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locked in

Locked In

The Screams echoed through the corridors.

Not again Grace thought; as she turned to find where the screams had come from; a figure walked towards her. A baby in the woman’s arms. The woman was distraught. Grace knew better than to try and comfort her; at least not straight away. The woman brushed passed Grace gently, careful not to hurt each other’s’ babies.

Grace held hers too.  She couldn’t put her down, she didn’t want to. Grace carried on walking to as far as the corridor would take her, before turning back to return to her room. She wanted to give the woman space to breath for a moment. This was all new to the woman. Grace paused to take a look at her baby; she still couldn’t believe she had made someone so perfectly beautiful. She knew she wasn’t meant to be wandering around with her, but she couldn’t put her down.

Reaching the woman’s room she could see her talking to her baby, taking in all of his features; kissing his head. She looked up and noticed Grace, but said nothing.

“Hopefully you won’t be waiting too long; they should be here for you soon. Your baby is beautiful.” The woman – Alison, turned with a confused face and looked straight at Grace, no expression. “He’s perfect.” She replied, turning to face her new baby again.

Grace took a deep breath and carried on walking back to her room in silence. Sitting on the empty bed, looking at the empty cot; wanting to put her baby down, but couldn’t – her arms ached.

She pressed the buzzer and waited. Someone came, looked at Grace straight in the eye and switched off the buzzer, walked away. This annoyed Grace, so she pressed it again, then pressed the one in the bed next to her; she repeated this until all the bed buzzers were ringing. She quickly left the room, so she wouldn’t get caught.

Standing in the corridor, she could see Alison leaving with her baby; she was jealous of her. She wanted to leave. But before she could think too much, another scream could be heard, the begging cries to stay. This time, nobody entered the corridor. Grace knew exactly what that meant.

She’d been there nine years, she knew when the screams came but the corridor remained empty, that mother had survived, but her baby didn’t.

Grace knew, because like Alison she stayed with her baby. Unlike Alison she was stuck. Grace could never leave, eternally locked in.

majorette wins

My Cheerful List #35

Week 35 begins with the baby loss support group I run once a month in my local area – Little Daffodils. A remembrance candle lighting service has been arranged for October with one of the local churches. We have done one before, it was really lovely.

 

Midweek Outing

We found ourselves at Soft Play again, the weather wasn’t great, so it was another indoor outing, and the little ones like that particular one, as it is easy for them to do by themselves.

We had a quick trip to the shops and then a spot of lunch. The children always enjoy these outings, as do I!

 

Writing

I managed to get some fiction work written last week. Three pieces in two days; these have been scheduled for the weeks ahead. The Wind Walkers are this week’s instalment. I am hoping I can keep this up, as I really do love writing, I just get so tired lately that I don’t find the energy to even be awake, let alone write. I hope you enjoy it.

 

Gardening

We have managed to get some bits of the garden done this weekend. We can only do a bit at a time, due to finances, slow but hopefully it won’t take long to get it completed now. We have brambles at the end in our daughter’s memory garden, but the roots are in our neighbours’ garden, but we do need to be ruthless if we want our garden to be pretty. We also going to gravel the bedding borders, we’re not great at gardening, so can put pot plants there instead!

 

Barbecue

Having a tidier garden meant for an impromptu BBQ. We, as a family had put one on our food planner; then friends said they would be making a delivery, so they ended up joining us and another friend who I’d not seen for ages, it was lovely.

Majorette Wins

Another competition week is done, it was an incredibly hot one! But all the children seemed to have a wonderful time, and did so well! The troupe came away with nine trophies, plus medals for individual games at lunchtime, one of my daughters came away with a medal for individual marching, she came third. And she won best mascot for her Pom routine!

 

I am incredibly proud of all them for doing this hobby, my eldest daughter smiled throughout her routine, and my son really gave it his all. I can’t wait for the next lot!

 

Have a lovely week, I hope the weather holds out for a few weeks now, we’ll see.

cheerful

My Cheerful List #33 Winning!

