Poem draft: ‘Confidence’

She would have liked to have lived

as she dreamed, deemed as brave

awake as in slumber,

As wise in day as in darkness,

As sure of intent and as pure of heart

as her subconscious counterpart

but alas! She lacked

not these virtues, nor good sense,

she simply had not the

Confidence.

Playing around / experimenting 🙂 thanks for stopping by!

Ro x

Childhood memory 1 – untitled

A bit of truth, a lot of fiction – isn’t that the magic mix, and how most great things come about in the world of literature?! Anyway, enjoy.

When I was quite young, and we were new to this country, there was a particular incident that took place at my primary school which is firmly cemented in my mind, even though many other memories from the time have been erased. In particular, I remember my teacher.

In order to fully understand why the situation arose in the first place, it is necessary to understand my family’s position at the time. My parents had come to this country with nothing but qualifications and me. My father had only just landed a permanent job. Every penny that came into the household was as precious to us as each drop of rain was to desperate farmers in our home country.

Naturally, my parents were saving these pennies scrupulously. This meant that if I didn’t need something – I did not get it. Even now, when I make a purchase based on desire rather than necessity, I still hear my mother’s voice: ‘Honey, but do you really need it?’

As such, I only had a few sets of clothes.

“You were wearing that yesterday!” An accusatory finger accompanied this sentence, and it was pointed at my chest. Bewildered more than anything else, I looked down at my t-shirt. It was a pink t-shirt, with a picture of my favourite Disney princess on it. It was my favourite and best t-shirt, actually.

Failing at the tender age of six to even understand that I had committed a crime, I said, grinning, “I know. It’s my favourite!”

The girl grinned back at me, and now I had my first indication that something was wrong. Her smile didn’t match mine. I couldn’t quite understand what the difference was, but things started becoming clearer as she let out a great big ‘ha!’ of laughter, and yet clearer still when others started laughing as well.

My ears started to burn. It’s often the first physical manifestation of embarrassment for me even nowadays, preceding flushed cheeks and gathering tears.

This was all taking place just before story time, at the end of the school day, when my whole class was gathered cross legged in the carpeted section of the classroom. Looking back, I doubt a lot of my classmates even knew what they were laughing at; it was more likely that they were following that seemingly innate human instinct: laugh along and you shall not be laughed at.

Even though my ears were well and truly aflame by the time the fourth person started giggling, I remember a sense of defiance, and I said boldly to the girl, “So?”

“So? Don’t you have any other clothes? My mum says – ”

The teacher, a warm hearted, middle-aged, genuinely lovely woman, had up until that point been silent. Oh yes, she was present from the start – she had been turning the pages of the storybook on her lap to find the part we had left off at yesterday, seemingly oblivious. Now, however, she spoke up, cutting right across the girl. I never did find out what that girl’s mum said, because of the teacher speaking up.

“That’s enough, young lady. We all have our favourite clothes. You were wearing that dress only on Monday! And I was wearing this skirt yesterday. Now, shall we start?” The discourse was short, matter-of-fact, and delivered pleasantly. The class fell silent. The teacher gave me a piercing look, her eyes full of concern, and then a smile that not only cooled my ears down, but also steadied me somehow. I hadn’t realised how shaken I had been until she steadied me with that smile.

I felt thankful to her at the time, for stopping everyone laughing at me. I feel even more thankful to her now, with the famous power of hindsight. It is very likely that I will never see her again, but I hope that she knew how grateful I was then, and am still now.

Thanks for stopping by, constructive/polite comments always welcome 🙂

To all readers and to followers – I thank you all and hope that you are enjoying this blog 🙂

Ro x

Writing Prompt Exercise: “He didn’t know what to do, nobody ever does in these situations…”

So, ‘writing prompt’ exercises are something that I picked up from creative writing classes the year before last. A friend of mine who attended the classes with me has suggested we use them weekly and compare pieces to keep our creative ‘spark’ going, so to speak.

The rules for this one: approx 500 words, untimed.

Enjoy!

He didn’t know what to do, nobody ever does in these situations. Well, okay, a lot of his friends claimed they knew exactly what to do in such situations, but honestly? Given how awkward Aman currently felt, he was sure they must have all been lying.

He surveyed the scene around him with increasing apprehension. All the initial, polite questions had been asked and answered, Maya had poured everybody tea, and now they were all sitting in an awkward silence. His mother and father were sipping tea, and her mother and father were appraising him with their stares. The father’s frown was particularly intense. He glanced towards Maya. Her expression was perfectly sweet, and her eyes were turned demurely to the floor. He had absolutely no idea if she felt as awkward as he did.

“So, Maya,” he said, rather more cheerfully than he felt, “Are you enjoying college?”

Her eyes flicked up with the most startled expression, as though she was completely shocked at being addressed directly. She glanced towards her parents, and receiving no immediate reprimand, said falteringly, “Y-yes. Yes, I am, thank you. Er, do you want some more tea?”

She reached for the teapot with the air of somebody desperately reaching for something solid and dependable. Right, so she did feel as awkward as he did, then. That was something.

“No, no,” Aman said, waving a hand. “The tea is lovely, but I don’t want any more just yet.”

Maya withdrew her hands from the teapot as though burned, folded them in her lap, and stared at the floor again.

Aman was now becoming exasperated. He had started regretting last month’s passionate speech to his parents, full of phrases like ‘I’m ready to settle down now’ and ‘Will you help me?’, as soon as he had crossed the threshold into this house. This was largely because the house was twice the size of his family’s, and because he had observed Maya’s mother look him up and down and purse her lips as soon as she had laid eyes on him.

Well, now that he was here, he was determined to try to get to know Maya at least a little. Maybe she was being so shy because all the parents were in the room.

He hesitated for half a second and then said, “Uncle, Aunty…Mum, Dad…could Maya and I maybe take a walk around the beautiful garden whilst you all chat?”

He deliberately avoided Maya’s gaze and looked around at the four adults. Maya’s father, frowning even more deeply than he had been earlier, opened his mouth to speak, but his own mother, thankfully, said the most sensible thing she could have done at this point: “Why, I think that’s a splendid idea, if Mr and Mrs Malhotra are happy. You do have the most splendid house, and spectacular gardens, you know. Tell me, how long have you owned the property for? And how, Mrs Malhotra, do you keep it in such splendid condition?”

The Malhotras could not withstand this onslaught of flattery, of course, and within minutes, Aman was being led away from the oppressive scene towards the garden, by a slightly more cheerful Maya. Splendid.

Thank you for stopping by! All comments welcome, so long as they are polite and/or constructive 🙂

Ro x