The name’s Amelia. I am a mum of none, though I have a husband. Even though I am 30 years old, I still keep a little journal to write in every day; which I am doing now for the first time. I work as a manager in a bank in London, far away from my home. So, I have to get up very early in the morning and clamber up into a train and rumble down to the right station, returning home at about ten o’ clock at night.
But this story is different. It was a normal day, in a normal city, in a normal country. But then something struck like lightening. Something had suddenly changed, something was different. Like a black amongst the white. Like a cat in a crowd of dogs. Like a girl in a gang of boys. Like a swan in a gaggle of geese.
It all began one drizzly, rainy day, early in the morning, outside the railway station. The sky was grey, some clouds were black. People were rushing by; hurrying to get to their destinations on time, one of those people was me. But I think I was the first to notice them. The Railway Children. They blended in with the background, sitting out of the commotion on a torn, grubby blanket.
There were four of them, without shoes, feet bare in the frosty, biting winter wind. The oldest one was a girl, with scruffy brown hair, mysterious, glaring eyes and ripped clothes. The others were boys. The smallest stared at me with mud-brown eyes and a melancholy smile. His messy, blonde hair flopped over half of his face, his legs smeared in mud and grime. The other two were twins. Their stick-like arms were coated in scratches and they were both clutching each other’s hands anxiously, eyes empty. The only precious possession they had was a small, dirty pillow that they shared together, hiding it away from people that walked past.
My heart felt a pang of guilt and sorrow for them. Immediately, I dug around in my bag for my phone. As I held it up, the children’s eyes lit up. My fingers mashed the buttons to receive the right number. I pressed the phone to my ear tightly and waited for my assistant (manager’s always have to have assistants to give out messages or collect things) to pick up.
“Hello, Zara, yes it’s me, Amelia. I’m calling to tell you that I won’t be able to come in today. Yes, I’ve got the flu. It’s very common in winter. Really? OK, then, bye. I’ll see you maybe next week,” I gabbled, persuading my voice to sound croaky so that it didn’t seem obvious that I was telling lies.
The next thing I knew, I was taking the children home, adopting them; holding their hands while they skipped about merrily with beaming smiles on their faces. It didn’t matter at all to me whether it looked strange to have a formally-dressed woman dragging four scruffy-looking children along, it just mattered that I was changing four children’s lives, saving them from suffering and poverty.
Their beams transformed into sunshine rays when I invited them to live with me. And there I was, playing and joking around with them for the whole week. I’ve definitely done the right thing. I think that everybody should think about what I’ve done for these poor children and do the same, because I’ve never seen anyone so happy in my entire life.