Don’t wait for me, I’ve got a few things to take care of first. I’ll get there eventually, I’ve just got to feed the dog. And water the plants. The milk is going off tomorrow so I should probably restock that as well. Actually, the fridge could use a clean out, there’s some off mayonnaise here that smells pretty funky and I’m pretty sure that salsa has been in there since the year 2006. Yes, it is a big deal! Don’t be so flippant. You do realise that if I leave these things in the fridge they may rot and cause a chain effect until the entire fridge smells like bad cheese. And you know how I hate bad cheese! I’m not talking cheddar either, I’m talking camembert, even blue cheese. Golly. We cannot have that. Then I suppose after that I better empty the bin. We can’t leave this house to become a bloody pigsty now, can we? Hang up. Put on the kettle first, take a few moments to select the best cup in the house and play the waiting game. A bit of dark chocolate to accompany and we are set. Absolutely set. Oh, the bin! Silly me. I best pop that out while the kettle is cooking up. The phone is ringing and it is Jess again. Yeah. No, I said I had a few things to do before I could get into this. No, I am not avoiding it. No, of course I am not avoiding you! Just give us a few more minutes. Don’t come round. Ball breaker. Anyway, pop the bin outside in the other bin… or was it the other bin? Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. Replace the bin liner, check on the dog and stare into space for a moment. Thoughts creep into my head. Now what was I doing? Oh yes, the kettle. Tea poured, chocolate set out and a smile on my face. Sit down for a moment and the thoughts creep back in. Things are rushing into my head. Whistle a tune. Is it Stevie, maybe Ray? I don’t know. Tea is too hot. Can’t eat the chocolate without the tea. I wait. Grab the newspaper. Look at the front page. Look at the back page. Look at the middle page. Not much. Speaking of not much, there isn’t a lot of time to just be sitting here drinking tea. Get up, look around, grab at my head, small headache. Reassure myself, readjust myself. Turn on some music. Move feet a little bit to the left, a little bit to the right. Stop. Repeat. Nice song. Check song. Nod contently. Things are still on my mind. Cannot forget them. Will not forget them. Want to forget them. Blood pouring down her face. What’s on the television? Surely something. Maybe Seinfeld. Nope. South Park. 25 minutes into the episode though. Witness end monologue. Credits. Flick through channels. Baseball. Tennis. Bad Boys 3. Two and a half men. Crap, crap, crap. Switch it off. Another phone call. Jess’ voice is more frantic now. Where are you? At home, just a couple of things to do. You can’t avoid this forever. I know. Hang up the phone. A harsh sting in my eyes. Leave me alone. Go away. I’m fucking sorry alright. Maybe I’ll go for a run. That’s a lot of effort. But I’m sure I’ll feel okay. Upstairs I go. Through the bedroom door. Into my closet. I laugh. Grab my shoes. Pop them on. Rip pants off. Chuck shorts on. Think about how you can actually chuck shorts on. Notice a slight breeze coming through the window. Attempt to shut window. Large bang in my head. Screech. Scream. Window smashing. Alright, I’m going running. Head downstairs. Lock door. Head out front door. Turn on music. Exit front yard. Begin jogging. First 20 steps easy. Next 1000 are not so comfortable. Eyes relax. Wind blowing in my face. Forgetting things. Neighbour shocks me. Heart begins to race. Wave politely. They know. Everyone knows. Her face at the end of the street. Run the other way. She’s following me. She’s bleeding. Ignore her. She’s not there. She’s not there. I wonder if I should buy some more mayonnaise. Run to the end of the street. To the end of the block. To the edge of the world. To a place beyond this planet. To a place I have never been. To the front door of her house. Why am I here? I shake my head. I’m in the park. A couple of dogs bark. The music is not loud enough. Too many kids giggling. In the playground. I used to play here. I made friends here! She came here too. She loved parks even until the day she… Run the other way. Is that her in the distance. NO. It’s not fucking her. What else did I need to buy later on? I wonder what Andrew is doing right now? Maybe I should visit him. Maybe he can’t stand to see my face. My phone begins to vibrate. I already know who it is. It continues to vibrate. Then stops. Then starts up again. This happens about 8 times. I’m not going to look at it. Her face. Torn apart. Her body limp. I look at my forearms. Minor bruises. They’ll heal. Keep running. I hear a laugh. It’s hers. Leave me alone. I look into the clouds. What a funny shape that is. She liked clouds. No. No she didn’t. Vibration again. Leave me alone. Someone is looking at me from the edge of the oval. That’s a bit odd. What am I going to have for dinner? Spaghetti. I wonder if Mum and Dad are coming home tonight. I wonder if they’ll bring me back some dinner. They’ve been gone a while. I wonder if they’ve heard. Everyone has heard. I wonder if they cried. No. Dinner will be good. She used to come over for dinner. She used… No. No. No, no, no, no, no. Vibration again. Fuck off. I pick it up. Leave me alone. I hang up. I stop running. My breathing is pretty heavy. I haven’t run for a while. I sit down. Someone sits next to me. I turn to them. It’s her. I grab her hand. She smiles at me. Her face is bent. She used to be so beautiful. She’s not bleeding anymore though. She asks me why am I not with her? Because I can’t be near you. But I need you. I shake my head. My eyes are wet. It’s hot. I need to take this top off. I need to get out of here. Why is this grass so itchy? Vibration again. Mum. I pick up. Hi Mum. Yep. Yep. Yep. No, nothing’s wrong. How’s the beach? Are you back tonight? Oh, I thought it was tonight. No, nothing is wrong. I promise. Don’t cry. I’m not crying. Don’t cry. I’m not… I’m not… The tears rush. Her face. The smashing window. The dizzy head. The stupid mistakes. The wasted childhood. The off mayonnaise. The rancid salsa. The kisses behind the shed at lunchtime. Her smile. Her cold hands in winter. The pills. Her scream. The speed. Her brown hair. Her soft stomach. The chewing with her mouth slightly open. Her laugh. Her laugh. Her fucking laugh. The smashing glass. The slamming of the breaks. The screams of my friends. The stupid, stupid decision. Her body. Her face. Her heart. Slowly stopping. You have to tell them. You have to tell them. You have to tell them. I can’t fucking tell them. Vibration. Mum. Reject. The kids are looking at me. I’m howling. Vibration. Jess. Reject. Message from Jess. This grass is nice. An older woman is approaching me. I leave her body behind me and I drive off. Call after call. Screaming into my pillow. I turn my phone off. I can’t sleep. 6AM. Wake up at 8. Jess calls. He tells me we are going to the station. You have to tell them. I tell him I have a few things to do. Don’t wait for me, I’ve got a few things to take care of first. I’m back in the park. The woman is still staring at me. I didn’t mean it. The pills. It was the pills and I jumped in the car. She jumped out of nowhere to stop me. The smashing glass. The screeching brakes. The scream. Her face. Her laugh. Her body. A siren sounds. They know who I am. Jess is there. They are quickly approaching me. Her face. Her laugh. Her body. The mayonnaise. My hands. Locked up. She’s dead. Her smile. Her laugh. You’re under arrest. Her body. Her blood. Her body. Manslaughter. Her smile. Her laugh. Reckless driving. Her body. Smashing glass. Under the influence. Screeching brakes. Her body. Used against you. My God. What have I done? Her body. Mum. The mayonnaise. Her face.