I balance on the rickety wooden stool and pull the tarnished shortbread tin, and about ten years worth of grime, from the top of my wardrobe. I cough as tiny dust particles dance in the rays of apricot sun shining through the window.
It seemed like only yesterday that I had sat in my school uniform in front of my nan’s gas fire scorching my toes, but of course it wasn’t.
After we had demolished the biscuits, I flicked the buttery crumbs from my jumper onto the worn brown carpet and asked if I could keep the tin ‘for my most precious things.’
I prise open the lid and smooth out the yellowed piece of a4 paper torn from my Geography book. A reminder from my thirteen year old self. A list of the things that I hoped I could be, but I’m not.
I’m not rich, or thin, or beautiful. I’m not well travelled, famous or married to a millionaire.
My nan’s eyebrows had knitted together above her thick glasses as she read my innermost longings, her liver spotted hands causing the paper to tremble.
At the bottom of the list, unbeknown to me, nan had added in shaky handwriting ‘I hope you are happy.’
There is one more thing in the tin, the veil my nan wore when she married my granddad, the veil I will wear today, and I know that I may not live the life I dreamed of but I am loved, and I am happy.
Written for Streams of Consciousness Saturday. A piece of writing inspired by a prompt (write the first thing that comes to mind, no editing allowed). The word this week was ‘not.’