Week 33 of My Cheerful List. I was just reading through previous weeks; and in those weeks loads of things have happened. Ups and downs, busy lives; happy and sad times. The fourth month of the year is almost done, where is the time going?

 

Sunshine

We have finally seen some lovely weather this week; it has been a very long time coming. Was working, but I did manage to get our huge pile of washing finished and dried. I don’t think it is set to last sadly though.

 

Little Outing

We’d planned to go to a local soft-play, but as the weather was amazing, and not knowing how long it would last, we took to the park instead. We met with a little boy and his mum, who will be going to school with our youngest. They played so lovely together, had lunch and just enjoyed the sunshine.

 

Back on the Wagon

So, I have taken to moving my ass back on the wagon and begun getting healthy again. Counting calories, has always been a winner for me, it is the willpower to stick to it that I find hard. I love learning about what I out in my mouth and when I am in the right frame of mind, I am more hesitant to putting crap in my mouth.

I am a comfort eater, so I do need to keep my spirits up so I can keep my weight low. As well as turning to healthier eating, I have upped the exercise regime, not as much as my husband – I am in awe of his willpower to keep going, he has done amazingly. He will admit he has had a slower week this week, but it has been a week of shit sleepers – worse than usual!

Anyway, I went out with two friends, and we walked, I think I worked out to be about 6 miles altogether. We chatted, giggled it was free! It didn’t feel like we had been walking for a couple of hours, so we’re going to go out again.

 

Winning!

Competition Day, it was a long one and we were about 2 hours away from home. But the children had such a wonderful time. It is always an adventure when we travel a little further afield; it brings smiles and certainly makes memories.

The children’s troupe took home seven trophies, and our very own red brought two of them herself by winning, best tiny tot Pom mascot, and best overall mascot. We’re all very proud of her, she is of herself too.

Looking forward to the next one.

I hope you have all had a good week.

 

winning

cheerful

My Cheerful List #32 Finding Friendship

Welcome back to My Cheerful Post. A place to share cheerful moments which have made us smile during the week. In times where it seems impossible, it can be helpful to find something, no matter how small that moment is. Here is week 32

Summer Term

First week back from the Easter Break, we have done virtually nothing. It has been nice to be back to a routine, but it has only just made me regret not doing a lot over the Easter break – of course the chicken pox put a stop to doing a great deal, but by not doing something always gives me some kind of “mummy guilt.” It has been lovely being back to work, as always it feels like I’ve never been away.

 

Midweek Plans

This week, although still very damp underfoot the rain held off enough to take a walk around one of our local National Trust properties. I love having a membership, especially during the nicer weather; the children love visiting them too. I really hope the warmer weather will be here soon.

 

Charity Things

We have received the videos to the interview we had last month; I feel incredibly proud to be a part of something so amazing. I find it strange to know that I did have a small part on this, when I really don’t have the confidence or self-esteem to do these sorts of things. I have also almost completed the first stage of a little package I have wanted to put together for a while, but I don’t know why – same with writing my novels – but I get so far, then fear kicks on and then I stop moving forward. I just pause anything I am doing; then regret it!

I don’t know why I do this, I need to stop letting fear waste my time, especially when I see others with similar ideas! Anyway I am hoping that the first little project will be up and running by the end of May, June at the latest.

 

Saturday Fun

My five year old had a birthday party; she was able to spend time with some of her closest friends. I asked her if she has a best friend; she replied “no”. For a second I felt a little bit of sadness, when she continued and said “they’re all my best friends, mummy.” I think finding friendships is always a big worry when you’re a parent; I do worry for her sometimes when she isn’t always part for the crowd. But I do think she has found her tribe.

I am glad; while she has found hers… four of us left our daughters to party while we had our own little party.

I say party, what I mean is child-free lunch. Where we could chat, drink AND eat; without stopping 25,000 times. I, too think I may have found mine.

