April the Sixth, 2012
My mum bought me a new diary today to write down what I’m thinkin' every day. She says it’s what I get for bein’ such a good girl, always helpin’ with the chores and shoppin’ and things. It’s a pretty little thing: bright blue and with a long blue string to keep track of the page I last wrote in.
My mum says I should write down about me first, so I guess I will.
My name is Sinead. I'm seventeen this year, just turned so four months ago. I've got pretty dark hair, long enough to cover my shoulders. I have soft, blue eyes, but some days my mum says they turn grey, like a cold rainy sky. I have a wee nose, one that points up at the sky and a small but happy smile. There's not a single day I go without me smilin’ away.
I spend most days outside, but my pale skin don't show it much. I love going to the park on the East side of town, but I can't remember the name for the life o' me. It's not very special, just big enough for little me to run around and around. And then there's that lonely man I always see.
He's not much of an eye snatcher himself, but ol' me notices him every day just sittin’ on the same bench, under the same big tree, readin; and it's never the same book, but always one too big for me to finish in a whole day. I'm gonna be going back to the park tomorrow, sense the weather channel downstairs in the kitchen says it'll be bright and warm again. Maybe I'll see the man then.
It’s late though, and mum is calling me for supper, so I’ll write more tomorrow, maybe after I go to the park. Cheerio for now!
April the Seventh, 2012
I woke up late today. I hurried to get myself together and all, cuz I know I might have missed him. My mum tries to feed me ‘fore I walk out the door, but I run out as fast as my legs can carry me. I run for a while, hopin’ I aint missed him being there, all quiet and alone. I pray I make it cuz I know this is the day I say somethin’ to him. I have a bright smile on my face thinkin’ about it.
It takes me a long while to get where I’m goin’, with runnin’ to the station and ridin’ it around the villages. Not until my tummy’s throwin’ a right fit is when I finally get to the park where I first saw him. I run straight off the bus, and I stop there and take in all the smells and beauty of the Earth. It’s something I always done, ever since I was a little thing.
The park is boomin’ with the young and the old. Some bring little animals and the birds are tweetin’ up a storm, see? It’s a beautiful day. And, just like I prayed for, there he is, just sitting at the park bench like he normally does: a book in his lap and the glass spectacles on his eyes. I stand by a nearby tree, the tallest one in the whole park (I know he sits on this bench cuz it’s right by this tree, which is the prettiest I’ve ever seen). He’s just reading and goin’ about his own business and not paying attention to little ‘o me. I lean against the tree and watch him for a while, wonderin’ how he’s flippin’ pages so fast in the book he’s readin’. I always wonder about the things he does, like why he keeps his hair so long, and why he sits on this bench every day instead of goin’ to any other park. I mostly wonder why he always seems so alone, like he’s got nobody in the whole wide world.
Like the cheery me I am, I skip up to him, my purple skirt that I make myself flowing in the wind. My mum tells me wearing old slippers with a skirt isn’t how it’s done, but I don’t mind it. My old Slippers are the first things he sees cuz he looks up at me and I’m smiling away, brighter than the big blue sky, like it isn’t odd at all to walk up to a complete stranger.
“Ello, there,” I says to him, my fingers clunchin’ the sides of my pretty skirt. He just looks at me with a foggy mind and such, like he doesn’t know what to do.
“Um, Hello.” He says back, and I smile even brighter. He has a pretty voice, one I imagined just right for him, all sweet and kindly, like warm honey on freshly baked dough.
I stare down at the book in his lap, which is bigger up close. He’s already half done, like he hadn’t just opened it an hour ago. I know that cuz he’s always readin’ something new every day. “What’cha readin there?” I ask. He flips the big book over to see the cover, like he forgot himself. I laugh a little.
“It’s a psychology book. It helps you learn the way a human mind works, that sort of thing.” He says and he sounds smart while sayin’ it, even though I don’t understand at first. I laugh. It sounds borin’ to me, anyways.
“What’cha readin’ stuff like that for?” He laughs this time and I smile all wide and bright. He’s got a pretty smile too, but wider and brighter than mine. “Don’t you read fun things?” I ask.
“This is fun. At least for me. I read things like this all the time; you really learn a lot. It teaches you a lot about the way humans act and think. You know there’s a thousand ways a person can express their emotions, either through communication or body language, and even though-“
I laugh out loud, interruptin’ his explainin. “Well, you don’t need to be learnin’ me all that like I’m in school, you dope.” I says in a friendly way. I laugh again cuz his cheeks get all red and puffy, like he’s shy about it. “Are you a teacher then?” I ask him, smiling my pretty smile.
