Hi everyone! This story is a follow up from Kevin’s story and Mike’s story . I hope you like it as I really enjoyed writing it! If you read Mike’s story before you read this, the ending might make more sense 😏 (fingers crossed 😂). I think I will enter these three chapters as one story into a competition before my “I can do it” moment fizzles out from my my last post 😂. Some of you may find this difficult so I thank you for reading!
I’m early. Theres a bunch of newcomers loitering around the entrance. Nervous glances are exchanged. They’re all there for the same reason. Half an hour early because they don’t know the opening time. I don’t cross over. Instead I keep on walking until I come to the pay phone. It looks like it’s survived both world wars and will disintegrate once the tale is told. Stepping inside I don’t shut the rusty red door behind me. It feels closed in enough already. I slip a coin into the slot, find the card in my pocket and dial the number. I mess it up the first time and curse at the lost coin. My fingers are shaking in the cold. Resisting because all of my being can’t believe I’m finally doing this. I rub another coin before putting it in. I don’t know why. It’s not like I have any luck to give it, but I still have hope. Hope probably radiates off of me right now. I dial correctly this time and a chorus of rings call out. After a while when no one has answered I realise I am biting my nails and snap my hand down ashamed. That’s when she picks up. “Hello, Leanne from Samaritans speaking, how can I help?” Her chirpy voice shrills down the line. My voice catches as I attempt to introduce myself “I’m…My….”. I almost put the phone down. She senses my insecurities and her voice is soothing when she speaks again “keep calm dear. Are you in a safe place to speak to me?” Calm but not condescending. I breathe slowly and look around. The booth glass has aired up. I don’t know why, it’s just as cold in here as it is out there. Anyone could come in here thinking it’s empty…or knowing I’m in here. A whimper escapes my lips at the thought. But I reassure myself it’s early so I doubt that will happen. It is as safe a place as I’m going to get…considering. I nod yes to her question before rememering that she, Leanne, cannot see me. “Yes” I release a long breath that I wasn’t aware I had been holding in. “That’s good dear. May I ask what your name is?”. I shiver and think “no” but open my mouth and say “Anna”. It comes out in a croak so I clear my throat. This is a more difficult feat than I expected. My throat feels like raw icicles. I repeat the name clearer “Anna…Anna waytson”. I see a vivid image of her shaking her head disapprovingly. “I found her” she says in my mind “she’s a liar, just like you said she would be. Did you know she goes by her mother’s maiden name now? Yes! Let me track her down for you. I’m sure she’ll come crawling back after the pathetic lies she’s going to tell me. She’s weak, just like you said”. I almost tell her the truth, just Incase Williams got to her before I have, but then she says “hello Anna, how are you?” She believes me. “How am I?” that’s a trick question. If I was okay I wouldn’t be calling her. Things must be bad for me to risk trusting someone again. The truth is, I don’t know how I am. I’m not coping well I guess. “You can trust me Anna, whatever you say will stay between the two of us” she sounds kind, but how can I be sure? Before I can help it, a tear escapes and runs down my face. Then another. I stifle a sob. I can almost hear the gears shifting in her head as she listens and let’s me cry. Is she the kind of person who wants to shout “I’m coming to help you! Stay where you are….Where exactly are you?” I think of the way she repeated the name “Anna” and my tears come harder. It’s too much. This lady who doesn’t even know me cares for me more than the people who should. Well she sounds like she does. I feel like the only liar in this. “Oh dear, it’s okay” I can tell she wants to understand more. Should I tell her about William? About running away from what became his home? Would she tell me to go back? I would surely hang up on her.
“I’m scared” I already feel better for saying it. “Tell me why you’re scared dear” I like that she didn’t say “Anna” again. I don’t want to be reminded of why I have to lie and not tell people my real name. “I’m not safe. I don’t think I ever will be. I thought I would be but it wasn’t that simple. I thought things would better..If I got away” away… anywhere but with him. My words come out rushed. I don’t want to repeat myself. No one else knows about this. “You’re very brave for telling me. Do you mind me asking how old you are dear?” I can hear the authority in her voice and “fifteen..I’m fifteen” slips out before I can stop myself. This is how we speak for the next ten minutes. Her in rhythmic questions and me in short bursts. I tell her everything and she doesn’t get angry at me for lying to her about my name. We talk about the things I miss. My old home before William came along, school where my friends tried there best to help, and mum. When I tell her about my mum, Leanne says that she must be looking down on me right now because there’s a place that I am eligible for that she also volunteers at. It’s for teenagers that haven’t had the best start in life, which is an understatement. She says I will have my own room and be off the streets. She even says she might be able to get me back into school. Just as I am running out of coins to keep the call going she asks to meet me outside the soup kitchen. It all sounds too good to be true but a small part of me believes her. The part that houses the hope. The rest of me is still scared. I tell her that if I agree to go with her I will be outside the kitchen holding a black sack that I keep hidden behind the bins. She promises me that things will get better and the place she will take me to will ensure that I will have another chance. We say our goodbyes and I put the phone down, feeling like I’m in a dream. I step out of the booth knowing what I need to do.
Thank you for reading! 😉💗