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Giving Up The Ghost

By mallyful All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Adventure

Chapter 1

“There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re okay. You’re not too fat, you’re not too anything. You’re fucking lovely. You’re gonna be okay.”

-Russell Brand

Dedicated to me. Because I’m the one who fucking wrote it.


Part One: Up until

14th October

Dear Mum,

You’re dead.

I really hate you. Like. REALLY, REALLY hate you.

Love, Girly.

P.S. I think I saw you earlier, near Tesco. Was it you?


15th October

Dear Mum,

I’m sorry. But you DID die. I mean, that’s not something you can just shrug off in a day or two, you know? Like, the person who gave birth to me and stuck her tit in me gob has just fucked off. I’m not supposed to speak ill of you but hey- you always told me and Carl to do our own thing and sod society. I think that had something to do with you being a lesbian.

Would you have dated a transgender woman? You dated blokes before and ended up with me. Would you have gotten with a transgender and had kids with her before she transitioned? I have all these questions I wanted to ask you when you were alive but I never remembered them when you were around and now I can’t ask you.

I saw you again today, on my way back from college. You were following me all the way home but I could see you behind me in windows. You weren’t really there- I could see through you to the houses behind. But...

I really wish you were here, Mum. Mam is crying in secret and part of me wants to scream for her to admit that she’s upset you’re dead even though you were always arguing before you died. But the other part of me wants her to carry on hiding it; no I want her to hide it better because you’re my mum that died. Yes: she loved you. Loves? Yes: you were her girlfriend...fiancé... whatever you two were for like 15 years. But you were my mum, and the fact I haven’t cried over you once isn’t the point. The point is I haven’t got it in me to comfort her and/or help her though her grief and all that bollocks because I have my own shit to deal with. You know A-levels, growing up, learning all the adult things you need to know for some reason because every adult knows these sort of generic adult facts. Actually trademark that- adult facts. That’s a clever name for something.

Also, Mam always calls me a baby for having social anxiety and all my friends at college are pretending not to treat me any different when they do. And...

I need you back, Mum. Mam cuts the toast in triangles instead of rectangles and I asked her to do it the other way (not a big ask, same amount of effort, right? Maybe a bit inconvenient, yeah, I’ll give you that. See, Mum, I can take responsibility for my own part in problems, I can be a well-rounded adult) and then that lead to an argument and Carl took her side like he always does so I walked out.

Why did you leave me here with Mam, Mum? I’m not related to her. Where you actually a slut in your 20s and don’t know who my dad is, is that why I haven’t got one? I don’t like Mam- I don’t care if she adopted me when I was like two. She’s not my Mum. You were.

When you were following me home from school, were you walking or were you floating? I didn’t want to look in case you left and also there was an actual person behind me and I didn’t want to make eye contact. I saw you fully in a car window at the traffic lights (they were broken again, Mum, Loughborough is proper shit, innit?) and I don’t know if you were in the same clothes they burnt you in because Mam wouldn’t let me see you dead. And I didn’t go to your funeral, BTW. Remember that baggy white 90s jumper you were wearing in that Polaroid picture of me on the old Queen’s Park swings and you next to me? You were wearing that. And some black leggings and I couldn’t see your feet but I bet you were wearing them well minging rip-off UGG boots you got in 2004 on the market in a massive muddy field in a place beginning with D.

Ring, ring- yes, hello, the 90s called and they want their clothes back. JFC Mum you even had your hair done in a perfect messy bun with a purple velvet scrunchie. Well done. *Insert sarcastic-arse slow clap here*, well done.

When I saw you that last time nearly dead in the hospital bed then your face looked like it had been attacked with a cheese grater. Ghost!you looks like you did in that Polaroid picture I just mentioned. Like 20 or something. Not 36

Maybe you’ll have figured it out by now. I’ve started cutting again. On my legs. My friends can’t see it there and I never wear shorts because shaving my legs takes effort. But yeah- cutting.

