Tuesday, 26 June 2007
11:36:38 AM (GMT)
It felt like any normal day - to Opal. But she didn't know that it was going to be
one of the most extraordinary days of her whole life. She sat in class, daydreaming.
Ruth sat beside her, listening to the teacher, as she always did. Ruth was brilliant
at schoolwork. It made Opal feel like she was useless, so she didn't try anymore.
Opal didn't know that this was the wrong choice to make. No one did, really. The
diary was safely tucked in her bag, as usual. So what was extraordinary about this
"...because you won't be allowed to go otherwise..." The sentence ran through Opal's
mind. She jumped up.
"What won't we be allowed to go to?" she said stupidly.
The class giggled, especially Rianna. Ruth looked embarrassed for Opal.
"It's a story, Opal," said Mrs Song. "Now please sit down."
Opal sunk down into her seat. She could feel her cheeks burning. She was sure you
could cook some eggs on them, if you tried. She just kept her ears switched off for
the rest of the lesson, afraid of embarrassing herself once again. She didn't know
why, even though she should have been used to it, with Rianna out to get her.
On the way home from school, Opal went the usual way. She cut through the alleyway
behind the back of the school, which lots of children used. Ruth didn't though. Was
this a bad thing? The question didn't even pass through Opal's head as she was
walking through. Her head was high up in the clouds. She was daydreaming, as usual.
She wished that she had two parents that cared. She wished that she had a nice, clean
house. She wished that her clothes were designer and fashionable and new. She wished
that she was popular and cool at school. She wished that her early life hadn't been
As she walked through the alleyway, memories spilled back into her mind like an upset
milk bottle. She remembered lying in a tall prison of a cot, damp, cold and hurt. She
remembered getting slaps everyday, and crying alone in the dark. She remembered all
sorts of things. They made her cry.
She wiped her watery eyes because she didn't want to get teased. Lots of boys and
popular girls walked through this alley. It was like school. Anyone could tease her
for any reason at all. She didn't like to give them reasons.
Even though she had wiped them as best she could, she couldn't help her eyes brimming
with tears. Her eyesight went blurry and she couldn't see anything. She bumped into
the person in front.
"Hey, watch it, wimp!" they said, shoving her out of the way. She bashed against the
wall. Her eyes brimmed with more tears and they punched her.
After 5 minutes of intensive beating, she got free. She rushed home. When she got in,
she found her Mum wasn't the only one in the house.
"Who's that?" she found herself asking, staring up at a tall man. She recognised him
from somewhere, but she had no idea where.
"Isn't it great? This is the guy I was with when you were about 1. Not your Dad, but
he helped me," said her Mum. She slurred her words and her breath smelt weird - she
"I don't remember anybody," Opal said timidly.
"Well, you probably wouldn't have," said her Mum. "His name's Gary."
"Watch it, kid," said Gary, as Opal coughed.
"What?" Opal had no idea what she had done.
"Just watch it, kay?" Opal looked away from the man. She hated him. She hated hated
hated him. He was the man who had made her life a misery, a worse misery - a wreck.