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  • Sarah Northwood (c)

The secret diary of Katie Hawcroft (Entry 7)

The secret diary of Katie Hawcroft- Entry 7

Dearest friend,

Diary inspired by She's Not Gone, a novel by Sarah Northwood

I need you more than ever, so it occurs to me that I’m glad I named you that-friend. I’m staring once again at the clock on my wall, with Minnie mouse plastered on the face (don’t think I told you that before) and I’m sad to report that it still reads 12:45. The minute hand, hangs precariously over Minnie’s eyes, which when the shadow is long and thin through my window, lends Minnie a squint that is somewhat eerie. Mum and I did not go to get batteries as I’d hoped. She’d turned to me and told me she had one of her headaches. It occurred to me as she about turned like a coat hanger on wheels and headed back to her bedroom, that a headache like hers, can last an awfully long time. Perhaps even a lifetime.

Erica and her family have gone and left me. As kind as they are, it would be too much to hope they would have taken me with them. I feel wicked for even thinking the horrid thoughts I think. Which does nothing to help my own assessment of self-worth. Erica deserves her holiday after all. It’s hardly her fault she has a fully functioning family and I do not, but as I sit here and listen to the sounds of joy from the gardens below me, which filter through the thinness of the glass, my sorrow feel’s heavier than ever. The weight of the world has gained an obesity problem around my shoulders. Despite the poor quality of the weather and the invisible weight I carry, the world is still turning and the children are playing. It seems, a pair of wellington boots and an umbrella are all the protective clothing the children need to combat the grey. The children laugh despite the rain, perhaps even because of it, and I feel alone bearing the thickness of dysfunction like a chain around my neck.

But, it is my duty to record the moments of joy in this diary, as well as the sadness. Perhaps it is especially important to record those, because they are rare and serve to burn a light in the endless darkness. One such moment occurred when I went out to collect the milk from the step outside our front door. A group of older girls walked past, not the kind of teenagers who wear short skirts to see smiles in the eyes of boys, the rarer kind who are mature beyond their years, and as I went down to pick the milk bottles up (small joy we have milk this week), one of the girls waved and shouted hi to me, and I found myself waving back. The girl, who was perhaps seventeen or so, had a head full of shocking red hair, (all the better to catch those boy’s attention with, should she ever desire), but her face as well as her actions looked carefree and kind. Perhaps we could be friends? I’d like that.

As I closed my eyes to try to recapture the relief that is sleep, I picture a girl with shocking red hair and smile.


Author Sarah Northwood (c)


#womensfiction #shesnotgone #wordsmatter #thesecretdiaryofkatiehawcroft #womenprotagonist #literaryfiction #indieauthor #greatbooks

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