I don’t even think it’s because of you- soz, but I don’t.

Well... saying that. My friends glance at me in their peripherals and the teachers ask me with dripping voices and people look over and then pretend not to no matter how accidental. The day after I went in and they all pulled me aside with honey condolences and heavy eyes and apathetic standing round and I perched awkwardly and squirmed in my seat and I hate you for making me special in the worst way I hate you I hate you.

Love, Girly.


19th October

Dear Mum,

Do you remember when you found out I was cutting? I wasn’t even actually self-harming back in year eight. But Ellie-that’s the really fucked up bird who left in year nine and we thought got pregnant twice after in year eleven after she slept with a bloke in her mum’s bed- was properly doing it, and I was proper messed up in year eight so I just started scratching myself and then social services got involved for all those Carl things that Mam always blames me for in arguments.

And you YELLED AT ME. You yelled at me, Mum. The bloody hell did you go and do that for? The NHS page literally says that the one thing you shouldn’t do is be angry and yell; even if the person is only doing it for attention. Woo. Go Mum, well done. Literally. Couldn’t have done a shittier job myself.

Why did you yell?

Sorry- one of those questions I always meant to ask but I was definitely putting it off for a few years because I may or may not have still been doing it. Did you think you cocked up your one job? Well I hate to break it to you, but you have. Ghost!you doesn’t even come in the house.

But I can tell you utterly categorically right now if I had a kid who started I wouldn’t yell or anything. Know what I would do? I would look at their arms, and then I would roll my own sleeve up, or take my trousers off, and then I would hold their hand and have a cigarette in the other because I’d need one.

“Look,” I’d tell them. “You shouldn’t be doing this, miduck.” And they would look at the floor and squirm and I wouldn’t cry a bit. “And you should really stop. I want you to stop- you want to stop, I

know you do.”

And they would look up at that, and their face would have an expression on it and I would look back at them for a moment and then I would go back to stroking our scars. “But you can’t. Not ever again. Universal rule, mate: once a cutter always a cutter. Leopard can’t change this inch and all that bollocks. Soz, luv, but you can stop and never look at a razor or wall or pencil sharpener again, means nothing. Every time something happens, your mind will immediately think ‘go cut’ or ’get that

razor out’. Even if you don’t, it is what it is. You should never have made that first cut.”

And then I’ll pull my sleeve back down or put my trousers back on and make some tea and let them think it all over and we’ll probably never talk about it again.

I think that’s what you should have done, Mum, or something similar, at least. Because I don’t think you used to self-harm. Unless… you did and that was why you got so angry. Even Mam didn’t react so bad and she’s a bitch.

Actually, no, you didn’t used to harm yourself because my life is not a badly written fanfiction with a clichéd plot. Ok? Ok.

Sorry, I know you hated that film. I did too. Although the general idea was good. But this letter is getting long and I almost forgot the reason I wrote it so; I’m lonely, Mum. Or maybe ‘lonely’ isn’t the best adjective, the English language is not nearly expressive enough or, or descriptive enough or even. *Insert sigh here* You get what I mean, though, don’t you? Ok, so I’ll describe my feelings.

Don’t expect me to say it out loud to anyone though because I am not this bloody pretentious in front of other people, let’s be honest here. Right-o: Everything is grey. Not that this is any big change because as often intimated in my creative writing work I live in an average drip of a grey town filled with grey objects and lived in by grey people. Yes, it has a university but for other people. And when the stars are twinkling down on the motorway, at six or seven at night or even in that part of summer that isn’t too hot. If you could be some omniscient thing looking at lots of individual lives all at once, you would see mostly grim ashen existences in pale houses that go through the motions with empty chests and breathes dragging up over their throats day after day after day. Some people pour themselves into their alcohol and try to stay there forever, even when they’ve already blocked it all out. A select few get high, or commit crimes or whatever thought gets them through the day.

Most people, though- even if the term is used very loosely in a lot of cases- just go on. Unaware.

