The End of Innocence by George Green’s School

First Story was made for schools like George Green’s and the writers of George Green’s were made to write work like this. This group is stunning. I am so proud.

Laura Dockrill, First Story writer-in-residence at George Green’s School.

Once Upon A Time We Were Actually Happy

By Farzana Miah

The lies. The betrayal. The hatred. It wasn’t always like that; once

upon a time we were actually happy.

It was always her fault and this particular day was no different.

I remember her walking back into the house. The stench of

alcohol surrounding her. I knew and she knew … yet she denied.

‘Who is he?’ I questioned. Her mouth opened but no words

escaped her mouth. ‘Save it!’ I shouted, ‘It will just be another

one of your lies.’ I loved her so much but she had to know her

behaviour couldn’t go ignored.

‘Please Santiago… I swear it’s not what you think.’ She knew

what was coming next.

‘If only you listened…’ I whispered. Her eyes welled up with

tears, begging for mercy. It was futile.

Now, I sit opposite my child with a glass wall separating us. How

could she do this to me? Only a few more months and I can put

her through the pain she put me through. I loved her. Not

anymore. Now I hated her.

once upon a time we were actually happy.

I stood outside the house in the darkness. I watched as she ate

dinner with my child AND ANOTHER MAN. Who was he? I

dragged my feet across the grass, determined to know yet reluctant

to accept the truth. I now had a side view of his face. It couldn’t

be, could it?

My brother. She looked happy but deep down I knew she

wanted me. I tripped over a few garden tools; I tried my best to

hide my face. It didn’t work. I saw the horror mask her beautiful


My brother made his way to the front door. ‘Santiago, what are

you doing here? You know the court order … you’re not allowed

within ten miles of Sophia and the little one.’ He seemed calm

and patient.

I couldn’t control my anger anymore, ‘What do you want me

to do, José? Live by myself in a dirty motel as you play happy

families with my wife and child?’

‘Your wife deserves much better than a scumbag like you!

How can you call her your wife when you treat her like an animal?

And as for your child? You didn’t even acknowledge her existence

until you were locked away. I guess it’s true what they say, you

don’t know what you have until you have lost it.’

A tear escaped my eye. What he said was the truth. I backed

away toward the road and as I crossed the road I heard Sophia call

my name. BANG! A car collided into me. I gasped for breath,

each time struggling more. It was my fault. I had got myself into

this mess and this was the only way out.


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