Roots to Ground Us and Wings to Help Us Fly {Chapter 7}

I remember when I start to feel a little better.

I am sixteen.

We play Christmas music too loudly and dance while doing the dishes, wearing matching

jumpers and celebrate.

When I wake up on Christmas morning and I know I’m better.

I’m sure of it.

We do GCSEs and visit schools and one of them is small and stressful and has too few people

and I don’t trust it.

The other one is green and musical and cream, and all the teachers smile at me as I meet new


and ask questions.

And I’m certain that this is it.

This is where I’m meant to be.

Mum learns Latin so she can teach me and I practice vocabulary every morning

and translate passages

and get confused a little more than I’d like to admit.

We study classics and debate the bacchanalia

and the gods

and the myths and it almost doesn’t

seem like work because we are





My twin slowly realises she is more than she thinks and starts to figure out who she is.

She creates and paints and sews and is confusing sometimes but it’s okay

because we love her, and she deserves it.

We muddle our way through.

And are still best friends when we come out the other end.

Our brother goes to college and loves it.

He meets new people and learns new instruments and is busy all the time but it makes him happy.

We go to his showcase and meet some of his friends and listen to the music

and cheer a little too loudly for him.

I meet someone who is going to hurt me.

I sit my GCSEs and wait on the edge of my seat for three months until I get my results.

My twin becomes emo

and wears dark clothes

and dark make-up

and dyes her hair every few days.

We aren’t sure what’s happening, but we support her anyway.

We plan to cook dinner together and end up sitting on the kitchen side chatting while mum cuts


and we laugh

and forget the problems of life for a moment.

We remember mum’s strength every time we struggle

and we read the sign above the mantel piece.

We cry.

And it’s okay.

We watch Mamma Mia and cry at the end scene and now I can’t listen to ‘Slipping through my fingers

without wanting to curl up in a ball and sob because

one day

I will have to leave home.

And I don’t know how to do that right now.

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