Perhaps they are aware- perhaps the omniscient thing can see all their souls unravelled and spilled, perhaps not- but they ignore it. Drown out the cavities between their ribs with clockwork life and limp love-making and a small, contained existential crisis as they wait for the kettle to boil.

But it’s ok, they’re going to be just spiffing in about two minutes. Can’t have a shitty cuppa, after all.

Do you get me now, Mum?

Love, Girly.


23rd October

Dear Mum,

Every teenager knows how to cry silently and every teenager is very good at it. I know you’re dead (honestly, I do) but I am still here cocking up and growing up simultaneously so, really, I don’t give a shit about your problems. You have none- even your ghost self looks pretty, fucking cheer up for

Pete’s sakes.

Today I realised I have no straight friends. Even the Asian ones. Oh well- they must not be relevant to my plot. Not the reason I was crying though- I genuinely can’t think of less of one. We’re so diverse Hollywood has nightmares about us. But, yeah, anyway, crying.

I got a C in my history test. And I get that it isn’t actually a ‘bad’ grade and actually at A-level it’s worth a B in any other subject because history is the hardest of all A-level subjects honest Mum I get it but-

I wanted an A, Mum. It’s like in GCSEs last year and I told you I didn’t understand how people in my science class like Kim or Nick could be happy and content with Cs or Ds or whatever. Like, I understand they have a different level of ability and you know I will always support the underdog and those that can’t really learn well academically. But Mum I got a C. Literally so upset I nearly cut. I didn’t though. Progress. Well- actually I just couldn’t find a clean pencil sharpener but I mean, it’s a start, innit? Just… I don’t understand, Mum, how can you be happy with a C? Is it because I’m an overachiever? Because I can’t be clever; I have no bleeding common sense. Am I an overachiever?

BTW I have not told Mam about the C grade that is how ashamed I am. But literally, when I was about to go home for my three hour break and Fiona asked where I was going oh my God I told her ‘home’ trying not to sound like anything was wrong and I heard my voice break or crack and now I know what that sounds like and people on Tumblr are right when they say it is the most heart breaking thing in the world. Know the even worse thing? You can probably guess.

None of them noticed. Like Rhoda- I’ve known her for three years properly in Limehurst and I know we’re really in fact just effortless friends but still.

Remember in my last letter I said that my life weren’t some fanfiction with crap grammar and overused plot devices? Sod that, it’s gone out the flipping window. Might as well make me a blonde white girl with blue eyes and self-deprecation and ‘Mary Sue’ stamped on my forehead and baggy cardigans that make me look cute not fat. Though I mean none of that in a internalised-misogyny sort of way. Of course. Must respect a person’s right to choose even if they’re a total pillocking gobshite.

You taught me so well, Mum. See?

Not that you can see- I don’t think eyes work when they’re dead and/or translucent. I haven’t seen you much lately, you ok?

Do you want to read the poem I wrote for creative writing? I was really proud of it even though I have absolutely no experience with romance (I’m an asexual panromantic and desperate for a relationship but absolutely no one will effing date me, how ironic. Much laugh.) and I didn’t show Mam or Carl. I never show them anything anyway. Carl is a 15 year old boy who is a mild twat and Mam is my parent. I can’t be arsed to talk to her, anyway, it’ll lead to a conversation.

Here it is, I haven’t thought of a title yet.

And she paints herself up

And dresses herself up

And pulls herself together

Her hands are trembling-but

her eyeliner goes on smooth

And her lips are dabbed red

And she nods in the mirror

And jingles as she leaves

And the air is cold on her legs

And her shoes are kind to her feet

And her hair falls down her back

And her perfume clings to its boughs

And this is the girl you let go

And this is the girl who loves you

And this is the girl you’ll never get back.

Do you know my problem, Mum? It came to me as I was copying out my poem. I listen to the lyrics not the music, and I don’t notice the little things in telly shows and I don’t realise when I’m going in a group outside that other people go pass me and think ‘yep, that person is living her life to the full’.

