Hannah (College II) composed this lovely original essay, in the style of Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel, Rebecca. Her story is a poignant a tribute to the school during this time of lockdown. Mrs Nuttall said, “It’s beautifully written. I think it reflects how many in College II are feeling about school at the moment.”
Last night I dreamt I went to The Mount again. It was not like I remember it. It seemed to me, as I stood there, in the desolate car park, as though I were in some sort of alternative reality. In my dream, I pressed the familiar ‘buzzer’ that connects to reception, but instead of the usual chirpy ringtone, there was nothing but hollow silence. Then, suddenly, there I was. Standing next to the undulating hills that slid down to the faded, but visible, tennis courts, overshadowed by the looming presence of the old oak that dominated the lawn. Its arms like garden spades, trying to reach down and scoop up my dream. The arms that wanted to replace my reality. Like most sleepers, I knew that I dreamed. But I did not want to wake up into the chaotic, fickle and changeable world in which I belonged. The world where I cannot walk freely. The world where everyone is held prisoner. Somewhere, in my heart, despite the forbidding chill that crept down my back as I looked at the empty windows and classrooms and studies, I knew that if I could only stay in my dream for a while longer, I would find something. A glimmer of…hope? I didn’t know. I just knew that I couldn’t wake just yet.
The drive was a dried-up stream, stretching forwards with a supposed purpose. What purpose could there be? No lights winked in the upstairs windows. No chairs scraped backwards as girls and teachers alike rushed to discard their trays of cornflake tart, moussaka and sticky toffee pudding. No familiar lawn-mower trundled happily up and down New, sweeping up the Sports-Day scuffs, the autumn leaves, the cat droppings. Yet there was a purpose.
As I floated down Tramlines, I was suddenly gripped with a tug of something resembling desire; I sped up; breaking into a dream-run, dissolving through door after door, before I reached it. The Common Room. The hub of activity. The station of fun-times, laughter and tears. Not now, though. Now it sat, eerily silent. No heartbeat. Dream-defeated, I turned, the longing ache inside me threatening to swallow and encompass my very being. Then it reached me. A soft giggle. Just a giggle. Then a flash, and a ticking clock. Then a whistle blow. Then all the voices I know so well. Edging forwards, I peered through the door frame. I could see them. Everyone I knew. My teachers. My friends. Even Malteaser the cat. Shifting before my eyes, like an old-fashioned movie reel. The sun streamed through the window, a magnificent eclipse of its own. A hopeful explosion of the sky. Tennis balls flew, leaves shot from the old tree. Lessons scampered by. I stood, my heart thumping, the beautiful prick of tears behind my eyes. This movie reel showed me the past and…the future? Yes, it was the future. In my dream I was certain. And I still am. The present will not be the future. The present will not be my future.
Last night I dreamed I went to The Mount again. It was just like I remembered it. We can always go back, that much is certain. In our dreams, and, eventually, in our reality. The present we can forget, the past can stir again. No more fear or future unrest. I must focus on the memories that cannot hurt. I must be hopeful, patient and faithful for the future. I will go back. Qui fidelis est in parvo. The one who is faithful in a small matter, is also faithful in a great matter.