This was written for my English essay. I got a 7/10. Please do tell me what you think. Any suggestions are welcome, as are criticisms. Insults on the other hand are not. You can keep those for yourself. Thank you!

The Return

She woke up and lay in bed for a couple of seconds to get her bearings. As glints of scattered sunlight entered the room through her curtains, she remembered what day it was.

Jumping out of bed, she pulled open her curtains and pushed open her window, letting the fresh morning air enter her room. She could hear the birds singing; a song of joy she herself wanted to sing. For the first time in so many years she was truly happy. "In the seventh heaven" her English teacher would say. Well, she truly felt as if she was in heaven already.

As she was getting dressed, she formulated her plan of the day. She knew what she had to d; she had to make this day extra special, and everything had to be in place. Nothing could, or would, go wrong today. She had nicknamed this day "The Return" and that was exactly what it was: A Return.

After six long years her beloved brother was returning home! After six years of tears, tantrums, arguments, hopes and wishes, her brother was finally returning.

These six years had been so hard. She had been only ten when her grandparents had stolen him away from her. They had promised him everything a teen could wish for: a life with no rules. He had abandoned her for freedom. After that, the few glances she had had of him weren't enough and finally, three months ago, she had plucked up the courage to phone him. And now he had decided to return home. And everything had to be perfect.

The balloons were up, as was the "Welcome Home" banner. The cake had been made, the food put out. Now they just had to wait for the clock to strike the hour and he'd be home.

The hour struck, but no one knocked. Half past the hour came, and she grew concerned. What if he had decided to let her down once again? What if he was not coming? What if-A knock startled her out of her thoughts. Her mother went to get the door. She sat waiting. The living room door opened and her parents walked in, but no one else. She felt disheartened, until she noticed that there was someone behind them. It was him!

He had changed quite a bit. He was taller and no longer had the face of a boy. He had the face of a man. He had grown up. Then again, so had she. He looked at her and she looked straight back at him. All the pain she had felt at his abandonment of her re-surfaced. All the hurt and anger he had caused bubbled up inside her. She remembered all the times he had hurt her, all the broken promises, all the pain of betrayal she had felt. They threatened to overwhelm her.

As she looked at him, these emotions died down, and one surfaced, stronger that the rest: Love. She felt all her love for him grow, and she ran towards him, tears streaming down her face. As he went to catch her in his arms, a shrill, insistent sound was heard and everything faded to black.

A girl of sixteen woke with a start to the sound of her alarm clock. She slammed her hand against it, effectively turning it off. She realised her face was wet, and then remembered her dream.

It was the return all right; The Return to her bleak reality, a place where hope was no more and where darkness reigned.