That’s my problem.

Well, that and I’m seeing my dead mother’s ghost.

Still, you’ve got to laugh, ain’t you?

Love, Girly.


24th October

Dear Mum,

Woo, it’s my birthday. Seventeen, yeah… feels no different to sixteen and it’s two in the morning and I am following the tradition of waking up at two in the morning for the past week. I won’t be able to go back until, like, five. Such tradition.

On a new note before I have an existential crisis: in Creative Writing, Sir totally steals all the ideas and prompts we use off of Pinterest and blogs. It’s ok. Sometimes he plagiarizes the good ones. Today- yesterday?- we had to describe the colour red without actually using the word red. And when I finished early because, you know, over achiever right here, lenient teacher right there, I did some more colours because I was getting right into it. Well, I did one more colour. I went on my phone for the rest of the lesson. Not that much of an over achiever.

Please read and somehow communicate back your opinions to me. Like… I dunno, throw a plate if you hate it, do fuck all if you think it’s about middling and draw a smiley face on my mirror if you think it’s actually alright. Ok?

Also, I really love The National and Los Campesinos and Against Me! Really deep but cheerful-sounding lyrics I can pretend means I am not actually in a constant state of shittiness. Look at your kid, Mum, aren’t I clever?


It’s the single splash in the dark evening as you wash your mug, it’s the colour the kettle’s button lights up. When you spy the pretty woman in the midst of the throng of the club? It’s the colour of her dress, her lips, her shoes, your nails, your grin. You catch flesh on something sharp, it’s what lingers for another week. It’s the taste of sharper words, harsher insults, a more disillusioned, cynical outlook spanned over a growing body and longer times until it becomes the norm. It’s the label on your lost teddy bear, the tint of your sister’s duvet. It’s what your blade brings welling to the surface and what your tears drip and burn on. That colour is fighting and low bickering as it’s about to simmer over. The way your ears whoosh as you start screaming back, the fear on those nights that you can’t stop the bleeding, the little bit of you that doesn’t want to stop the bleeding, the spatters on tissues later to be disposed of. It’s what you feel in every punch and smack, given and received. It’s her lips when you get up within ten inches of them and it’s what you want them to leave behind on your own mouth. It’s pink magnified; magenta full of cocaine and on meth. It’s you at two am crying your heart out. It’s the colour of passion and fiery and gentle kisses and ghosting love. It’s the colour of love and hate and the line that separates them and it’s your feet smashing the ground as you run away from that colour on your test.

It’s what you see when they tell you, your mum’s dead, darling, I’m so, so sorry.


When you wake up and it’s not winter, it’s the room you’re lying in. When you’re walking one evening, it’s the world around you and it’s the colour of the atmosphere and it’s enough that the sky is that colour. When Mum painted your room at five, it’s the left over square behind the radiator. When you coloured as a child, it was the circle in the corner of the page. When you make breakfast two warm arms curve around your waist and it’s that feeling. It’s buttercups and daffodils and butter melting into toast and it’s the middles of daisies and your cousin’s headband lost on that train and your bear with his nose half gone and leg wonky. You spread over onto sun-dried blades of grass and that colour is your blanket. When you laugh, it’s the noise made as you laugh and what glints out when you grin. It’s the colour of your smile; it’s the colour when you hold hands with someone, anyone. It’s the comfort oozing away into you and away from you and it’s comfortable routine and it’s- it’s wonderful.

It’s anger and it’s money and it’s falling leaves and plastic mugs and biscuits after injections and tea parties and it’s fun and it’s glaring and it’s saying no and it’s saying yes and it’s saying the wrong things at the wrong times and not being brave even though you’re trying, you promise.

When you have to choose a crayon, it’s the colour of that crayon. It’s the colour of your favourite shirt. When you go to the seaside, it’s between your toes and it’s the sand and the bucket and the chips and the arcade blaring so fiercely night never happens and it’s the burning on your shoulders and the stars and the pier.

