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CONTRIBUTORS

EVERYONE HAS A STORY TO TELL

CHARLIE WRITES...

Samantha Wills

Dear Carolynn
Beautiful girl
Haven't even begun to make your way in this world
June 17 1995
You're 18 years young
And your Mum's taken the unpopular decision
To throw you a birthday barbecue
Smack bang in the middle of your A-Levels
And twenty-two years later as you write this
You'll recognise in her a kindred rebel spirit
Also
Your uncle Jerome
Just stuck his head around your bedroom door
And dangled a ginormous bag of weed
In front of you and your favourite four
And you're speechless
But you love it
For the first time in your life
You feel just a little bit cool
And you don't realise it yet
But that's a space you're about to get used to
Because you're on your way Charles;
Against all the odds
You earned yourself a place
At Salford University
200 miles from home
And from your mum
And your step dad
And your mischievous Uncle Jerome
Made it out of that wild childhood
Survived days you never thought you could
And now all your dreams
Are about to come good
Lover
Career
Home
Children of your own

And so you'll walk down the street
Locking eyes with random guys
Anxious
Not to let this thing called Love pass you by
Blissfully unaware
That you've carried it within this whole time
For now
You're finally emerging as You
And twenty-two years later
You will be so fucking grateful
That you made the moves you had to
Hustling
Long before 2017 made it cool
Using what you have
Doing what you can
Starting where you are

And no way no how
You can see ahead this far
Where you're forty years old
And still to this day
Discovering Who you are:
So much more than who graces your bed
So much smarter than the doubts in your head
Yet I won't tell you to shut them down
They're a part of you
Keep you humble
Feet on the ground
But I will say sit with them
Hear them out
Converse with your soul
And work that shit out

You have lifetimes ahead of you girl
Each one a decade
And I will tell you wholeheartedly
Don't you dare make a single change
For I would not have you any other way
Every step you take leading you to me
The woman you were born to be,
Charlie x

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