Five past five. I really shouldnít drive that fast. Never mind. Here now.
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Twenty-five minutes to myself! What shall I do today?
I want to slump, veg out, enjoy a few minutes of grey numbness without effort, worry or fear. But that doesnít help me.
Ring someone supportive. No: phone records.
I want something practical!
OK, make a cup of tea. Mundane maybe, but itís my cup of tea. Iíll drink from the wrong side of the mug, Iíll let it stew, Iíll make it too milky and fail to get all the tealeaves out. I donít care! Itís my tea.
Iím going to run out of tissues at this rate. Get a grip.
Right. Armed with tea, Iím going to... stare out the window. Waste of time. Do soemthing!
But Iím paralysed, caught in this fear, stiff and sore like someone with permanent flu, unable to pick up a cup without -
Clear it up. Youíre a self-fulfilling prophecy. No wonder youíre so useless.
I am not useless! I am perfectly capable, or at least, I used to be, which is what this is all about.
Twenty-five minutes. The book said fifteen was all that was needed. So if she can do it in fifteen, I can certainly do it in twenty-five.
OK, OK, calm down. Deep breaths, they were a big part of this. Floorís clean. Revolting teaís gone down the plughole. Now think.
I am strong.
I deserve love.
Love! Thatís a joke, isnít it. How is this love?
I am strong. I am a natural survivor -
-Shut up! I am a natural survivor and I am able to cope with whatever life throws at me.
Now say it over and over and over until -
Car in the drive.
Five past five. Iím going to get caught one of these days. Thatíll be another thing to worry about, speeding fine. Anyway, managed it today.
I am strong. Iím a natural survivor, AND Iím going to do something about my life.
This affirmation stuff seems to really work. I feel so much better and itís only been a week.
No bag packed though.
But thatís a big step. Leave it for another day.
Why not now?
Youíre a natural survivor, right? And the best way to survive this is to...
But nothing. Youíve stood there for ages like a lemon and thereís the car again.
Five past five. The car is still running. Itís dodgy leaving it on the drive like that - Iím sure next-door have noticed Iíve been getting home earlier lately - but after today, it wonít be my problem.
Whereís that bag?
Have I got everything?
-God, what a stupid question. Everything! Like it would fit in this bag, or in my head. No, everything can stay here. All I need is this change of clothes, my bank stuff and my passport. Not that Iím going anywhere exotic - not that I know where Iím going - but you canít so much as rent a room these days without your passport. And I donít ned much...
Self pity got you nowhere.
I am a strong woman.
Oh God, a car. Heís home early. Like me. Except Iím standing here with a jam-packed suitcase and the car outside with the engine running. Oh God.
Itís not him. Those are blue lights.
Five past seven. Theyíve never seen someone so keen to follow them to the station.
God, I canít wait to hand them a cheque. Ninety quid! Cheap at the price.
Next-door were having fits behind their net curtains. Me, following a police car away, ever so meekly. The police, right beside me, no chance of him coming after. And now Iíve got all the peace and quiet I can handle, and no-one knows where I am, so itís like a two hour head start. And theyíve been really nice to me. Some woman is coming to see me in a minute. I think sheís even going to offer me somewhere to stay.
I think Iím going to speed everywhere from now on.