Where I'm Going

Entry by: Olivia

31st July 2015
Where I’m going
You climb up into the cab and ask where I’m going? I am so tempted to launch into some philosophical rant. I don’t know where I’m going, that’s the whole problem. Ever since the great divide I have been lost and directionless. Every direction I had is lost, every route I had planned is blocked.
But you are cold and wet and don’t want to hear all that. You just want to hear ‘all the way to Dover, love, jump up’
You settled down straight away. I don’t get so many hitchers these days. So safety conscious, we’re not all mass murderers or rapists you know. I used to enjoy the company but these days it’s so rare. I’m not really sure how to behave. I feel scared, worried about what you might tell me in the long journey ahead, worried about what you might want of me, what I will feel I have to give you. Your story will be long and convoluted and I’ll hear it all. And all the time my heart will continue to bleed.
‘Do you mind if I have a little sleep’ you ask, immediately snuggling down,’ sure, help yourself to the blanket next to you’, and you are asleep practically straight away. You look, as all young girls do when asleep, naïve, fresh open and oh so vulnerable.
She looked like his little Lucy used to look. Will pushed the thought away, too painful to remember but too awful to forget. It was, as he had thought so many times before, where it had all began and where it ended. Where was he going? He forced himself to concentrate on the road ahead, listen to the quietly playing radio and move his thoughts to the journey, blocking out the dismal little flat that he would eventually end up in this evening.
Will tried hard not to go back down that well-trodden path. The counsellor had been so keen to leave it behind and to ‘look forwards’. What did he have to look forward to? Desperately trying not to, he rolled himself back into the pit he drowned in. The empty loneliness of every evening, the cold desolation of his bed. He would put on the TV, the radio, anything. Boil the kettle, hide the lack of noise. He would look busy to cover his complete lack of purpose. He was lost in his own life.
She snuggled down even lower, it hurt Will to look at her, he hoped Lucy was warm and comfortable. He longed to know that she was trusting and hopeful, that the strangers she met took care of her. But he didn’t know anything about her anymore. Nor would he ever.
He had thought that the new start would put the past, dreadful years out of his mind. If anything it had made it worse. Facing again the crowds of people and the loneliness of a busy town was hideous. He longed for peace and quiet, but he knew the way to get the peace he wanted came at an enormous price.
Most days he forgot the labels they had given him. He was just Will, never the sharpest knife, always a bit of a loner, but he was just Will. He knew what made him Will, perhaps that was what made every day, every decision so much more difficult.
He knew his way of behaving didn’t fit. But knowing what others thought didn’t take away the feelings, the desperate need. Lucy had seemed to understand. He thought she got it, young though she was. Her youth had him gripped. He had held her. He held her in love and longing. He knew what was good for her. He had explained so patiently that he would look after her, love her, keep her safe. At first she was so happy, so warm, so very much his. But time went on and she withdrew. He kept her so safe; he didn’t let other people get to her. He was really careful about what he let her watch on TV. He locked the TV away when he was out, he didn’t want her corrupted. And of course she could use her mobile phone, he got it out every evening when he got in, he sat with her and went through her texts, he didn’t want her to be upset. They were getting fewer anyway, Lucy knew that her old world was slipping away, that her new world, her new life was here with him.
He wouldn’t have touched her if she had just carried on being happy, but trying to escape, that wasn’t on. From the first time she tried to sneak off he knew he would miss her, but she had to do as she was told. He held her for a long time afterwards. She was still warm. He was still holding her when his landlord arrived.
And now he had his chance to start again, he’d been so good and kind to everyone. They all thought he’d really changed. That he knew where he was going. Well, some of that fitted but he was the same Will, and here was the lovely stranger, his new Lucy. This one looked like she would keep warm for a whole lot longer.