A/N: Ok, this was the first bit of English Coursework I ever had to do. The stimulus was taken from 'Your Shoes' by Michele Roberts. I don't honestly know why I am uploading this, I guess I had some vain hope that you could help me improve it?! Please review with suggestions. Cheers :)
Stimulus: 'I thought I knew you as well as I knew this house.'
I've lived here all my life. So many memories. I know my way around it, all the staircases, the corridors, the tiny hidden rooms and of course all of the gardens. It's an old manor house, you see. Smaller than most but still giant compared to the other houses in the estate. Council houses, huh! My gardens were our most beloved place in whole world. Oh, we spent hours upon hours outside.
The one containing the greenhouse, that was our favourite. It had the huge oak, the most ancient thing in these grounds. We quickly made it our own, didn't we.
All the boys laughed at us when we told them we were building a tree-house. 'You must be kidding,' they taunted us, 'you're only girls! There's no way you're as good as us at construction.'
Well, you weren't having that were you…
'You know what, you're absolutely right. We're not as good as you, we're so much better.' Then you did your infamous hair flick and stormed off.
That was it. You became determined to finish it before the end of the summer, as did I. And, of course, we did! Do you remember the party we threw? Our 'tree-house warming' party.
We were silly in those days. We decided together that the perfect name for our little hideout was 'The Fort of the Dancing Princesses!' We knew it was a stupid name, but still, it stuck. It worked out OK in the end really as everyone at the party was dancing inside the fort. And obviously we were princesses! Plus a few princes.
Nostalgia strikes me often these days. I guess I've spent most of my life remembering or wishing I was elsewhere. Except when I was with you. We were so close. We shared everything, talked about everything, laughed about anything. Admittedly, most of our conversations revolved around the ever popular, and ever changing, topic of boys. What did you expect, we were kids! We did have a few intellectual talks though. Books, boys, school, boys…boys again.
That all changed as we got older. School became more important to us. Even when we went to different Universities, we still spoke all of the time. We were always friends.
My children use the fort now. You met them a little while ago, do you remember? No. I don't suppose you do. Lily is 10 and Josh is 7. He uses the fort as a lookout when he plays fighting games with his friends, he's such a boy! He's always got bruises and countless scratches from falling out of the tree, running into the tree or getting hit with a stick from the tree. And, as you can imagine, to Lily, the fort is her castle. Much the same as it was to us. She's having a sleepover in there tonight. She spent all day decorating it, complaining and wondering how we spent all our time in such a dirty, horrid place, no where near fit for the princess she was. It's all pink now. Posters, sleeping bags, bean bags, fluffy pillows, nightlights, even portable TV. You name it, it's up there! We never needed that did we.
I do remember that one time we took a radio up with us. It was when Elvis released his first No. 1 hit. We loved it, and him! Most of the night we spent dancing to it. I still laugh at it even now!
That was the only thing we had up there. We didn't need anything else. Our hearts plugged in the holes in the corner, our words decorated the wooden planks and banished the spiders and flies to the outdoors and our secrets kept us warm in the night, sheltering us from the baron emptiness of our surroundings.
Course, Lily doesn't understand all that. She's taken out our hearts and words now, to be replaced with what?! One thing can never be removed though; it remains hidden within the walls of our fort.
Do you remember what the pact said?
'I solemnly promise to love and cherish our friendship and to keep in touch with you for ever and ever!'
Ok, so it was a bit dramatic, but we were only 11 years old.
A blood oath, that's what it was. We signed in blood. I still have my scar. Mine was a bit more severe I suppose, it got infected. I was in bed all summer and I was contagious, yet you visited me every day. You may not remember that. The tree-house does though, it missed us terribly.
It was so unheard of, breaking a blood oath. Hardly anyone did it. No-one had the guts to, to betray a friend, to be cursed with bad luck for eternity. Silly really. Yet you still did it. How come you managed to break the oath, the most sacred thing two friends share, when nobody else could?
I've been asking a lot of these questions recently. Even before it happened…
We were always friends, always. Always spoke about everything. Any problems you had, I was there and vice versa. If you were having problems now, why did you think that had changed?
You didn't answer my letters, you never rang, you pretended not to see me in the streets. What had I done wrong…?
A normal person would have gotten over all this madness by now, after all, it's been 4 years since I last saw you. Four years…we were always friends, best of friends…
You looked worried, haggard as if you had something on your mind. Then you told me just to forget about you, that I might get hurt. I didn't understand. I thought you were drunk or something!
But then you forgot about me. No contact after that. Until last Sunday. I heard your voice and as soon as I heard it I knew, I knew something was wrong. You see I know you! At least, I used to…
'I'm sorry, I'm so so sorry,' you sobbed down the phone, unable to form any other words, 'I never meant to hurt you! You have to believe me! I never wanted to break the pact but I was just too dangerous…'
'Dangerous, what do you mean dangerous?' I tried to sound calm but you saw right through me.
And that was it. You just hung up. I panicked and made you hang up, I made you disappear. I tried desperately to comprehend what you had said but my mind was a blur. It was too late by then though.
A few hours later I got a call from the police. You'd been found. Your neighbour heard the chair fall from beneath you, saw through the window how your feet hung limp and lifeless. By the time the ambulance was there, your head was flopping from side to side as the rope swung you…
It was your funeral today. Right now, I am writing this in the tree-house. I feel closer to you here.
I'm hoping when my husband reads this he will know. He will know that I couldn't break the pact. I've been thinking about this for days now. I have to know why you did it. This is the only way I can put my mind at rest. This way, we will be together forever and ever. I've already tied the rope to the branch. I guess Lily won't be having a sleepover after all tonight. I don't want to hurt her or Josh, I never did. An ordinary person wouldn't hurt these two precious things, but I think we both know that neither of us were ever ordinary.
We were friends though. Always have been, always will be.
Soon I will be with you, my dearest friend, my other half, my blood sister.
Together in death…