I just wanted to test this out on everyone. I hope to get it published.
There is a place, down by the river, which is totally secret. You can only get to it through a thick patch of brambles, and as far as I know, I am the only one who has ever been there. When I was ten, I was running away from some bullies that had decided I was worthy of being picked on, and in an effort to get away I ran in to a gap in some brambles. I knelt, covered in scratches until they had run past me. Then, out of pure interest, I turned to look behind me. It could have been the sound of running water, it could have been the urge to find a better hiding place from those bullies, but I turned, and began to fight my way through the brambles. It was actually quite easy once I found a way through, zigzagging in and out of different bushes, squeezing through thin spaces, until I found the edge of the brambles. I crawled out, and found myself in a small, peaceful semi circle next to a river. The brambles and thorny trees surrounded the outside, but inside, several beautiful trees covered in blossom were growing, and the grass was a bright fresh green. Unlike outside of this haven, there was no litter, and the sunlight was dancing on the water, half blinding me as it sparkled.
Since that day I’ve spent many happy hours in my little secret place, never once seeing anyone else, or even a suggestion that anyone has been there. I take scissors to prune back the brambles and the secret path, and when I find litter floating in the water I remove it. When I went away to university I missed visiting, but I would go there in every break, and after I finished, I bought a house nearby so I could visit. Once my job as a teacher started, I visited in the evenings, and found that the trees and the river looked just as beautiful in moonlight as it did in sunlight, and much more mysterious. I could remember all the things I had done here as a child, and now as an adult, I laughed at my carefree youth. Now, I could sit amongst the trees and listen to the river and the birds, reading a book or doodling in a notepad. It is very peaceful, much different from the hectic corridors of the secondary school I work at. But I enjoy my work, no matter how stressful parts of it are. Now I have a routine, things are much easier. I get up and go for a jog, then get ready for work. After school I come home, eat, and then visit my secret place, if I haven’t got too much work to do. It doesn’t seem like too long ago it was my first day, but now I realise I am well in to my second year of teaching. How time flies.
We were half way through the school year, just having finished the May half term, and the blossom was blooming on the trees in my secret place. I got out of bed and pulled my hair in to a ponytail just like every other morning. I pulled on my sports bra and shorts, grabbed my trainers and headed downstairs. Turning on the tap I got myself a glass of water and drank it, looking out over my garden. Where to run to today? I decided on the footpath that took me past the horse’s field and near to the river that my secret place was hidden by. Putting some food in the cat bowl, I slipped my feet in to my well worn trainers and headed out of the door. The grass was damp when I reached the lane, but the rising sun would soon change that. I jogged along the peaceful path, thinking how nice the morning was. Ahead I saw another jogger stopping to bend over and stretch. I continued to jog until I reached her, but stopped, because she stood up and smiled.
“Nice morning!” I said, a little breathless. The woman was young, probably around eighteen, and she smiled at me as I went past.
“Yeah it is.” She began to jog next to me, and held out her hand as she did so. “Charlie.”
“Kate.” I shook her hand and grinned.
“I’ve just moved in up the road.” She gestured to a row of houses next to the river. “My dad suddenly decided he preferred the country to the city.” She rolled her eyes.
“I can understand your dad. The country is much nicer.”
“But there’s nothing to do” Charlie complained, stopping on the bridge and stretching her arms up. I paused and leaned over the side of the bridge.
“There’s plenty, if you know where to look. You can go for walks, picnics, and there are shops and a cinema in town. There’s something for everyone, you just have to look for it.”
“Huh, you’re like human guidebook for the countryside. I guess you like this place then?”
“I’ve lived here for most of my life.”
“I should have known.” Charlie was smiling at me in a way that made me feel like I should be blushing. I moved away slightly, and looked over at the church to check the clock.
“Well, I have to get going else I’m going to be late to work. It was nice to meet you.” I stuck my hand out awkwardly.
“And you. Perhaps I’ll see you tomorrow?”
“Perhaps.” She shook my hand and then let it go slowly.
“Goodbye.” I turned away quickly, setting off at a faster pace than before to get home. The strange thing is that I felt uneasy near this girl. She was making me feel unsettled. I could tell why though. It was one of the things I had struggled with while I was growing up, and when I was at university. My Catholic family wasn’t happy with me abandoning the faith they believed in, so I had never exactly been comfortable with letting myself go, just to please them. But sometimes, this stopped me from being myself. Automatically, I blocked the thought from my mind as I fumbled with the keys to my door. Time to get ready for school.