‘do you ever look forward to little things?’ you ask as i thread my arm through yours. we turn in unison, and start to amble down the hill towards my house.
‘of course!’ i reply enthusiastically, ‘if i’m completely honest, the little things are all that keep me going sometimes.’ immediately after saying this, i silently reproach myself for responding so openly, and instead start to wonder what it was that prompted you to pose such a question in the first place.
‘what is it that you’re excited about in particular?’ i add after a few seconds of musing.
you take a moment to calculate a concise answer. i smile to myself.
‘i can’t wait to get home, watch the cricket highlights, and eat some hummus.’
a hearty laugh escapes me. you are just too sweet.
as we continue to walk, i find myself trying to work out exactly what it is that i am looking forward to. tears well up in my eyes as it dawns on me that i literally can’t think of anything. this realisation swirls around inside of my mind like a storm. the sheer mass of this psychological hurricane causes my head to droop wearily towards the ground.
by the time we reach my house, i am barely able to speak. my lips tremble horribly with each new word that they attempt to form, and after a while, i give up on talking entirely. when you eventually express your intent to head home, all i can do is nod. we embrace briefly, and you peel off excitedly into the night. cricket highlights and hummus await you, whereas i have no idea how the rest of my evening will pan out. i sigh. i feel so lonely.
i creep carefully up the gravel path so as not to wake anyone in the building. as i unlock the door and slowly push it open, its hinges cry out in pain. this sound is enough to send reams of eager tears streaming down my cheeks. i bite my lip hard in a desperate attempt to hold it together. balling is too loud an activity to undertake when you live with other people. i might feel lonely, but i am far from alone.
at this moment, i hear a beak from the top of the stairs. i look up instinctively, and hope that it isn’t a disgruntled member of my family. luckily, it is only my cat. she must have heard me sneaking in. upon seeing me struggle to remove my shoes in the inky blackness, she bounds down the stairs and starts purring profusely. her soft fur tickles my ankles as she circles my feet.
my own words return to me as i beam down at the little face that is looking up at me expectantly.
‘if i’m completely honest, the little things are all that keep me going sometimes.’