18-year-old Louis is finding life in England too hard, and needs to leave.
A distant ringing resonates through my dream. It dissolves every last fragment of the perfect moment my subconscious has decided to torture me with. As my focus slowly transfers from fantasy to reality, my bed suddenly feels a lot comfier. But I have to get up. My flight is at 11:00.
Gathering the courage to drag my body from under the quilt, I reminisce about the year as I dawdle over to the bathroom. It’s been pretty shit, is my conclusion. Definitely. Every second was more stressful than the last, and I almost crumbled under the pressure. Oh well. It’s over now. I finished my A Levels with two ‘A*’s’ and a ‘B’. Which wasn’t bad at all.
I look up, and catch my own reflection in the mirror. I look away.
I slip out of my pyjamas and kick them aside, and step into the shower. The hot water is bliss on my skin. I sit on the shower floor, and let the water wash over me.
* * *
Thirty minutes later, and I’m standing at the bathroom mirror, ready to go.
“Louis?! Are you all packed up? We need to go! Now!” shouts my mother, at an unprecedented volume.
“I’m on my way”, I choke, inaudibly. I am actually pretty terrified of going away on my own. It seemed like such a good idea at the time. It took so long to pluck up the courage to ask my mum, and even longer to convince her to let me - and to pay for my flight.
As I trundle down the stairs, my suitcase thumping on every step, my parents’ stressed expressions fill me with anxiety. “Get in the car Louis! Honestly, do you even want to go? It’s not too late you know, those Ryanair flights are dirt-cheap, it doesn’t...”
“Mum!” I cut her off, sick of hearing this, “I want to go.”
“Well get in the bloody car then.” I do, and as the door slams, I grip the inside of the door, and stare at the home I’ve wanted so desperately to leave. I didn’t expect to feel sad.
The house is obscured from sight.
* * *