Monday morning, on the bus. Alone and unhurried in the human press of rush hour. Driftwood in the sea of people going this way and that. Workwards. Schoolwards. Awkwards. Misfit pieces from different jigsaw sets locked together in a wheeled box.
Monday morning. As alone as she was on that first date. She disliked him from beginning to end and beyond.
That first date. She remembered. Her friend had said she needed to get out, start seeing other people, start dating, get back into the scene. Easy to say, harder to do. A scene she had never been into to get out of to get back into. Apps and sites in no short supply, but no more than a Facebook view of humanity, filled to overflowing with idealisation, bound with lust and hate, packed with connected strangers getting stranger and disconnected. To find a partner, a mate, in this ocean of profiles, everyone trying to fit or be fit. To find something she wasn't looking for.
And she'd found him. They went on that first date, a Friday. Discovered their differences before sitting down. Seated, they dwelt on each difference for no more than a moment as each raised its head for attention and conversation, before they moved on to play their parts. To meet expectations. They had that in common.
"So, what was he like?"
"Couldn't stand him."
"We've got a second date on Saturday."
Then the third date... then the fourth — each expectation ticked off in turn — ... fifth... sixth... steady... steadier... the L word — although neither meant anything more by it than expectation demanded — ... proposal... acceptance... marriage... resignation... anniversaries... separation.
Tick, tick, tock.
He'd left her. Sunday.
Monday morning, on the bus. Alone. But she was not alone again; she was alone as always.
Previous Publication: Flight Journal, Issue 3
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