Guest Blogger: April from lipgloss-and-black.blogspot.com/
The minute it reaches lunchtime I grab my car keys and head out of the door, ignoring the fact that I should be in a meeting. There is no room in my head for targets and reviews - my attention is fiercely guarded by memories of you. I check my watch again and walk the mile to my car; the snow swallowing my heels as if trying to check my headstrong attempt to escape. I used to look forward to the end of the working day purely because you would walk me to my car, leaning your forearms lazily on the roof whilst I threw my bags into the passenger seat and thought up excuses not to leave.
Reaching the car, I fumble with the keys until the door finally relents. Swinging out of the main road, I flick through the radio channels with growing impatience. There’s nothing I want to listen to because there’s nothing that reminds me of you. Finally I settle on a station which is playing Take That. I smile with satisfaction and turn up the volume. Perfect. You’d hate it.
The fact that I hate it too is neither here nor there.
I drive as if mesmerised, turning every now and again without ever having any idea about where I want to be. I turn into a big country lane and open her up; pushing my head into the back of my seat and exhaling slowly with briefly closed eyes as I feel the accelerator meet the floor. I feel safe here, cocooned. I don’t care where I drive; I have no plans of where I want this to end. I just needed the freedom.
I have to get away from you.
This obsession is something we’re going to have to deal with before it gets out of hand. I say ‘we’ even though I know there is no such thing. But ‘I’ is lonely and unexciting. Even now, you leave me a dizzy sort of breathless, the kind which follows that short sharp gasp caused by sudden pain. I jolt awake most nights and bite my lip – sometimes until it bleeds – to keep from crying out your name.
I bite awake. We did that at school. Duffy. You’ve probably read it, but I never asked. Suddenly, it bothers me immensely that I never asked you who inspired you or which books could make you laugh, cry, feel alive. I jealously censored our discussions, leaving your time outside of work untouched because I knew that sooner or later she would come into conversation. Our last meeting replays in my head, but I can’t remember the sound of your voice or the expression on your face anymore – only the sound of your car door slamming shut and the slow appearance of my own reflection as the glass window slid between us and left me standing on the pavement.
I bitterly remember your broken promise to call, though. The road glitters with ice as I drive faster, gripping the steering wheel so that my hands turn white and the veins appear. The sudden appearance of a bird on the road ahead startles me, and my heart stops for a second. I touch the brakes without even thinking. But with the resumption of my heart comes a new idea. It creeps into my mind with such stealth that I wonder if it has been there all along; if it was born at the same time as my sudden impulse to drive.
If I crashed... would you come?