It was three days after boxing day when Gabrielle next left the flat. she was running low on food so she decided to go to the corner shop. But when she got outside she had an eccentric, spontaneous idea. She waanted to go ice skating.

The ice rink was on the other side of the city but that didn't bother her, so she hopped on a bus and was there in twenty minutes.

The last time Gabrielle had been ice skating was when she was thirteen, at a friend's brithday party. She used to go with Grannie a lot and she had been quite good. But as she hadn't beem for so long, it took a while, skating around the edge, to get back into the swing of it. Soon she was whizzing round like an ice hockey player, dodgiong people; occasionally flying into the middle, piroetting delicately, before darting back over to the other side. sometimes she would jump gracefully. She fell over only twice.

Thn, the worst possible thing happened. After the best day Gabrielle had had in years, it had to happen. Hermann and Alba appeared at the door. Gabrielle's heart gave a wrench. It felt as if it would fall right out of her chest. The pain, the pain. She had to get out of there.

The pain in Gabrielle's chest seared as she ran towards the locker which she left her shoes. She hoped against hop Hermann hadn't seen her. He had.

'Gabrielle!' came the all too familiar voice. Another slap across the face. She ran. Out, out, out onto the street. Where should she go? Home. But Hermann might find her. No. 

There was nothing she could do. She felt a weight press down on her heart. The ice cold thought flowed into her brain. There was nothing she could do. Nothing. She couldn't go home. She had no home except the grotty flat she had resided in for about two years. All she could do was go to get the food she had come out for, and go back to the flat-that-wasn't-home.

All afternoon, she slept. On the rare occasion that Gabrielle woke, she either ate an apple, or wept until her eyes were dry. Was therer no hope for the tragic sinkhole of depression that was her life? She always seemed to choose the one that disappeared into nothingness, leaving her stranded on a desert island in the sea of despair.

All hope was not lost.

The End

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