This is a first: a shower in my new home. Standing underneath I feel the relief of hot water. I am exhausted to the core. Emptied out. Too much has changed. Is changing.
A new view to this daily chore. Happiness hovers as I realise this change is good. From one good shower to the next.
There was more. Our room. With its mismatching yet harmonious furniture. A printer’s bench with a history, repurposed. The garden; a perfect size. The lounge; open fire and high ceilings. Space and freedom.
I linger, uplifted by heat and home. The water is off and then it’s cold. Intensely cold and I hear them. Waiting for me. Was I too long, I wonder.
I open the door.
“Jeni. Your Dad passed away this morning. I’m so sorry.” He says, his features pained.
The shower is tainted in an instant. It has been assigned a moment. For the days since, I step under the heat and feel cold. I relive it.
I listen hard. Anxiety flutters as the water sprays out.
What news today?
I liked riding in your car. A permitted closeness. A private moment – only room for two. It was actually a van. An old Vauxhall Astra. It was battered but still signified your independence and maturity.
No longer that teen I shared a sweet 16 with. No longer the fledging adult I partied with at 18. No longer just my friend. Maybe.
I look at your profile as you drive. I look, beyond the length of time you’re speaking for. What do I feel? I analyse and look some more. This you I see is unfamiliar. This you inspires desire. It’s strange and I question it.
I’d always liked you. Always respected you. Always relished your company.
But fancy you? No. Not then. But now?
As I look at you on the drive to the beach I realise. This, what we are, isn’t enough. That moment changed everything.
Seven years on and when you drive, I look. I look and my heart swells like it did then.
The first time.
Life is made up of memories and associations that are linked to a time, place or person. Some are positive. Others are painful. Memories have always fascinated me and inspired much of my creativity. I am interested to hear of anyone else’s memory triggers. The smell of candy floss/your first kiss, for example.