An ending.

~ February, 2016 ~

After it happened, a burst of wrenching fire tearing through the air above us as we drank coffee – well, I did, after I said the words you pushed away your mocha and left it to go cold – we walked to the station together in near complete silence. I wish you’d seen inside my head, then; I was full of words I didn’t dare utter, I almost took it all back, because I couldn’t stand to see you so hurt. Hurt by me. It was stamped hard on your lovely face. It looked like someone had thrown you off a bridge, and run away laughing. 

(Photo: Erin Veness)

I said I was sorry. I hugged you goodbye. I boarded my train home. As I did, I felt myself start to go numb – my emotions were being shoved, squealing, into a box somewhere in the back of my very delicate brain. The tears were disappearing before they’d had the chance to fall. My hurt was in danger of total deletion.

I didn’t want that. Too often I do that. I needed to feel.

So I took a backwards-facing window seat, quickly grabbed my iPod and put on Joshua Radin’s first album – the one that sent me to sleep in my lovesick teen years. Then, I opened my heart and let myself cry. It was so long ago now, but I come over almost as weak when I recall the memory of that moment. That train journey. Away from what my life was, and into something new – something completely unknown to me.

(Photo: Erin Veness)

By the time I reached London, I’d composed myself. But still, everything was blurred. Sounds weren’t reaching my ears, my feet were automatically walking along the platform and through the barriers – then I saw Dad. Waiting for me, as he said he would today, standing outside Nero Express with a long coat on and hands behind his back. As I approached, he turned his mouth down and his brows creased. He felt it coming off me in waves – shock, and the most intense sadness. Then I fell on him, and sobbed into his suit. 

'I hate myself,' I murmured. 'He was perfect.' I straightened up and half-shouted 'what’s wrong with me!?'

(Photo: Erin Veness)

'I got us some treats for the train,' Dad said as I resurfaced. He produced a paper bag with two whisky miniatures, from the Whisky Exchange off the Strand. And M&S crisps.

'Thought you’d need it, mate.' 

I cried at that. I cried on the train. I cried in my bedroom when we finally got home, and after that day, I cried for almost exactly a fortnight. 


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