When you’re out at night, it’s the street lamps whose halos and skirts you walk through on your way home. When you get to your street, it’s the burnished squares falling onto the pavement and ghosting over your steps and footfalls. It’s the door you walk through looking for two warm arms to claps round your waist and link your fingers together under the duvet. It’s the wall paper and paint of the hall covered in the remnants of inadvertent scuff marks.

It’s your closed eyelids and the hospital room and the low, gentle music and your hand in someone else’s and their smile and the anger when they leave.

25th October

Dear Mum,

Something’s happened. REALLY HAPPENED and oh my God I want to tell you JFC I swear but no I have to tell you lots of other things first so just hold your horses.

First off: it was my birthday, yesterday. And writing these letters and ignoring your ambiguous state of deceased-ness is actually proper cathartic. Also: Loughborough is a shithole. The hell did you stay here for? Twat.

Have I told you before about effortless friends? I can’t remember, think I have. Quick recap: me and Kim (you could probably include Nik in this as well, too, I suppose) were friends in Limehurst for five years and we spent every break and lunch time together and we got close. Properly close and telling each other all these bad secrets and things and she would call me up sometimes at night crying over an argument with her mother and the way we talked that night.... I ended up crying as well, for fuck’s sake. We spent over an hour talking that night. Just like the evening Ellie called and we talked for over an hour. There was no flipping awkward silences or whatever with Kim, we literally were best friends.

That night she called me was probably in year eight or nine; they all blur together, quite honestly, but-

“Oi,” Kim breathed into the phone with her voice swimming.

“Are you cryin’?” I demanded. “Shit, miduck, who do I bloody well kill?”

“No, it’s just... me and Mum had an argument and my step dad took her side like always and he always does that and I’m just so fuckin’ sick of it.”

*insert other crying conversation here because I can’t damn well remember it for the life of me*

“Shit, Girly,” her voice didn’t need to crack but it was trembling. “I need out of here.”

“Well, you can move out just as soon as you can get a job.”

“NO! I mean out, you know? Just totally, utterly out of this shitty arse town and my shitty arse family and just... you know?”

“Yeah,” I mumbled into my puddle of a phone screen. “Yeah, I know, I’m sorry, fam. You know I would get all of us out of this if I could. If all my As would get me a massive house far away I’d let all of you come with me.”

“Oh, I know,” her voice was still just as wobbly as she was feeling. “I just- it was January only a blink ago and then in a bit it will be July and then six more weeks and it will be another year we gone through and it’s going too fast. We haven’t done anything.”

“I know,” I cried a bit more. “I know. I just... all the days are blurring together and everyone is all like ‘teenagers are the best part of your life’ but none of us ever go to any parties and none of us have ever gotten pissed or even gone to a restaurant and half of us will probably not get into a relationship for another ten years. And compared to Africa and all of those places we are so fucking lucky only it doesn’t bloody feel like it.”

“No,” she murmured. “It really fucking doesn’t, does it? Sometimes I feel so... empty and then other times I’ll be with all of you and laughing and so-” she choked off into another wet little sound and I knew what she meant.

“And you don’t even feel sad only lonely and now even though we’re talking we’re just so fucking us.” I finished simply. I wondered if I called crying the next night if Kim would answer. I didn’t want to find out. I was 13 or 14. I still had well over a decade in which I could lie to myself and call it an honour. I told her so, too.

“Yeah,” Kim replied. Then, “I would get you all out too if I could, Girly, it’s just I don’t want to be me, anymore. I really don’t. But even if I left I would have no friends and no boyfriend and I would still be me. ”

“I get you,” I breathed. “I get you, miduck, I get you.”

We stayed like that for a while, just breathing and crying and not at all happy and totally utterly alone by ourselves in our respective dark. “Do you think it will get better?” Kim asked me but her voice cracked and I knew her cheeks were drenched again.

