It’s shit, really. A plastic hold-all I got off the market, ‘cheap as chips’, as my Nanna would say. The corners are breaking apart, plastic stressing with too much weight, too many days at college. To be honest, same. I mean, I never expected to still even be here. Not after everything that happened, not after that late summer afternoon last year.
I sigh, and pick at the dinosaur stickers on the front of my bag. The puffy part is pulling away from the sticky back. I push my fingernail underneath and pull. It comes away in my hand and I clench my fingers around it, feeling sweat and soil mash together. It reminds me of my little brother Benny, he always did love dinosaurs.
My legs shift, the bare skin under my knees sticking to the exposed brick of the wall. It scrapes, but I don’t mind. It’s a comforting pain. I squint into the sunlight, it’s probably about half past two. Don’t ask me how I know. I’ve always just had this knack for time. It was bloody useful when I was bunking off English classes to meet Jake.
I open my bag, and pull out the half-empty bottle. Quickly, I open the lid and swig the warm water inside, it helps with my dry mouth. I bet my breath stinks. Shouldn’t of ate those crisps for lunch. Cheese and onion’s my best flavour though. I put down the bottle, squeezing it between my fingers to get that weird plastic crunch sound as it settles onto the wall, and pull out my phone – battery’s dead. I shove it back inside and rifle through the receipts, dirty tissues and biscuit wrappers to find my journal. The cover is blue, turquoise Jake called it, I’m not posh like him though, it’s just blue after all.
I open the journal and find my place. It’s filled with doodles, scraps of words and thoughts. And one name, underlined, struck through, scrubbed out.
For a moment, for one minute, I close my eyes and feel the prickling of hot tears burn my eyelids. Gina. Stupid, pig-headed, stubborn, brilliant Gina. My best friend, bae, bitchiest bitch who knew all my secrets, and I all of hers. Gone now, lost. Disappeared last year and all of my hopes for the future lost with her. I breathe in, calm down, the tears go. I rub at my forehead with the back of my hand, ruffling my over-long fringe, sticking it together with sun cream. And I start to write.
This is a piece of writing that I did based on a prompt task – to think about what was in your character’s pockets, or bag. From that prompt, I managed to create a character with some conflict!