Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Before we move on

Superlatively Rude
‘I want to remember how good this feels,’ I said to myself out loud, wading into the sea with my arms splashing clear blue water up the skies, laughing, finding myself in the most exquisite of states: contentedness. ‘This. This is the feeling I’ve been chasing.’

I let out a silent prayer of thanks, turning my face up to the low summer sun that was beginning its evening hiding practice behind the terracotta houses of the coast.

I was in Sicily, drunk on a little too much sun and a whole lotta love. My housemates, the ones I live with in London, had flown out to pass my final days in Italy with me, and together we’d taken Palermo by storm. From 4 a.m. piazza drinking and flirting with the locals, to trips to Europe’s largest theatre to see beautiful ballet and glimpse a piece of history; from backstreet markets and seaside seafood restaurants to prosecco by the bottle and pasta by the greedy forkful, I was suddenly sharing a slice of the country that made me with two of the people who’d made me. Two parts of what has mostly been kept very separate indeed – my “London Life” and my “Italy life” -- were colliding in a magnificent, beautiful way, and in many senses that’s what my two months away has done for me. It has brought together parts of a puzzle to make them a whole picture. My personal history met my current reality; the Laura who wears a backpack and no watch has met with the Laura who keeps a strict schedule and worries about bedtime and If This Is The Right Career Move and What It All Means. 

Monday, 30 June 2014

The Letter

‘Here,’ mama said, after she’d unpacked her bags in the Sardinian villa we were to share, as a family, for the next eight days. ‘Your Auntie Shirley sent this with me.’

Dear Auntie Shirley, the envelope read on the back. Today is August 25th 2012, and so this is a letter from the past, to my future self. I didn’t know where I’d live, or where mum and dad would live, so I’m sending this to myself at your address. I hope that’s okay! Love you!

I stared at the letter in my hands. I didn’t open it for a week.

*

Monday, 23 June 2014

More About The Boy

Superlatively Rude
‘Look,’ he said down the phone. ‘I get it, and you’re right: it would be easier if we didn’t see each other again. But… I want to. Just for lunch, for an hour. So I can wish you luck for your trip properly.’

I. Did. Not. Want. To. See. Him.

‘That makes me really uncomfortable,’ I said. ‘Let’s just leave it. I’m fine, you’re fine – it’s…fine.’

The night before he’d come over, late, after work. I knew, inevitably, that we’d capital-t Talk, even though his 10 p.m. arrival meant our evening was essentially a booty call designed for spooning. In texts and phone calls my trip away had been coming up more and more frequently, and whilst he was as excited for me as I was to share the details of my plans, it also served as a stark reminder that no matter how much fun getting to know each other might be, it’d be on temporary hold soon enough.

That’s kind of a passion killer.

And look, this isn’t my story to tell, but I was very aware that the last woman in his life to take a trip away for two months did A Bad Thing (cheat), and he found out when he flew halfway around the world to do The Ultimate Good Thing (propose). I understood that no matter how hard I tried (how hard do I want to try? I asked myself, over and over) there was no level of communication I could feasibly maintain to reassure him I wasn’t doing the same. See also: do Sicily know that the Internet has even been invented?

So I’d told him. I’d said, ‘I can’t go away with a man to my name.’

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