This is the last time I will walk these halls. I think back to a few months ago, when I’d first arrived, and it feels like everything has changed. It hasn’t, of course, everything is the same, but I have changed. I’ve laughed here, cried here, celebrated here. I’ve poured my heart and soul into every moment here.
I don’t think there’s a way to describe it if you’ve not done it yourself. These kids, they become a part of you. As much as you don’t want it to happen, you think of them every single day. They’re like a little earworm; when you can’t get a song out your head. Instead, its all the little worries you build up through the day – will they eat well tonight, are they prepared for tomorrow, did they take it in today? These bloody kids.
I know I won’t just be able to walk out the door and forget about them. The one who can barely read or write, but drew me a fantastic picture of a superhero, just because. The one who thought I was born before 1937. The one who’s life ahead was going to be a challenge, but who always has a smile and a kind word to give. The one who made me laugh every single day. These bloody kids.
There’s been times I’ve been close to walking out the door in the middle of the day, when they’ve made me cry so hard I didn’t think I would ever stop. But now that the time is here, I’m struggling to face up to it. They’re being left under the most incredible care, obviously. I think the real problem is that a piece of my heart is here, now. A piece of me. These bloody kids.
And I’m leaving them with you; some of the most selfless, incredible humans I’ve ever met. The one who helped me grow. The one who dried my tears. The one who held my hand. The one who believed in me. The one who’s kindness filled me with warmth. The only thing letting me walk out that door today is knowing that I am leaving them with you. Those bloody kids.
There will be other kids, of course. There will be other places. There will be other halls. But none quite like these. No. These halls are where magic happens. These halls are magical.
A short story a day, throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic. By me, for you.