I made it. Somehow, I made it through my first day here. I am sitting on the veranda, outside the room I share with my cousin, Claudia. I am using the small book light the nurses gave me when I left the hospital, so I can see what I am writing to you.
When I left the bedroom, Claudia was all twisted into her sheets, happily fast asleep. No doubt dreaming of palm trees, sunsets, and ice creams!
I don't know how she can sleep in that furnace. It's the middle of summer here and the heat is so thick and sticky it presses against you every minute of every day. The ceiling fans just swirl the air around so the heat lands on you from all directions. Who on earth would choose to live here!
Finally, every noisy person in this rambling old farmhouse is asleep and I am alone for the first time in months. No nurse creeping in to peek on me during the night. No breakfast tray being brought in before the sun even rises. No buzzers. No visitors. No doctors probing. No questions. No tablets. No injections. Finally, there is nothing. Just you, my faithful diary, and me. I feel completely empty and alone, and that is exactly what I want.
Oh no!! I spoke to soon. It's happening again! I was hoping and praying they wouldn't be here. I thought they were just in the hospital. But they must be everywhere. It doesn't make sense – I had never seen them before the hospital…
Best get this over with – find out what they want. They always want something. Why can't everyone just leave me alone??
I am sitting in the back of the car. Uncle Arthur and Aunt Maria are in the front chatting away, happy to be together again.
In minutes, we will be there, at the old homestead. I recognise each turn of the country road, the open yellow fields, the old letterboxes by the side of the road, the old farmhouses half hidden by the gum trees.
Every other time I have been here, I have been exploding with excitement. Not this time. This is the first time I don't want to see the magnificent white homestead perched high on the hill. I don't want to see the jacaranda trees in purple bloom that make it look like the most beautiful house in all the world. I don't want to see the horses that graze the fields – the blue sky that stretches on and on. And, most of all, I DON'T want to see the people who, right now, are waiting for me.
Maybe if I close my eyes, everything will just disappear.
This is an except from Rose's diary that shows her inner thoughts and feelings.
It's best to read this after you have read Birth of a Destiny.
Today is the first time I have written in my diary, since ... before.
Today is also the first day I have been able to sit up in my hospital bed and hold a pen properly.
I can't bear to write in my old diary anymore. A few days ago, I opened up my old diary for the first time. Even the sight of those pages makes my world seem upside down and inside out. It was like I could see the words, but they didn't seem real, and they certainly didn't look like they belonged to me.
How could it have been me who wrote in big, multi-coloured bubble writing, drew little funny pictures, glued in my results from my latest equestrian event, counted down the days until my birthday? That girl was happy, that girl was free, that girl was naïve, and I realised I am no longer that girl and to be honest, I never want to think about her again.
All I wanted to do was rip it up, the book that I had poured my heart and soul into. I wanted to watch the wind pick up the tiny shreds and blow them far, far away. But, as my hand reached for the pages, some small part of me protested. It wasn't loud and I could have easily ignored it, but for some reason, I listened to it, and closed the book and shoved it far, far away - before I changed my mind.
Luckily, my Aunt Maria called me from the farm the next day and asked if I wanted her to send me anything? I think she was very surprised when I asked about a new diary. She's been asking me for weeks, and I'm sure she was expecting my usual, 'no thanks, but thanks anyhow,' response. Anyhow, sure enough, two days later you arrived in the post, my new diary, covered in felt in all different shades of blue.
As I turned your soft, fuzzy cover in my hands, I wondered about the words that would fill your pages. Words and sentences that do not belong in my old diary, my old life, that's for sure. But, words that belong here. After. I already don't like the words, but I will write them to you anyhow. You have always listened, and I'm sorry you will have to listen now.
Am getting tired now. I need to sleep. Again.