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A child is playing with a fly on the windowsill. She is poking it, squeezing it, tormenting it. I am the fly, Holy is the child.
Yesterday was my seventeenth birthday. Yesterday I found a letter. Market on it were the words “To Paige Benson, from Holly Roberts. The contents would forever change my life. It read:
Darcy, Wendy and I agreed that on your seventeenth birthday you would learn the truth. The truth about where it is that you come from.
When I was your age I met a man by the name of Kyle Mackenzie and we fell in love…. Or so I thought. We were together for about two months when I found out that I was pregnant. Three months into the pregnancy I found a letter from Kyle in my letterbox. He and his parents had gone back to Australia. I went through the rest of the pregnancy alone and on January one, gave birth to a healthy baby girl. I named her Paige Holly Roberts.
Paige, I want you to know, that giving you up was the hard thing I have ever had to do, but I am sure I made the right decision.
I can not imagine the pain and questions the next few days will bring you. I suggest that you talk to Darcy and Wendy. They are such lovely people and they have taken wonderful care of you. They have given you a better life than I could ever have dreamt of.
I would like it very much if you would come and stay with me for a little while in Titarangi. But only if you want to of course.
I love you Paige,
So here I am, boarding the train destined for Titarangi. My legs shake as I climb the steps of the train. Though there are only two, it feels no less than one thousand. The usher takes my ticket and shows me to my seat. I wonder if he knows who his mother is. I wonder if she gave him up at birth. The train remains still as the usher continues to seat people. A mother and a child no more than five take the seats in front of me. It’s raining outside and I watch the drops fall from the sky, splat on my window and wriggle down. I am a raindrop. I am born, fall from the sky, splat on some ones window and carry on. But how much longer can I carry on? As if those above can hear my call, the train jolts forward. I watch the little girl in the seat in front of me play with the fly on the windowsill. She sits there and pokes it. She flicks it. I cant help thinking about Holly. I feel like that fly. Holly has control over my life now. She has the power to flick me onto my back so I can’t get up or, leave me standing. Holly has chosen to flick me. She shakes my entire world, leaving me shattered and upside down.
Not once does a thought about this poor little fly cross the mind of the rigid child. A sudden jolt of the train pulls me out of my daze. I realise that I have been on the train for three hours. I am now only five hours from Titarangi. ‘Maybe I could leave the train now and just wait around for the next one home.’ I think to myself. ‘I don’t think I should be on this train. No.’ “This is wrong.” I whisper. ‘ I don’t want to see this woman she is a stranger to me. Blood or not, she is a stranger. “okay, you’ve established that you don’t want to see her.” I say to myself. “so just get up and leave. Right now. Just get up.” the train jolts again “s***!” next time. Five hours. Five hours and I will be standing face to face with the woman who abandoned me.
I wonder, if it keeps raining, maybe if it storms even, they might have to pull over or something. I hope so. Maybe the train will crash. Then I’ll end up in hospital. But who will come and take me home? Holly? Wendy and Darcy? ’no, I don’t want to see either of them. Ok, bad Idea.’ Wendy and Darcy looked me in the eyes, every morning they looked me in the eyes and lied to me. They stole some ones identity. Holly is my mother, Darcy and Wendy pretended to be my parents. What they did was wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t be angry with Holly, maybe I should be angry at Darcy and Wendy. Maybe I should let Holly explain, maybe I should give her a chance, I don’t know what to do!
Holly has enclosed a photo of herself. She’s beautiful. Long strait black hair, fair skin and a smile that makes you feel safe. I’ve looked at this photo a hundred times in the past week. Looked over every part of her face. She has amazing eyes. I bet she smells great. I wonder what she sounds like. I’ve read her letter every night like a bedtime story, afraid to ring her.
Suddenly the train conductor announces that we have arrived in Titarangi. I try to calm myself down by taking a few deep breaths. My hands shake as I get my things together. My heart pounds with all its might. My legs turn to jelly as I move off the train. I feel as if I am in a daze. All I can concentrate on is her. I take a deep breath. I spot her on the other side of the station. She smiles. Should I smile back?