 

Have a lovely week – I hear it is going to be a warm one!

cheerful

My Cheerful List # 31. Birthday Celebration

Welcome back to My Cheerful Post. A place to share cheerful moments which have made us smile during the week. In times where it seems impossible, it can be helpful to find something, no matter how small that moment is. Here is week 31

 

Week Two of the Easter Holidays, we still didn’t end up doing a lot. I wish the weather would pick up even a bout of blue skies, enough to dry washing on more than just the one day. It seems to be taking forever for it to arrive. We were still dealing with the aftermath of Chicken Pox from the previous week; I am relieved that it was done quickly. I just hope our youngest will be okay.

 

Birthday Treat

I took my eldest out shopping for a few hours, let her go and pick some clothes. She’s not the easiest to buy clothes for. She really enjoyed herself, and managed a decent Primark haul. It was of course, an early birthday treat; so she also had lunch too.

 

Meeting with friends

The five year old met up with her friend along with my older two and myself; we decided on swimming for a couple of hours. I can’t swim, but don’t mind the water. I was hoping it was going to help with my body pains, having a flare up of arthritis at the moment, it isn’t very comfortable. But I’ll be okay.

 

Breakfast Morning

It was the majorette fundraising big breakfast this week, it was quiet but it was fun as always. They’re a good bunch to be around. I met a woman who is also going to help complete a project I am putting together with Little Daffodils. I have wanted to do this for over a year now, but wanted this last item – because I can’t crochet! I am excited!

 

Birthday Party

We celebrated my eldest daughter’s birthday by having a joint disco. She had an amazing time with her friends, so lovely to see her having such a great time. In fact all her siblings had a wonderful time; the two year old didn’t stop!

Thirteenth Birthday

This brings me to her 13th birthday. I cannot believe I have a teenager – although judging by some of her strops you’d think she was already one. Born a tiny 4lb 8oz, hard to think at just 13 she is now taller than me, and laughs at the fact! She was incredibly spoilt, and deserves to be too. I am so glad she is growing, but my gosh it is scary how quickly it all goes.

 

Majorette Competition

The children had their first competition of the season today (a great way to celebrate a 13th birthday). They had a brilliant day, with the troupe taking home 10 trophies including my son who brought home best mascot medal. I am so incredibly proud of them all. Our five year old even competed in both of her sections too, last year she only did half of the competitions, the year before she did a couple; I am hoping she will continue as she loves it so much.

 

Other things

My anxiety levels have taken a little tumble this past week, as well as having a pain flare-up. I haven’t really cried or really struggle with Melody’s anniversary this year, but it has beaten me a little. We’re finding out so many things that were missed surrounding her death and after, it is incredibly difficult to process anything about it.  I’m worried for my husband and his legs. I like to keep busy, so busy that I can’t think too much about these things, and then when it gets quiet I do – then the flood gates open, makes me feel silly. This happened at the competition, I was grateful to have a shoulder to cry on. I am okay now. It’ll all pass.

birthday celebrations

monthly favourites

February Favourites.

In a blink of the eye, February was gone. It really was; it is one of our most dreaded months and is slow moving. But it went by super quickly.

The weather has been wet, and bitterly cold; definitely nothing to be excited about. Thought Snow is expected, we’ll see.

 

Different Things

February saw me and a friend on a regular afternoon out, minus the children. We went to a new to you sale; which I usually a success – purchasing pre-loved clothing at low cost; it is always so nice to get out and be people as well as being mums. There was also the majorette bingo, always lots of fun; we’re a really good team – can set up and put away within minutes. It is the best way to be.

February also is the month of Love, where we enjoy Valentine’s Day. I am not a huge fan, and shopping for it brings me triggers to the time I became poorly before Melody was born. I try and make the best of the day, my husband always knows how to spoil me – I am very lucky.

 

#ChardRocks

There’s a lovely project knocking around the UK, where you paint rocks and then hide them for people to find and then re-hide. Through the group I run – Little Daffodils we placed roughly 40 ish rocks around our local town. Not sure if they have been found, but the children loved hiding them.

