C13’s Chapter 1 of her Book: If Only I’d Known….

This year, as part of her delight learning, C is writing a short six chapter book using Here to Help Learning excellent curriculum.  She is learning editing and re-editing, as well as following something through to its conclusion.  She has worked consistently hard on this book since the beginning of the year, and I am very excited to see the work coming from it.  I thought you might like to read the first, fully edited chapter, telling the story of a girl who needed God in her life much more than even she knew.

If Only I’d Known

Chapter One

The large airy living room didn’t seem so bright to Pearl. The tension was so thick you could cut it. Settled at the edge of a large mahogany chair, she glanced up at her father whose face looked like thunder.  Her mother was sitting dejectedly on the sofa opposite her, clutching a creamy piece of card in her claw like hands. Her father sighed, then turned to her; Pearl instinctively shied away from him, nestling deeper into her chair.

Her father let out a sigh again, he was so close Pearl could smell the whiskey on his breath. Having just arrived home from clubbing, Pearl was wearing a vibrant, short, low-cut cocktail dress her parents had specifically forbidden, paired daringly with killer high heels and a gold clutch. She was becoming increasingly fearful of the silence that hung in the air. Finally her mother, who was wearing an old-fashioned nighty and a  fluffy dressing gown, spoke up,

“We received your school report today.”  Her voice was soft but carried a tone of disappointment that added an edge to it. Pearl’s heart dropped to her knees, then leapt to her throat. She acted cool about it though, determined not to appear weak in front of her parents.

“And?” Pearl hoped she sounded like she really couldn’t care less what people thought of her. It was at that point Pearl realized her dad would have a go if she didn’t escape soon. Too late, she saw her father turn to the fire, viciously stabbing the embers with the poker stick.

“Your grades are dropping. You were given an A in everything. I thought we agreed you were to receive an A plus in all your subjects!”  His tone of voice sliced her confidence to shreds, she felt tears well up in her eyes.

“But I…” Her father’s wrathful glare cut her short.

“According to your teachers you are bullying. A girl was found trapped in a storage locker yesterday, she said it was you who had masterminded the whole incident. I am very displeased with you!”

Tears spilled over the edges of Pearl’s eyes smearing her smoky eye make-up. Her lower lip quivered as he continued,

“Also your headmistress claims you are abusing your position of leadership, yelling at the other students for petty reasons like not getting high enough grades.”

Pearl’s heart fell apart as she realized the unfairness of it all. How else was she meant to act?  He exposed her to this sort of behaviour all the time. The tears came spilling out in torrents, Pearl’s father looked on disgusted muttering,

“I had to have a gormless girl, no boy, just a simpering good-for-nothing girl!”

Pearl’s mom rose to try to cushion the blow of his outburst.  Pearl pushed her well-meaning intentions away. Rising she ran from the room sobbing. As a final show of rebellion she yelled over her shoulder,

“I hate you!” Pearl’s voice cracked, preventing her from saying more.

After she had changed and taken her fury out on the door, Pearl felt a bit calmer. As she washed her smeared makeup away she could hear her parents talking. As the final smudge of makeup came off, Pearl looked in the mirror hating the face that stared back at her.  Her mother’s brown eyes. Her father’s high cheekbones and chiseled looks. Pearl felt the fury building up inside her once again. Finally she threw a rock at the mirror. Ignoring the shattered glass that littered the floor she walked slowly back to the bedroom.

Pearl’s room was very large and her walls were covered with posters, pictures, lyrics and lights. Flopping onto her bed, Pearl donned some headphones, her mind swirling with thoughts. She must have dropped off as when she woke it was 2:00 in the morning. Sleep alluded her so Pearl stepped out onto her balcony dialing her boyfriend’s number.

“Hello?” Pearl smiled as she heard Clancy’s voice.

Clancy Bay. The teenage heart-throb. Tall, muscular, tattoos and blonde hair. To top it all off he was a famous musician.

“Hey. Can we talk? My parents are being idiots again.”


  1. C really has a way with words, doesn’t she? I especially love “her heart dropped to her knees, then leaped to her throat”! Well done, C; I look forward to reading the next chapter.

  2. Great Job! I am sorry this is late, I am just catching up on your blog now. Life has a way of getting crazy. I love this chapter, I hope she is enjoying writing. Very good job!

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