Mai sighed.  


She'd had this conversation with her mother many times. She never could understand how her mother's reluctance at her reading. To her it was everything. Mrs Collins was quite a wacky sort of person. She was always encouraging her to read different books, introducing her to new authors. The Library was the best thing about school according to Mai. 


"Go and wash now, tea will be soon. I'm experimenting again with my food. I'm trying this recipe for meat and potato pie that Mrs Williams gave me" Her mum shouted as Mai headed up to her attic bedroom. 


Oh dear thought Mai. That didn't bode well. Her mum was a good cook when she kept to Malaysian dishes, but something mysterious happened when she tried to cook english dishes. The family still had nightmares over the Yorkshire Pudding she'd produced one day.  Mai sat in her bedroom and contemplated how to broach scouts with her mother. Her mother was very protective and didn't like Mai to go out. It was boys really, thought Mai, she doesn't like me mixing with them. It was a lot different when she was younger, but as she'd grown older she wasn't allowed the freedom she once had.  


She lay back on the bed and gazed at the ceiling. She loved her bedroom, it was the one place she could be alone with her thought, and her books. She glance over at her desk. Her laptop was open. Did she have time to log on and talk to her friends back in Malaysia ? She was oblivious to the phone ringing downstairs, her mind deep in thought. 



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