Layered (A Sample) (Chapter Five, page 1 of 4)

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When she stepped into her cubicle sized room, she looked around at her belongings, and she was faced with hopelessness. She had so many precious things, especially things her dad had bought for her. That one little suitcase was barely big enough to hold anything.

"Fifteen minutes." Her mum called as she walked past her room toward the living area.

Hannah had fifteen minutes to decide what she would leave behind and what she would be taking. Slowly she opened her dresser drawers and took out what she knew was necessities. Underwear, socks, shoes. She chose blouses and shirts, two pairs of jeans and a few sweaters.

The suitcase filled up quickly, but she gathered as many photographs as she could. She took the panda bear plush toy her dad bought for her.

She could hardly close the suitcase and when her mum came into the room, she said, "You cannot take all of that."

"Can't I have another suitcase?"

"No. I need all my good clothes so I can look nice when I go for job interviews. I told you we will send for the rest."

"I don't need much more."

"If you cannot decide what to leave, I will decide for you." She plucked the panda bear from the suitcase.

"No!" Hannah cried. "That was the last thing dad gave me."

"Decide. You are a big girl now and you do not need toys anymore." She threw the panda down onto the open suitcase.

Hannah pressed the stuffed bear down onto her clothes and then she sat on the suitcase so she could pull the zipper across. The bag was heavy and the sides bulged, but she got it closed.

When her mum had finished loading her battered Audi, she slammed the trunk closed and got in behind the wheel. She called to Hannah, "Hurry. We want to be on the road, we have a lot of distance to cover."

Hannah stood gazing around the tiny trailer. Although she had wished and wished for a real house, this had been her home from when she could remember. She and her dad had eaten thousands of meals at the small little table. Often she had curled up next to him on the worn sofa when they watched a movie on the television together. She bit down on her lower lip and pressed her palm tightly to her chest, holding back the ache.

Her mum honked the car's horn and Hannah surrendered to her fate. She rushed out the door and when she slid into the front passenger seat, her mum asked, irritated, "What took you so long?"

Hannah said nothing. She pressed her face to the window and tears blurred her vision and some of them transferred to the window and ran down the glass like rain.

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