What I wanted and what I got

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Write a top 10 list in the voice of a character. Is your character a person making a bucket list? How about someone listing their greatest fears? What does the list they make say about the character?

My favourite amateur detective was recently surprised to find an old school exercise book, with a list of things that she wanted to do when she was grown up.

Over to you, Andorra.

I have no idea why Maisie had kept it. When I was sorting through her things on Mars, I found a load of her old school books. And one of mine, my English exercise book from year four, which means that I wrote in it when I was just becoming a ten-year-old.

My writing hadn’t improved in the intervening years, in fact it might have got worse, I settled down to read and turned to the first page.

Ten things I want to do when I’m an adult, and why. By Andorra Pett.

I couldn’t remember writing this, so reading it would be good, I could compare what my nine-year-old self had expected to happen with what I had actually got.

  1. I want Maisie to be my best friend forever. Because I’ve known her since we started school and she’s fun.
  2. I want to be famous. So that everyone knows who I am
  3. I want to live in an old vicarage, have lots of children and dogs. And never have to do much, except look after them.
  4. I don’t want to have to learn one more fact. School is unnecessary for the life I want to live. My husband can deal with all the boring stuff.
  5. I want an endless supply of cake and chocolate. Apart from Maisie, and my family, they are the most important things.
  6. I don’t want to go into space. It’s cold and dark and there’s no cake, or chocolate out there.
  7. I don’t want to have to think of any more things. It’s time to go outside and play.

Looking past the list, I saw the scrawled comment, in red ink. This is very poor!!!!! More detail is needed on your REASONS!!!!! And more, I asked for ten, that’s only six!!! You must try harder Andorra. For instance, you shouldn’t dismiss the new opportunities for space travel, for making a new life on the Moon or Mars. F.

That would have been written by sister Monica, the most rabid of the nuns who had attempted to educate me. She was in favour of space travel. She was always going on about the new world that was beginning and our chance to shine in it. We all thought that it was in the belief that it would move us closer to her ultimate boss.

Thinking about the list, I could still see the attraction of most of the items on it. And I could never understand why you needed ten to make a list anyway?

But what had happened, in the …, well let’s just say several years that had passed?

Maisie had gone, we had fallen out (over a man) and never had the chance to make up. Everyone knew who I was, but for all the wrong reasons. I’d achieved fame for things that I hadn’t done, other people had given me the credit for bad things and the good was unknown. I’d swapped the vicarage and dogs for a cabin on a space station orbiting Saturn, which had successfully scuppered both number 3 and number 6.

As for the children bit, I suppose that was still a possibility, if Derek got his act together.

And I had learned new things, of course I had. How to make clothes, bake cakes, fly a mining Scooper and spacewalk.

Who would have thought I could ever do that? Certainly not sister Monica and all her minions.

Thinking of it all made me remember Maisie, her laugh that was impossible not to join in with, her way of squeezing every last ounce of joy from life. It made me feel lost, lonely and so sad, I could feel myself welling up.

I had a sudden thought, what had Maisie put in her essay on the subject?

I searched for her exercise book but it wasn’t in the pile.

You can find all the adult Andorra’s adventures (and one of her childhood ones), by clicking on the picture.

Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.

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I’d love to get your comments, please leave them below. While you’re here, why not take a look around? There are some freebies and lots more content, about me, my writing and everything else that I do. You can join my newsletter for a free novella and more news by clicking this link.


12 Responses

  1. Stevie Turner

    Nice one, Richard. I often wonder what became of my junior school friends. In reality we end up completely different people to how we started out.

    • Richard Dee

      I moved back here after nearly 50 years away. I sometimes wonder if I’m passing one of them in the street?

    • Richard Dee

      Ain’t that the truth. I struggle to get to three sometimes.

    • Richard Dee

      Thanks, I’d rather pick less and manage them all.

  2. P.J. MacLayne

    Sometimes it’s better not to know what happened to childhood friends. One of mine has been withering away in a nursing home for over 15 years, and there’s nothing I can do to help.

    • Richard Dee

      That’s so sad, I have so many happy memories, yet it seems that only the bad ones survive.

  3. Lela Markham

    I live in the town I grew up in, so I still see high school friends at times (my best friend from then and I are still friends, although she lives in another state, so we don’t see each other in person often). That continuity is both a blessing and a curse — it’s lovely to run into people you still like and tiresome to run into people who have become someone you’d never be friends with now. And some of them have made horrible choices in life and it’s sad to see.

    • Richard Dee

      It must be nice to keep in touch, not so much when things don’t work out. I moved school several times in my youth and see few people from those days now.

  4. Roberta Eaton Cheadle

    If I’d thought of only writing six instead of ten, Richard, I would have joined in instead of coping out this week [smile]. A great post.

    • Richard Dee

      Thank you. I’m inherently lazy and approached the subject as Andorra (or any nine-year-old) probably would.

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