Every morning on my way to school, I walked past the same girl. Her mummy was never with her. We never said hello. She looked the same age as me. Her eyes were stuck to the pavement like the Velcro straps on my school shoes. She had a black rucksack with holes in it, and it was never zipped up properly. Once, a pencil fell out, and my mummy picked it up to give to her. She didn’t say thank you. She looked so sad, I wondered if she had a mummy at all.
One morning, it rained so hard that I thought the sky was trying to make popcorn on my mummy’s umbrella. The same girl walked past. She had no umbrella. Her hair stuck to her face like syrup and her rucksack filled with water. The next day, she had no rucksack, and her arms were buried in notebooks.
The morning after, my mummy and I walked to school a bit earlier. I told her that I had to give my Henry Horse bag to someone else and I hoped she didn’t mind. She said it was okay if that was what I wanted. I hung it on the railings where I knew the girl would see it and put some stickers, a game, a lollipop, and a card inside for her. I really hoped that she would find it.
A few days later, we walked past each other again. She was wearing the Henry Horse bag! She still looked sad, but her eyes weren’t stuck to the pavement anymore. My mummy said she saw a tiny smile on her face. For my birthday, I got a present. It was a brand new fluffy flamingo bag with a note inside. I’m proud of you, sweetheart.