in which i share some writing

I scribbled this down about a month ago. Before I discovered the blog. I will, at some point be posting new stuff on here - when I have time to actually write the words bouncing around in my head that is, after all, I'd be a fool to embark on a creative writing course if I didn't actually write, would I not? But for now, this is where I was at on June 18th....


I saw you standing there, waiting and I stopped, the sight of you like a punch to the stomach, almost knocking the wind out of me. Somehow I hadn’t been expecting to see you. I’d walked all this way and still I was surprised you were there. I stopped and I watched you. I wondered how long you’d wait for, how long it would take before you decided I wasn’t coming and got back on the train. I wondered why I’d come and whether I should turn around and walk back away, my feet re-tracing my steps as though in rewind. I studied you, scrutinising you from a distance, watching you from behind my over-sized sunglasses. You were taller than I remembered and your hair longer. It suited you, brushing against the turned up collar of your jacket as you turned your head. I felt my breath catch in my throat; I didn’t want you to see me, not yet. I wanted this moment, this precious fragile moment to last that split second longer, I wanted to impress on my memory the tilt of your head, the way your arms hung loosely at your sides, one hand clutching a bunch of daffodils that I somehow knew you’d picked from the side of the road, your scuffed Converse, the jeans slightly frayed at the hem. I wanted to know that I’d never forget the shape of your mouth or the way your face in profile was the most beautiful face I’d ever seen. I wanted to take a second to just pretend. And so I stood and I watched. You looked away, glancing around the crowded station as though something much more important commanded your time; as though the station should be grateful for your deigning to grace it with your size nines. If you were nervous you didn’t show it. You were self assured, you were perfect and in comparison I felt clumsy and out of place. My flowery dress billowed around me in the wind too strong for June; my own Converse pumps seemed cumbersome on my feet. I asked myself again why I’d come. I asked myself why I thought I could stay away. The phrase, so I believed was ‘catch 22.’ Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. I shivered suddenly. I wished I’d picked up my cardigan but I knew that it wasn’t cold it was de-ja vu. I’d been here before. We’d been here before only I was older now. Wiser. So I’d have myself believe, anyway. I took a deep breath; I ran a hand through the hair that had been teased into perfection with curling tongs but was now wild and unruly; I swallowed the nerves, shoving them to the back of my mind, quietening them with a silent but firm ‘shush’ and I stepped forward.

It was as though the crowd parted to let me through, everything seemed to fade into the background, everything except you. You stood, still and sharp against your now blurry backdrop, my own real life cd cover. I moved slowly. I wished I could move slower. I wished I could turn around and run, but that was your role, not mine. My heart raced, pounding against my rib cage as though trying to get free. I wondered if I could bear it. I wondered if I could let you back in only to lose you again. Shame on you if you hurt me once. Shame on me if you hurt me twice, three times. A hundred heart-wrenching times.

‘Only a coffee.’ That was what you’d said, in that half-laughing tone, trying to convince me yet knowing I was already convinced. You were leaving in the morning you’d said. And I’d said, to the cat, that that was what made it ok. You were leaving in the morning and that was what mattered. It was when you hung around that the damage was done. Yet somehow I knew that when you left you’d take another fragment of my soul with you. I knew you’d hand me the daffodils and I knew they’d sit in a vase on my dining table until they wilted away to nothing; I knew you’d buy me dinner; I knew you’d make me laugh; I knew you’d smile at me, draw me in with those big brown eyes, hold me steady in your gaze like I was the only person that ever mattered; I knew you’d kiss me and that you’d taste like aniseed and cigarettes; I knew that when you undressed me you’d inhale, bite down on your bottom lip, look at me as though I was the most precious thing you’d ever set eyes on, looking at me as though you ached to touch me; I knew that for those few moments I’d feel glorious and free and incredible; I knew you’d run your finger down the scar on my shoulder and I knew you’d say ‘remember when’; I knew the memory would threaten to engulf me from within, starting in the pit of my stomach forcing it’s way through my blood like poison, stinging, hurting, all powerful; I knew in the morning I’d waken and you’d be gone; I knew I’d lie still for a moment, strain to hear the sound of the shower, or of coffee being brewed in the kitchen; I knew I’d fall asleep with my head on your shoulder and wake to nothing, the daffodils the only proof that you were ever there; I knew that despite myself I would cry. More than anything else I knew that I should not be here. That this, this none relationship, was the most destructive relationship of my life.

You stood, you turned, a slow smile illuminated your face, like someone had flicked a switch. I felt my own face offer you an answering grin. You laughed, a deep musical sound, you held out the daffodils and I knew in that instant that I would put up with it all, I would live with a lifetime of waking up alone, a lifetime of the debilitating emptiness that you always left in your wake, I’d put up with it all time and time again in exchange for these rare but exquisite nights of magic.