Sunday, 15 December 2013

I went too far ...

... ahead, that is. As I was trying to see what's at the horizon for Elaine, I had an idea yesterday night. Unfortunately I didn't feel like writing it, as it was just a seed, growing in my mind. Today, I wanted to find out how it would translate into words and typed it but, somehow, it bugged me: the scene I'd written felt wrong at this point of the book. However, it was perfect for the next chapter. I write in chronological order, anything else just confuses me. I've only once ventured into a different approach-- writing in scenes, then connecting them--and it didn't make my life exactly easier.
Now I was still blind to how Elaine would spend today. I wanted for her to get out of the house, so I added another little trait to her character in order to make that happen. While writing, I enjoyed one of my most favourite composers: Ludovico Einaudi

I opened my eyes. Peace and quiet floated around me. What time was it? A quick glance at my mobile revealed it was 5.30am. Slowly, I turned on my side and stretched my arms and legs. Too big, this bed.
'Morning, John-Boy,' I said into the silence.
He spared me an answer.
'Not in the mood today? Too early for you, eh?'
'Well, at least you didn't snore. Unusual for you.'
'Me? I feel as if I didn't sleep one bit, you know, dreaming a lot.'
'Of who, you wonder? Of you, of course!'
My voice echoed around the room, bounced back from walls that have witnessed many private moments.
'I'm losing it,' I muttered, 'talking to my dead husband.' Dead husband! Sixty days, yet, I still couldn't believe it was true. Every morning when I woke, it took me a minute to realise that I was alone in this bed, alone in this house, and that, no matter how much I wished it weren't true, that very fact wouldn't change. Reality slapped me in the face, and as it hit me, anger seeped through every pore of my body, filled me up until I couldn't take it anymore. With one swift move, I got up and opened the window as wide as possible. I stood in the cool morning air, taking deep breaths, watching the morning sky without appreciating its beauty. On any other Sunday, back then when I woke up next to John, I'd tiptoe downstairs for a small breakfast consisting of yoghurt and muesli with an orange juice before going for a quick run in the park. When I'd come back I'd have a shower in the downstairs bathroom, before preparing breakfast which we'd have in bed. Contrary to me, John hadn't liked to get up early, he'd always said, it's inhuman to be woken before 8am. Let alone doing sportive activities in the morning. When my teeth began to chatter, I rubbed my arms, then pulled on John's cardigan, before going downstairs. I was hungry and longed to go outside to clear my head. Maybe mum was right and it would do me the world of good to leave the house for a while. It would be house until she'd come to babysit me. There was no yoghurt in the fridge, but some wholemeal toast.
Two slices and an orange juice later, I put on my running shoes and jacket and left into the still sleepy streets. The nearby park had always been my favourite route to run. Majestic trees reached into the sky, squirrels, used to humans, sat in the grass munching away on their finds; bushes lined the ways that snaked all across the park, building perfect little walks. There was a small pond in the middle, with swans and ducks, the nearby cafe always busy. Not this morning, though, Sundays, it was only populated by a few dog walkers, some greeted me with a nod and a smile, which I politely reciprocated. I didn't stop for a chat, not even when I met Therese, a wonderful old lady, who walked her border collie every day at the same time. I wasn't ready for small talk or telling people about the tragedy that had happened. Little by little. Leaving the house today was a huge step for me, anything else has to be approached with patience. I ran at a steady pace, trying not to think about anything, but keeping my eyes at the ground and letting the music dictate my rhythm. My breathing was even, my heart beat fast, but regular. One round turned into two and two into four. I jogged for fifty minutes. When I came back I was glowing. For the first time in weeks, I felt alive.
Charged with energy, I returned to our house, where the thick cloud of loneliness, that waited for me, sucked all positivity out of me again. My throat closed up and I gagged, just making it to the loo. It had probably been a bit too much exercising after the long break. I rinsed my mouth and stared at myself in the mirror. 'You're disappearing, Elaine Smith.'

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