By Carol Wills
Nothing will go wrong, she told herself. You’ve waited a long time for this. You’ve checked and double checked. You were up all night for god’s sake. The litany went on and on, but still she couldn’t quite believe it would be okay. Needles pricked her eyes with sharp stinging bites every time she blinked. Her skin felt damp. Sweat trickled cooling the searing heat.
Why did it have to be so hot? Any other day of the year she would revel in it, basking in the warm sweltering blanket, but not today. Today she had to be at her best, alert, bright, ready to face everyone.
She couldn’t wait to see all those wonderful friends she has made over the years. She knew there would be many questions and wondered who would be first. Will, I bet it’ll be Will, she thought; he’s always first. Then Charlotte, my ever-faithful best friend. It’ll be good to see Charles and Daniel again and Jane of course. Oh, please God she prayed, make everything perfect for my big day. Today will be the start of a brand new life for me. I’ve dotted all the i’s, crossed all the t’s, now all I have to do is get through today. Destiny
Sitting at her dressing table she studied the face staring back at her. ‘Mum & Dad are so proud, she whispered, so am I come to that. Well, I am their first.’
Preening and applying what little makeup she wore, she made a mental note to write and thank everyone for the good wishes she had received over the past few weeks.
She dressed carefully and went down stairs. Coffee, cereal & toast was laid out on the breakfast table.
‘Thanks mum she said, but I can’t eat a thing.’
‘Darling you must have something; you’ve a big day ahead of you.’
‘No, just coffee mum, I’m too keyed up to eat. Her gaze darted round the room. God look at the time! Where’s dad? Has the car arrived? I’m going to be late, I just know I am.
‘Calm down love, you’re getting all hot & bothered. Can’t have you turning up all covered with sweat looking like you just ran a marathon now, can we? The car will be here in ten minutes and dad’s ready and waiting.’
The journey was over before they knew it. He turned to his daughter and took her tiny hand in his clumsy great paws.
‘You know love I’m not much of a one for words but I need to tell you, this is the proudest moment of our lives for your mum and me.’
‘I know, dad, I know, she said patting the huge gentle hands that had cradled her all her life.
She stepped from the car. The sun winked diamond bright on the glass of the great arched windows sending shafts of pure gold dancing down the marble steps to greet her. This is it girl, she thought. No turning back now. Smiling at her dad she slowly climbed the steps. A welcoming breeze lifted distant voices sending them whispering through the eves. She paused on the threshold. Heads turned to watch her progress, as she made her way slowly to her place. Everyone looked to the front. She held her breath then, smiling gently she looked up to meet her destiny. Destiny
Tapping the lectern, he said.
‘Good morning, everyone, please turn over your papers. You have two hours to complete this paper on English Literature…’
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