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The Garden at Windsor Crescent

By @Auriel

Chapter 1

Natalie was three years old when she first heard the crashing and shouting. Ringing through the house and bouncing off of each wall so that the sound could be heard in every corner. It almost always happened in the early afternoon, but lately, it had gotten earlier and more louder. Her mother, Dianne, had began drinking.Not the sort of drinking to take the edge off a bad day but the sort that turns to violence, unspeakable words and unimaginable behaviour. Natalie never understood why but Her  father told her when she was older, that it was like a disease . A sickness that once started was difficult to cure.

Her mother would drink whiskey from the bottle and  the empty glass containers would be strewn around the house.They would even be thrown under Natalie’s bed in an attempt to hide them. As if she knew herself the addiction was completely out of control, ashamed to admit what she had become. Sometimes she would fall sleep after a few nasty comments and threats, other days she would start to shout and throw ornaments or clothes down the stair’s . Little glass vases and decorative china jars would smash into hundred’s of piece’s and lay at the foot of the stair’s. Little painted faces and beautiful blooming flowers broken into tiny little shards, never to be whole again.

To Protect her from the noise, Natalie’s Father, John, A tall man with Kind eyes,  would shut the door to keep her from hearing the sounds and put the TV on loud to muffle the noise. Often you could hear him trying to reason with Dianne but in sad reality, you just cant reason with a drunk, who has decided to blank out life and descend to the bottom of the whiskey bottle. It’s a horrible truth to find out when the person you love doesn’t love you or your child, enough to pull things together, no matter how much they have support and help. A one sided love story that comes to a tragic end.

Most of the time John would end up with bruises for even trying to help or being kicked out of the house on freezing cold winter days to a hurl of threats in which he would quickly scoop Natalie up and escape to the car. He would take her for long drives through the countryside, stopping to watch wildlife and teaching her odd bits of history fascinating Natalie with tales of old kings and queens and long ago traditions. 

They would then take a trip over to grandma’s house and this was Natalie’s favourite. She loved visiting grandma.  Grandma Pat’s house was always homely. The kettle was always on and  the radio  playing grandma’s favourite music with her singing along and  a big comfy sofa with lots of cushions that you could sink into was  always occupied with grandma Pat’s dog called Penny. Penny was happy to share this space with Natalie and making her self comfy she would end up curling around penny and resting her face in the soft fur.

 Even the smell as you entered the house would make you feel happy. Freshly washed bed sheets and the aroma of toast with butter in the kitchen, lavender upstairs’ in the bedrooms and honeysuckle in the evening hanging from a trellis near to the windows. The smells we all associate with a  warm cosy home. 

Perhaps because Natalie spend more and more of her time at grandma’s house then at home, she had began to see Pat as more of a mother than her own could ever be.

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