Time no Longer

Sixteen year old Frankie has just started college and opened the door towards freedom, where she meets a new group of friends and a mysterious boy.

Will she ever learn his secret?

Can he save her from danger before her dreams become reality and her life is turned upside down?

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2. Upon Arrival

Whiteheath Community College sounds more like a detention centre for problematic kids than a post 16 college. It makes me laugh that they've included the word 'community' in it too; there's scarcely a working telephone box, let alone a 'community' in Whiteheath. We've lived here almost three months now, and Mum's still getting odd looks when the neighbours see her bringing the shopping back, or dragging a half-awake Evie into the car at eight in the morning on a school run. She's optimistic about it though, regardless of the fact that this time last year we were living it up in our five-bedroom semi-detached house in Suburbia.

You could say we had it all really, we were the conventional modern family- Mum, Dad, three children and a dog. Dad was the senior manager of a banking firm, earning enough money to make a large contribution to Jack's university fees and to keep Mum from needing to work. Everything changed last spring. Dad got a call from the head of his company, asking him to come into work on a friday evening. He returned home the following morning, drenched and silent. He wouldn't say a word. Mum gave me twenty quid and told me to take Evie to the cinema. Jack was at his girlfriend's, where he might as well have started paying rent, seeing as he practically lived there. I sat there for the whole length of that ridiculous care bear film, trying to figure out what Dad had done. He'd cheated on mum. He'd been caught stealing from the bank. No... Neither could be true. I sent Jack a text: U NEED 2 COME HOME.SOMETHING UP WITH DAD. When we got home, Jack was there and Mum sat the three of us down at the table.

"Dad's been made redundant. The firm's gone bust, and we can't afford to pay the mortgage at this rate. He's going to look for another job, but there's nowhere around here that will employ him. We're going to have to move."

 

When she said move, I assumed she meant a smaller house nearby, not a flat the other side of England. They waited for me to finish year 11 before packing the house up, selling the dog (which resulted in Evie tying her hand to the new owner's gate and refusing to move until she was bribed with the prospect of a potential hamster) and driving to Whiteheath. Mum took a good look at the outside of the tiny, crumbling ground floor flat and gave out a small gasp, tears welling up in her jade green eyes. 

"If only I wasn't so thick! I could find a half decent job and we wouldn't be moving to this godforsaken place!" she wailed, unable to hold back her sobs. Dad handed me the box of books he was carrying and took her head in his arms, burying it into his chest. 

"Hey, not to worry love. We'll make it work. Come on petal, no tears. For Evie."

'No tears' became the motto of our family from then onwards. But Dad was right, it slowly had begun to work out. He had found a temporary job working in the post office, whilst Mum was doing part-time work as a playtime supervisor at Evie's new primary school. Jack took out a university loan and continued to spend three out of four weeks a month at his girlfriend's house.

 

So here I am, stood at the gates of Whiteheath community college, bag in hand, Mum waving at me from the car. I give her an attempt at a smile, just to let her know I will be 'okay'. I probably will be okay really. Here in Whiteheath, I have the freedom that I ached for in London. I'm on my own now, and am free to open the door to my life.

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