She was resisting more and more to go back to an empty room. But, she didn’t want company; she wanted to shrug it off. She thought she could ring her friend. But why, why should she just because she felt at a loss? And she was hesitant. Didn’t want to spend the energy. Didn’t want to have to deal with other people’s energies. They affected her so. She didn’t want it, the sucking of one. So she sat by the river watching parliament and the sun setting. By her, a couple making out, but she ignored them. Yet, it made her think of him. Not because she wanted to kiss him necessarily, but because she wanted to see him, longed to with her all her might. This longing, this need. Beyond her control. Like she’d always known him, or known him before, somewhere, a long time off. Had the times been good or bad then? She wondered.
He was good, good at soothing her just with his presence. But then she shook her head at the clouds. Silly, indulgent fantasies. She imagined his anger and mockery if he knew her thoughts. But she couldn’t help it and anyhow, thinking and feeling of and for someone was better than nothing at all, better than feeling nothing. That she was afraid of. Rather be dead, then. May be she should be.
She felt sure she could sense his presence sometimes. A sure trait of Borderline Personality Disorder, someone said. Trait or not, she felt him all right. Like now, just wishing he’d appear, although he was far, far away.
He said there was nothing he could give, yet he did not see he gave all the time, throwing himself into things head first, like a dog charging through bracken, or grabbing a child’s toy and running off with it. Yes he was like that, and she liked that too. He was so- like an arrow, she thought. Going straight to the target. Something in him fascinated her and she would be content to muse on him for days. The intensity of him hit her like a hot wave. Like a dog, like a horse, alert and waiting. Always waiting. And watching. She was afraid she wasn’t going to see him for a long time and yet was afraid that she might see him at any moment.
The couple had gone, she had been so immersed in her musings, she hadn’t noticed. So had the sun. Her arms ached from carrying boxes at work. They were covered in bruises. Put butter on them, her mum used to say when she came home from school, her legs covered and pretending it was from football. She did once, but it hadn’t worked.
The mother didn’t have an answer to her, always cheerful, come what may.
You’ll always be unhappy, she said once in answer to the girl’s desperation.
Not mentioned her feelings since. Best keep them hidden and don’t talk about them. Don’t talk about the despair, she thought. Instead, walking it out on the streets in South London. That was where she found peace, prowling the silent suburbs and parks, with their large comforting mansions where she could only imagine happiness and stability. She liked the streets, silent at the question of the sky and the night. In the beginning there was silence, she thought.
She was trying with life, she was. But inside she was crying now. At first she cried outside, and then she cried inside. She read somewhere that crying was the first step to recovery, to healing. Healing? What was healing, when did it begin and when did it finish? How did one know? I am healed now, she imagined saying. I am healed of life.
She tried for dancing. She never got anywhere. Auditions but no roles.
You mustn’t want it enough; her friends blamed her, for they always needed an answer and a reason.
No, no, she said but with no other explanation.
But later, she thought they must be right. The desire was leaving, the desire to dance with joy against such an unhappy life and times, was leaving. The reason behind it all had become unclear.
She did feel odd and hardly spoke to anyone. Because she didn’t do small talk and as she was not passionate, and passion was the only thing that made her speak, she said nothing, as she realized there was no point.
She still had to go home. Catch the bus. The bus never went fast enough, London Buses could not enjoy an open road.
She had wandered to a café but the baristas were tired and cross. They were packing up, she knew she could not stay, that they wanted her to leave so that they too, could go home. Home, where was home for them? She wondered.
And the sun was going, fading from the HMRC enquiry building across the road. The one they planned to shut down soon. They were putting on the lights; it was getting darker sooner now. Inevitable, Winter. It was coming. But was she inevitable? She wasn’t sure.