“I dunno- because every story and fanfiction and magazine says you never really but I don’t want to be like this forever, I can’t. I can’t.

Kim sobbed openly, “I hope not, luv, I bloody well hope not. I don’t want to be empty for the next 50 or 60 years. I just... I want a life but I’m just breathing and not living and blinking everything away. It’s so shit.”

“God help us,” I scoffed. “Or some bugger, at least. Otherwise we’re fucked.”

Oh, Mum, don’t you just love accidental foreshadowing?

Oh, and that bit about lying to myself? Beauty of having dumb arse friends! That was from The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald. Corruption of dreams, etc. Much irony, such themes. So, what, your ghost must be like a metaphor or... what? Why are you haunting me, Mum? Why aren’t you trailing after the woman you ended up comfortable and routine with for 15 years?

Parents. Adults. I probably won’t understand you even when I get fat and middle-aged. Lord help me. Was that a pun? I dunno. Anyways: I now have a friend! A proper best friend forever, Mum!

Called Erecura (though she’s called Cura, for short- see, Mum, it’s horrible to be given such a shitty first name you end up with a weird arse nickname. I am not a bloody anime character, Mum) and she’s a demon. And I’m going to die at 25. About that...

Right, basically, I shall tell you all this shit from the beginning, and then you can judge the bollocks off of me, alright? So:

I have been really bloody lonely. As I have written before- yes? I can’t remember from like a fortnight ago or something- and it has been really bloody horrible. And then I ended up crying over a GIF set, but we have all been there, I’m sorry, but don’t lie. Why you lying. So there I was, crying over the unfairness of the treatment of women as plot devices and just TV characters I am too emotionally invested in, when it hit me.

I think I was in love with Kim. Key word think. I wasn’t all that clear, and as I haven’t heard from her since GCSE results day and even then I went and got my results first without her just to get back at her for not texting me all summer. (Also learnt college breaks up on 24th June- woo!) Out of all my ‘friends’ the only one who has been in a bona fide actual relationship properly is Yvette, and she even nearly had sex with Jojo so I texted her. She doesn’t go on face book either, so I got my first sorry/consolation-free conversation since you fucked off. She helped quite a lot. And I remember once when I was trying to write a deep, insightful novel then I wrote ‘maybe everyone had a moment when they realised they could fall in love with their best friend’ which, you know, quite nice, rather thoughtful. And when I wrote it I had this distinct picture-memory (not that memory is reliable, but it feels bloody real to me STFU scientists) of Kim at the sink in the girls’ toilets and me next to her and me just thinking ‘I could live with this for a few years, yeah.’ Except it wasn’t even in a really love way or a romantic way or even particularly ‘have a relationship with this bird’ way. Just more of a ‘I could stand living with this person, I could probably kiss this person’. And even though we didn’t talk all summer holidays and I’ve only had one text from her yesterday for my birthday that I gave an equally generic text back to.

Only when we met on GCSE results day there were still no awkward silences and we were both so happy (well- she got shitty grades, but I was bloody happy with five A*s) and we were CLOSE. Really personal shit close, like I said. It’s ok, though- Yvette said she at some point has also wondered if a relationship thing with her best friend would work and I was probably just projecting my longing for companionship onto the nearest body.

And Tumblr says that it’s ok not to have a proper relationship until you’re in your twenties BUT IT DOESN’T REALLY EFFING FEEL THAT WAY WHEN YOU SEE YOUR FRIENDS WITH PEOPLE. Even my lesbian acquaintances have had first kisses. Some of them even with girls.

All of this culminated in a massive arse existential crisis (but normally I end up with half a panic attack so it really goes to show how much I’ve grown) and the already-realised realisation that I am really bloody lonely. My only saving grace was that I was in my room, alone, so I technically fulfilled the British stiff upper lip. And I ended up crying and then I spotted myself in the mirror and when you’re already ugly and really, really upset, you don’t fall apart with tiny little sobs and pretty tears I was an ugly fucking mess. Not even an ugly cute mess like on the ‘gritty reality’ TV shows just a really ugly mess and it made my mascara run which wasn’t fair because it said it was waterproof and I looked really bloody good up until then.

