When I woke up the next morning, the sun was shining on my face. For some reason, the golden light made me feel happier and more relaxed.
I checked my watch and saw it was six thirty. I went to the bathroom and had a shower. At first, the water was freezing cold, but after spluttering for a while it finally turned hot. I had forgotten how temperamental the plumbing in Mum’s home was. If I decided to stay, I would need to do something about it.
I put on an old track suit and went downstairs to eat breakfast and wait for Aunt Lucy. I might even have some time to look for the diaries again.
I drank a cup of tea and ate a couple of leftover cucumber sandwiches and then went out into the garden. A breeze was blowing and the willow in the back seemed to be talking to me. When I was a little girl, I used to be afraid of that willow. I always told Mum it looked like a witch and she told me not to worry. She said witches could be good too.
‘Aren’t you going to get those diaries?’
I turned around and saw Mum standing behind me.
‘Why don’t you tell me where they are?’
‘Then it wouldn’t be so much fun.’
‘It’s not fun, Mum. I’m not in the mood for games.’
‘Where’s your sense of humour, Willow?’
I was going to answer, but decided not to bother as she had already disappeared.
I wondered if I was going crazy. Did people who had lost a loved one usually see them around and talk to them? Maybe they did. I would have to ask somebody.
After washing the mug I had been drinking from, I went upstairs to the attic. I opened the door and went inside. One of my priorities would have to be to clean it, I decided. There were cobwebs everywhere.
I looked around, at a loss where to start, when I suddenly remembered something. When I was a little girl, I had once seen Mum lifting one of the floorboards. When I asked her what she was doing, she blushed and changed the subject.
So maybe the diaries where hidden under the floor, I thought. I started trying to lift the floorboards one by one, but they all seemed to be firmly stuck in place. I was about to give up, when I noticed something strange. There was a shelf in a corner that looked totally new. I didn’t remember ever having seen it there before. The problem was it was empty.
I caressed the top of the shelf absent-mindedly and suddenly the back moved to the left. I looked inside and saw about twenty little leather-bound volumes neatly sitting in a row. I took one out and opened it. The pages were covered in Mum’s handwriting. I had found the diaries!
Carefully, I took them all out and down to my room. One by one I hid them inside my wardrobe. I decided I would start reading them when Aunt Lucy left. Why didn’t I start reading immediately? I was probably afraid…