I open my eyes. My flat’s empty and quiet. My girlfriend has moved out and everything I own is packed up in boxes. My cat stares at me, she looks depressed. I stretch out across the bed so I can see the side of her head, to see the curl of her mouth so it looks like she’s smiling, but she still looks depressed.
I fill up a suit case with clothes. I’m staying at my parents for a while and moving the boxes into storage. The cat cries as I try and get her into her box which makes me cry.
On the Tube, I can sense a girl staring at my cat. I have my head turned in the opposite direction looking down at the floor of the carriage. I’m really making an effort to avoid all conversation. She bends over to look closer into the box. Don’t.
“Is that a cat or a rabbit?”
“Cat.” I reply, still looking down and away.
“Awww, what’s it’s name?”
“Oh! Where are you taking her?”
Split up with my girlfriend didn’t I. Empty. Moving out. Heart broken. Staying with my parents. 32. Fuck off. I don’t say any of that.
“I’m going on holiday so she gets to stay at my parents.” Having the suitcase with me makes this the perfect lie.
“That’s nice. Where are you going?”
“I don’t know.”
That hangs there a bit. The silence is awkward.
“It’s a road trip with a mate.” I add. Fuck off?
I picture Paul… me and Paul going on a road trip.
“Lovely! Around Europe?”
Man, she’s actually having a conversation with complete lies.
“No, just England.” I reply.
“Oh England is lovely. You don’t need to leave England to have a really great holiday.”
I used to feel like Story was this big thing I was pushing through a tunnel. Sometimes it would be uphill, I’d have to push hard. Sometimes, great things would just happen and it felt like the thing had started rolling on its own. At the end of the tunnel was the light and I felt close to it.
Now, the light is a pin prick in the distance and Story is way way behind me. I want to go back and start pushing again but I’m not. I’m just slowly walking to the pin prick which is getting further away and so is Story.