“Ruth! Are you listening?”
“Yes” I groaned
“Come on Ruth” My biology teacher moaned, “Your grades have gone downhill this year, you can’t afford to be…”
”Yes, I know all that! You never stop going on about it” I snapped
“Ruth. I’m trying to help you, please don’t speak to me like that”
“I know, miss, I’m sorry” I said, and I meant it. I was sorry, Miss Smith was the only teacher who still believed in me, which was why she was making me go to these lunch-time support sessions.
“What’s wrong with you, Ruth? Your grades were so good last year, and now you’re missing classes and not listening when you actually come in.”
I shrugged. I didn’t know what had happened, last year I actually cared, I’d spent all the time that I wasn’t looking after Alex revising, but now I’d given up. My boyfriend had slept with the girl who was supposed to be my best friend, my family had been loosing more and more money, and Alex was just getting so ill.
Miss Smith sighed and continued talking me through DNA replication.
“Ruth, do you want to keep these figurines or should we throw them?” My Aunt asked showing me some small fairy figures that I’d had since I was four, my mum had bought them for me and I had treasured them ever since.
“Of course I do,” I said softly “They’re from mum.”
Auntie Jo nodded and put them carefully in a box. We were in the middle of packing up all the things in the room me and Alex shared so that we could move to our new flat, which would be happening in less then a week, and we were no where near packed yet.
I was busy grabbing stuff from out of my cupboard, chucking most of it in a big box marked ‘bin’, putting the few important things that I owned in a separate box, when I found it. The last, and only, letter my mum had ever written me. My hands were shaky as I held the envelope. ‘Ruth’. The only word it had written on it.
“Ruth? Are you ok?” Auntie Jo asked, but I didn’t hear her, she took the letter out of my hand, and immediately understood. She guided me to my bed so that I could sit down.
I hadn’t seen that letter since I was nine-years-old, when I first received it. I didn’t even have to open the letter to know what it said, I’d read it so many times before I’d hidden it away.
‘I did it for you
That was all it said, 6 words. And that was all it needed to say. I understood, a lot of people wouldn’t, but I did.
Auntie Jo tried to talk to me about it, but I pushed her away, putting the note at the bottom of a box, where I would hopefully never have to see it again.