Anonymous 2019

I Am Violet Anderson

It is 7:45am 

and I am Violet Anderson. 

I can feel the tension in the air. The train carriage is packed like sardines. The sun shining outside contrasts with the atmosphere inside. Someone's poster digs into my hip. The rumbling under my feet is blending into the music in my headphones and those are the only sounds I can hear. 

At each station we are greeted by adults in sharp suits with scowls plastered on their face as they make their way to the next carriage. 

The only thing keeping me going is the timid girl in a crisp, blue school uniform smiling at me through the window with sad eyes. She cannot join us. And I will speak, for she can't. 

 

It is 9am 

and I am Violet Anderson. 

I can feel the thunder in the ground and the electricity in the air. 

Around me is a sea of people. I cannot see anything, and yet, I cannot stop smiling.  

I am afraid, so, so afraid. But someone holds my hand and she looks so, so brave. We are screaming and at once I am Harry Potter, I am Katniss Everdeen, I am Percy Jackson and I am Tris Prior. I have spent my childhood reading these novels about teenagers fixing their worlds when adults don't. 

And now I am one of them. 

 

It is 11:23am 

and I am Violet Anderson. 

She still holds my hand. It is clammy, but it is all that I need to stand in front of a sea of people. It is a blur, I cannot make out their faces. I don't know if I am too far away, or if I am crying, but they are listening to my voice. 

And that is enough. 

 

It is 12pm 

and I am Violet Anderson. 

I am sobbing on her shoulder. I am so, so afraid. She pulls out her headphones, and plays a song I am unfamiliar with. 

It’s melody is reminiscent of something from the 2000s, but I cannot recognise the music.

She tells me it is a song for hope. It is a song that has been sung at protests and pride and it gives her strength. 

The lyrics blur in my head. I can't tell if they are a foreign language or if I am too numb to properly hear them.  

There is a murmur amongst the crowd. I raise my eyes to watch the parliament building. Seeing a man in a crisp suit stand before us. 

He adjusts his tie, his eyes darting around nervously.

 

It is 1:17pm 

and I am Violet Anderson. 

I am excited and yet so afraid.  

It is done. The state has declared we are in a Climate Crisis.  

My mind is swirling. It is so, so loud. I cannot tell if it is the thumping of my heartbeat or the stomping of all these teenagers in the street. The friends I have made are talking about lunch. I cannot think. A male reporter appears in my face, intruding our tight-knit group and asks for me to speak to the camera. 

And she is holding my hand. 

 

It is 2pm 

and I am Violet Anderson. 

There is a hand rubbing my own and another is drawing on my back. It hurts to breathe and I cannot go home tonight. She takes my phone and texts my mum.  

I can deal with it tomorrow, she says.  

My plate is empty. I don't remember eating my burger, but an ice cream appears in my hand and I am more than happy for the sugar. I feel stronger now. The day flickers through my mind in a blur and I am overcome with happiness once again. 

 

It is 4:29pm 

and I am Violet Anderson. 

She opens the door and it feels so welcoming. I shake the rain from my shoulders and slip off my shoes. She hands me warm clothes and when I have finished changing there is a cat on the couch and a hot chocolate on the coffee table. I know this film. It is old and it is comforting and familiar and she holds me in warm arms, her cat on my lap.  

And I feel so exhausted. 

 

It is 7:30pm 

and I am Violet Anderson. 

The man from today is on TV and he is talking as I sit with a few slices of pizza. She is holding my hand. 

I appear on the screen and I know my parents are furious. I looked more powerful than I feel, than I felt then. The tears streaming down my face are not from being overwhelmed, but angry.  

And like that someone else appears and I cannot think about what they're saying. My head is on her shoulder and she turns off the tv. 

It is quiet and I stare at the rain on the window. 

She holds my hand, and I can feel the anxiousness in the air. 

and I am Violet Anderson.