My name is Lucy Aur and I’m a PhD student from South Wales. Growing up in a place with little money, a country where our language is mocked and our potential ignored, I have found writing to be a great power in meaningful representation. Writing allows me to unpack feelings and reach others who feel the same. It allows me to share stories that alter someone’s views of what they thought they knew. Whether it be mental health, grief, Welsh history or dystopia; I have an itch to write it all.
A Perfect Stranger
It had been forty-nine days since they had moved in. Forty-nine days since she had seen her school friends, forty-nine days since Dad had been in the office, forty-nine days since Mum had been to the beach or big sister had been to the gym. But it was going to be worth it. They promised her they didn’t mind. It was all for her.
The doctors had offered them a family room at the hospital, but it was garish white and cold. There was one bed, two visitor chairs and the floor to sleep on. The doctor had said it would be fine, that it would be clean and safe. But it would be sad, boring. So when a woodland home was available for rent, Dad filled out the forms before asking anyone else. It took them all barely an hour to pack. The girls threw in clothes for all seasons on top of books and a portable DVD player. Mum packed the coffee machine and Dad packed board games. With masks on their faces and fingers crossed, they moved their lives into the woods.
Nobody was scared, not to start with anyway. It was rather exciting. A space far away from everyone, birds on their windowsill, wildflowers surrounding them, how could they not be excited.
But then day twenty-two came with no news, and day thirty, and day thirty-six. Dad rang up once a week to check, Mum kept her phone notifications on loud, and sister kept her fingers crossed. Nearly fifty days with no news meant the excitement had finally disappeared for good. No more early mornings running down the stairs to see what fun breakfast Mum had made, no more Cluedo at midnight and no more living room yoga.
She sat among the trees, legs crossed and grass up to her chin. She plucked petals from a daisy and blew away dandelions, dusting off their ticklish fluff from her cheeks. She didn’t have to wear a mask as there was nobody around for miles. But when she would go back inside, she would wash her hands, take her vitamins and smile.
Dad was pushing open the bedroom door, the bathroom door, the back door, looking for her. Mum asked him what was wrong. Sister sees the phone discarded on the kitchen table. Dad runs out the front door, spotting her among the wildflowers. He pulls her to her feet, wrapping his arms tightly around her and letting the tears fall onto her head.
“Get your bag, you’re going in tonight.”
She looks up at her dad, eyes wide with panic and love. It was happening.
“They’ve got a suitable donor, a perfect stranger ready to save your life.”
Bags were once again stuffed into the car, sisters holding hands in the back seat as Mum drives them to the hospital. Dad will cry, Mum will fetch drinks from the vending machine, sister will keep fingers crossed, and she will get a new organ. She will live.