[Extract from the diary of Bertha Mason, January18th 1813]

...

The expectations they had of me were certainly never hidden, nor was my fate. From a young age, I have been both glorified and vilified, sometimes at the same time, which can't possibly lead to anything less than heartache. I disgusted them. I was chosen for a fate worse than death before I was even born; damned to live out the end of my days as little more than an insane, Godless animal. Yet, they also pitied me for the struggles I was going through, and that a handsome girl so skilled in art and dancing would be such a waste. I still remember a doctor, Dr. McMillan from when I was eleven, who always stared at me with that loathsome look of pity and care in his sky-blue eyes. He was but a child for all he was meant to be an adult, and viewed the world through rose-tinted glasses; I could tell just from our sparse meetings. He was the sort of person who was delighted by the rising sun greeting the land with its warm beams and worshipped the sweet, tinkling laugh of his sweetheart. He loved the beauty of the winter and with it, its glittering ice and refreshing breezes. He was a dreamer; an idealist who became a doctor to help people.

But above all, I remember thinking he was a naive, self-absorbed fool.

The world is not a nice place and a dream is merely a dream destined to never become reality. He laughed away the hardships as if he could simply make it go away with a smile and a colourful lollipop. Winter is a harsh mistress for she tempts you outside with her desolate beauty and the smell of fresh air. Yet, once you're out, her heart of ice is finally centre stage. Refreshing winds become deadly daggers biting deep within your skin and any warmth is hungrily snatched away leaving only an echo of her stinging touch and crimson wounds. The sun scorches us all with his overwhelming rays, wearing us down and wearing us down, until we're desperately wishing for water; but no drop of water is spared by the fire that dominates the day.

I wanted to scream and shout and rage at him that life, for some of us, will not just be okay and everything will not be fine at the end of the day. That for every breath he takes, the ferryman was receiving a new passenger to join him on the hallowed journey. I wanted to attack him, hurt him, claw at him, show him how pity and compassion doesn't help when you re hurt and is, in every respect, unneeded. But of course, I don't, as that wouldn t be proper, ladies should never display such violent behaviour. That was simply not done - and who am I to disagree?

...

A/N - Thanks for reading. As this is my first story, I hope you review and be critical - what do you like/dislike? Any improvements you can think of? If you stop any errors, please tell me! I'm thinking of adding some other chapters with extracts of other diarys. Opinions?