Have you checked out The School Gates by @nicolamay1? #excerpt


OUR VERY DIFFERENT mothers. One adorable dad. And the intertwining trials and tribulations that a year at the primary school gates brings.


by Nicola May


‘The decision to have a child is to accept that your heart will forever walk outside of your body.’ Katherine Hadley

‘The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain,’ Gordon Summers recited. ‘Jeez, this is harder than I thought. Can we take a break please so I can get a glass of water?’

‘Wort A, tA, tA!’ Mrs Burrows, the elocution coach, accentuated.

Gordy sipped some cold water, then slumped back in his chair. He was doing this not only for his girls, but also for his dear departed sister, so he had to persevere. Surely it wasn’t that difficult to lose an inherited Canadian accent?

‘I would like a cup of breakfarst tea, please.’

‘Perfect, say it again,’ Mrs Burrows encouraged, her tight white perm nodding of its own accord. She moved closer to him and he felt slightly uneasy as he smelled her coffee breath against his face. If her saggy breasts so much as touched his arm again, then he was sure he would scream like a girl.

Once his hour was up, Gordon ran outside into the fresh air. He was ten miles outside of Denbury, and he took a deep breath at the beauty of the wild countryside and rolling fields around him.

He looked at his watch, got into his car and began to check his Things to Do Today list, which was stuck to the dashboard. It always made Chris laugh that his wacky partner used the Mini as his office. Gordon then checked his diary and on noticing the date, felt tears prick his eyes. He couldn’t believe that a whole three years had passed since the accident. The drunk driver would soon be out of prison, but the suffering of Gordon’s family would continue for a lifetime.

In recognition of the anniversary, he scrabbled about in the glove compartment and pulled out a battered pink envelope. Unfolding the letter, he began to read.

Dearest Gordy,

Hopefully nobody ever has to find this letter, but if they do I know it will be you reading it first as you will have been drawn to the colour of the envelope! He smiled through his tears; it was as if Jessica, his vibrant, beautiful sister, was in the car with him again. As you know, the guardian information is all in the will, but if something was to happen to both Peter and myself - yes, I know it’s highly bloody unlikely as we rarely go out on our own since the twins. But IF it does and you are reading this, then as agreed, you and Chris are my first choice to bring up the girls. I have total trust in you to let them grow as I would. We share values and you are everything anyone could want in a brother and a father. Gordon sniffed back his tears. But there are just a few little things I’d like to note.

1.Laughter is paramount: a happy house is a healthy house.
1.Try not to inflict your accent and Canadian quirks on them. I want them to know the difference between a fanny and a butt, thank you very much. I can imagine you thinking, How dare she! I know, I know you were the brave one who broadened his horizons!
2.Manners, manners, manners.
3.Five a day! Limit those take-aways. Thank goodness Chris can cook!
4.If God forbid, for some reason you and Chris split, you have to make sure you find someone who will love them as much as he does.

And finally, just lots and lots of love forever, please.

It is so doubtful you will even be reading this. So much so that I don’t think I need to be so organised as to write a separate letter to the girls. However, if you are, then please just tell them just how much I/we both loved them. Show them photos. Talk about the past. I want them to be saturated with memories of their mummy and daddy!

I’m making myself cry now. How mad am I? But you know me - Be Prepared as we were taught in Girl Guides..

Missing you already, brother dear!

All my love Jessica Rabbit!

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