The Jacket (Real Life Version)

So, two days after posting a story about an abandoned jacket I find myself in the position of having abandoned one myself – a situation whose irony is not lost on me. How I managed to get all the way home from a night out before realising the loss is a mystery (though the alcohol jacket presumably played its part), but what’s even more annoying than having lost my favourite (and only) winter coat is what was in its pockets at the time – namely one set of house keys, some excellent headphones and my only pair of gloves.

Standing outside your house at 4am on a cold November night wearing only a cardigan as the slow realisation dawns you cannot actually get inside the house to warmth and bed is a soul destroying feeling. Fortunately my best friends were still awake when I pitched up on their doorstep so I was able to stay there, but it was a sobering walk to say the least and made me realise how horrendous life must be for people who are forced to sleep on the streets.

Today brought with it numerous aches and pains, the greatest of these by far trying – and failing – to locate my coat and belongings. The last bastion of hope was dashed on the walk home when I popped into the last bar we’d been in to check if it had been handed in, and I’m now regretfully calling off the search and accepting there will be no glorious reunion. My beloved coat has gone to the great cloakroom in the sky (or more likely is now in the possession of some opportunistic thieving scally). On the plus side, I’m looking forward to shopping for its replacement…

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Past Post: Gone

Something a bit different for tonight. I’ve trawled through some of my previous writing and come across this little gem from SIX WHOLE YEARS AGO. It’s short and sweet, and could do with a bit of a re-write if I’m perfectly honest but there’s something about it I like, which is why I’ve chosen to share it with you as this week’s past post:

He left today, without warning. Not even a hint of what was to come as he kissed me goodbye at the door. He said he loved me, that he’d never leave. So what do I do now? I’m sitting at the kitchen table staring out across the fields of corn, watching as the stalks dance in the breeze to a tune that only they can hear. 

It is a beautiful day, with not a cloud in the sky – and warm too, so warm for this time of year. It’s only May and yet today could pass for July.

We were married in July, twenty glorious years ago.

I think I’ll make some coffee. Yes, that will help to make sense of things. He always used to laugh at me for saying that, but it’s true. 

My mind begins to wander. Where is he now – and who with? Is he happy? No, I can’t imagine he is happy at this moment, no matter who he’s with. The wounds will still be too fresh, as they are for me. I am not yet out of his system. Perhaps I never will be. I hope not.

I am angry – twisted and bitter and utterly inconsolable. How could he leave? We were so happy! Or were we? Could I have done more? Could I have made him stay if I’d known what was coming? Probably not.

My coffee is cold. I have no idea how long the phone has been ringing.

‘Hello?’ My voice does not sound like my own.

‘Mum?’

This will be hard, she will not understand any better than me.

‘Mum?’ she says again, anxiety creeping into her voice. ‘I got your message – what’s happened?’

My beautiful daughter. Our beautiful daughter. How can I tell you that your father has left us? That we are, to all intents and purposes, alone?

‘He’s gone,’ I say bluntly in that same alien voice.

‘Gone?’ she repeats, bewildered.

I try to explain. She says she’ll be here soon.

Now I have returned to my window vigil, willing him to return. He walked through that field not two hours ago. Before he left me. Before he left us.

He lies there still, among the glorious sprays of daffodils.

He lies there still. 

Image

This is the most appropriate picture I could find in the archives to accompany this post, though I must confess I can’t quite remember where it was taken. I think it was most likely southern India – perhaps there are some butterfly buffs reading this who will know?!