Her name was Anna O’Sullivan. At this moment in time, she was seated at a wooden desk by her window, typing something and watching the fireworks that lit the night sky outside. Her brown hair was escaping from her ponytail, and she was wearing a green top with her favourite jeans. She had been born here, in South-East London, and here she had stayed all her life, living with her parents in the house that they had inherited from their parents, because as a teacher and a bakery worker, neither of them had a large income.
It was firework night, and Anna was extremely bored. As a fourteen year old only child, she had no one to talk to on days like this, so she would instead sit staring out of the window, looking at the fireworks, looking at the stars, which had always fascinated her.
Her bedroom was north-facing, and Anna could see at least two different choreographed firework displays, as well as two or three home displays. It was a lot warmer, and quicker, than going to see them, and she resolved to do this every year. The home displays were intermittent and often stopped for long periods of time, before returning with a bang that startled her every time.
When she had started to write, the light from Anna’s laptop screen had reflected off her window, making it harder to see the fireworks, but she was skilled with computers and had managed to set the screen to dim. Computers were one of her hobbies, and she knew exactly how to mend it every time it broke, which was a frequent occurrence.
Anna leaned around the side of the screen, craning her neck to see the fireworks that had just erupted to the North-West. She stopped typing, because although she could touch-type she preferred to do so when she could see whether she was doing it right, not when she could not see anything at all. She paused, watching a huge firework explode in a shower of green and gold stars.
“Anna!” called her mother. “What are you doing?” Anna sighed. She needed to concentrate and did not want her mother interfering. Besides, if Angie walked in and saw who she was talking to, she’d be for it, and probably end up grounded. Anna wished, sometimes, that her parents were as laid back as her friends’ parents, but she knew they were worried for good reason. They’d experienced everything she had – they were as wary of strangers as they were of alcohol, and that was saying something.
“I’m on the computer!” Anna replied, trying to keep her exasperation out of her voice, but not being entirely sure that she was succeeding.
“At this time? Anna, we need to go soon!” Anna sighed again. It was becoming a very bad habit.
“I know! I’m completely ready, though, so stop fussing!” Anna grinned. She loved being able to moan at her mother.
“It’s just that there are so many fireworks out there; I didn’t want you to miss them,” Angie, her mother, replied, more quietly this time. Anna’s annoyance vanished.
“Thanks, Mum, but I can see them fine while I type. They’re great for inspiration, too.”
“They are? But surely the light reflects off your window?”
“I put it on dim, Mum! Honestly, you have no faith whatsoever in my technological skills.” She shut her door. “Now leave me alone! I’m busy!” Anna returned to the computer. Where was she?