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  • Sarah Northwood (c)

The secret diary of Katie Hawcroft (Entry 8)

The secret diary of Katie Hawcroft by Author Sarah Northwood

The secret diary of Katie Hawcroft

Dearest friend,

An unexpected event has occurred. My secret keeper I am now employed! It happened for the wrong reason perhaps, but nonetheless I am now a sales assistant in a children’s shop on the high street. A grand title I’m sure you’ll agree but forgive me my friend, I sometimes forget you are not real and cannot really see. The name of the shop manager is Jeannie. A force to be reckoned with of that I have no doubt. She reminds me of the stiff breeze that blows by the choppy sea. Unrelenting, determined and strong. You might think me afraid of her but you forget that I have spent many hours with a long shadow and an eerie Minnie mouse clock. That of course does not preclude my mother (and her friends), who these days, on a good one, closely resembles a ghost. No, I like her, Jeannie. Mother, I’m sad to say, I do not. Mother appeared to be in better spirits again, telling me that it was high time I earned my keep but beneath the veil that is invisible to all but me, I saw the mask for what it was…she needs money. In me, she saw a potential untapped source.

I feel it is important to point out now, before you and I go any further that I don’t hate Mum, I love her. Having kept all of my secrets may lead you to think other that, but it isn’t so. It’s just difficult to like a person who doesn’t love themselves, and harder to love someone who doesn’t love you back. Not impossible, but difficult. Do you hate a brick wall that stands in the wrong place? No, you simply demolish it or decide to move away, but I don’t have that luxury. The wall and I are bound to each other, and I suppose that grates on me, from time to time. The way bricks and mortar slowly wear each other away. There are occasions when I think it would have been better I’d been born a boy. Maybe that would have been a relationship worthy of Mum’s affection, but I think not. I believe, and please remember, I’m only a girl here, learning the basic subjects in School and life, certainly not psychiatry, that since Father put a spring in his step and bounced away that she has fallen out of love with herself. Whatever the analysis, as I say I don’t hate her.

Back to the shop, I’ll be working there two nights a week to begin with. Late night opening on Thursday night and after School on Friday. I know nothing at all about selling clothes or counting change but I can learn and I will. This is it, the start, dearest keeper, the beginning of my escape.


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