“A doctor, actually.” He says and I get to thinkin’ on what kind of doctor he might be. He looks like a little fellow that might pass right out at the sight of blood. Then he turns our chat right around and closes his big book up tight.
“You don’t sound like you’re from around here. Are you an exchange student?” he asks me. I shake my head roughly.
“Nah. Me and my mum moved here from Ireland, the big green country over sea. She’s lookin’ to put me in school again, but I aint been to school in a long while. My dad use to teach me himself. He died a little while ago, that’s why we moved, see?”
His big, dark eyes get all sad right then like I thought they would. “I’m sorry to hear that,” he says, with all honesty in him. I smile again to let him know I aint at all sad at the moment.
“He was a good dad, best there ever was.” I smile wide, rememberin’ my old man. “He’d take me to the beach most days, and we’d sit on the sand.” Right then, I sit on the ground in front of his bench, all excitement in me. “And we’d always look out into the big, big blue, countin’ the waves as they go up to our feet. The water would tickle my little toes, and I would laugh my little girl laugh, loud and glad, see? And other days we’d take a walk or ride bikes into the village. We never had a lot of money, but dad never said no when little ol’ me begged for a sweet treat. My mum strung him up on his toes for sploilin’ me so, but that never stopped my great ol’ dad.” I stop talkin’ then, wonderin’ what was in me to go on and on like that. I never talk much about my dad to no one, not even mum.
The man on the bench is quiet while I’m thinkin’ to myself. I look up at him again, smiling and such so he doesn’t think I’m at all sad. “It’s good to talk about your feelings, especially in a case of death. Bottling your emotions can be bad, even dangerous.” He tells me, and I listen good.
“You ever lost someone before?” I ask him. Right then, he gets all white and pasty, like he suddenly feels sick, see? I know the answer right away, whether he tells me or not. He seems to know that I know, especially since he doesn’t say anything else of it.
Then he changes the subject and suddenly asks me for my name. “Sinead, but My ol’ dad called me Runt.” I says, not sure why I tell him the last part. It gets a good smile out of him though.
“I think I’d rather call you Sinead. It’s a pretty name,” he tells me and I get a big joy in me from hearin’ it.
“Spencer.” He says, nothing I thought he’d be called. But it seems to suit him, and it sounds smart in a way, and I already know Spencer has to be a smart guy.
Then I ask him what his age is, cuz he looks young to me and I wonder just how smart he really is if he's a real doctor. "29," he answers, and I get excited to hear I was right after all. "What about you?"
"Seventeen and ten months I am," I tell him, a hint of pride in me voice. He looks surprised.
“You don’t look 17. I figured you to be younger.” He tells me, and I giggle away.
“And you look not a day over 18. That’s why I come and talk to you, see? I don’t have a lot of friends my age, but you’ll do.” I says, and he looks strangely at me, but he smiles back.
That's when I get up on my feet and brush away the cold dirt off my skirt. I smile cuz he gets this look on his face, like he’s sad I might be goin’. “Well, pleasure meeting you, Spencer. I’m sure I’ll be seein’ you again, but a runt’s got to eat, as my ol dad would say.”
“Pleasure meeting you, too, Sinead.”
“Cheerio for now.” I says to anyone I don’t see again that whole day after. I see him smile and I skip right back to the place I started and wait for the bus, which takes me back to the station, and here I am home again. I’m thinkin’ about him now, only hopin’ ol’ Spencer is thinkin’ about me too, like we’re pals that always have one another in mind. It’s just me and him and no one else in the whole wide world.
I can’t wait to go back to see him tomorrow. I might ask him about psychology, and if he can tell what it is ol’ Runt thinks about in her head. Maybe he can teach me things, like I told him my ol’ dad use to, and then I would never have to go back to dumb ol’ school.
Mum’s callin’ me down for supper. I’ll write more tomorrow, then. Cheerio for now.
April the Eighth, 2012
I sit and wait for Spencer on the bench right under the big tree. I wait and wait, but I don’t see him anywhere, not even after the sun is settin’ over the tall trees way out past the park. I think and wonder where Spencer might be. Then I think, maybe he new I was lyin' to him about me ol' dad. Maybe, somehow, he found out the truth, and now he dosn't want to see me. I got all sad and inside thinking that, almost makin' meself cry. I think about a lot of things as I wait, but mostly if I dreamed all yesterday up in my head.
No dreamin’ like that tonight. I lie down in my bed now, starin’ at the ceiling and wait for me to fall asleep. It might be soon, so I’ll write more tomorrow. Cheerio for now.