NOTE= do not watch Supernatural directly after being sad. You get some weird arse ideas.

Like summoning a demon. But it’s ok, Mum, I did lots of Googling first and it’s fine. My social anxiety didn’t like it but I managed. See? Adult-ing. And I was very respectful, though my first reaction was,

“Shit. It actually worked.”

Erecura is like the 11th century version of a chav but she has spent time on Earth in the 1930s and the 1950s so we understood each other just fine. She did make a shady remark about how the Midlands’ accent is just slurring but then I made a witty retort back and we get along fine insulting each other. I said that if she became my friend, she could have my sell by the time I was 25- because I might die before that, let’s be real, here. Not many people do deals with demons anymore and Hell is apparently having a bit of a shortage so she agreed quite easily. Now I just have to wait until Monday and then Cura says she’ll start the deal. And she will. Demons have a bad reputation, Mum, they don’t tell lies. Ok, so they may or may not torture a few people but they don’t lie. That makes them better than like 95% of politicians.

So, yeah, I’m dying at 25....

Wait you’re- were- a lesbian and I’m not straight. If my life was a movie, would this be kill the gays?


I’m going to have to Google this. But if I know literally no straight people how am I going to not kill gays? You are dead and I will die- it’s part of the deal. Uh oh. Google here I come.

Love, Girly.

P.S. if I am made into a movie then I so need to be played by Zoe Saldana or by Gabrielle Union. And Cura could be a really sophisticated female version of Tom Ellis. And then you could be in the prologue bit like in Buffy.


26th October

Dear Mum,

Sorry. This wasn’t a planned letter but I just needed someone to talk to because this is an iffy sort of thing and also I’m angry and I don’t want to rant on Tumblr for fear of the social justice warriors.

Sorry. Ghost!You can skip this one if you want. But I need to just vent. Have a little excerpt from a book I’ll never write in return:

Do you know why parents cry when their child says ‘I hate you’? It’s because a five year old’s heart is tiny, and children feel everything and nothing. Children are not shades of grey, they are black or white, good or bad. And when that tiny child says ‘I hate you’ they genuinely mean it. Maybe not forever, maybe even only for a second but there is a point then where all they have is anger and hatred and all love has been pushed aside and they honestly hate even though they don’t need to meaning of the word. Parents cry because it has started- their baby is never coming back.

The thing is, Mum, I have no motivation for anything anymore. I wrote my creative writing coursework easily enough but when I tried to get the second piece to 500 words (fine, so we don’t start the coursework until January and I might be a bit ahead, so sue me) I just struggled so bloody much. I’ve never not been able to reach a properly good ending on the first try before. And in year eight and year nine I was writing fanfiction every morning before school and uploading (admittedly crappy) 60,000 words things to the internet and over the summer holidays I could fucking write 1000 words a day to do a novel in less than six weeks. Only ever since GCSEs I haven’t been able to do anything.

Also I looked really pretty this morning then I went into the bog and saw myself in natural light and realised I looked really ugly. So the fucking story of my life.

I looked up ghosts and grief. It’s normal, in some people apparently, to see the ghost. What do you know, Mum? You’re the most normal think about me.

Although... that probably implies something about heteronormativity and all that bollocks. I dunno. I can only properly understand why things are offensive after extensive Tumblr searching; I’m gonna do well good in later life if I become an activist

My laptop is peppered in little blue half moons because I got bored of waiting for my nails to dry. They look shit anyway, I can never colour in between the lines. I want you back to do them on your bedroom floor and yell at me for doing it near the computer. Mam can’t colour between the lines either and Carl only likes black nail polish when he thinks no one notices. Twat. Fuck gender roles and marriage and sex, let’s have pizza.

