From then on, summer only got hotter, and I only got more and more determined to make writing my future.
I spent less time at the Sanctuary - now that I had mother behind me, I wasn't ashamed of this any more. I had nobody to hide it from. Mother had read my story again and again. She said that the title 'It Was Beautiful' really fitted with the themes. She was all smiles after that.
Sometimes I'd leave my journal on the kitchen table whilst I made something to eat, and I'd turn around, only to find my mother rifling through its pages, ooh-ing and aah-ing. She seemed very impressed by most of my work.
I visited grandmother more and more too. She provided me with ideas of her own, and every time I visited, she'd hand me a pad of her own on which she'd jotted down interesting story or character ideas. I really appreciated all the support I was getting now. It was nice to feel as though we were a proper family again.
Slowly but surely, the Sanctuary became less and less of a focus for my writing. I visited less frequently, maybe only once a week, until I just stopped going altogether.
I slowly forgot about the small formation of trees, the long grass, the tranquil silence of the fields... I didn't need it any more. My home had become my sanctuary.
I skipped down the stairs one morning, journal in hand, pen in the other, awaiting my typical Saturday breakfast. Mother and I had been having big fry-ups every Saturday now that we were getting along, and we were never low on conversation topics.
But this morning, there was something different. Mother was not standing over the stove. The smell of overcooked bacon was not the first thing I noticed.
Mother was sitting on the floor, leaning against the counter, crying with her head in her hands. The phone was off the hook.
'Mum?' I asked cautiously. 'What's the matter?'
She looked up at me, then over to the phone.
'That was your father.'
I frowned. If he's upset her in ANY way...
'Your grandmother's dead.'
My grip loosened on my journal, and it hit the floor with a dull thud.
My Grandmother was dead, and with her, my inspiration.