A love of words

Lillian’s passion for writing reminds me hauntingly of myself! I love this short and sweet piece and it’s one of the favourites I have published so far.

The bell tolled, ringing through the classrooms, but Lillian didn’t look up. Her hand scrawled hastily across the page, spilling ink everywhere in her anxiousness to finish her story. Words were her passion, reading her addiction.

Her nose was so close to the crumpled lined paper that it almost smudged her sentences.

“Come on, Lillian.” Her teacher gently reprimanded her to get going. As she jabbed the last full-stop into place, she sat back with a satisfied sigh. She was certain she had never written so much in her life. She gathered the pages in a neat pile on her desk and collected her things.

“Blimey, you’ve written a lot!” Her teacher remarked when he came to collect her work.

“It needed to be told.” She replied simply. Then she walked out into the bright winter sunlight, her schoolbooks slung over her back.

She went to get her bike, cutting across the neatly trimmed school field. Most people had left-she could see her battered black bicycle wavering in the slight but bitter wind. She wheeled it out of its stand and swung onto the saddle, the books weighing her down as she cycled slowly to the school gate. To her surprise, she heard someone call her name. “Lillian! Over here!” She turned a smile of delight dawning on her face as she recognized who was beckoning her over.

“Jamie! You waited for me!”

He nodded, a huge grin plastered across his face.

Jamie had been her friend since Year 2 when they had bonded over veggie sticks and pink glitter glue. They were still good friends today, despite the fact Jamie had become more interested in playing football with his mates than English lessons.

They cycled home together, complaining at intervals about the weight of their rucksacks and the amount of homework they had received that week. When they neared Jamie’s house, Lillian caught a whiff of the freshly baked bread wafting through the doorway. Jamie’s mum was always cooking.

“Lillian!” his mother exclaimed, coming to the door, her red hair tied up in a scraggly bun, an apron knotted around her waist. She thrust a hot loaf of rich brown bread, wrapped in crinkly greaseproof paper, into her arms. “Take this. I’ve made so much of it we won’t be able to eat it all!” she laughed. Jamie parked his bike and removed his helmet. “See you on Monday then.” He said, with a small wave.

Lillian cycled down to the end of the street. Her house was furthest from the road, lined with thick green trees and blazing beds of flowers in every colour of the rainbow. As she approached, her mother popped out from behind a rosebush, dirt smeared on her cheek, a trowel clutched in her hand. “Sweetie! You’re home!” she said, administering her a kiss on the cheek.

Her mum’s passion was gardening. It had helped her get through those rough times after Lillian’s dad had died. She didn’t remember him much. Her mum had told her that he had also been a writer and a jolly good one too. His stories, mainly murder mysteries, had been published in many newspapers across England. She liked that he had loved writing. She felt that it gave them something in common, something to connect them even though he had left this world. She deposited the bread on the kitchen counter and hurried up the stairs. The sky outside was growing grey, and it looked like it was going to rain. She sat beside her window, a book in one hand and a juice carton in the other, watching as the heavens darkened and raindrops began to pitter-patter down. A lean tabby cat, yowling in protest, streaked off into the shelter of the neighbour’s garage, its bushy tail streaming out behind it.

“Lillian!” Her mother called from downstairs. She snapped her book shut and lingered for a moment beside the fogged-up windowpane, before joining her mum in the kitchen.

Two steaming bowls of spaghetti, dolloped with sauce and with a side of the delicious bread, sat on the chequered tablecloth. “Mmm, that looks great.”

Her mother smiled, her auburn ponytail swinging. “Good, huh?” she said with a nod of satisfaction as they sat down to eat. “Yeah!” Lillian replied, tucking in. It was good to see her mum making meals again. It was as if she had gotten some of her old spirit back. Perhaps the gardening had helped.

When the spaghetti was finished and the table tidied, Lillian trooped up to bed.

She tucked herself under the sheets, listening to the lashing rain, and fell asleep.

Published by Mara

I am a literary lover with a passion for animals, writing, and reading! Along with my naughty dog Maxy, my cute bunny Oreo, and my little budgie Woody, I will make you laugh, cry and learn through words! Enjoy!

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