Antonia Gazzana, Grade 8
That beautiful battered handbag. It was as if my whole life was contained in this chequered mess of colours. I take it everywhere. It’s disgusting, completely hideous, but also everything, how strange something so irrelevant to one person can be someone else’s treasure.
I remember the first day I was united with this pink, purple, blue, and peach coloured mass. The miserable day had ended in a hectic afternoon. I caught the wrong bus after a head ache prone teenage school day and sat alone on one of the flip down chairs for disabled people, I daydreamed how my day could have gone if God loved me. I missed three stops from the closest one to my street and walked off the next stop with my brick-heavy school bag filled with books: humanities, math and science.
I was already feeing pathetic, so when I realized I had ended up deep in the city, nowhere near home, I felt foolish. I groaned to myself and slouched under the weight of my bag as I trudged to the tram stop down the street. I collapsed onto the bench, defeated. My stomach grumbled like thunder and I willed myself not to burst into tears, like a seven year old.
That’s when I saw it, just laying on the bench beside me, a plastic shopping bag which didn’t seem to have any ownership. I curiously picked it up and reached inside cautiously. I wrapped my fingers around what felt like handles and gently tugged it out. I snorted, it looked like a tasteless, posh, old ladies bag and instead of leaving it where I found it, I placed it on my lap.
Five seconds later the tram came, I hopped inside, sat at a window seat ready for the ride in the right direction. It was a pleasant trip and I didn’t feel alone. I had my companion, my chequered handbag. It saved me from a day headed for complete mental meltdown.
In my handbag, I have my novel, ‘Dear Dylan’,
a girl’s favorite item, pink strawberry flavored lip gloss,
a mirror (in case),
a note pad full of jotted ideas, quotes and smart phrases.
My disaster day kit, for those days when you wake up, look in the mirror and shriek.
My phone (of course) with those fully sick songs I walk to the rhythm with, (no-one knows),
hand sanitizer (essential!),
my trusty and small come-back hand book for that one moment when you have permission to make someone feel bad,
my jazzy sunnies,
my cash-filled wallet (grandma’s kindness),
the small teddy I just can’t throw away,
deodorant and perfume,
a Rubic’s cube (you never know!),
business cards from everywhere
and tonnes of gizmos and gadgets buried and wedged deep within the pockets.
Now, I carry it everywhere,
It protects me from my worst teenage fears, it’s like my lucky charm… my ugly lucky charm.