May grew up in a family home with both parents and her sister Lisa who was 2 years older than her. The family was a tight unit and her parents were devoted to their girls.

Lisa and May didn’t get on particularly well. Lisa thought May was spoilt and May thought that Lisa got everything because she was older.

Lisa was only 16 and in her second year at High School when she became pregnant.

Lisa was devastated. She’d always been a hard worker and got good grades and her parents were very proud. She liked socialising with her friends at school but she knew her limits and was happy with what her parents expected of her.

Mark had said that everything would be okay but Lisa wasn’t sure. She didn’t know how to tell her parents that she’d screwed up. She’d been seeing her boyfriend Mark for almost six months and everything had been going really well and her parents thought he was great.

Lisa never got the chance to tell them. May had overheard a conversation of Lisa’s to Mark on the phone and rushed in to tell Mum and Dad.

An eerie silence filled the room as Lisa walked into the lounge. Lisa was terrified. But she didn’t need to be. Her parents loved her with all their heart and were happy that she’d been honest with them and they agreed to help in whatever way they could.

That was it. May felt left in the cold. Even her sabotage plan hadn’t worked. She’d always been the baby of the family and now Lisa was getting all the attention and so would the baby.

Nine months later Mark and Lisa’s baby daughter was born. She was a beautiful baby and the whole family adored her. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins - everyone came to visit. But they weren’t interested in May, no, all they wanted to see was Lisa and her new family.

Mark decided to move in with them and they took over May’s upstairs bedroom as it was bigger for the three of them.

May had had enough. Why should everyone else get everything they want and she miss out! She wasn’t going to listen to anybody. It was her life and at 14 she was more than capable of looking after herself.

May started skipping school, staying out til all hours and getting into trouble. With everyone so caught up in Lisa’s life they hardly even noticed that May was living in her own little world.

Late one night May decided to run away. She knew of an abandoned barn on the road heading out of town. She packed her rucksack with clothes and some food and left.

ay managed to go two or three days before her food ran out. There was no way she was going home. She knew they’d be looking for her but she wanted them to worry.

On her fourth night in the barn she heard some scuffling outside the barn door. She wasn’t scared - it was probably rats or mice. A young boy crept into the barn shutting the door behind him. It took him a few minutes to see May. He had a big smile on his face and stuck out his hand. May looked up at him relieved and shook his hand.

Billy was 13 although May didn’t think he looked much over 12. He had also run away from home. He was from a family of six children and his parents had become sick in the last couple of weeks. A social worker had been to the house to collect the kids and Billy had decided he didn’t want to go with them.

May and Billy became the best of friends. After a couple of months of not being discovered at the barn they decided they had better move on before someone did find them.

They managed to hitchhike to the next town and found themselves an abandoned warehouse to stay in. Each night they would sneak out and raid the local stores bins out the back for food and jump into the recycled clothing bins to see what clothes they could find.

A few days later Billy had gone out for an hour or so to see a friend while May stayed at the warehouse. He came back looking a little dazed and confused. He’d been told about a virus that was infecting all the adults around the world. He guessed that that’s what must have made his parents sick.

May began to worry. She liked hiding out with Billy and living to her own rules but the thought of her parents dying was awful. She discussed it with Billy and decided that she would go and see her parents and let them know she was okay but that she wasn’t moving home. She would meet him back at the warehouse in a day or so.

She’d been away from home for almost three months now - it felt a little strange to see her old house. She noticed there were no cars in the driveway and the lawns looked a little overgrown. She knocked on the door……no answer.

She peered through the windows and saw that the house was empty - no Mum, no Dad, no Lisa, Mark or the baby.

A neighbour spotted her and came over to see her. He had to break the news to her as gently as possible.

Her father had got the virus about 2 months ago and soon after that so did her mother. They had moved into the hospital and left Lisa and Mark the house to care for their baby and hope and wait for May to return.

Unfortunately Mark must have been just old enough to get the virus and it wasn’t long before he was gone too. Lisa was left all alone with her baby girl. She had managed to stay in the house by herself for a while - hoping that soon May would come home so that she wasn’t all alone in the world. In the end she had decided to leave, there was nothing left for her or her baby.

May stood on the doorstep brokenhearted. She wondered if she would ever see her sister again.