LeticiaBy: Lindsay Anne Kendal
For my mum, Trish, thank you
for all your support and listening to me
constantly going on about my stories.
I love you.
I’d like to say thanks to Jay for
always taking me to Saddleworth Moors
where this story is set.
In loving memory of Frances Moloney, who
knew this book was being written, but sadly
never got to see it finished.
Around midnight, 2nd March 2001.
A haze... no, wait...what... what is that? A bed? Where am I? Why won’t my eyes focus properly? I tried to move but felt as though all my energy had been sucked out of me. I lay still for a while, waiting for my vision to clear. The nerve endings throughout my body started to tingle, the same feeling you get after lying on your arm too long. It was slightly painful to move, but eventually I managed to drag myself to my feet with the aid of the bed post. I looked around the room and saw what an awful mess it was in, furniture broken, the TV smashed, shards of glass all over the floor. However, that was the least of my worries.
I slowly made my way into the bathroom and stood in front of the large mirror. As soon as I saw my refection, sorrow and anger filled me. I must have been attacked; there were cuts and bruises all over me, and yet, I couldn’t remember anything. Maybe I had a concussion. There was dried blood in my hair from a wound just above my forehead. If the blood had had time to dry, then I must have been out cold for quite a while. I turned the shower on and washed all the blood from my skin and hair. It was a power shower, so the water beating against my body seemed to relieve some of the aches and pains that had now started.
I dried my hair, dressed in something comfortable and threw all my clothes into my suit case. I went into the bathroom for my toiletries and briefly looked into the mirror again. ‘Time to move on’, I said to myself, ‘again’. I threw my case onto the back seat of the car, started the engine and floored it out of the hotel parking lot. One thing was certain, I had to leave Colchester.
Nine years later.
The faint beeping of my radio alarm clock slowly became louder. I opened my eyes, reached over and clicked it off, then lay back thinking about my clients booked in for today; what nail treatments and designs each one was having done. I begrudgingly dragged myself out of my bed and walked to the bathroom feeling a bit groggy and lethargic. I had a nice shower, brushed my teeth, then peered at myself in the mirror for a moment. My eyes looked unusually dark today, a deep brown instead of the normal hazel. I grabbed my brush and pulled it through my long, slightly curly, dark brown hair. Now it was time to get dressed and head out for my first appointment.
My first client, Mrs Denny, seventy-two years of age, but in the head, not a day over twenty-one. Always full of life and energy. Every time I come to her house she gives me a big loveable hug, a lovely cup of tea and some of her life story; and what a colourful life she has led. I could sit and talk to that lady all day; I probably would do if I didn’t have to work.
The second client, Miss Marion Wilson, a pleasure as always. Oh how she droned on about all that’s going wrong in the world. By the time her appointment is over, I feel like I should be going to the doctor to get a prescription for Prozac. But she’s a harmless woman, young, single and no children. Without sounding awful, people can kinda understand why she is on her own. Before leaving she always says the same sentence to me ‘Now you take care, Leticia, and be on your guard, there are some nasty people walking these streets’. If only she knew how well, when needed, I could take care of myself. When I walked out of Miss Wilson’s house my stomach started to rumble, it was definitely time for breakfast.
While making my way to my car, I had a sudden feeling that someone was watching me; I could feel their eyes on the back of my head. There was nobody around so I disregarded it, got into my car and drove into town. I pulled into the small parking lot next to my favorite little sandwich shop; they do the best egg and sausage sandwich in the whole of Holmfirth.
On my way out of the shop and after taking a bite out of my sandwich, I looked around at the other people going about their own business. I saw a middle aged man, well dressed in a suit reading his morning paper on a bus stop seat, coffee by his side. He looked like a real gentleman. To my left was a young mother with her son at the traffic light waiting to cross the road. I smiled slightly, watching the young boy pressing frantically on the button at the crossing.
▶ Also By Lindsay Anne Kendal
- · Leticia