She’s Leaving Home – a short story.

She’s Leaving Home

It was Wednesday morning. I felt a thrill run through me like an electric shock. I hadn’t slept a wink. I was far too excited. I had lain awake all night with my stomach fluttering and excited thoughts chasing each other round my head. Derek was so wonderful. It was going to be so great. I looked at the clock. It was finally five o clock. Light was beginning to sneak through the window, the birds were in full voice; the day was beginning.

I lay on my back and stared round my tiny room, a room that I’d lived in all my life. The floral wallpaper, the glass ornaments, the silly teddy bears, the picture of that soppy clown, the dark brown dowdy old chest of drawers, the chintz and net curtains. I hated it. It was a prison.

They hadn’t let me put up any Pop posters. There was nothing of me here at all. They were still treating me like a little girl!

I couldn’t wait to be shot of it.

I slipped out of bed and quickly dressed in my only reasonable dress. It was the one that Derek said he liked best. It was alright but it wasn’t a mini-skirt. Not like the other girls all had.

Derek always laughed at me and told me not to worry, that he’d buy me all the mini-skirts and kinky boots I wanted.

I pulled my suitcase out from under the bed. There wasn’t much in it. There wasn’t much I wanted to take with me. With my shoes in hand I sneaked out and, with my heart pounding, silently closed the bedroom door. I tiptoed past my parents’ room. I could hear my Dad snoring. I left the note on the carpet in front of their door. It was then that I felt a pang of remorse. I knew how much this was going to hurt and I knew that there was nothing I could say that would make it better. I had hoped the letter would say more. But there was nothing else to say.

Tears came to my eyes and I dabbed them.

I crept downstairs to the kitchen still clutching my handkerchief. Quietly turning the backdoor key I stepped out into the fresh air and my stomach lurched as I thought of Derek and what we were doing. The sun was up. It was a beautiful day. All the sadness lifted and I was filled with excitement and joy again. Just stepping outside I was finally free. I wanted to jump up and down and shout.

I was leaving home.

 

Father was still snoring as his wife gets into her dressing gown. Opening the door to the bedroom she picks up the letter that’s lying there. With a feeling of dread she stares at it, standing alone at the top of the stairs she opens the envelope and begins to read. Her face crumples into a picture of absolute anguish.

Stumbling back into the bedroom she breaks down and cries to her husband ‘Daddy our baby’s gone!’

Father sat upright in bed, startled, not understanding what was happening. Still befogged with sleep, staring, uncomprehendingly at his distraught wife. Trying to work out what was going on.

‘How can she treat us so thoughtlessly?’ His wife wails, waving the letter. ‘How could she do this to me?’

The two of them were sitting around the breakfast table in shock. They passed the letter back and forth while sipping their tea as Mother moaned and wailed. She was beside herself and Father was quietly sitting there stunned, trying to come to terms with all that had happened.

‘We gave her most of our lives,’ Mother sobbed helplessly, slipping seamlessly between abject misery and anger. ‘Sacrificed most of our lives. We gave her everything money could buy.’

Father felt useless. He did not know what to say. All he could do was pour more tea.

‘We never thought of ourselves,’ Mother howled, staring unbelievingly at the tear-stained letter. ‘Never a thought for ourselves.’ She shook her head in anguish. ‘We’ve struggled hard all our lives to get by.’

Father also shook his head in bewildered sympathy, unable to come to terms with the idea that his little girl had gone.

 

Across town I was at June’s flat. I had arranged to stay a couple of days until Derek could get free from work. He was so grown up. He worked in the motor trade. He always had lots of money and nice clothes. He made me feel so good. We were going to be so happy.

On Friday morning at nine o clock we’d be far away. He was picking me up in his green convertible. Then we were heading for Brighton. We’d get a little place and everything would be wonderful.

I stood on the corner waiting to keep the appointment we’d made. Derek was late as usual but I didn’t care. I was so happy.

We drove down the country lanes singing at the tops of our voices and laughing hysterically. He’d booked us into the best hotel in town. I was really shy as he signed us in as Mr and Mrs Smith. The desk clerk gave me such a funny look. But I didn’t care. I was too excited.

We never went out of that room. We just stayed in there all weekend making love and calling up room service. Derek knew just what to order. We had bubbly wine. It was like one long picnic.

On Monday morning I woke up late and Derek had gone. I looked out the window and the green convertible had gone too. My heart sank. I knew then.

I slipped out of the hotel with my suitcase and walked along the pebbly beach with tears streaming down my face. I didn’t know what I was going to do.

Well it all worked out. I met Jim and he got me a job as a waitress in the tea-room on the pier. He found me a little bedsit too. He’s so sweet. He takes me to all the Pop concerts in the showroom. He gets free passes. We have a great time. I have a whole new wardrobe with lots of mini-skirts and kinky boots. My room is covered in posters and I have my own record player.

I do write to Mum and Dad regularly but I haven’t told them where I live. I will get back to visit but I don’t get too much time. Jim takes up all my free time.

I have no regrets. I think I’m in love, and besides, I’m too busy having fun.

Bye bye.

 

I don’t suppose it took you too long to work out what the little story was based on.

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