‘Over the Border’ by Aaron Povey, Age 15, Year 11, Ringwood School

Fear and anticipation grip my stomach as the invisible divide, which cut my worlds apart, draws closer. A chorus of voices in my head implore me to turn back, but I won’t listen. This is my last chance.

Grey lifeless eyes follow me across the street, glimpses of shock erupting in small twitches of the jaw and furrows of the brow. It’s been a while since I last set foot here.

A hundred excuses for my absence plague my guilt-stricken conscience, but there is only one reason why I crossed over the border. It is love. The most desired yet feared power, rendering us helpless to its touch. The power that can save or destroy a million lives. The power that took my children from me, ripping my soul in half in the process.

If only I had known better. If only I hadn’t looked into those hypnotic eyes of his and seen a thousand possibilities within. I should’ve known better than to leave everything that mattered behind- the man who loved me when no one else could; my children, who hold the very fragments of my broken soul. How could I have become so overcome with passion that I went over the border without a second glance? Why did I never think what will happen when the magic wears away?

The border never had to be real. There may have been strain and discontent within my family, but I was the once who ripped apart the love we shared. I was the one who said goodbye to the children who looked at me with quivering lips and glistening eyes, begging me not to go.

I feel burning, lingering gazes of disdain upon me as I walk down the rain-soaked, watercolour street. No one here has forgotten what I did. I want to say sorry, but once a division has been struck through love, can there be any hope of mending it? Can words ever be enough to remedy what I’ve done, especially when they’re far too late? If it had been days since I left…but it’s been nearly a year. Enough time for hatred to breed, and for my children to forget me.

The house appears before me. I stop metres from the driveway, now just steps away from the border- and potential reconciliation. But can there be forgiveness when the crime is so unfeeling? What if they don’t forgive me? And what if they do? Will I be guilt-stricken from the debt of kindness that I’ll never be able to repay?

I step over the border, and a stone-cold burning sickness grips my stomach. Maybe I should turn back and forget about all this.


Instead, should I be brave, and face the heartbroken eyes of those I did wrong? Should I admit that I’m sorry, and that I made a mistake? I hesitate. There seems to be only one real option.