I had to know what he was doing, it was like a addiction. I thought about him all the time since he’d left me. How was he doing? Was he eating okay? Did he have a new girlfriend yet?
I always tried to squish that thought down. Of course, he hadn’t moved on yet. He promised to always love me. How could there be anyone else?
From the bushes outside his parents’ house, I watched him sitting a table eating whilst his mother talk to him just out of view. I couldn’t hear what they were saying.
The bruises on his face were fading. He looked happier, he was smiling and nodding.
When was the last time he had smiled at me like that?
I balled my hands into fists, dried blood still in the lines and soil buried under my nails Anger filled me, burning in my chest like an immortal fire. I wanted him back. I needed him back! How could I live without him, my one true love?
I got out of the garden and went to the front door. I rang the bell.
Putting my hands behind my back, I fixed a smile on my lips and waited.
He answered the door.
His face turned white, his eyes growing large and his mouth trying to form words.
‘I’ve missed you, honey,’ I spoke in a breathy voice.
The lights reminded me of a disco but the art deco walls didn’t fit in with a club scene. Nor did the clean, white stripe floor and the plastic seats in the middle which were empty. On either side of the platform were the train lines just lit up by a touch of green and pink light.
I was waiting. Walking slowly with only the tread of my shoes and whisking clothes making noise. I wasn’t wondering why I was alone or why it was quiet, I was just happy to be away from the bustle of the full platforms.
I felt the vibrations then heard a train coming into another section hidden by a wall and earth. I imagined all those people pushing their way on as people tried to get off. The bang of cases against legs, the howls of children and the fight over seats.
Smiling, I was glad to be away from all of that. Going over to the overhead boards, I looked up and read what they both said. Frowning, I wondered what had gone wrong because both signs said ‘no service.’
But I had triple checked and my train was coming into platform eight at five past three. I checked my watch and saw it was almost three. Of course, I had thought that a few other people might be waiting here too but this long haul, night train was normally quiet.
Were was the announcement to declare the next train? Perhaps, I had got it wrong…
I left and went back up to the stairs. I felt another train coming. I turned and saw a flashing of lights from the dark tunnel ahead. Maybe, I hadn’t been wrong?
I stepped back down and walked a little way along the platform which must have been new because way was it so clean and bright? The lightening too, I had thought odd but it could have always been like that. Who pays that close attention to a train station decor?
The train came into shape and I saw the destination on the front and it was where I wanted to go. Overhead, a crackling came to life and a voice spoke distorted words that I couldn’t make out but I guessed it was the notice for my train.
Dear God, I don’t want to be a nun anymore. I’m sorry but that’s just the way it is. I don’t feel cut out for what you are asking me to do. Mother says that you’ll help me but so far I’m struggling to see that hand. How can I bring new sisters to you when they are not interesting?
The world has changed and I fear we all must change with it. People don’t want a church anymore, they want something more, something we can’t give them. Perhaps, it’s a something even you can’t give it to them…
The doorbell rang and I went to answer it. On the doorstep was a medium size box. Looking up, I saw the deliveryman waving as he went back to his van. I waved back then gathered my parcels.
‘Postman?’ my husband called from the study where he was working from home.
‘No…it’s a thing for me,’ I answered.
I went to deny it but I couldn’t. Since starting lockdown my world had moved online. Everything I wanted came at the click of a mouse and it was like Christmas everyday but if it kept me going then it was worth it.
Sleep was a stranger to me, she was an elusive muse, a reflection out of reach. I did all I could to dance with her; exercise, diet, no screens or reading, no coffee or tea, mediation and just laying there waiting. Nothing worked.
I decided not to waste this time with trying and waiting. I turned to quiet actives; reading, writing, jigsaw puzzles and box set watching. Sometimes I would doze off and other times I would be awake to hear the breakfast time news.
The idea of seeing the sunrise came to me one morning when, watching from the curtain covered window, I saw how the first sunlight changed the colour of the room. I thought, how many people actually see the sunrise?
The next night, I looked when the sunrise was timed for and an hour or so before then, I went out to a local beauty spot which was a large lake.
There I saw a glorious sunrise. so many colours touched the calm water as the sky melted from black to blue. My breath was stuck in my throat and my eyes couldn’t behold the raw wonder before me. I felt the first brush of warmth on my skin like a lover’s arms wrapped around me in a gentle embrace.
I took photo after photo trying to capture what I saw but the imagines couldn’t compare to the real thing. I didn’t want it to end but of course it did. All the blurs of colours settled and became what everyone saw during each day. The lake’s magic vanished and the water became a normal blue again like the sky above all the colours had gone.
I stayed for a long time then left but that first warmth came with me and every time I closed my eyes I saw all those colours dancing again.