By Bernie Bell
This is going way back, to second year at Secondary School. We were about 12/13 years old. There was a girl called Catherine in our class. She was just a girl, quiet, just – Catherine. She had a best friend, Josephine.
Then it was Bonfire Night. Catherine didn’t come in to school. We were told that she’d had an accident with fireworks and was in hospital. She didn’t come back to school for months and months, and when she did, she wasn’t the same.
Not just physically – her face was scarred and it took a while for her hair to look right again – but also – she wasn’t herself.
She had been quiet before, but after the firework accident, she was….withdrawn. She kind-of……wasn’t there.
And she was frightened of everything. The least little thing, made her jump.
She came back to school, and functioned, but she was never the same again. That may seem like a trite way to put it, but it’s true. That’s how it was, how she was. She was never the same again. She never went back to being Catherine.
And Josephine lost her best friend.
This is a story about fireworks.
And it’s true.
If fireworks didn’t exist, a lot of harm could be avoided. And, really, when it comes down to it, what would we be losing?