He doesn’t bother looking. She’s become too squeamish, coming to her rescue every time a bug scares her won’t help.
‘What if it stings?’
‘Them buggers haven’t hatched, I wouldn’t think. It’s January.’
‘Ain’t no bluebottle, though. It terrifies me.’
She stifles a scream. Exasperated, he goes into the other room. She’s cowering in the corner, shielding herself with a book. He freezes before he sees it hovering above her. It’s the sound out of his nightmares – the sound of a hornet drone. He curses the day he had the idea.
It’s the one day when it is worth getting up early to go to Oxford Street. Because Central London will be deserted. You’ll stand in the middle of the Oxford and Regent Street crossing and if you’ve not been good, you may have to step aside for the odd taxi.
It isn’t, however, as empty as it used to be. Has it become a thing to post a selfie of oneself on London’s most congested road totally empty? Maybe it’s a fad, maybe you won’t have to get up before sunrise in the future anymore.
I know I’ve no right to make demands. I acted like a right selfish cow. I thought, though, I wanted to be free again.
But I’ve been sat here for hours, writing my wish list. All I’ve to show for myself is a page filled with your name.
You know how they say you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone? Yeah, that. Should have seen it coming, right? Should have known that my heart didn’t like the decision to leave you. My head has conceded defeat. They both want you back. I want you back.
’Tis the season to be grateful for supermarket deliveries. She’s not going anywhere unless she has to. The weather outside is frightful; the incessant festive music, despite her attempts to ignore it, will worm itself into her head. And torture her. Music is, like smell, hardwired to memories of excitement that will give her hope despite herself. Happy golden days of yore, retroactively turned into a Technicolor dream. Because if she’s honest, it never was a happy time. Isn’t it why she’s made the decision to grinch it? Low expectations, no disappointment.