The outside world isn't always the nicest place to be. But there's always somewhere, perhaps a place that no-one else can see, that even the most forlorn of us can call home...

She wasn’t perfect. She couldn’t get this right, she kept doing that wrong, she’d never be as good as her or have as many friends as him. She wasn’t the quickest to solve sums, she wasn’t the one who won all the prizes on sports day and she certainly wasn’t the one that everyone wanted to be friends with. She was a freak, a weirdo, the one who always sat alone at the end of the table with no-one to talk to. She didn’t get invited to people’s houses at the weekend or recieve a thousand texts per day on her mobile phone. She was lucky if she even got one telephone call a day – and even they were almost always from her phone company offering her another trashy deal. She never got letters either, because there was no-one to write to her. She wasn’t happy. She wasn’t perfect.

But she didn’t have to put up with it. She didn’t have to put up with all the teasing and prodding and angry criticisms. She didn’t have to sit and have scorn poured all over her feeble efforts to be better. She had a retreat, and in there, no-one could touch her. When the outside world became too much for her, she would retreat to the warm, bright place behind her closed eyelids. Here there was no shouting, nobody spread spiteful rumours behind her back and no-one disturbed her peace. Here was quiet and calm and familiarity. And she wasn’t alone either.

In this place, she had more company than anyone could possibly imagine. Here, people came to greet her when she came, and she knew each and every one of them by name. She didn’t have to be alone any more, now she could travel to far off lands and have incredible adventures doing the things she knew none of the other children had ever done. She didn’t have to hide at the back of the classroom, hidden behind her schoolbooks and praying she wasn’t noticed, now she could stand up tall and look the world in the face, a brave, courageous queen who had nothing to fear. People on the outside didn’t matter any more, because they would never touch her here. She had friends here, she could create marvellous things and perform stunning feats of wonder. Here, she was happy. Here, she was home.

The End

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