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  • Sarah Northwood (c)

The secret diary of Katie Hawcroft

For those who don't know, I have recently released a fiction novel/novella called She's Not Gone. It's a suspenseful psychological story about a character who becomes trapped in an abusive relationship (hardly an easy topic I know). Through Katie's eyes we begin to understand how and why people find themselves unable to break free of these controlling and frightening relationships. In the second half of the novel because I like to play stories with twists and turns, there is a paranormal aspect to the story, with a nice hint of something more. I shall say no more about it. Check out the book on Amazon if you'd like to know more about it!

She's Not Gone Cover photo

Anyway. whilst I was on holiday, Katie and I had a conversation (in my head), she told me she wanted to write her diaries. (I know I can get therapy for this, lol.) I wanted to share these with those on my newsletter and those who read my blog. So, especially for you folks, here is part one!

The secret diary of Katie Hawcroft Age: 15 ½

Dear friend, Avid listener and companion I am here again armed with my pen and ready to wage war with my words. I fear my description of you as a friend is entirely short-changing your role in my life. I fear, or rather I know the term friend is also without doubt, wholly inaccurate. For one thing, it is not as if we can properly converse. You cannot ask me how my day has been, or hear the crack in my voice on the telephone. For another we cannot arrange to see a film together or go to the coffee shop on the high street and gossip about boys. No, a real three-dimensional friend could do these things, such as my one and only friend Erica, if I was able. It is also most certainly true that your views on current affairs and a young woman’s problems are as flat as the pages you hold, but you ‘friend’ are constant. You can keep my secrets. You are a listener to my soul and all its holes. Erica, bless her dear heart and kind disposition, is entirely real and available to stroll arm in arm past the shops, the banks and into the park. She too is armed with a talent that you do not possess, the ability to waste away the hours, filling in the long spaces of loneliness with idle chatter. That, when reflected upon and thought about offer no substance, no meaningful views on anything. I value her ‘realness’, her ‘substance’. There is a warmth in my recognition of a smile upon her face. A solidity to her embrace that offers me something you dear friend cannot. Yet, because of these things I cannot bear to deposit the ‘realness’ of my life upon her, where you I can. Therefore, friend, you are the keeper of my secrets, the queen of pacts between writer and keeper of words, and in actual fact as real as any friend could be. I shall probably sneak out to Erica’s tomorrow, if an opportunity occurs. Opportunities are like miracles in my house, and I cannot rely upon Jesus to deliver them. Last night, both a miracle and an act of sadness occurred simultaneously. Such things seem surprisingly uncommon in my life. That is to say, the balancing of the universe. Sadly, for me, it seems to swing perpetually in favour of sadness. Back to the point. The sadness came from a simple ding dong of a bell. A doorbell that indicated a visitor had arrived. At two thirty on a Saturday morning, this kind of visitor is unwelcomed by me, but unlike you dear friend, I hold no keys, I am not a keeper of this house, I’m merely one of it residents. My mother had called her ‘friend’ to make a stop at our abode. Here is another description for that word which serves only to decorate something beautiful with something ugly. The miracle came in the form that I was awake. Miracles are not always rated by their size or appearance, so this may seem small, insignificant to you, keeper of my secrets. But to me, it was huge. With sprightly feet, primed for such a sound to fill the house, I trotted quickly to my bedroom door. I used the lock that slides across, providing sanctuary and relief. Signing as I hear its clicking, signifying that it was in place. For good measure, I added the half full washing basket as an additional stronghold and with that, I thanked god for the miracle. The noises of my mother and her ‘friend’ kept me away but as I write now in you, dearest secret keeper, I am aware of another miracle, you, and I appreciate it more than all the others. I hope sincerely that tomorrow shall bring another and I shall indeed get the opportunity to escape to Erica’s house. There, I will discuss the frivolous things a girl of my age should and I shall feel the warmth of her solidity, once more. Together, I hope these things will renew me once more.


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