La Correspondance Amicale

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The Friendly Correspondance
Chapter 27

A horrible series of events took place about a day after Belinda wrote her last letter to Krysta. On the afternoon of the 22nd of December she sat in her living room reading one of Krysta’s recent letters in which she said that she had received her present and had told the authorities to not to give it to her until Christmas. Belinda’s parents had gone out shopping when suddenly the door opened and her brother Ron ran into the room. His face was all red with anger, he was holding some papers in his hand which had been ripped into many pieces. Belinda was so used to her brother’s tantrums that she did not stir from where she was sitting. But as her brother walked by she looked discreetly at the torn papers and saw the words “failed” and “Year 12”. She then understood the cause of her brother’s anger and what made him so wild and furious. Ron stopped at once and saw Belinda reading her letter. He asked her where mum and dad were. She didn’t reply. He stomped like a bull who had seen red, suddenly snatching Belinda’s letter out of her hands. He read it quickly and saw a paragraph addressed to Isobel in which it was asked that Ron be taken care of. He stuffed the letter into his pocket in spite of Belinda’s constant groaning to return it. That was the beginning of a quarrel to which Belinda contributed by adding her provoking spiteful remarks and insulting Ron for having failed to graduate.

The brother and sister began throwing things at each other, at first paper weights and then dangerous objects such as sharp knives. In her fury Belinda threw a knife at Ron and unfortunately did not miss his hand from which blood started gashing out. Ron went off to his room not paying any attention to his sister who by that time had realised the seriousness of the situation, had stopped fighting. She then started to apologise while looking for a bandage to put and his hand.

After having written one page or two of sentences that somehow made sense, Krysta decided to stop wielding her pen for a moment and take a short break. She sat back in her armchair and relaxed, or some minutes she lost in her thoughts, thoughts about life, thoughts of love, happy thoughts, sad ones and thoughts about Gary. Ooh Gary! Her heart stopped beating for a moment at the very thought of it. She remembered herself as a teenager shut in her heart wailing every moment in the depths of her heart for freedom…

She recalled how she had come there and how she spent each day of her life thinking it was her last one and that she would not get out of there alive. She shuddered as she thought of the cruel faces of her authorities or the ‘hacks’ as they were often called, of the stale food they gave with malicious faces, the way they eagerly roamed around like hungry dogs putting somebody’s name in their Punishment Sheets. She thought of her friends at Gary. Were they real “friends”? She thought of Linda McAllam and some other girls who let her down. But then she remembered Macy and girls who were nice to her at some of the times, her sweet voice, which often made her and others, weep or feel lonely, were still in her ears. Everything was clear and vivid in her memory as if it had taken place yesterday and not twenty years ago. On her table shone the paperback cover of a book titled ‘My life at Gary” with the words Krysta Bonbons in bold letters below it and the words BEST SELLER on its side, despite of all her horror of Gary she felt she owed it something. She felt pretty sure she wouldn’t have become a writer if she hadn’t been at Gary and had never met her so-called “friends”. Where could they all be now? What could they be doing? Directing great companies, catching burglars, smiling at children with books in their hands and blackboards behind them…who knows? Were they still alive? She felt her eyes pricking as she remembered Belinda, her pen-pal whom she’d never met in person, who wrote her consoling letters -and...
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