Things to do:
= Have a hot shower
= Read 'A Beginners Guide to Chemistry" – find out what exactly a valance electron is
= Don't even consider thinking about Marcus
It was cold this morning. One of those days that you wake up and have to trick yourself into getting out of bed; one of those days you breathe more than strictly necessary, just to see your breath floating away in little clouds; one of those days you miss him just because you've forgotten what it's like to be warm.
Don't think about him
The sky was pink when I left the house. Not red, or orange; pink. I stared at it and wondered how many times I'd missed something like it because I'd been in a hurry to get somewhere else; somewhere that would still be there in 5 minutes. As I walked through the frosty grass, I wondered what it would feel like to run through it barefoot. The longer strands of it attached themselves to my stockings, leaving dewy lines up my legs. One of them looked like a smiley face, which was an irony nearly too much for me to take. There was a bite to the air as I stood at the bus stop, the kind of bite that makes you breathe through your mouth because it hurts your nose to breathe through that. A small rosella was standing under the tree near me, staring at the top. It bounced around it the base – not walking but literally bouncing – before slowly climbing up the tree trunk. I watched it, bemused, as it made its ascent to the top.
For the first time in a long time, I smiled. The simple things people miss when they're in a hurry.
This day wasn't really any different to any of the others. Sure, it was colder, but it was still the same, the noises no different. There was absolutely nothing spectacular about this day. It was just another inconvenience in the overall plan, another blip in the grand scheme of things. It had been the same for weeks now. Nothing ever changed, nothing ever really that different from the days before; the significance of each day was as little as the one before
But for some, as yet unknown reason, today I smiled, without faking it. And that was all the significance needed to make this day just that much better than the rest. Until, of course, the guilt set in and I told myself I couldn't smile, not now, not when my life was the way it was.
There was no one on the bus today. Not like yesterday when I'd had to sit next to a boy who thought it's be so completely cool to take up almost all of the room with his legs. As the bus rolled around a corner, too fast as per usual, I fell into him, apologized and tried not to cry. He smelt like Marcus.
Don't think about him.
It was quieter at the top of the hill. That surprised me. I had thought there would be more people out once we got to the main road. But alas, no, there was the same amount of no one. It was like it was too cold to go out, so nobody was. Like everyone had a sick day but no one had told me. I half expected there to be an announcement, over an invisible loudspeaker: "Will Alalia Jenkins please go home, so the rest of us can enjoy today?"
There was no announcement though, and the bus kept rolling around the corners with some demented desire to make me fall over. I shivered, realizing that is wasn't any warmer on the bus than it had been outside. Looking up, I saw the windows were open, but I couldn't bring myself to stand up and close them; I couldn't make my legs move. So instead I counted to one hundred in French and tried to remember what it felt like to be able to feel my fingers.
It was just another day.