 

February Half Term

It was a much awaited week off, we were hit with colds again, but we had reasonable weather – well enough to be able to leave the house. We met with friends several times; the littlest was sick one day so we were unable to meet with one lot of friends. We took a couple of trips to our local nature reserve; we hadn’t been for a while. It was lovely, as always.

Heading to the end of the half term we went to a local theme park – Crealy, they had a half price offer on, so took the chance and went, meeting with friends too. We all had a lovely time, chilly but fun. The children are desperate to go again.

 

Melody’s Birthday

The end of February saw our little girl’s birthday. I honestly thought the years would make it easier, but really it only makes it more obvious that we have a missing little girl, who should have been six.

I always found the run up difficult, and I have been lucky enough to have a supportive family and a friend from afar to keep me going through these weeks. We went out for two “celebratory” meals; we both worked too for the first time, we usually book it off – but for me, it helped to keep me focused and breathing.

 

February Weigh-In

I haven’t lost much this month, but more than I had imagined if I am honest – but a loss is a loss. I’ve still focusing on counting calories. I have upped the walking and have taken to just dancing it out. Exercise really does make you feel a little happier. It has been a little difficult for me to maintain anything this month with the above event – but I shouldn’t really excuse myself.

This month I have lost 2.4lb

I plan to work a lot harder through March, more exercise, less car.

Being Vegetarian

I am still maintaining a vegetarian diet, which I am really pleased with, and really haven’t missed meat, with the calorie counting it does make me a lot more mindful about what I am putting in my mouth.

Favourite Vegetarian food: Quorn Garlic and Mushroom Escalope. Sweet Potato fries have become a firm favourite too.

Favourite Naughty Food: That would have to be the new Cadbury’s Mint Crisp Chocolate bar- so, naughty but so yummy.

 

Best Written work in February

Here are my most popular pieces.

Not Just For Girls. Boys Can’t Dance.

Don’t Touch Me – Part of my Flash Fiction Series.

Then She Was Six over on the other blog I run, Melody and Me

 

My Cheerful list currently goes live each Sunday. And the Flash Fiction is still Friday, due to illness and unexpected extra work I have not been able to do as many as I had hoped, but I am working hard behind the scenes to get some ready.

The fiction is currently my favourite part of my website – it would seem others agree too, so thank you if you have been reading them.

 

Photography

I thought I would share some of my photos each month which do not feature any humans. Here are my favourites.

 

Chard Reservoir

 

Moon, taken in Chard

 

Have a good March!

my cheerful list

My Cheerful List #25

Welcome back to My Cheerful List. A chance to share with you something which has made me cheerful during the week, whether it be large or small, it is important to find something good even when it feels impossible. Thank you for joining me! We have reached week 25!

Back to School and Work

After a lovely week off it was back to routine, longing for the next set of holidays, five weeks and counting until the next. We managed to return to that routine swiftly; it has been a relatively quiet one.

 

Midweek Adventure

We met up with a friend as we do most Wednesdays, have done for a few years now – it is always lovely. This week we took the children to a soft play, we haven’t been for ages so it was nice for them to have a change of scenery, which they seemed to love every minute. We then had a wander around the shops and lunch it was lovely as always.

 

The Run Up

It is of course that lead up to our daughter’s un-birthday; a day of birth with no birthday person to celebrate it with. I really hate this part; it is difficult and really unpredictable. I can’t tell you how I will feel from one year to the next or from day to another. It is heavy and downright shit. Tomorrow should have been a little girl’s 6th birthday. I have had tears one day this week, moments where I was unsure of whether I would be able to compose myself for work or to breathe, but work grounded me, it gave me no time to think or let it consume me. I know it’ll be okay…but I also know it is perfectly okay not to be too.

 

Saturday

We had planned a visit to the beach; but it is super cold out there, so imagined it would have been even colder by the sea, so we took a walk into town via seeing our little girl at the cemetery – we’re not sure we’re able to visit on her birthday due to work, and my older two are at their dad’s, but they wanted to visit her too. We walked rather than take the car, although very bitterly cold it was nice and dry.

