It’s happening… And yet… Could it?
She giggles. Bites her lip and smiles at herself in the mirror. Checks her hair. Again.
Such a weird mix of feelings. Suddenly strange. Suddenly shy. Suddenly good. Suddenly self conscious. Suddenly happy. Suddenly unsure. Suddenly even a little scared.
The drive is long, the roads are wet. The static on the radio crackles and she remembers with a jolt to put on another song. Quickly sifting through the songs on her iPod, she looks for one to fit her unusual mood. She picks Love and Affection by Joan Armatrading – one of her all-time favourites. She’s listened to it hundreds of times before, but when she sings it now, she mixes up the words. She glances at herself in the rear-view mirror and can’t hold in the laugh that bubbles up into her throat at her own silliness.
A boy on the road catches her eye and smiles despite the rain pelting down on him. It’s a flirtatious smile and she rolls her eyes in exasperation as the car zooms past, leaving him behind.
There is a lot she’s trying to leave behind. She wonders if it’s actually happening or if she’s just kidding herself. She wonders if it’s possible to wake up one day and suddenly not feel the things you were feeling yesterday. She wonders why the knot of anticipation in her stomach dulls when she looks at her phone.
But she’s happy today. She doesn’t quite know how. She sort of knows why, but she tries not to dwell on it too much. After so long, it’s enough just to feel happy again. She’s not going to ruin the sensations by questioning them too much. Her mood lightens as she gets closer to her destination. She sings out the last strains of the song, still mixing up the words but not caring very much.
The Wednt. She’s here. She thanks her driver and opens the car door, prepared to make the quick dash inside to avoid the rain which has slowed to a light drizzle. For a split second, she tries to remember the last time she felt excited about something. She remembers and for a second her smile falters. The memory is still painful precisely because of its sweetness. She shakes her head and tugs her red sweater around her and steps out.
But before she does, she takes another quick glance at her reflection in the mirror. Checks her hair. Again.