The train south to London is delayed by a few hours and even though it is just gone four, we sit in the black outside, listening for updates and watching the dim shapes of the hedgerows. I make use of the time by making lists of things I need to do, people to contact, invoices to chase – planning the next part of my life and wondering if I could have a career listening to and judging other peoples’ conversations. A woman half way down the carriage is on the phone to her friend – ugh she shrieks ugh, I couldn’t imagine anything worse than going out with a hairdresser! Really? I wonder Nothing worse? The three men across the aisle from me are discussing train stations that begin with the letter D – Dundee! I want to pipe up, yet manage to restrain myself. Do it for fifty k the man behind me is saying. Outside, the train rolls past the edge of city superstores, stationary carriages.
That grey feeling when you’re not sure what you’re doing; the desire to go and sleep even though it’s just early evening. I force myself to go outside, to put my trainers on for the first time in months. I couldn’t run in Nairobi – too dangerous my friends told me. It is good to run again and the night is full of home-time commuters all in black and spider-webbing out from the tube station. I run through the park and on towards Highbury Corner.
As I take my coat off and hang it on the peg, I notice his jacket alongside. The book I lent him is slotted tightly into the right hand pocket.
This weekend with my uni girls, marking the years and half-years with our reunions: November, Easter and November again, the cusp of winter, the cusp of spring.