A few weeks ago I decided to try decorating and hiding some rocks within our town, I had heard about it from a fellow blogger on her Facebook Page (Whinge Whinge Wine), and thought I would give it ago with a couple. Well today we took 35/40 rocks which we had all decorated and scattered them around several places – the children loved it and thought it was great fun.

 

Cheerful

Spending the rest of the weekend chilled, as I said before the run up is always so shit, and difficult. It is incredibly lonely at times; people don’t understand about our inability to just “move on”. I guess they are lucky.

I hope you have managed to find something to make you cheerful this week.

Here is my favourite post this week. Not Just for Girls.

 

not just for girls

Not Just For Girls. Boys Can’t Dance.

gender

In the times where people are fighting for gender equality – equal rights as adults to allow women and girls the same rights as men, in the work place and how we dress. It is a slow movement, but the little things like, equal choice of clothing for little girls are beginning to change. 13 years ago I wouldn’t have dreamt buying a cardigan with cars on – aimed at little girls, yet there is one currently hung in the wardrobe, or dinosaur clothes designed for girls. It is brilliant.

While we’re looking deeply into what clothing line these big companies have, making a stand, there is another little corner that seems society turns a blind eye to; that gender stereotypical jobs and hobbies are still very much obvious.

Football for boys, ballet for girls; this has stuck; and is something that is currently on my mind. Let me tell you…

Background

In 2012 my eldest daughter took the steps to join a local majorette troupe; she didn’t enjoy gymnastics or country dancing, so I wasn’t sure if she would even enjoy this activity either. But she did and this year we’re nearing her 6th year and still loves every part of it. She also occasionally participates in football and hockey with her school; all activities very much supported. As long as she is enjoying it, nobody seems to bat an eyelid at her activities – quite right too.

 

Not Just For Girls

My son, he’s an absolute Gentleman, he’s very kind and is thoughtful towards others. He is also a majorette. One very hot summer’s day in 2013 whilst watching his older sister display, he asked if he was able to join in; I enquired and he was welcomed with open arms. I genuinely believed he wouldn’t stay for long I, myself assumed he would stop when he realised (at the time), there were no other boys, and just how much hard work goes into training. He surprised us all; he is now currently going into his 5th year.

 

The kicker – The Not-So Gender Equality

I have been questioned many times over the past five years from different people about my son doing majorettes. That is deemed too girly for him.

Where I have never been questioned about my daughter doing it, or that she also plays football (and is a fan of football too, might I add – both my son AND my husband aren’t bothered by football!!).

I am not really sure why people, in today’s society – where people are fighting (and rightly so) over women’s rights, that this hobby is deemed “too girly.” Yes it obviously is predominantly a female activity, but that shouldn’t stop any person male or female having a go. The stereotypes are still there, and are a long way behind what it should be. As I said nobody seems to be bothered by my daughter playing and liking football, yet it is EVERYBODY’S business whether my son twirls a baton.

 

Fighting the Corner

Where is the fight for the boys who want to dance? We’re still no closer to having the freedom for more Billy Elliotts.

The fight for those boys who do want to put on ballet pumps and pirouette.

For the boys, like my son as well as many other sons, who want to pick up a baton and NOT want to injure someone but to show off a skill, or a set of poms to show off his team building skills?

These boys need this corner too. There have been times where my son has been alienated by friends and classmates because of his hobby. It’s unfair.

To me, it is the adults – the parents who need to help change this stigma where boys can’t comfortably enjoy something that is not the usual football or scouts.

Sadly I have seen it with my own eyes where people point at the boys at carnivals and displays (although in my son’s case it is friends who point more…), at the end of the day they are children; children who are out to entertain doing the thing that they love, the boys should never feel like they’re inadequate. There are some amazing male twirlers in the world – you’ve just got to open your eyes and see the amazing things these guys do, ignoring the rudeness.

