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The Juggling Balls

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Learning to Juggle Jenny's first day at her new school had not gone well. She had chosen a back seat on the bus and did not talk for the entire journey in an attempt to stay inconspicuous. During the bus ride, she spent most of her time gazing longingly at the two girls in front who were giggling uncontrollably. They were both blonde with porcelain skin and brilliant blue eyes; they could have been twins. She watched as the few rays of sunlight shining through the clouds reflected off their flowing locks. Every time they moved, a gentle flowery scent left them like the first rose of summer. Jenny turned to at look herself. Her second hand blouse was fading and still showed the remnants of the brown stain she had tried so hard to scrub out. Her pale, washed-out skin clung to her thin, frail figure. She observed her own hair. It did not bounce or shine. Instead it hung limp around her dull bony features and had the effect of not seeing sunlight for several years. It was not her fault she thought to herself, it was their fault. They were just born prettier than she was; they were the people who were being arrogant and rude. ...read more.


Jenny slumped off the bus and trailed home. When she had arrived at her house, she trudged up the stairs to her bedroom. She lay on her bed and wept tears of anger and bitterness. Then, like the day before, the blurred image came to view of the juggling balls. Without any kind of conscious decision, she found herself silently juggling the darker blue ball alone around in her hands. She threw it around, again and again; appreciating the gentle, muffled thump each time the ball hit her hands, followed by the feeling of delicious weightlessness as the ball flew into the air. Mostly she relished the simplicity that the singular ball gave, it was familiar and friendly. She tossed the ball from one hand up and over to the other and back again. Over and over she repeated this. The steady pulse like noise calmed her thoughts. This was as it should be. More than one was too complicated, too much like hard work, too likely to fail. There were no surprises with one. The next week went by in a blur. She kept to herself at school and practised her yo-yo before tea. ...read more.


In the centre of the room was a large bed on which sat Zoe, with a curling tong wrapped around Abigail's hair in her hand and a warm smile on her face. The pale, butterfly curtains were open to show the last orange-pink glow of the sun as it disappeared beyond the rolling hills. The enticing aromas of freshly baked bread were wafting up the wooden staircase and into the room creating a warm atmosphere. She felt more at home here, than she could ever remember feeling in her entire life. She turned to see Zoe juggling perfectly with a set of bright red, blue and yellow balls, the same ones as she had been using the talent show. Laughing, she threw them to Jenny and told her to try them. Catching them, she focused on the balls placed in her hands and breathed. She had never attempted using all three before, but she felt she had to try. She started with one, she threw it round and around in her hands until she felt comfortable with it again. Then, she added another and, like before, waited until it felt right. It was time, she thought to herself, time to juggle everything together. She added in the final ball and without realising what she was doing she began throwing all balls in a perfect circle in her hands. Jenny smiled. ...read more.

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