Feel The Fear

Entry by: writerIBXVEJZUDO

4th August 2017
Note: This is an entry I wrote for last week's theme of Time and Space but unfortunately left it too late to enter the competition, so I'm posting it this week as it would still be nice to get some feedback on it.

Time and Space

You’re doing up your jacket and turning away from me. I try to focus on your shape as you disappear into the corridor but my vision is starting to blur. Out you go, and here I stay as the door slams shut, shaking the clock on the wall. It shudders as a silver hand hits the 1, whose black figure seems stuck there, taught and thin as if the air has been knocked out of it. I know the feeling. I watch the silver silhouette leave him and move on to the 2. Then we watch together as the 2 is left for the 3, fat and smug. They really should have seen this coming, but still, I pity them.
I can barely hear your footsteps on the stairs anymore, and, as the hand’s slender finger slinks away from number 4, the door downstairs opens and shuts and you step out into the street. By the time the clock’s hand approaches number 5 I’m moving across the room to the window. It’s late morning but the clouds are heavy and the light is dimmer than it should be by this point in the day. Climbing out of the window I step down onto the thick air. Beneath me you cross the street, passing first a cafe then a vent in the wall that churns out a thin veil of smoke so that I see you as if through tracing paper. Now you’re turning down the road to the station, and a hot panic is growing in my stomach because soon you’ll be inside and I won’t be able to see you anymore. Then you’ll get on your train and find your seat. Perhaps you’ll leave your book in its bag today, and instead watch as my neighbourhood draws away. I’ll begin to run, trying to keep up with you, but I won’t be fast enough and you’ll slip away.
So I walk with you as far as the station, where you climb the steps and disappear out of sight like I knew you would. I can’t bear it and I’ve started to cry. Below me the moving bodies are losing focus, black coats and umbrellas swimming in front of my eyes like droplets of ink, dispersing into swirls on a damp page. My tears are making itchy trails across my face, and falling in wet flurries onto my jumper. I feel empty and powerless and I want to be back at the beginning. So I turn around and race back to then.
My throat feels scratchy, the way it does when you’re crying and running too fast. When I get to the bridge we are already there. It’s raining lightly and you’ve given me your coat, which I’m holding above me to cover my head. You’re sitting closer to me than I remember, and in the darkness we’re almost melting together. Cars are passing on the road below: two long lines of red and golden-white dots, travelling purposefully, like an army of ants, following each other, trusting that the body in front knows exactly where to go. The rain has picked up and I’ve given up protecting my hair. The top is starting to frizz but you don’t seem to care. I know that in a moment you’ll move even closer to kiss me, and I can’t watch any longer. I’m cold and miserable and everything hurts. I want to be home so that’s where I head, but when I get there it’s early morning and through the slats of my bedroom blinds I see that we’re still asleep. I’m lying stupidly with my arm across your body. My face is blank and ignorant. You must be dreaming because your mouth twitches occasionally and your expression seems to be changing gradually. A clump of hair has fallen across your forehead, softly curling towards your eyebrow. I want to brush it back, to wrap my arm tighter around you and feel the weight of you next to me. But I can’t, so I just stand there, waiting. Eventually you’re up and you're getting in the shower, and I’m in the kitchen cracking eggs. The radio’s on and I’m heating up a pan. From across the room I try to say that there’s no point, but everyone carries on as they were. Maybe I can’t be heard over the radio, so I’m yelling now. Forget it, give up. He doesn’t care. How have you not noticed? My voice cracks and bounces back at me, hollow. Then you’re in the room with me. I’m chewing a mouthful of pancakes and you’re explaining how you need more time and space. Then you’re gone and the door is slamming behind you, making the clock on the wall shake. Its careless hand leaves the 1 then the 2, and I stand there dumbly, unmoving. It drifts past the 4 and a shadow of me moves to the window. I hesitate. The air smells of cinnamon and the door stands firmly shut.