I would rather my son pick up a baton and twirl or a set of poms and rock out to Bon Jovi; than be the mean judgemental humans out there, who think it is acceptable to ridicule someone because of their gender.

It is time to stop.

So, unless your hobby is porn or of a sexual nature, then gender should NOT have an effect on a person’s hobbies, jobs or activities.

Leave our boy twirlers, boy dancers alone.

 

Disclaimer:

I am incredibly proud of my son, of all my children. We never push them to do their hobbies, in fact sometimes it would be nice to have a Friday off (joke 😉 ), we weren’t expecting him to enjoy it so much, to still be doing it nearly 5 years on. I do ask him every now and again if he still wants to continue, and every time his answer is yes. I would never force him or any of them (I have three twirlers) to continue if they didn’t want to.

It really is a great activity, something different. He gets on with every single person on his team.

(Check out the behind the scenes post coming soon).

my cheerful list

My Cheerful List #24 Half Term.

Welcome back to My Cheerful List. February Half Term! A chance to share with you something which has made me cheerful during the week, whether it be large or small, it is important to find something good even when it feels impossible. Thank you for joining me! We have reached week 24!

February Half Term

This week off had become very welcomed, the children were beginning to get tired, catching any bugs going and just generally needed a break. We weren’t sure what the weather would be like, it really has been a little hit and miss; but it hasn’t been terrible.

 

Monday

We decided on a quiet day, my older two children were at their Dad’s; so we had snuggles at home. It was lovely not to be rushing around getting ready for work and school.

 

Tuesday

Pancake Day! We met up with a friend and her two girls; meeting at our local café to have pancakes there. They had a lot of energy between them so made to decision to take a walk at our local Nature Reserve. We’ve not been there for months it is still as lovely as ever. The girls and their friends fed the ducks, run around and burnt some energy. It was so lovely to be out. Then we had Pancakes in the evening, yummy.

 

Wednesday

The original plan was to meet with friends and visit one of our local National Trust properties, however Baby Red woke up and was incredibly clingy, which resulted in her vomiting not long after. Which meant no meeting with friends; after a sleep for a few hours she perked up but wasn’t right until much later in the day.

Wednesday was also Valentine’s Day, where my husband spoilt me as per usual; including my new Dobby mug. I am not a big fan of Valentine’s Day, so am not very good at enjoying it. Here’s why. It took me many years to like it even a little bit again. It’ll always be different.

 

Thursday

Another quiet day, I had a headache on and off, desperately hoping it wouldn’t turn into anything to put off plans for the end of the week. We attempted to sort things in the house too ready for decorating and new beds.

 

Friday

The weather was actually nice again, cold but not raining! So, we took a visit to the Nature Reserve again, this time including my older two as well. We live really close to it – we’re really lucky. It was such a lovely walk, the children enjoyed it. Fresh air makes everything seem better. Two of them had majorette training in the evening, really proud of them all to be continuing with this hobby, my son is on Panto break for a few weeks, so will return to training soon.

Little Red has found a new love in majorettes; she’s been doing it since she was three and competed once or twice that first year; then went on to have a break due to starting school and not sleeping. She really missed it, and figured she won’t sleep no matter what we do (it is getting better!), we let her re-join. Slow start but she absolutely loves it!

 

Saturday

A long-awaited trip to our local theme park – Crealy! They had a special half term offer of £10 a person; we took advantage of it and went with friends – new friends. It was a really lovely day; I hadn’t been in many years, my husband and our two younger girls have never been; my older two go regularly. So many rides, so much to do and see – we didn’t see or use it all due to time. We would definitely recommend a second visit. Crealy offers a free 6-day return if people are interested in going back again, ideal if used at the beginning of a half term.

 

Sunday

Today we are having a quiet day! Little Red is playing on the Xbox; baby Red is ‘taking notes’. I am working up to finishing the first draft of a book which I am writing. I have procrastinated far too long! This book is actually book two of a series of children’s books that I have been playing about with; I had started this one through the annual event Nanowrimo – November’s National Writing a Novel Month. I had done a big chunk of it, and then I didn’t finish it. Then I will attempt to finish the first one.

