This piece is titled Memories from Yesterday
Its around 900 words in total.
Memories from Yesterday
The bus was late. Again.
I fish my mobile out of my pocket, ignoring the text that flashes angrily at me.
She wants to know what time I’m going to be there.
I groan quietly as I shove my mobile back into my pocket. I flick my Oyster card against my thigh irritably.
She should know that I’m going to be late. It’s alright for her, living smack bang in the centre of London. She can walk everywhere, there’s no need to use public transport. It’s alright for some.
A heavy sigh escapes my lips as I crane my neck past my fellow commuters in a vain attempt to spot the bus somewhere on the horizon. I accidently catch the eye of the dark haired guy standing next to me. He shakes his head slightly, before going back to his Kindle. I stare down at my scuffed Converse, the card still flicking against my leg rhythmically.
Why did she want to meet today, of all days? What was the point? It’s been six months, she’s the one who broke up with me. She’s the one who wanted space so she could sleep with who ever took her fancy and not feel guilty about it. Silly cow.
My fingers tighten around the card, the hard plastic edges dig into my skin. I welcome the pain, it’s a good distraction from the thoughts in my head. My mind short circuits for a while and all I can hear is the traffic rushing past, muffled conversations and exasperated sighs around me
I fix my eyes on the tarmac. Would she be upset if I fell under a car?
Completely by accident, of course.
My shaking hands grip the glass in front of me. I can’t bear to look up. All I will see is an empty chair. I swallow thickly, my cheeks are still burning, my body frozen in place.
Why did I let her leave? Why didn’t I rush after her when she stormed out? I would have done that, six months ago. Back then, I wouldn’t be sat here alone. I would have stopped her.
She was late to begin with, something about a bus being late or not turning up. I forgot she lives half an hour away, but with London traffic it must have taken her much longer to get here. I suppose I forgot a lot of things.
The water ripples and sloshes around the glass as I raise it to my lips. The cool liquid slides down my burning throat. The glass clinks as I set it down on the table and I let my eyes fall close. All I can see is her hurt expression, the tears in her beautiful eyes. How could I be so stupid?
“Will your friend be returning, Miss?”
My head snaps up as I try to blink my vision clear. I focus on the waiter hoovering by my elbow, he’s clutching a set of menus, his face sombre. He’s seen what’s happened, he watched as she grabbed her bag and stormed out. Why is he pitying me?
I open my mouth. Then immediately shut it. My eyes wander and find the empty chair across the table.
My hands reach out and grab my bag under the table. The waiter jumps back as I stumble to my feet.
“No. She isn’t.”
I sit in silence. A steaming cup of tea encased in my hands. I sigh in relief as ice slowly ebbs away from my joints. I lift the mug carefully and take a tentative sip. Fire spreads though me as I turn my head and stare out at the thick snowflakes falling past the glass.
I can’t believe I found it. I thought I’d chucked it years ago. But here it is, just as solid and unyielding as the first day I got it.
A battered Oyster card lays on the table in front of me. Half hidden in amidst books, DVD cases, pens, notebooks and empty mugs with the remains of cold tea inside.
How many years has it been? Nine, ten? I’d forgotten all about the meeting with my ex. I think I must have erased it form my mind. At one time, I thought it was a dream. Something my subconscious had made up because I missed her. I think my memories of A-level Psychology were taunting me, trying to plant fake memories in my head, my knowledge of Freud coming back to haunt me. But the meeting did happen, it was real. The evidence is right before my eyes.
Why did I agree to go? I remember the bus being late. I could have gone home, sent her a vague text saying I was sorry but something had come up. But I couldn’t do that to her. it wasn’t in my nature to run away and hide. She wanted to see me for a reason. I had to hear her out, even if I set myself up for a fall.
I could have hurt her, just as she hurt me. All those years ago.
Perhaps it’s time to remember. And time to forget.
I heave myself to my feet, shoving my near full mug on the table and snatch the Oyster card up. I flip it over, my fingers running down the smooth edges. I force myself to step over to the wood burner. With a heavy sigh, I reach down and wretch the door open. Heat hits me like a brick. I pause, gazing down at the card in my hands, the flames reflect on the blue plastic. The silvery lettering shines brightly, just like the engagement ring she threw at me.
I throw the card into the flames and push the door shut. Straightening up, I wander over to the window, pulling my cardigan tighter around me.
It’s time to forget. Properly, this time.