Let me tell you a story.
There was a girl who had a peculiar life, on the one hand she had a job that she loved, three of the best friends that a girl who could ask for, an enormous rented room for a more than reasonable, all-inclusive price as well as a waist-line that was one size smaller and one stone lighter than it was two months ago. On the other, a summer that was making it incredibly difficult to keep a glass half-full disposition.
It began with the passing of a woman who was as dear to her as her own grandmother, who had been suffering for far too long.
A few days after the funeral, she had forgotten her recently new phone in her recently new, shared kitchen, and it had disappeared. After filing a report with the police, being there when the officer talked to two of the three men who she shares a house with, paying a £60 excess on her insurance to get a replacement and starting to get over the violation of the situation, she received a late night visit from a police officer with a phone call telling her that they had found the phone in someone else’s house. They were very vague on the details; the house that they found it in belonged to someone who, in their words, was known to them and wasn’t someone who would’ve done something like that, the only specific details were that they weren’t pressing charges as they couldn’t prove that they took it. There was no way of telling who took it, whether it was one of the house-mates, someone they knew, or someone who just walked into a locked house, into a room with no open-able windows, saw an Iphone4 sitting on a worktop and thought, “I’ll have that.” In any case, the girl got her phone back only to have to return it to the insurance company who refused to reimburse the £60 which she had taken out of the overdraft that she had been paying off since last Christmas.
Less than a week later, another passing, this time it was her father’s uncle, he had also been suffering for a very long time after having lost his wife only a few years previously. A few days before the funeral, the girl received a letter in the post, the third in a line of letters in error on behalf of the housing council of the town where she had lived a few months previously. The letter was pink (the council’s version of red) and threatened court action if an outstanding fine of over one-hundred pounds wasn’t paid immediately. The error was not hers; with each previous letter she had phoned the offices to, not only understand the overpayment, but to get the notice which had never arrived. With a frantic phone call after this final letter, she was able to set up a standing order to pay the money back, however at the extra cost of not having the prior knowledge or notice of the specifics of what was going on. The overdraft is slowly getting back to where it started.
For a week or so after the funeral, things seemed to normalise, through the support or her friends and holding onto the fact that she was a lower weight and clothes size since than she had been for almost a decade, the girl was able to keep her spirits high and carry on with her life.
She went away with her family for a holiday to a place that they hadn’t been for a few years, a place that was a symbol of tranquillity and home, and despite the constant bickering and over-reacting nature of a few of her family members, she rose above it and was genuinely able to enjoy herself and her family’s company.
Upon her return, she found a letter from her landlady, nothing too ominous, just asking that her room be tidy for when someone came to revalue the building during the week that she was away. Unfortunately, being naturally tidy was not one of the girl’s virtues and the room had been left in a mess, pig-sty would be an understatement. Realising what had happened the girl left a message on the landlady’s answer machine (the only number that she had was for the shop that the landlady owned, and she was only there on week days) apologising for the mess and promising to keep as tidy as possible in the future.
A number of days later, the girl received another letter from the landlady. Due to rising costs and heat/electricity bills, the rent was being increased by £35. The same evening she discovered that her toothbrush was wet, having been used by one of her house-mates or one of their guests. As a precaution, she locks her door every night, she has come to term with the fact that anything left outside of that locked door is fair game, she learnt this lesson when she found that her chips had been taken out of the freezer and left in a cupboard and when her shampoos were being watered down.
Yesterday morning, as she was sleeping, she herd her door move, the noise barely woke her and at first she just assumed that it was the remnant of a dream, then the wind, but as conciousness found her, she realised that had that door not been locked, somebody at that moment would have entered her room.
This morning she saw the landlady and asked if it was her, hoping that she had just come to check on something, however, she knew nothing of it.
This story isn’t over, and with no clear end in sight, the girl carries on, with the hope that something good will reveal itself, that she won’t be scared out of the best home that she’s had since she left her mother’s house four years ago. If she can’t get another job in order to pay rent, she might have to give up the one job she loves so much and replace it with one that will sit her at a desk for several hours a day. She does not want this.
Her cup is still half full, her friends constant and her family supportive, for the first time in years she is where she wants to be, doing what she wants to do, and becoming the person she wants to become…
but as I said, this story isn’t nearly over yet.