Saturday 26th February 2011

Well, it's been a long time since I last wrote you a letter, Grandad. I know, I promised myself I wouldn't write them anymore. But I couldn't let it go like that, could I? I had to write you one - to tell you what's been happening.

Dance is going well, I think. I mean, I have nine trophies in total now. I don't win all that often, but second or third isn't too bad, is it? But I'm not sure how much long I'll carry on. Every time I dance I feel my knees clicking, my joints aching, my muscles straining. I'm not built for this, Grandad, and I never was.

How can I stop now, when Mum spent so long making me a dress? How can I stop now, when it was going so well?

But I'm sorry. I'm not writing to you just to moan about it all going wrong. I wanted to tell you the news, so I'll move on. I started ballet a couple of weeks ago, you know. I'm not too bad at it, not as terrible as you'd expect after four years without classes. Oh, so I'll probably never make it to be a professional, but I'm not awful. I like that. I like the fact that even if I leave Irish I'll still have some sort of dance left...

I'm reading a lot. I don't know what you'd think of my book choices. I'm just trying to read whatever falls into my hands. I tried the Screwtape Letters. Haven't finished them yet, though, it's pretty hard going. So yeah, lots of books.

And writing a lot, too. Words and words and words and none of them are any use to me, because none of them can give me what I want. But what do I want? I don't know. To be someone. To make a difference. To cast a line out there and know that it was reaching somebody and I wasn't just another teenager in her bedroom with a laptop. I want to do something right, I just don't know what.

I wish you could have seen me last night. Well, this morning. Half twelve, approximately. I was so lonely, Grandad. I needed somebody with me. I remember wanting someone to sit by my bed. Mum. Dad. Ben. You. Someone who'd sit there and tell me it was all right, that I wasn't alone any more. I wanted to scream because I was so alone, I was hurting so much. But I couldn't scream because the only people that would hear were asleep, and I didn't want to wake them.

So I cried myself to sleep instead. Alone. Lonely. I needed someone to hold my hand, to smooth my hair, to tell me that I was special. Instead I just felt out of place. I know I'm always lonely. I never fit in, not with people at dance, or people at school, or people at church - nobody can ever understand me, get my perspective.

I don't need someone who's just like me. I need someone who sympathises. Who doesn't care if I dance more than I see them, because they know it's important. Who doesn't tell me I've no future, doesn't try to talk me out of trying my hardest, but is there when it fails, there with a shoulder I can cry on...

Surely you must have been lonely sometimes, Grandad? Surely there's some way you can help me through this?

I miss you. It's been a long time. I wish you could be the one to read to me until I fell asleep. I wish you could be the one to tell me it's all right. I wish you could see me dancing, to tell me that I could be brilliant. I wish you could read my stories.

Instead, I just hope you can read my letters.

Grandad, I want you to know that you're not forgotten. It's been a long time, almost ten months. But that's not long enough.

M.

The End

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