It was the night of the referendum.
Erin had already been to cast her vote alongside her friends and her family.
It felt like the world she knew was changing forever but in a good way.
Not just in Ireland but in her own life.
They had also finished up in school for good that day.
It had been a day of mixed emotions.
Relief at not having to go to school and wear the horrible uniform ever again.
Fear about the upcoming exams that were less than two weeks away.
And sadness that that chapter of their lives was coming to a close.
Erin was sat in her room thinking back over the day and the past few months.
She looked up at the photos pinned to her wall.
She unpinned one of the pictures of the five of them together. It was taken back during the summer when they had gone to Portrush.
She was glad she had got to spend that part of her life with them. Part of her wished that she had appreciated that time of her life more.
However, she found comfort in the fact that she would be heading out into the world with them by her side.
Even though they might not be all in the same city come September they would all still be there for each and of course, they would return to Derry every chance they got.
There were still more adventures to be had together. And some trouble knowing her friends.
Speaking of adventures.
Erin opened her desk drawer. She took out the leather-bound diary that James had got her for her birthday.
That was one thing she was really looking forward to. The prospect of them going to college together.
Well, not the same college but the same city at least and the freedom that would bring.
No more having to try and sneak in and out of each other’s houses. She had got that good at hiding, tip toeing, and climbing out of windows that she could probably take up burgling.
Back to the writing, she thought. She was always so distracted these days. Mostly in a good way, with James or the gang.
She thought back to the days when she spent hours scribbling her ideas in her diary. Mostly shite ideas now that she thought about it.
She had dug out one of her old diaries. From about the time James had arrived.
She picked it up and flicked through it.
She cringed on seeing all the ‘I ❤ David Donnelly’s she had adorned the journal with.
God, what had she been thinking going after him?
She couldn’t believe he was still with Katya. The last she heard was that they were moving to Berlin to live together. Good riddance she thought.
She spotted where she had practiced writing her name ‘Erin Quinn-Donnelly’. She was burning for herself.
She then came across a passage about James. She had written it right after they had first met.
“English fella. Not much to look at. John, I think she said his name was. Seems like a bit of a drip.”
Had she really thought that about him? It actually hurt to read it back.
How wrong she had been.
How far they had come.
She popped the old journal back into her desk drawer and locked it. She had gotten her dad to put a lock on it.
She really hoped Orla hadn’t learned how to pick locks.
She placed her hand on the cover of the new journal.
She didn’t know where to start.
A bit like her life right in that moment.
She had all these ideas in her head but getting them onto the page was the problem.
A story was just like life. It was what you made of it. You just had to jump at it and take a chance. That first leap into the unknown.
Just like life you had to grasp it.
She finally opened the new diary.
On the first page, she wrote: Erin Quinn ❤s James Maguire.
She knew it was a little childish, but she couldn’t help it. James was much more deserving of her scribbles than David Donnelly and the others had ever been.
He had given her this new adventure both in life and in her writing.
He had been the first person to ever actually encourage her to write.
She turned over to the next page.
She would never be Derry’s answer to Beckett if she never actually wrote anything down.
Here goes nothing she thought.
She put pen to paper.
She was ready to tell her story.