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By Anna Harries, aged 12


Read by Scarlett Brookes from the BBC Radio Drama Company.

I plunged into the bearded sea of cushions and musty quilts. I sat with my laptop perched on my knees. 'Click' the laptop sprung open like a frenzied gazelle, leaping to avoid the lion's jaw. The lazy mouse ambled casually across the splintered screen only to land on the glowing Facebook icon. The webpage grew leisurely on the screen to reveal my account glinting like fool's gold. I cringed at the photoshopped images of me posing in divine exotic countries across the entire world. Me sipping cocktails in a dainty pink bikini, or me posing on the top of the Empire state building in my Gucci sunglasses, it wouldn't matter which country you picked, I would have 'been' there! No one new the truth and no one would ever find out. I vowed to myself that my secret life, curled up in my bedroom, would remain that way - a secret.

Home was a dilapidated flat in the squalid outskirts of the east end of London. Tarnished windows provided comfort from the nauseous wreck of the town. "165 people have requested to follow you" the screen flashed, irritated. As I dragged the drowsy mouse, accepting follow requests, I thought about what it had taken to make this false life seem real!

Hours passed as I embedded myself deeply in the world I had created. The flat was lifeless, no thumping could be heard from the flat above, no car alarms or burnt toast alerts....... Almost too quiet! I shut my laptop and hoisted myself off the crippled mattress. The clock barked 10:00pm but mum should have been home by 7.......

The telephone severed the silence. I fumbled for the light switch like a blind man before lunging to save the call. "Your mother has been taken seriously ill, please come to the hospital immediately!" My heart sank like a sunflower wilts in the blistering sun. My head throbbed with anguish, as I lurched towards the lift seizing my coat. Nothing gets between me and my mum, this was real and could not be hidden from the judgmental crowd called man.

I approached the deformed mammoth of the city hospital, a raw lump forming in my throat, digging away at me like a grave digger digs a grave. A tear saddled down my cheek. I followed the receptionist apprehensively.......... to the cancer ward.

Two months later on Facebook, Lydia Jane posted a picture of her and her mum in hospital, surviving together. Her mum was seriously ill but with her daughter by her side the little things in life, like breathing, seem so much more doable. Under her picture it read:

"Dear all who I have deceived by my fake identity, I am truly sorry. I have discovered the importance of truth and honesty. Life is hard, but together we are fighting and winning the battle. I hope you can forgive me and find true happiness in your real self."


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