Hope.

‘Well how was it?’

The older woman set two mugs down on the coffee table. The mugs clinked against the glass coasters. Tealights sat in a lilac bowl illuminating her face as she bent over. Two suede, beige settees faced the coffee table and occupying one was a young man and woman equally well dressed and sat close together. The room was decorated with a predominant beige colour scheme with the occasional soft pastel colour, such as the cushions and curtains. The man rubbed his head and ran his fingers through his hair. He leant back, sinking further into the settee.

‘Yeah, fine.’ The reply answered the elder woman’s question but did not seem good enough. She stood opposite them, untying her apron and pulling it over her head.

‘Fine? Didn’t they say that last time?’

The younger woman flinched and the man lay a hand on her knee. He closed his eyes slowly and looked back up at the older woman who raised her hands.

‘I just mean that they must have said more than just ‘fine’.’ She shrugged and returned to the kitchen. This time she came back with a glass of water and a plate of biscuits. She put a pair of white, fluffy slippers on each time she entered the kitchen and they scraped along the tiles, then she left them before the carpet each time she returned to the living room.

The older woman placed the glass of water on a coaster in front of the young woman, sat down on the opposite settee and dunked her biscuit into her coffee. The young man turned on the television and both guests sat back and watched the news. The young woman fiddled with her car keys; they rattled and crashed as they fell through her fingers on to her lap. The older woman frowned at the noise. The young woman was wearing a navy blue dress with a cream trench coat over it; she occasionally brushed down the dress, concentrating on any creases. A gold pendent rested on her stomach.

‘So,’ the older woman began, bringing the conversation back to life, ‘have you told anyone yet?’

‘Not yet,’ the young man replied as he pushed himself up from the settee and walked over to the fireplace, glancing at the photos in a variety of different frames. He leaned over to see the photos, his gaze paused on an older picture, a man with a young boy on his shoulder. ‘We just want to wait until everything is in order.’

‘Everything is in order?’ the older woman repeated. She sighed and put her mug down. ‘In my day-‘

‘This is how Evie and I want to do it and we would like you to respect that.’

The older woman picked her mug back up and continued to sip her coffee. She huffed and sighed as she dipped more biscuits into her drink, blowing the steam rising from her mug. The younger woman sat still and quiet, looking around the room. Her auburn hair hung in loose curls over her coat. The young man continued to look around the room, fiddling with random ornaments.

‘We just want to make sure we aren’t too hasty. Can’t be too careful,’ he said.

The older woman looked at the man for a while before turning away. The man rejoined the young woman and drank his coffee. The news report being read on the television filled the silence.

The young couple stood up and gathered their belongings. The older woman followed them to the front door. The rain was bouncing off the drive, the sky was grey and a sudden breeze brushed past them. Short goodbyes were exchanged and the young couple ran to the car. The older woman stood at the door for a while and watched them leave. The young man put his arm around the young woman. He opened and shut the car door for her. The older woman stood at the door and watched them drive away until they had vanished from view. Rain dripped onto her from the roof above.

The older woman returned to the living room to tidy up, taking the mugs into the kitchen and pouring away what was left. She walked around the room straightening the frames and ornaments the young man had touched. Tucked between two frames was a small white envelope. She carefully opened it and pulled out its contents. Her frown slowly transformed into a smile as she looked at it. She turned to look out of the window clutching the paper to her chest. Tears rolled down her cheeks. The little shape, perfectly formed. The blotches of grey which framed it darkened the picture. She ran her finger over the tiny figure, curled up, fast asleep. She shook her head and retrieved her apron, pulling it on and wiping her eyes. She tucked the envelope into the pocket and continued to clean up.

“Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. And dreams are forever.”

For the longest time I wanted to write. I would sit as a child and write for hours as a child does and make stories that never really had a point, never really made sense but had a land which I called my own. I was ‘God’. I could come and go in this realm and it was mine. I never thought about what I actually wanted from life and even now, as I leave university, I seldom consider it. I do dream though. Of all the different possibilities, I just never decide upon one. Though I suppose I am one of many who live this way. I remain in this childish world where just about anything could happen and I relish it.

As I grow older I realise that it isn’t altogether impossible to share these worlds and perhaps this dream is to be put into the bigger picture. This dream is me considering my future. Is this how it feels to be a writer?

I don’t know- I’m not there yet. Or perhaps I am. Do I really need a reader to be a writer? If I do then I welcome you, nameless one, and invite you into my world. Pull up a seat and listen to my adventures or go on your very own… marry a prince or princess if you wish. Be my guest. But yes, you are very welcome here. Very valuable. And I suppose it can be lonely.