Millie's Story

September 12, 2009
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Millie stared out onto the horizon. The sun was setting below the mist, whilst a lone horse could be seen chewing slowly on the soft tufts of grass. His coat was lopsided, as if it might fall off at any moment, but he kept chomping.
Millie was mesmerised by this horse. He was alone in the field, not a soul in sight. Not even the farm could be seen anymore, the misty fog was so thick. She tucked a lone strand of her curly cinnamon hair behind her ear and pulled her knees up to her chin.

As this young child rested her weary head, she noticed pale light appearing through the clouds. It was getting stronger as it grew nearer. Then the low rumble of a rusty engine could be heard. Millie strained her ears, but could hear nothing more. She thought maybe it was her imagination, as the light could no longer be seen, or the rumbling heard. Just the dewy sky creeping forwards, ever so slowly towards her. Soon she wouldn’t be able to see anything out of her little dormer window.

Not wanting to witness the sight of nothing, she deftly slid off the window-seat and slipped her neat frame into her old, but warmingly comfortable little bed. As she closed her eyes, she could feel the world slipping away from her. Now she could let her imagination run away with her...
The next day, Millie woke up at 6am. She went and sat at the window-seat once again. As she peered out with her bleary eyes, she could see the horse again, the same horse in the same field. He was chewing on the same grass, his mouth moving the same way as it was the night before. It was as if time hadn’t moved, as if she was still in the night before. The fog had gone; the clouds had risen to their regular spot.

As Millie stared to what seemed like the end of the world, she thought about why the horse’s owner had left the mammal out all night. If she was the owner, she would take him in every night and look after him properly. She realised she was obsessing over this animal too much, and once again, hopped off the window-seat.

She enveloped herself in her warm, fluffy dressing gown and floated downstairs. Her mum, Roseanne, handed her a plate containing a boiled egg and a slice of toast so she sat down and ate in silence. Nobody was talking, and she didn’t want to be the first. So they all sat there, quietly chewing their food.

Jonathan, Millie’s stepfather, decided it had been quiet for too long. The moment that Millie’s mother had been dreading for so long was about to arrive. Millie herself was only nine, so she wasn’t fully aware of the consequences of the terrible words that could be spoken at any moment. As Jonathan’s lips parted, for the horrific words to tumble out, Roseanne could feel tears springing to her eyes, even though she couldn’t be sure what he was going to say.
“I’m going out to get a paper, Roseanne.” Jonathan looked as though he had released a massive burden. Roseanne sighed in relief. She was being stupid. “Oh, and I’ve met someone else.” Those were the words she had been expecting.

Harsh, you may think, but although this upset Roseanne, she was strangely relieved. She had been expecting this moment for a short while, and hadn’t quite known how she would feel when it came. Their marriage had suffered many bumps which they had got through, but it turned out there had been one too many. Millie had been blissfully unaware of her mum and stepdad’s arguments after dark. But she knew he wasn’t always very nice to her mum, even though he treated her like a princess, and she didn’t like that. She didn’t know about the rages her stepdad could fly into at any moment. But she did know that she didn’t want this man to come and blow down what they had steadily built after Millie’s real father, Oliver disappeared three years ago. Roseanne had already made up her mind. She was never going to fall in love again.

This task may seem extremely hard for many people but Roseanne was resolute. Love just brought trouble and with trouble came heartache. Thoughts whizzed through Roseanne’s head as she watched her daughter Millie’s face crumple as she heard her stepfather speak the fateful words which, for the second time, meant she had no father. Once again, nobody to cuddle her close in a big bear hug and nobody to play in the garden with anymore. They all finished their breakfast in a sickening silence, Millie gazed at her Stepfather; the kind man that first came into their lives was gone and had brought a monster that was determined to rip the family apart. She ran up to her room suddenly. She had lost her appetite, as well as her father, for the second time in as many years.

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