17th August 1966

Dear James,

It has now been twenty years since Rosie's funeral and much has changed. After she died we had a spare room in the house which made it hard to stay at home for the quiet. In the village it seemed that knowing your past and your attempt of saving Rosie when others wouldn't earned you the trust and respect you'd needed from the start. You have not been scarred since and I hope you never will.

It took time, but within six months it seemed as if you had lived with in the village from the start. After two my mother and father let you stay in Rosie's room, though needed persuading after all that had been said. I daresay they later came to regret this as over the next two years we became far closer than perhaps they realised. Or maybe not, maybe they knew but trusted us this time around. We became so close that when you left us to study at London Arts College, every one of us missed you sorely.

Of course, when you came home I married you, though I was just 19 years old. By this time all but Johnny had forgotten why we used to hate the Irish and for him, what needed forgetting was only the grudge. He managed this with ease as he spoke as the best man at our wedding.

The people of the village reacted in various ways to Rosie's death. I doubt you'll have noticed for you took it even harder than me, I know, though you hid it well. Robby took it particularly hard. Johnny later revealed to me that this was due to him liking Rosie more than had previously been said. They had kissed, right there by the river, just a few minutes before she fell in. He hasn't since forgiven himself, nor looked at another girl for fear of hurting them. Instead he turned to the Church, becoming more and more religious and eventually replacing Father George in his place at the small parish.

Having seen what it is like to lose a child, Birdie was able to persuade a weakened Alfred to adopt Thomas. He grew up into a fine lad, now twenty four, would you believe? He has also gone into the business of trains but it has much changed from the coal and fire that his father had known best. Despite wanting children of their own, and many of them for that matter, Birdie was the proudest mother of the village. And better, they finally managed to conceive about ten years after they adopted Thomas, who watched over his little sister like a knight in shining armour.

And we had a child of our own too; young Rosie, who is now as old as my sister was and equally as beautiful. Some days I look at her and wonder if she is my child at all but the girl I once knew in the village. But we do not live there anymore. We moved to London for the fast changing world of the sixties, in which being Irish was becoming less and less of a bad thing. But you didn't see it that way.

A few months after we moved to London we met some men, similar to those that Johnny had described from his childhood long ago. You no longer saw your old family and friends in your Irish name but the troubles it had caused you. So you changed it. James Arthur Song. Transport is much easier now and we even have a car, but you have never been home to Ireland. I once did go and fell in love with the land, but your greatest wish is to be English and I see this now. But still I hope that one day you do go home and remember the boy I saw that first day in the classroom. An angel with dirty blond hair that falls into his eyes – green eyes – of almost emerald. Dry, cracked lips and a muscular but thin frame from underfeeding, rife with scars that few other than me would ever see.

And his voice… a voice as smooth as poetry in accent so thick and yet considered so shameful. You must remember him, as you must remember that you will always be a – my – Irish Boy.

All my love,


So that's it, sorry. I hope you liked (ish) the ending. Please review to tell me what you liked and disliked. Below I have included an idea for the next story I might write. Tell me what you thing :)

Josh's parents are divorced, split into two different counties. During the week he lives with his mum in London, but at the weekends he goes out to Kent to live with his dad. Jessica is only 17 but has lately moved out of her parents house to live with her grandma as it's closer to her new school, after earning a full scholarship for sixthform. She still comes home to see her family every weekend. They take the same train, twice a week and over time get to know each other's lives better and better. Whilst both are trying to fit into two different rapidly changing worlds, there is only one person who seems to fit into every part of it and yet none at all.

(Names may change but I'm considering calling it Different Trains after a song by Steve Reich)