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Intermediate. Years 7/8/9

All Packed

By Mai-Leigh To, year 9, Grammar School

“Get ready children, I have you all packed,” our parents say tearfully. What do they mean? We aren’t being evacuated, are we? My sister Mary has no idea what’s happening, she’s loving the attention she’s getting.

Bundled in clothing, we step out the door. Already sweating in the stifling hot June sun. We are dragging our battered suitcases behind us, name tags tied to our satchel.

When we arrive at school, mother smothers us in kisses and hugs us goodbye. “Wait, mother where are you going?” Mary cries then Mother rushes away before she can do any more damage.

“Mary, shh. You’re making a scene!” Maria whispers.

An hour later we travel as a group with what must be hundreds of other children to the harbour. A short walk but a long wait boarding the boat. We are all squashed sitting together on the long journey to England. We arrive hours later at Weymouth, but we have to immediately board a train to Rochdale. Once on the train, we eat the small picnic mother has packed for us, a sandwich each and a little orange. I’m craving a soft bed to sleep in and some hot food to eat. Andrew picks up Mary and takes my hand, Maria following close behind. Leading us to a pencil-thin man and a plump woman holding a sign with our last name on.

La Marchant.

“Maria and Andrew! I haven’t seen you for years! I’m Cath,” the woman says, pulling me into a comforting hug. She smells musty, but like home. “Look at you! Such lovely, long hair, and Maria, you’re so tall now!”
“Once we are home you can have some hot potato soup and a rest,” uncle says, leading us to his car. Out of the station and away from everyone from home.

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