I watch the high street from the kitchen window whilst I eat toast and drink a cup of chi tea. It’s raining steadily now and making a nice sound falling off the roof tops and guttering. Market stalls are being set up in two rows either side of the main walk way. The clattering and banging noise they are making is so loud it could wake the dead. Plastic sheets of clear, white and other colours drape over the tops of the stalls, creating another surface for the rain to make music on.
Nothing stirs in the house expect for me and my small noises which the living room clock seems to echo with. I wonder what the girls and the boyfriends are up to? Maybe some soft snuggling and kisses? Perhaps morning sex? I think though they are all in a drunk coma of sleep right now. The idea of sex lingers in my mind and before I can recall the last time I had morning sex, I shove the thought away.
I unlatch and open the window. Chilly, wet autumn air drifts lazy into the stuffy kitchen. The wind plays with the netting and the curtains, before I fix it all back and out of the way. I look clearly outside. I can hear people calling to each other and the grumbling of van engines. The rain bounces of umbrellas and coats as the first buyers appear and begin shopping.
I watch an old woman, who must be about ninety years old picking over fruit and veg. Her cloth shopping trolley resting up beside her and rain drops dripping off the bright yellow rain coat she has on. She hands over tomatoes and bananas alongside some money, then tucking the brown paper bags into her trolley, hobbles away.
The stall holder shouts, ‘get your fresh fruit and veg here!’
I finish my toast then my tea and tidy up. Going back to the window after, I close it and decided that a walk around the market would make me feel better. I go back to my room and select some clothes; jeans and long sleeved top. I dig out my wellington boots and a red rain coat. Feeling ready to face the weather, I put my phone, keys and purse in my pockets before I leave. Lastly, I collect my umbrella from beside the wardrobe and check I have everything.
Going down all the stairs, I try to be as quiet as possible, but it’s so hard when the stairs are like hundred years old and I’m 26 stone or there abouts. I don’t really know, it’s been a few months since I last felt interested enough to find out how overweight I actually was. I make it to the front door and am just about to unlock it when I hear another door creak open.
‘That you, Marcy?’ Amelia’s bell of a voice calls softly.
‘Yes,’ I say, turning my head.
Her head is sticking out of her bedroom doorway. Her dark blonde hair with layers of black looks messy and her cheeks are really pink. Her fingers curl around the edge of the door, holding it in place. I suddenly wonder if she’s wearing any clothes.
‘Are you going out? Can you get some bacon, eggs and bread, please? I forgot yesterday,’ Amelia asks.
I nod, ‘sure.’
‘Also, can I send you the first draft of my essay to look over?’ she adds
‘Thanks. Give me a knock when you get back.’
She goes to close the door and I hear Luke’s muffled voice say something. She replies then turns back to me.
‘Anything else?’ I ask, just knowing there’s going to be more.
‘Sausages too,’ she answers.
I frown a little as I realise my walk has become a shopping trip.
‘I’ll give you some money later,’ Amelia says, ‘okay?’
‘Fine,’ I say and open the door.
Cold wind blows in, stronger than it did from the kitchen window before and splatters me with a few large water drops. Amelia’s door closes loudly. I head out, holding up my hood as I go down the cobblestone alleyway and out onto the street. Wandering around the stalls, I decided to get the food on the way back. Nothing peaks my interested though. It’s all the same stuff they sell every Saturday and due to the rain there’s a few stalls missing.
I get the food and go home. Dumping everything in the kitchen I knock on Amelia’s door. There’s no answer. Going back into the kitchen I take my wellies and coat off. I put away the food and make myself a lunch to take upstairs. Gathering everything, I go to my room and spend the rest of the day working.
At some point, I hear the shower going and people moving. The smell of cooking food creeps under my door and I hear happy sounding voices in the kitchen. I ignore it all and carry on reading my books, internet pages and making notes.
My phone pinging a message finally brings me out of my studying. Looking around, I get up and go to the bedside table. Picking my phone up, I see it is a text from Ben. We’d met for the first time last week and had tea together after talking on a dating website for most of summer. He’d been working in Scotland and so we hadn’t been able to meet up until then. Opening the message, I read;
Hi, meant to talk to you earlier but work was mad! On my way to Liverpool now. Might be a bit late though, should get in for 5.30pm. See you at the train station.
We have a date tonight!
Looking at the clock I see it’s half past four, which means I have no time! I text back a quick line then rush over to my wardrobe. What am I going to wear? I pull out a black soft top with a dragon on it, realise I wore it last time and put it back again. After a few panicky minutes, I get a knee length blue skirt, a matching blue top with a butterflies on it and some black leggings.
Abandoning everything, I have a fast shower, throw the clothes on and sort out a shoulder bag to take with me. Is it still raining outside? I go to the darkening window and look out. The sky is a dull grey and though there are rain drops on the glass, it doesn’t look like its raining. I put my suede ankle boots on and grab a light hooded jacket.
Opening the bottom draw of the bedside table, I find my bag of makeup and go into the bathroom. Voices drift after me, but I don’t listen. Selecting blue eyeshade and liner, I put them on then a bit of strawberry lip balm. The mirror reflects my rushed face, I pause and wonder what I’m doing. How does Ben find me attractive? Maybe he’s just saying that to be nice? But then why a second date? Unless he just wants to sleep with me and was lying about that?
I growl, clutch the sink and will my over-thinking away. Pulling myself together, I brush my teeth and hair then go back into my bedroom. Collecting my bag and umbrella I turn off my computer and my light before going downstairs.
A voice from the living room calls out to me as soon as I reach the bottom. Darcy appears in the doorway wearing pjs which look like they’ve been shrunk in the wash. The shorts she has on barely cover her and the matching top only comes down to her waist. Her small high boobs can just be made out under her long straight blonde hair. I stare at her flat light brown stomach, wondering how she got that.
‘Yes,’ I snap to.
‘We are getting Chinese takeout and watching movies. Want to join us?’ Darcy asks.
‘I can’t. I have a date,’ I gush.
‘What with? The library?’ Alex’s voice shouts from the sofa.
‘Alex!’ Darcy scolds as she glances over her shoulder at him.
‘No. A man,’ I reply coldly.
‘Oh okay….the same guy from last week?’ Darcy questions, dropping her voice.
I nod, ‘I should go. Bye.’
Turning, I go downstairs and to the door. I ignore Alex’s voice as he yells something, so he’s words are lost, whatever it was I don’t need to hear it. I open the door, step out into the drizzle and hurry to the train station.
To Be Continued…