Why did you have a fiancée with a right pillock for a son? Had one job, Mum, one job.

What else did I want to tell you? Oh, yeah, I need a new eye shadow palette. I’ve had my old one for like two or three years.

How many letters have I written to you? Or... your ghost. It’s been helping. Even if your ghost does stop following me home from college after like six months I might carry on writing. It’s been well cathartic, if that isn’t too pretentious hipster sounding.

OH I REMEMBER GO ME. Basically, I really hate being asexual. Wait- no, soz, lying there, I hate ACEPHOBIA. Yeah, that’s better.

It’s just.... Mum, I will never want sex. I want to try it, eventually, so I don’t die a virgin but unless someone’s got magical healing genitals it’s not going to change anything. And I don’t think I even will then because if you’re a virgin you don’t need to go for a smear test and my social anxiety will really effing thank me. Also: old doctor, latex gloves, my vagina? Fuck off, mate.

But, yeah, asexuality. I bloody well exist. And I belong in LGBT+ spaces and everything. Just so fucking pissed at Tumblr culture but I also love Tumblr because if it wasn’t for that bloody website then I would still be asking what the point of sex was and not knowing what I was and still being teased for changing from bisexual to pansexual.

It’s a funny arsed old world, innit?

By the way I still haven’t heard/seen from Cura but I do trust her. This isn’t like buying anything off from a man in a pub or paying for sex like what you always told me not to do.

The internet websites are shit at not letting under 18s buy knives and shit. I ordered a set of two pen knives. NOT TO STAB PEOPLE I SWEAR just in case of an apocalypse. I can also run half way down the canal, I will so fucking survive any and all zombies... and then die ironically of old age.

And there’s loads of quotes I wanted to tell you about! Loads from Tumblr and books from school and everywhere and I didn’t want to seem pretentious or anything at college but here’s the two that I’m going to maybe have as tattoos:

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” By John Steinbeck in East of Eden or something. I think I need to do that one because five A*s haven’t gotten me a job in the four months

I’ve been applying. And:

“There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re okay. You’re not too fat, you’re not too anything. You’re fucking lovely. You’re gonna be okay.” By Russell Brand, who I adore because he is a no-shit-taking socialist. As Fiona said, ‘he was a crack head and now he’s a socialist, people change.’

Couldn’t have put it better myself, quite honestly.

And then there’s this one from The Great Gatsby again that I don’t want as a tattoo, but it is really just a pretty sort of quote:

“Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.” which I like a lot more than that famous end line of the book which is, "And then one fine morning—So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” Which, don’t get me wrong, I do like that quote and the idea of it. But... I don’t think I’ve really had any character development? Like... that quote implies we have had character development and then gotten into a really shitty situations and the best parts of life are long fucking gone, but. Anyways, that book is so unflattering in its portrayal of women, I love Daisy. She’s bloody bae.

But I can’t remember what else I wanted to talk to you about now- it was well important. Now I’ve literally wasted half an effing hour just talking to you. Oh well. I can see your ghost outside the window. You’re sitting on the same curb you stepped off the wrong way and ended up cracking your head open. You failed at stomping the curb. Well done, Mum. Is this what people mean when they say someone is too bloody dumb to live? Or do they make exceptions for genuine accidents seeing as you weren’t in high heels and the bit of curb by the bus stop is actually really quite high compared to other curb places.

Weird, innit? For everyone else except for the maybe six people who saw it happen then it was just a Tuesday and it was pissing it down. Even the paramedics must have been used to it and the people who work in morgues and funerals and everything. But at least you made an impact on some people, pat your translucent back with your translucent hand, Mum, mine will go straight through, sorry.

But don’t cry- craft! And if you don’t know where that’s from, Mum, what are you doing with your afterlife Christ there can’t be many other ghosts who die at your age in the same culture. You have to keep up with the times.

Love, Girly.

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