1. There are so many moments you know are dead even as you live them, and it aches like homesickness (at first). Just this once; please?
2. You've started referring to yourself in the second person. Because, well. It's embarrasing. There.
3. You miss the roll of sweat down your back, probably, because it was never any punishment to you. You aren't - prissy. As prissy. Lukewarm water and faulty wall-fans couldn't give you this, you knew, couldn't set you ablaze in exhilirated joy and the impulse to keep running and that spark of defiance that glitters wild in your eyes, glistens on bared teeth and wet fingertips. You don't pant at all.
4. Still, London is different. Sluggish. You discover Sherlock and keep discovering it for all the three days it takes you to finish it. Fanfiction does the rest; you're at your most lucid when you first wake up, which is saying something.
5. Maybe. You had no problem waking up on the bunk bed(s), half-past-four air chilly bare arms but unwilling to pull on your uniform, mind in perfect clarity, watching your dorm-mates (who irritate you, quite a lot. If only they'd be a bit more - spontaneous.).
6. You start off normal too, though, as normal as being English gets. English gets you off the hook, sometimes, though: you can feign semi-illiteracy, you're automatically excused from the more tedious conversation, because naturally you won't be squealing over the same barely-teen idols they are. You do squeal, a few times - test runs. Pilot. The view is as disinteresting as the rest of them.
7. You withdraw into silence. There is a lot of time to think, but you can't draw the right inspiration. Not that there aren't times you wish you could draw or write -
8. A stool, green and red, twisted to rest strung between two dust-filmed trees in the morning.
9. The ripple of a yellow fan seen through bars.
10. Hands folded around a paper plate slathered with too much cake. Almost elegant.
11. At first it was the photograph you fell in love with, a photograph you never captured even though you had your phone weighing guilty in your pocket because you just didn't have the audacity. Jaw-neck-hair-eyes. The perfect arrangement, goddamnit, the lighting and the railings and the balconies in the backdrop, white-blue-grimy, and just the right focus -
12. - Fuck. That's all it takes. Pretty things or broken things, remember, but who would have thought simplistic.
13. Oh, on another note, the canteen. There's a drink that tastes like nostalgia that your mind goes quiet when you first taste it, intent on finding a match somewhere from the depths of your memories, but you don't find it. Grandmother, but you can't be certain. (You make yourself sick on it later.)
14. Sickness made you irascible, and you won't accept concern. (It wasn't the drink, but it didn't make you feel better and you stuck to other options after that.) There is someone who buys you food, brings you food, attempts to cajole you into eating the food. It's a good person, yes. A piece of fruit per meal does it for you. Both hunger and appitite have been flipped off without warning. You ask leave in the evening, when the stools are out, supposedly to use the toilet. It's not that you haven't eaten enough to bring anything up; there's no bile to burn the back of your throat, either. Not Italy. (Maybe alcohol would have helped.)
15. Maybe you fear illness. You did last night, English time, woken a minute from one with a stomache-ache. (But I ate this time. Why? Will it be recurring, from now on?) Forced yourself to eat half a banana and all, trek to the kitchen and back made irrational with fear of (the dark)? Not that simple, but growing out of the phase of being scared of the dark was just a phase. (Can't remember what brought it back. Something. Ah. A foray into cinema. The rating was for a good reason. Fear by association. For God's sake.) The banana helped, in the end, but that end came a few hours later when you woke again and actually shivered when you curled back up. You're slipping.
16. Because you managed a fair bit better a couple of weeks ago. The cold bamboo was of no help whatsoever, and the blanket for once far too thin. The night was sleepless, and, hell, you heard your own whimper. (Can't remember when the disgust appeared.) You were brought to medical the next morning, and had more medicine than you took in the past few years altogether thrown to you. The green-packeted one you recognised, because 2011 and at least you kept quiet that time. (Drama queen.)
17. You fight against the cough for breath. The cough wins, and trails you all the way to England.
18. It takes a long time for you to accept eighteen.
19. You've never done this before. Space, oh how you could do with this, and the privacy of night, darkness. Twenty-five minutes, she said, to make the call. And if I can't make it back by then? Zai shuo. Lie into the phone: you have more money that what you fed it, and more time than the claimed nine minutes.
20. You lack the self-discipline to keep running to the point of collapse, but you do manage something that flushes your cheeks hot when you sit and bring your head between your knees. Use the hairband. The agony is wonderful, fifty-something in, or just starting to get wonderful but of course you have to roll to the side and let the breeze cool you. Run the equivalent of screaming. You can't recreate it, though you do slam your back to the floor hard enough for it to swell red down your spine and possibly/probably your left shoulderblade. You kept shifting, kept getting caught by the different stone. You want it to bruise so you can take it away.
21. It wasn't supposed to end that way. The three weeks were supposed to be a closed episode: forget, distort, never contact again. It was my fault, though, because I did forget because there was no confidentiality never any confidentiality did the knife story teach you nothing apparently not you forgot yourself and thought friend and no I don't make friends so easily and this guilt I refuse it because I did try being kinder subtler more sparing than leaving you to leave and leave the bed to me thank you very much I wanted to sleep alone anyway and I was hallucinating actually I wouldn't have kicked you out of my own accord but I'm not that sorry I could sleep an hour, two, three four five o'clock it was that I woke and sit on the balcony ledge ah there are bars on the window for a reason but they're very ineffective and here I am and oh, find me.
22. days actually, inclusive. Not a perfect three weeks if you count both Sundays, 27 and 17. Shower, jacket, plane. Loss in a wet-wipe.
Reading: Sub-par Sherlock fanfiction
Playing: Candy Crush