De Chloe K., British Council bilingual pupil

27 juin 2022 - 16:47

yaff competition winner 2022

Grianghraf on unsplash

We are delighted to share Chloe's story writing which won her second place on the prestigious Young Author's Fiction Festival 2022 - in the 11th grade category (première).  Chloe is one of our students in the British Council's bilingual section. 

January 20th

My therapist told me to write down each night something about my day. She says it helps deal with problems, clear things out. Whatever. I went to football practice with Alice today. I haven’t been feeling great lately.

February 1st.

I woke up at six today, it’s my birthday, I always wake up early on my birthday. As I went down to the kitchen, I saw grandma was already awake and in her armchair. Weird. Coraline who helps her get up and get dressed wasn’t even here yet.

— Happy birthday, honey, she said calmly. I hugged her. 

An hour later dad came down too, and he made bacon and eggs for me. Then the usual went on, school, friends wishing me happy birthday and so on. I’m intent on studying abroad when I grow up, go to med school, so I’m going to pull out all the stops to make it happen. Plus, my physics teacher agreed last week to give me extra lessons on Mondays to help me pass. But dad called today, he had to take grandma to the hospital for her weekly check and needs me at home to look after max (our dog).

Why do grandma's visits always happen when I have something planned out with friends?

February 14th

School was weird today and Grandma too. She seemed a bit under the weather and that made me sad. I didn’t ask why. Teachers were anxious today. Everybody in general actually. Something about Russia but I didn’t really pay attention. I hate politics, always fussing around about everything without finding the right solutions. That’s why I want to become a doctor, that way I’ll really help people. Besides that, the history test was off, we just had to hand in a biology paper. I went to football with Alice, we had fun but not as much as last time, she fell and broke her foot, the coach had to take her to hospital.

February 17th

I overheard grandma and dad talking about Switzerland. It sounds amazing, I’ve never been on a plane before. I don’t watch TV much, however, things are getting really tense with Russia but Dad turned it off and told me not to worry.

February 19th

Grandma’s sickness is kind of the elephant in the room. We stopped talking about it when it started getting so bad that she couldn’t take care of herself alone, and then, she came to live with us. I agree, I think it’s best for her if we don’t talk about what she has.

Later on, we were at dinner. No one was really talking except for the usual stuff, “how was school” and so on. So, to lighten the mood I brought up the Switzerland trip I had heard about, even though I wasn’t meant to know anything about it. Dad looked straight at me but didn’t talk. I asked him why; he said the project was dead in the water because we were a bit short on money and that I shouldn’t bring it up again. Fine, I said. I ran up to my room and turned the TV on.

That Russian situation is starting to really worry me. Apparently, Russia recognised the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk and entered the separatist territories.

Thank God we live in Kiev. My sleeping pills are finished.

February 20th

Dad came into my room after dinner today. I don’t know how to write that so I’ll just write it. Apparently, grandma’s wish is to be put peacefully to sleep. They had kept me in the dark for so long. That’s when it all clicked, the Switzerland trip, Dad not being in the mood lately. I cried in silence and didn’t say a word. Dad went on, trying to reassure me, saying that the procedure was tried and true and that it would be fine but I just couldn’t accept it. He said it was time for her and that she had made her decision alone and that all he was asking was for me to understand.

24th February

I didn’t go to school today. Russian military offensive launched. Everyone is totally freaking out. Dad told me he is sending me to Italy to his sister, just until things calm down, he said, but deep down I know I’ll be staying there for longer than I hope for.

26th March

It’s been a month now since I last wrote here. I think I’m going to stop. After today, I think I just won’t feel like it anymore. But since so much has happened, I thought I would just write one last time. On the 9th of March dad called me as every evening to see how I was doing here, in Italy. Immediately I felt something was off, judging from his voice. So, I asked about Grandma. He told me she had been sent to the hospital for blood tests but they were full so she was sent elsewhere.

— Dad, tell me now. Where is she? Can I talk to her? What’s the name of the hospital?


He replied:

- Mariupol

Biography of the author

Chole - Yaff 2022 winner

Chloe K., British Council bilingual pupil

My name is Chloé K., and I’m in 11th grade. I am French and Greek. I used to live in London and since I came back to France, British Council has helped me maintain and improve my English level. I thoroughly enjoy reading and participating in the 2022 YAFF was a great experience!