Every morning same routine, wake up, cry, have a shower, cry in the shower, get out the shower, dry myself, brush my teeth whilst crying, walk into my bedroom, sit on my bed, stare at the wall cry some more, dry my face, put my makeup on, get dressed, put my hair up then down the stairs to reach the front door. I freeze, extend my arm to touch the cold rusting door handle knowing that outside of this door is where all the menacing people await me. The panic ensues and I don’t want to leave. Up the stairs I run back to my safe space, get under my duvet and lie there for a moment, look at my phone and times passing quickly and I need to leave now otherwise I’ll be late. I feel my heart throbbing against my chest, pounding with immeasurable force as if it were trying to escape. The last piece of my broken heart attempting to leave like everyone else around me. But today will be no same routine. Down the stairs no pause no hesitation but out the door. Without any thought I begin to walk, for two whole hours I’m walking feet burning eyes pouring but nevertheless still walking. Cars driving past me with no clue as to what my intentions are, in my head I’m begging them to stop just someone stop, one person is all it takes. One person will change everything but no one stops. Then I reach it, I climb over the barrier and hold tightly to the rail, daring not to let go, not yet, not this second. Don’t let go. I watch the cars pass beneath me, now timing is key to doing this right. I take one hand off the rail, lifting each finger one at a time. I bring my arm forward to my side feeling my body become heavier, as the ground beneath me invites me nearer. Tempting my right foot over the edge feeling the wind against my body, imaging the pull of gravity tug my body onto the motorway beneath me and then I fall. Fall onto the ground behind me and open my eyes to see a panicked face screaming at me, inaudible screams. What is she saying? I’m cradled in her arms whilst she strokes my hair, rocking me to and fro to and fro as if I were her new-born child, holding me tightly protecting me against my own wicked mind. Those kind brown eyes reminding me that I’m not alone, that care can be found in anyone even in a stranger. Those eyes will live with me forever, her voice stationed tenderly in my mind in every passing moment of sorrow and joy reminding me that someone cared. I no longer run back up the stairs.
(On a train heading to London.)
Karen: I hate trains.
Neil: You hate everything.
Karen: Do I?
Karen: No I don’t think I do.
Neil: Well you’re constantly moaning, so sorry that I get the impression that you hate everything.
Karen: You’re pathetic, do you really have to do this now?
Neil: I’m not doing anything.
Karen: Yes you are.
Neil: No. I’m not.
Karen: I’ve had enough.
Neil: And there we are, the daily ‘I’ve had enough!’
Karen: Just leave me alone now.
Neil: Grow up.
Karen: You’re the one who needs to grow up.
Neil: No you are.
Karen: You really are insufferable.
Neil: So why do you hate trains?
Karen: They make me feel sick, you know I get travel sickness.
Neil: Oh yeah.
Karen: So where shall we eat later?
Neil: Don’t mind.
Karen: I mean, I thought you may have had something planned already.
(Ticket attendant walks past and stamps the carriages tickets)
Karen: I think it may be hard finding a restaurant then if you haven’t booked anything.
Neil: It’s London, I’m sure somewhere will have a table free.
Karen: I didn’t just want to go to any old place though, I want to go somewhere nice and special.
Neil: We’ll find somewhere.
Karen: You really aren’t very thoughtful are you?
Neil: Whys that?
Karen: Well I mean I have a whole weekend planned for your birthday next week. But for my birthday you tell me ‘let’s go to London for the evening’, but then expect me to book and pay for the train tickets and hotel? And you haven’t even booked a table.
Neil: I’ve been busy, you work part time how do you expect me to get everything planned when I barely have time for dinner in the evenings?
Karen: I wish you were at home more.
Neil: What do you expect? When I’m not working I’m having to see my parents.
Karen: You see your family pretty much most days, I barely even get a few hours a week with you.
Neil: We live together, you see me every day.
Karen: Seeing is very different to spending quality time together.
Neil: Then maybe you should go out more.
Karen: It’s not a matter of me going out more, I socialise enough.
Neil: You could socialise more.
Karen: Then who would cook and clean? Sometimes I stay in in the hope that football may be cancelled or you would rather see me than your friends one evening.
Neil: I’m not changing my lifestyle to fit your needs.
Karen: I wouldn’t really call it needs, it’s what comes with being in a relationship.
Neil: If you’re not happy then leave.
Karen: I don’t want to leave.
Neil: Then shut the fuck up.
Karen: Don’t talk to me like that here, it’s embarrassing.
Karen: What have we become?
Neil: What do you mean what have we become?
Karen: We used to laugh at people who were like this, we were so in love and always happy. We were best friends.
Neil: Nothing’s changed.
Karen: How can you say nothing has changed?
Neil: I don’t think it has.
Karen: Well I do.
Neil: That’s your opinion.
Karen: Is my opinion not important?
Neil: I didn’t say that.
Karen: Just look at us. We bicker like this every day. It really hurts me.
Neil: No, you nag at me every day and I end up having to defend myself.
Karen: I nag because you are selfish.
Neil: I’m not selfish.
