When she was twelve her father brought home one of the posh magazines from work. Thick and glossy. With pages and pages of big beautiful homes in creams with hints of colours. Their flat above the newsagents was all browns and greens; it smelt of paper, old and new, forgotten meals and the acridity of tomato sauce. Maybe it all started there. A need. A need to get out and get more. That New Years Eve, while everyone else was in the Hall dancing, counting down and conga-lining to Aga-Do she stood outside; the heat of the summer day still lingering but with a whiff of a cooler dawn. The grass had been mown for the festivities and she could see the lights twinkling through the trees of the properties silent down the valley waiting for the families to slowly make their way home. Screwing up her eyes tight she poured her soul in to a single wish upon a falling star. Years later, when she realised that it hadn’t worked she went out and made it come true herself. Now she stands outside, her family, children and husband inside. She aspired to a grand country house and she has one, one that has been in the very magazines she used to pore over with her dreams. A cold and deliberate plan enacted with precision. A large property, a husband that everyone adores, three children who can wear white when out and not get dirty. She hasn’t spoken to her parents since the second child, she may have said the wrong thing, not that she would admit it… But tonight she stands outside once again. Theres a small breeze that ruffles the hem of her dress, her shoes sink in the spongy grass, earthy dew permeating the silence of her thoughts. The sounds of people shrieking and having fun are peripheral and she turns her back and arches her neck to contemplate the sky. She remembers vividly that wish, and everything she had to do to get here. The private agricultural school, her parents couldnt afford. The careful cultivation of friends from properties with older brothers. The hours she sat in that damn harvester in the name of seduction, and calling in her brother to distract the competition… It all flashes through her mind and she has few regrets. But with the echoes of the music and shrieks of laughter behind her and the still silence that you can only get out here, so far from town, she feels… Hollow somehow. Empty. The breeze picks up, weaving about her blonde bob, tightly shellacked and glistening, not a hair out of place. As midnight and the New Year is counted in slowly the bonds of hairspray break and her hair dances and waves across her vision. It feels as though her eyes are moving slower than her brain wills them, which she feels, is foolish as shes had nothing stronger than lemonade to drink. There is a crunch of footsteps suddenly behind her and as she whips around to confront whoever it is who dares to disturb her solitude. A frosted man appears into view. Slowly reaching towards her chest he looms larger and whispers intimately in her ear, his breathe ice mint ‘Mine’ before she feels a pain where her heart ought to be and the New Year, for her, starts with an end.