I have had an eventful Christmas break: a wonderful holiday seeing friends and family in Ireland, and some not so wonderful calamities to deal with along the way. A personal item, holding a great deal of sentimental value, was lost.
Ever the opportunist I turned the latter into a chance to improve my writing, a bit of unexpected research if you like. I made notes on the feeling of realising it was lost, that I would never see it again, the disappointment. What I didn’t expect, however, was that it was about to get a lot more interesting.
Imagine my surprise when, searching on eBay for a similar item to replace the lost one, I came across MY ITEM. Indisputably mine.
So now I have the chance to not only record how it feels to lose something sentimentally precious, but also the experience of talking to the police in an official capacity. The way my heartbeat increased when my call was answered, the flush in my cheeks as I explained what had happened, the quiver in my voice. The anger in my stomach, like hot tea taken too hastily.
It’s in their hands now and I hope they can help.
What I am left with is another feeling, something else to jot down and use later perhaps. The realisation that someone had had their hands on my belongings is like a dirty fingernail tracing my spine. They have riffled through what is mine and taken what they wanted, thrown away what they did not. What has happened to the picture of my dear children? Or the tiny bracelet my daughter made me, so I could think of her whilst she was at school? Or the first photograph I had ever taken of my husband, original and irreplaceable and now lost. Did this person look at them before throwing them away? Did their fingerprints overlap my own, my daughter’s? Or did they not pause at all, but just empty them out as rubbish?
There are hot little tears behind my eyes whenever I think of it. Tears fuelled by anger, disgust at this callous act. A little sadness.
I am forever looking for the silver lining and I have at least found one. I write thrillers. Dark, twisty psychological thrillers. So I will get my revenge, even if it’s only in fiction.