Karen: I beg to differ.
Neil: Well that’s just a matter of opinion.
Karen: You’ve changed so much.
Neil: How have I changed?
Karen: You used to be funny and easy going, you used to chat for hours about stuff that I had no interest in but I loved listening to you talk.
Neil: You know I’m just really busy with this new promotion.
Karen: I know.
Neil: I’m doing this for us.
Karen: Are you?
Neil: You know I am.
Karen: Why do you lie all the time?
Neil: What do you mean?
Karen: I mean why do you constantly lie to me, Neil?
Neil: I don’t lie all the time.
Karen: You do, you think I don’t notice but I do.
Neil: You just don’t trust me clearly.
Karen: I do trust you, I mean I want to trust you. I do trust you.
Neil: I can’t take it back.
Karen: I know, I don’t hold it against you.
Neil: I feel like you do.
Karen: I try not to, sometimes it’s hard not to think about it though, especially what with your mum last year.
Neil: Let’s not get into this now.
Karen: Don’t worry I’m not going to say it.
Karen: You don’t need to feel ashamed.
Neil: I do.
Karen: We all lie sometimes.
Neil: Not like that though.
Karen: No maybe not like that.
Karen: But I understand why now I think.
Neil: You don’t have to stay with me.
Karen: I want to though.
Neil: I don’t deserve you.
Karen: Yes you do, we all make mistakes.
Neil: Not like that.
Karen: I can try and move on from it, why can’t you?
Neil: Because it’s changed me. I don’t feel like myself anymore.
Karen: I can help you.
Neil: No, this is irreparable.
Karen: There must be some way of fixing it?
Neil: Well have you got any ideas?
Karen: Would writing a diary help?
Neil: I’m not a 13 year old girl.
Karen: It may help though.
Neil: Maybe we should just end things.
Karen: Fine then. Let’s just end things.
Neil: Don’t be like that.
Karen: No I will be like that, if you’re willing to throw all these years away because of that then so be it.
Neil: I just don’t understand how you can look at me and still love me.
Karen: Because it’s insignificant for me, my love for you is too strong to let this affect me.
So you see that girl there yeah? She’s pretty beautiful isn’t she? The way her soft brown hair falls perfectly, shaping her face like a frame around a masterpiece. The way she bites her bottom lip when she’s listening intently to my stories, her jade coloured eyes staring into my soul as if she can hear every thought that I’m having. I never thought I’d meet her, meet the one so quickly. I don’t understand how fate has bought together two distinctly opposing people but nonetheless matched them so well? Who knew this girl would open up to me so quickly and tell me her deepest darkest secrets and trust me with them? Who knew that she’s a fucking fool? I’m going to make sure I destroy this girl’s life, watch every last glimpse of happiness that she had left dissipate off that nauseatingly perfect face. I see the sadness in her eyes, knowing that her baroness means she can’t even ascertain the most simplistic of functions which is what all humans have been put on this earth for. Nothing brings me more pleasure knowing that her desires will never be met, and that all she wants is to meet a guy that would sweep her off her feet and love her unconditionally, to buy a house with him, to marry him, to have lots of babies with him. It’s pathetic and I have no pity for her whatsoever, not one miniscule amount. Girls like her make my skin crawl they’re weak and emotional and I can smell it in the air when they pass me. You’re probably wondering why I have so much hatred built up inside of me for her, well that’s for you to see later but first I’ll watch you all squirm in your seats whilst I woo her with my charm.
(Girl and boy stood at a bar in a pub.)
Dan: Right, what do you want to drink then? Do you want a pilsner, or a glass of wine?
Emily: Umm…. I’ll have a glass of wine, it gets me drunk quicker so at least that way we won’t spend much tonight (she giggles).
Dan: Alright well you go grab us a table and I’ll bring the drinks over.
(She walks over to a table and takes a seat. Boy walks over and places the drinks on the table.)
Dan: There you go, enjoy.
Emily: Thanks for getting those, I’ll grab the next ones.
Dan: No no, I asked you out on this date so I’ll be paying for the evening.
Emily: I couldn’t let you do that, it’s 2017 not 1917.
Dan: Well we’ll see won’t we, we’ll see who gets to the bar quicker. (He winks.)
(She smiles awkwardly, her face growing pink in colour as she tries to think of what to say.)
Emily: I’m really sorry if I seem awkward or nervous or quiet. I don’t really go out on dates, well no I’ll rephrase that. I don’t really get asked out on dates, so I’m a bit of a novice.
Dan: I don’t believe that for a second, I bet you get asked every day.
Emily: No really I don’t, it really worries me sometimes that people just find me really strange.
Dan: I think you’re unique, and that’s really hard to come by nowadays. I don’t really know you that well but already I think you’re one of the most interesting people I’ve met.
Emily: (Clears her throat.) Yeah well you would say that, you have to be nice to me on a date otherwise it wouldn’t go well would it (she hits him playfully on the arm.)
Dan: So tell me a bit more about yourself, what are your hobbies? Your aspirations in life?
