I went to bed a lot earlier that usual last night. Mam said it’s cos I couldn’t stop crying and she was afraid I would make myself sick.
Yesterday I got the biggest fright of my life. Me and mammy went into town on the bus and when we were on our way to Arnotts I stopped to look at some balloons that a man was selling.
Then I started to walk again but mammy was gone.
I called her but she didn’t come. I went out on to the road bit where everyone is allowed walk but I couldn’t see her. I was calling and calling her, then one of the ladies who sells fruit came over.
Are you ok love?
I was crying and I told her I’d lost my mammy.
Ah you’re alright. Mary, this little girl has lost her mammy.
Ahhhh has she? God love her.
She let me sit on a crate and there was all these woman around me. They had aprons on them and none of them were wearing coats even though it was cold. They all kept saying the same things.
Ahh God love her. What is your mammy wearing? Where did she go? You’re alright love. Where did you lose her?
I couldn’t stop crying. If I had to go home with one of the women I’d never find my mammy again. She only goes into town once or twice a year.
One of the women gave me a pear but I didn’t eat it. I only ever had one that was in a tin with juice.
A man came over and he said that there was a woman down the road looking for a little girl. I went to run down the road but the man stopped me.
No, no love, you can’t run off. If you don’t find her you’ll be lost again. I’ll go and get her.
I wanted to go with him but the women in the aprons wouldn’t let me. It felt like the sun was shining right in my eyes and I was going to fall over. A woman sat me back down on the crate. I really thought I’d have to go home with her if mammy didn’t come back and just put my head down and kept crying.
Then I heard her voice. My mammy’s voice.
Lizzy, Lizzy there you are. Come over here will you. You’re an awful girl; what were you doing? You wouldn’t hold my hand and now look.
I ran and grabbed her coat and held on really tight. She was talking to the women in the aprons but I couldn’t hear what they were saying.
Mammy decided not to go to Arnotts and we got the bus home. She said I had to stop crying before Da got home from work. So I went to bed early and ate my pear.
And I’m never going into town – ever again.
If this is your first visit to Lizzy’s story and you want to know who she is and where she came from you can read A is for About a girl…