Tram by Jessie Jellick
Jessie was born in 1970s Northland and grew up in its underbelly. After many years of searching she has found her home and sanctuary in the natural beauty of West Auckland with her partner and her friends who are deliciously warm, thriving, artistic, gentle and kind. After becoming a parent her childhood desire to write her story was reignited.
Sitting atop the old tram I hugged my knees and wondered what I had done. The tears flowed steadily and I felt the full force of hurt and confusion. The tram was a secret place I liked to go, although it was beside the gravel road hardly any cars came by. My Dad acquired the tram from god only knows where. It was a huge beast of a thing, rusted inside and out, a shell of its former self. What I loved were the metal rungs clinging to the outside of it which led me up onto the roof. Here I would sit to think and to dream as I looked towards the little grassy hill and the bush to its side where I sometimes played.
For now the tram was my refuge. I did not want to be found.
Suddenly my step-mother appeared at the bottom of the steps, “Get inside right now, how dare you humiliate me by leaving me in there with your friend,” she seethed. I followed her orders reluctantly, bewildered. I was the one who had been broken and who was now being forced back to my friend. I was the one whose face was blotchy and red from crying. I was the one she had taken the garden hose to and hit repeatedly for no reason that I could understand.
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