 

Here is my flash fiction post from Friday, I hope you enjoy it – Don’t Touch Me.

Not long until the next half term, two weeks at Easter.

 

 

 

Don't Touch Me

Don’t Touch Me. Flash Fiction

I have always loved people watching; for as long as I can remember they fascinate me somewhat. Going about their personal business, some walking in the same direction, but not to the same destination; strangers together. Their lives seemed busy, for whatever reason.

As I walk amongst the crowd, weaving in and out; being careful not to touch or be touched by anyone, I like to keep clean. Keeping my head down as much as I can too; I struggle with eye contact with people; it makes me feel strange – guilty perhaps. They could be having a bad day, and making eye contact would mean that I have ignored them. Simpler just to avoid; I don’t think I am noticed much anyway – I like that too. I am fairly shy and prefer to go be unnoticed; it made my day peaceful; leaving me with only a small number of jobs I am given daily, these days I like.

My job is a difficult one, it really is never easy, but one that is needed to be done. There are quite a few of us in this field, dotted around the world. We rarely interact with each other; we can work alone, when we do come together it is usually the worst kind of days, days we like to avoid. I like my own company, I think the others feel the same none of like the team working days.

My first call of the day is fairly early; it is in a house – I say the first call, I have visited here several times this week, I don’t like to arrive too quickly if I can help it, although I think it was preferred that I completed the jobs a day or so ago. But I like them to have the important things out of the way; it doesn’t make any sense to me to interrupt these.

I can’t put this off any longer.

As I stand to look at the large black wooden front door – it looks quite old – I always like to knock, but I never wait for the door to be answered. You see people don’t like me being in their homes, I try desperately to not be made aware of – most of the time these people know that I am coming.

As I enter the house, I remove a small bottle from my pocket, placing a drop of the gloopy liquid from inside onto my hands and rubbed them together; I like to remain clean all the time, hence why I am not overly keen on being touched, amongst other reasons. I can hear voices from the rooms upstairs, everywhere else seemed cold and empty.

I begin to slowly climb the stairs, a voice shouted over me to whoever was downstairs, within seconds they were running past me, I made sure that nobody touched me or that I got in their way. Reaching the top I took a breath. “This part never gets easier.” I sighed to myself. Slowing my pace as I edged closer to the door at the end of the hallway. It was a long one, passing several dark doors as I walked.

It seemed so small, but there were many people in there, not a lot of space to move. Politely but quietly I said “Excuse me”, as I tried to get by. I can’t be sure they really heard, I never know if I ever get heard.

A path naturally cleared for me; I continue to be careful not to be touched too much, and where my hands placed, for a moment I was able to reach for my tiny bottle again; can’t be too clean. In front of me a bed with an elderly gentleman lying under his covers, he appeared to be sleeping; he obviously wasn’t well. Above the voices which were filling the room, I could hear his laboured breathing and the soft beating of his heart. I continued closer to him; I do hope I can help him.

I crouched down close to his ear.

“I’m here for you.”

Whilst I placed my hand upon his chest, I could instantly feel the final rise and fall as he took his final breath; my hand rested next to those who love him. Carefully sliding my hand away, I stepped back to ensure nobody could sense my being there, I certainly didn’t want contact with them in any way – it wouldn’t be the first time.

The paperwork I need to fill, identities I need to check most of the others who work the same as me use modern technology but I still prefer book and pencil. This one was pretty standard. As hard as they are I like these jobs. I can begin my journey to my next destination.

The cries of sadness trail behind me, I am used to that noise now – well almost.

I didn’t have another in the area, so I made my way to my car. I managed to drive a little way, traffic was building up, the three lanes were filling up. It was then I noticed other members of my team dotted around the queuing traffic, we made eye contact and I knew this wasn’t the end of my day.

The man in the car next to me looked across, he smiled. They usually do.

Seconds later a large tanker ploughed into the car next to me and into others. My quiet day had now ended.