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Tuesday, 4 Feb 2014

10:05 AM

In a plane, somewhere above the Atlantic Ocean

So, here I go. Back to the UK. Looking forward to starting my new job. I’m now a development chef for a chain of country inns, as of Monday. Feels like a step in the right direction.

My ears are still ringing from my mother’s howling when I left this morning. She just doesn’t see why I can’t stay in Spain and run her little tourist trap of a restaurant and be happy. I tried that for about a year, and now I’m done. If I have to live with her or my pain-in-the-arse brother for another minute, I won’t need a job. I’ll need a fucking good lawyer. I wonder if ‘they really deserved it, Your Honour’ is considered a defence these days? If it isn’t, the judge should be made to live with the fuckers for a week before passing sentence. Then they’d hand out medals, not life incarcerations.

Next steps: Find a flat. Catch up with friends and arrange drinks. Avoid the ex like the bloody plague.

3:20 PM

Costa Coffee, Covent Garden

Exhausted. Flat hunting’s much harder than anticipated. Need to buy a bloody coat! It is freezing in this country. And raining. Obviously. And my only jacket is in the suitcase I flung on the bed in my hotel room an hour or two ago.

Feel like a failure already, in my new post-divorce life. Sitting here, drinking coffee that tastes all wrong but is warming my numb fingers, as I sip while trying to get up the nerve to call my dad and beg for a place to stay. It might be a good thing. Def cheaper.

Decided I’m going to get on a train and drop in on Eva, my bestie since we were nine years old. I’ll surprise her. Drag her out for a few drinks. Maybe some dancing. Maybe find some hot guy to take my mind off everything for a while.


10:45 PM

Gary Lucas’s Flat, Covent Garden

I have never felt as guilty in my life as I do right now. I cried so much I could have drowned. How could I have been so selfish?

I bounded up to Eva’s front door and found that she doesn’t live there anymore. I called Joyce, Eva’s mum, and got an international tone. I hung up quickly. I don’t have the kind of money required for international calls right now.

Then, I called Gary. He’s Eva’s (other) bestie. More like her brother, really. He gave me another address. His flat back in Covent Garden.

Holy. Fucking. Christ. I should have known from the look on Gary’s face when he answered his front door that something was very, very wrong.

While I was away, feeling sorry for myself over my dick of an ex, my best friend’s life was fucking annihilated. Her dad, Evan, died suddenly. Gary said they tried to reach me for the funeral, but I’d changed my number, wallowing in my self-indulgent pity. And then her actual brother, Davey, had been killed in action. He was in the army.

“Oh my God! Where is she!” I cried, grabbing hold of his jumper.

Then. Fucking hell, then! He took me to the hospital to see her without another word. The whole way, he didn’t say a word. Just let me jabber on like a complete fucking moron about flowers and chocolate cake and getting enough vodka she could forget about the whole thing for a while. I thought Eva must have been working night shift.

No. I was wrong. Not night shift.

She’s not nursing the sick. She is the sick. And apparently, that black and blue, swollen person in multiple casts, lying motionless in a hospital bed, who I was assured is Eva, (because it’s impossible to tell) is ‘looking much better’ and they’re hoping to wake her up tomorrow.

The whole way back to Gary’s, I cried so much I couldn’t even speak.

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