Emily: If I’m honest I don’t really know what my aspirations are, I’m more of a go with the flow kinda gal. I think everything happens for a reason, so every decision I make, will lead me to where I need to be. My hobbies are writing and playing guitar. I’m not great at either but I love it, I lose myself and I love having something to focus on because if not, then my mind wonders and I go to places that I don’t want to go to.
Dan: Places like where?
Emily: Ah I don’t know, I just over think everything and get myself down about things sometimes.
Dan: Yeah I’m the same, I think everyone does it so don’t worry about it.
Emily: So what about you? What are your hobbies and aspirations?
Dan: Well I love skiing, I went on my first skiing holiday a few years ago with my dad and completely fell in love with it. I try to go every year now, nothing beats being up in the mountains in the fresh air. Your mind is cleared of any worries and it’s just so much fun.
Emily: Sounds like I need to take up skiing! (She winks jokingly.)
Dan: Maybe I could teach you then and we could go on a skiing holiday together. (He winks back.)
Emily: You do know I’m going to have to take you up on that offer don’t you?
Dan: Well of course, I expect no less. I couldn’t think of anything better than going with you, it’d be fun.
Emily: So apart from skiing have you got any other interests?
Dan: Well, I’m starting to develop a new interest quite quickly.
Emily: Oh yeah? What is it?
Dan: Well… (Clears throat.)
Emily: … Yeah? What?
Dan: Well it’s you.
Emily: Wow, (she chuckles), that’s the cutest thing anyone has ever said to me.
Dan: (He blushes,) I’m going to grab us some more drinks. (He leaves the table quickly with the now empty glasses and heads to the bar.)
Emily: (To herself) keep it chill, be smooth, and don’t put him off you. No matter what. Do. Not. Fart.
Dan: (He places the drinks on the table, hands shaking slightly.) Theeeere you go. Two secs I’ve just got to run back up to the bar. (He returns with a tray of shots.) So now we’re going to play a game of truth and shot. We each have to say something embarrassing about ourselves, and then take a shot ok? You in?
Emily: Oh god. You really don’t want to play this game with me. This is going to turn into our last date within minutes of playing.
Dan: I’m sure it’s not, it’ll be a fun way of getting to know each other without all the seriousness.
Emily: Well, I’m blaming you if this goes sour.
Dan: I’ll bet you ten pounds that we’ll have a blast. I can guarantee that I will want to take you out on another date after this.
Emily: Ok fine, deal. Who’s going first then?
Dan: Seeing as I suggested it I’ll go first, get the ball rolling. I once fell over in front of my whole school when I was getting my award for best rugby player of the season. (Takes a shot.)
Emily: I mean, that’s not really that embarrassing it’s more funny than anything. Well I didn’t stop peeing myself until I was 16. Yeah. That’s pretty embarrassing. (She takes a shot)
Dan: Did you have something wrong with you?
Emily: No no, I don’t think so anyway. It wouldn’t just happen randomly though I’ll tell you that now before you think I’m weird. It would only happen if someone made me laugh really hard.
Dan: Yeah… sure…
Emily: Honestly, I would have to take a spare pair of knickers in my school bag just in case someone made me laugh whilst I was at school.
Dan: Is it strange that I find that cute?
Emily: Slightly yeah, thanks for trying to make me feel better about it (She playfully hits him on the arm.)
Dan: Ok, once I got so drunk that I was paralytic at my friend’s house and my friends grandma had to drive me home. I threw up in her car, twice. (He takes a shot.)
Emily: That’s poor, I really don’t want to play this game anymore because I know I’m going to lose.
Dan: Don’t be a spoil sport!
Emily: I’m not, you just sound quite boring and normal if I’m honest!
Dan: What because I haven’t told you that I’ve shit myself yet?
Emily: (She bursts out laughing.) You. Have. Not!
Dan: You’re right I haven’t, but it made you laugh.
Shall I say I have gone at dusk through narrow streets never a detailed destination in mind, but my destination, a destination unknown to people I know. I think about this destination a lot, dream of it but never fear it as it grows ever more desirable. No anxiety no fear but excitement, my heart beats hastily the more narrow streets that I walk. Life is so predictable, always having lived my life day by day but I want to change that become excited again be reborn. My destination is unpredictable, it seduces me like my first lover uninterrupted whispers in my ears as it brings me closer teasing me enticing me with its wet soft warm tongue, a language only understood between us. I continue to walk through narrow streets to find this place becoming ever more insistent, my feet begin to blister but it brings me no discomfort, in fact I welcome the pain because in my heart I know that I am getting closer and closer and closer. Feeling its breath on my throat become hotter my fingers and toes grow colder, I know that I’m nearly there. All sadness that I carried mightily on my shoulders dissipating with every further step, old faces growing familiar welcoming me with glowing smiles and open arms waiting to embrace me once again. The narrow streets grow darker, the ground beneath my feet cutting into my soles cutting me like the expletives that escaped the mouths of voices unwelcome. Then nothingness. I have reached the end of the narrow street to meet my final destination, time feels like it has stood still, the wind no longer howls, the birds no longer whistle. Nothing.
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton