It’s just a girl

It was just a few of us out. Her housemates. Her. She was a few hours ahead of us, drinking her dinner. I didn’t feel it, never do, just wanted to get out of the stink of deadlines lingering around my bedroom, clinging to the walls. It was clearer here.

The next day: I avoid her. Housemates ask the usual questions, giggling, spluttering. I reply the usual reply. “It’s just a girl”. (Any girl. The wrong girl). I grab lunch. Something boring, can’t remember much. I nap and wake up thinking of her (and her). My parents phone, I don’t pick up. I lie and tell them I’m at a lecture (the one I slept through). They believe me, as usual. I throw up – it was spag bol. I laugh. Go to sleep.

I’m back again the next week, by chance. We do the same. Forget the everyday, breathe this ‘English dream’. Speak the language of immaturity and marvel at the glamour of debt. Wake up to stale bread and drink warm wine. Bathe in mouldy showers and sleep on our mate’s sofas. And so I left because everything got boring again. And as I slipped past zombie and zombie’s friend she is sat in the corner looking down at a book. Her eyes stay still and I wander past. I didn’t even realise she was there. Easily done. Done before. Ironic. I laugh.

Guilt. I go over to hers again. Regrets. I go over to hers again. Regrets. I go over to hers again. She’s lying on the floor, as if dropped. A coin. Heads. Chance.

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