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Short Extract From A Work In Progress – by Grace Jolliffe

This is a short unedited extract from a work in progress and relates to an article I wrote about whether art imitates life or if it is the other way round. You can find ‘Does Life Imitate Art? here.

Extract from When The Sun Shines by Grace Jolliffe

After work, Josie got on the bus that took her from the back street city centre of Liverpool to her home in Toxteth, about a mile away.

She could easily have walked that mile but not in her platform shoes and she wouldn’t go out in anything else. She loved her shoes and loved being tall, so the higher the platform the better.

Today, she got off the bus one stop early and made her way around the base of a large tower of flats. She didn’t look up. She’d been inside them only once.

Years before she’d visited a friend from school who lived on the top floor. She’d admired the lovely bathroom with its hot running water coming straight out of the tap.

She relished the idea of having a white shiny toilet instead of having to go down her back yard to their outside toilet in winter. But she wouldn’t have swapped. She’d hated looking down from her friends flat and seeing people like dots, moving around a page of grey

The view from her friend’s flat had made her feel dizzy and sick and she’d had the strangest urge to leave as quickly as she could. That urge had been so strong as to make her want to jump from her friends balcony, instead of waiting and taking the lift. Even at nine years old she’d known that jump would have killed her but still, at that moment she’d wanted to jump more than anything she’d ever wanted before.

She’d told her friend’s mum she felt sick and wanted to go home. The woman, fearing for her new carpet, had quickly dispatched Josie to the lift, where she left her alone to make her own way home, sick or not.

Josie never mentioned her ordeal to her mother but decided there and then that she would never live in a tower block. She’d rather brave the cold of the yard and outside toilet, put up with boiling the kettle for hot water and would get washed in the sink forever, before she’d ever live in the sky.

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